In this week’s edition of Idaho Politics Weekly Luke Mayville has written a letter thanking all his volunteers for helping pass Medicaid expansion. A pleasant gesture for sure, but to me it really points out the great chasm between progressive values and traditional classical liberal (today called conservative) philosophy.
In his article Professor Mayville never mentions the true heroes of healthcare like the doctors, nurses, and technicians who continue to take care of all patients independent of their ability to pay. I have practiced medicine in Idaho for 32 years and I have never seen a patient in acute need of assistance ever have care withheld because of their inability to pay. In fact, if this were to occur it would be against the law. EMTALA the Emergency Medical Transfer and Labor ACT requires all patients to be treated acutely without regard to ability to pay. Any provider not living up to this standard should be confronted by peers and if need be reported to the State Board of Medicine.
The idea that government should be the conduit of charity is not consistent with classical Christian teachings of social justice originally brought forth by FR. Luigi Taperelli in the 18th century when he defined an act of charity as being between the giver and receiver, a covenant act to which God is a party. Any Act of charity defines the Christian “social contract” according to traditional Catholic social doctrine. It is a personal act between individuals and God. In the New Testament, we are asked “to do unto others as you would have them do unto you “Jesus also tells his disciples “what you do unto the least of my brothers you do unto me”.
The modern and just relationships between groups that make up a society” are the centerpieces of the Marxist-Socialist economic and political philosophies that have been responsible for the indenturing, enslavement, not to mention murder of millions of people across all continents. There is no place in The New Testament where the government is delegated the responsibility of being the conduit for charity precisely because to do so would be to place people in need in a position of supplicant-dependent, not recipient and equal.
Remember Jesus warns “Render unto Caesar” what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
On October 11th of this year Attorney General William Barr described in a speech at Notre Dame these two philosophical points of view as being “micro” and “Macro”. The micro describes a responsibility of individuals to each other. The macro transfers that responsibility to a third-party—government.
Toward the end of his speech Mr. Barr described a situation that I too have just been witness to during a recent Sunday Mass Ohio. Toward the end of The Mass after prayers for the faithful there are announcements. When the head of the Social Justice Committee got up to describe the need to help the homeless I reached into my pocket to give a contribution. Then he said that the money would be used not to buy food, or clothing or shelter for those in need, but to provide funds to pay a lobbyist to lobby for the homeless. I kept my hand in my pocket. I am sure he felt good about himself.
We help each other by helping each other individually. The nurse, the doctor, the nurse’s aide help each patient individually. They are the ones who are waiting to attend to those in need in ERs, and ICUs and onwards and in the middle of the night in ORs. EMT’s, Paramedics and Life Flight Nurses and pilots risk their own lives for others as do Medics and Corpsmen in the military.
Doctors and nurses and volunteers who work in free clinics and mental health clinics ‘man”—is that OK to say, the front lines for those living on the margins in our communities. These are the true heroes and they very much go unrecognized. They don’t march on the State House and seldom are they heard before legislative committees. They are usually too busy. They do their jobs and inside they are proud of the jobs they do. They all live amongst us and never expect a thank you. Next time you see one be sure to let them know of your gratitude and admiration
I have never seen a community organizer, lobbyist, or a hospital administrator in the ER at 2AM—unless they were notified that some important politician or a big foundation contributor was in “Their ER” Next time you see one of them ask them why they still charge the uninsured “charge-master” prices, or why they continue to “up code” or not undergo an independent audit so we can get a glimpse at their supply chain shenanigans. Or ask our State government officials the results of the last Medicaid enrollment audit across the country where there are 20% fraudulent Medicaid enrollments to the tune of $72 billion annually. I am sure Idaho is doing much better—can we prove it? Why not?
Every day Idahoans who are paying their taxes and seeing their insurance premiums, co-pays and deductibles go up annually would be interested in these questions. As the cost of government services increases so do taxes. Everyday people are concerned more and more about their own individual abilities to pay for education, retirement, a 5-day vacation, or athletic equipment and band instruments many Idaho local schools no longer pay for the last two items.
No Professor Mayville the real heroes are everyday people who do their jobs every day. It is time that our politicians start listening to them. Don’t you think?
Cost before coverage—Coverage is not access—Access is not quality care.