If this society still understood and believed in the principles of Natural Law, the current argument over healthcare would be simple to resolve. Here is a simple outline of how healthcare would look under Natural Law.
1 — No person can or will be forced to provide insurance for another. (This effectively removes the government from the equation.)
Any person who does not purchase their own healthcare policy will be allowed to suffer the consequences of their choice! Government has no responsibility and no authority to provide for healthcare in any way. This is because it must take from one and give to another simply for the good of the receiver. This tramples the rights of the person being taken from. To do so would be another form of slavery, or forced servitude, both of which are not only violations of Natural law, but already outlawed by our current Constitution.
[Note: This would also end employer-provided health insurance.]
2 — The government will not hinder private charity.
[Note: The government has pushed churches and other private charities out of the health care industry. Before that happened, they were the primary means of caring for those who truly needed help, and they are still the best means of doing so because they are best able to determine who needs the help and who does not.]
Because corporations are products of legislation, they remain under the control of legislation (i.e. the public). Therefore, the following changes will be made to the laws governing health insurance:
1 –Healthcare insurance will be sold for catastrophic or long-term care only! No routine care will be allowed under a healthcare insurance policy.
(This will bring down costs of routine care by forcing both health care providers and the customer back into the free market. Since the key to obtaining cheap rates is to get a long-term policy while as young as possible, this also solves the problem of keeping costs low and extending coverage to more people.)
2 — All policies will be sold similar to life insurance: over a set period of years with a fixed benefit amount and fixed monthly cost.
(This solves the problem of price increases.
Ex: a policy may be sold for 20 years, or until age 65, cover a total of $500,000 in catastrophic medical expenses at a fixed monthly cost of $100.]
3 — An insured cannot be dropped for filing a claim.
(This solves the problem of existing conditions.)
4 — Rates may not be increased if an insured files a claim.
(This keeps rates low for those who need to use their insurance.)
5 — Policies will be allowed to be sold across State lines.
(This is the free market.)
There will be a need to address some other details, such as setting limits for when an insurance company will be allowed to drop an insured for lack of payment, or extending coverage to children born with life-time health care issues. But this is what the basic outline for how healthcare insurance under Natural law would look.
Notice the problems this outline solves:
1 — The government would no longer be able to force one citizen to pay for the healthcare of another. This would return the government of its proper role of protecting the rights of all citizens equally, without the current bias against ‘the rich’ and for ‘the poor.’
2 — No more problems with ‘pre-existing’ conditions. A child will be born with coverage, and persons who develop long-term problems later in life will be able to keep their policy. What’s more, the premiums will be fixed, so the insurance company will not be allowed to drop a person who gets sick, nor will the insurance company be allowed to raise premiums on those people who file claims. It is assumed that the company would have factored all the risk into the original price of the policy.
3 — The government will lose its ability to control the People through their employer or government-funded healthcare.
4 — The cost of routine medicine would be returned to market forces. This would lower the cost of a doctor’s visit, as well as for most medications.
Naturally, this does not cover everything, but then, this post is not intended to be a replacement bill for the current mess we’ve made of things. Obviously, other details would need to be addressed, such as malpractice insurance. But that is not the purpose of this post. The purpose of this post is merely an outline detailing how healthcare insurance could be addressed under the principles of Natural law. However, it should be noted that anything outside the basic boundaries addressed in this outline would be outside the principles of Natural law.