Nuxoll warns against Medicare Expansion
State Senator Sheryl Nuxoll
A free clinic in Caldwell for healthcare was started by a bible study group looking to give something to their community. The clinic operates one night a week, serving people who have no insurance and do not qualify for Medicaid—people served by the county indigent program. It saved county taxpayers $500,000 on a 2.5 million county indigent budget. It is so successful that the program is adding another night per week. What a great way to expand healthcare so people have a way to stay in the work force.
To help the poor, we need to help the whole person—material, spiritual, and emotional. The government cannot do that. Why? Because law requires government to treat everyone as the same and equal. But we are not all the same since we each have different needs. People in government, even though working hard, can’t give the personal attention needed for all the different needs for the whole person. These needs are best met outside of government through churches, non-profits, and families. Our duty is to limit the power of the federal government. Concern for the poor doesn’t require faith in big government. It requires faith in the fullness of the Christian message, just as the parable of the Good Samaritan teaches us. It demands personal attention from us. The free-enterprise system provides this opportunity for us. This is the power of people working together. Freedom is power.
Our present unrivaled health care system came into being through the Christian Churches and private charity who established all of the hospitals, clinics, and healthcare work. Christendom invented the hospital under the umbrella of Christian mercy. The solution of first resort for health care for the poor ought to be private, local charity, where needs are best met locally. Depriving citizens of private means by over taxation is not compassion. How can they give personal attention to the poor at the level closest to the person? Paying taxes limits the resources for individual and local involvement.
Forcing us to pay taxes to support charity may “feel good” to us, but where is the local personal involvement? If we are going to genuinely assist suffering humanity, then our feelings must be disciplined according to reason and common sense. Other private organizations, individuals, charities have a major responsibility to provide the necessary care before the state gets involved.
Trapping people into dependency is not compassion. St. Paul warned against a church not to provide a daily distribution of food to young, able-bodied widows lest they become idlers gossips and busybodies. In place of generous souls animated by love of neighbor, we set up a soulless bureaucracy run by distant bureaucrats and funded by politicians seeking out constituents by promising benefits. Free enterprise allows us to use resources to care for ourselves and others. It allows us to use our gifts to help others needs.
(Editor's note: the following part was inadvertantly omitted from the print edition of the Chronicle)
Why do we find resistance to free enterprise? Yes, there is greed, but greed is found in government as well as free enterprise. In fact, government is worse because there is little or no competition to control that greed. The greatest opportunity for greed is government cronyism, which knows how to exploit lists and lists of regulations.
As humans, we have the right to basic care, love, attention, including medical care, but not the right to every single desirable product and service available by demanding the limitless efforts of others without remuneration nor do we have the right to assume that the government is the primary means of fulfilling that right. Some solutions are:
1. Expand Health Savings Accounts which give the consumer the price sensitivity and flexibility in health care decisions.
2. Set up a defined contribution method as opposed to defined benefit in Medicare and Medicaid so recipients have a choice how to use it.
3. Let the consumer pay the provider instead of providers competing for the business of bureaucracies.
4. Deregulate codes that bind providers to rules rather than common sense and compassion for the patient.