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Monday, August 17, 2009

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TDJ

I've been blogging on the issue of subsidiarity since August 10 (Vivificat's HCR tag). The problem seems to be that not many understand this principles and those who do, think it is OK to ditch it in order to achieve universal health insurance coverage.

-Theo

Shaun G

I may be wrong, but I have always thought of subsidiarity as more of an organizational principle, rather than a principle that suggests which functions and services ought to be publicly run versus privately run.

I know that, in terms of organization, the principle of subsidiarity says that if a local entity (e.g. a city government) can perform a certain function just as well as a higher-level entity (e.g. the federal government), then it should be the local entity that performs that function.

But that does not necessarily mean that any given function is more appropriate to be run publicly versus privately, does it? I mean, I'm sure that privately run libraries could be run just as well as public libraries, but we as a society have chosen to make them public, so that everyone can benefit from them.

One might argue, then, that the idea of subsidiarity does not necessarily conflict with the idea of taxpayer-funded health insurance. It merely brings into question whether such a program need be administered by the federal government, rather than, say, a state government.

An analogy: Since local fire departments can perform their necessary functions at least as well as, say, a federal fire department, subsidiarity prefers local fire departments.

But those local fire departments are still taxpayer-funded, and that doesn't seem to conflict with the idea of subsidiarity.

And indeed, they are taxpayer-funded for very much the same reason that proponents of universal health coverage say health care should be taxpayer-funded:

When someone's house is on fire, common sense (among other things) demands that firefighters put out the fire -- even if the homeowner was supposed to (or required to) pay an annual fee for firefighting service yet failed to do so.

Similarly, we know that there are always going to be people without health insurance, even if it becomes a legal requirement to maintain a policy. Yet common sense (among other things) demands that health care providers still give these people treatment, even if they can't pay for it.

TDJ

Yes, FDs, PDs are tax-payer funded, but they are also accountable directly to the communities they protect. If the subsidiarity is to hold, health care insurance management should occur at the level of social organization closest to the consumer. That would not be the Federal level, but at a community level still to be defined.

Jean

Subsidiarity in education puts the family in charge of education decisions. Subsidiarity in health care brings decision-making control down to the patient level. The dilemma is how to get the public to fund it without allowing politicians to control it. Subsidiarity is not coercive. It inspires community-based relationships and true compassion ("suffering with") instead of using force to steal from Peter to pay Paul to make John feel magnanimous. Of course, this is a moot point since we're out of money. They'll be running the printing presses to fund "reform", curshing the poor and the middle class through inflation.

Cecilia

Good remarks by Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, IA, are at the diocesan web page: http://www.scdiocese.org/

Lumigan

Yes, FDs, PDs are tax-payer funded, but they are also accountable directly to the communities they protect. If the subsidiarity is to hold, health care insurance management should occur at the level of social organization closest to the consumer.

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