The Path Forward

Where wooden churches are 800-900 years old and survived the plague -  Deseret News

As a physician, I interacted with insurance companies on behalf of patients and learned a great deal about how the system worked. But my views completely changed when my wife and I attended a church where the members declined traditional insurance and assumed this function as a group. With a few thousand members across dozens of churches, this brotherhood had been successfully filling this role for decades. When a need arose, a minister would discreetly describe that there had been a car accident or serious illness. He would name the deficit involved, and the members would contribute. I was skeptical at first; but after watching the brotherhood sacrificially meet need after need over four years, I was deeply impressed—melted would be a better word.

Finny Kuruvilla, King Jesus Claims His Church

The path forward is not, fundamentally, more government provision (or regulation) of health care. (In fact, the path forward is not more health care at all.) The path forward is communities strong enough to meet their members’ needs.

Two thousand years ago, Christian communities were strong enough to meet their members’ needs: “Members of the early church held goods in common, selling possessions as there were needs. The church organized its own system for caring for widows and providing for its poor.” In fact, early Christian communities did more to help the non-Christian poor in their midst than any other community ever had.

That path forward is clear. How many churches will take it?


You Can’t Trust the Experts: “Cut Medicine in Half”

[O]ur main problem in health policy is a huge overemphasis on medicine. The U.S. spends one sixth of national income on medicine, more than on all manufacturing. But … we see at best only weak aggregate relations between health and medicine…. Cutting half of medical spending would seem to cost little in health, and yet would free up vast resources for other health and utility gains. To their shame, health experts have not said this loudly and clearly enough. … [M]edicine has played at best a minor role in our increased lifespans over the centuries.… [W]e could cut U.S. medical spending in half without substantial net health costs.… This would give us the equivalent of an 8% pay raise.

Robin Hanson, “Cut Medicine in Half”

Universal health and universal health care have hardly anything to do with each other. Eat, sleep, and exercise accordingly.