(Time) Fareed Zakaria on the New Healthcare Law and Lessons Thereon from around the Globe

The centerpiece of the case against Obamacare is the requirement that everyone buy some kind of health insurance or face stiff penalties–the so-called individual mandate. It is a way of moving toward universal coverage without a government-run or single-payer system. It might surprise Americans to learn that another advanced industrial country, one with a totally private health care system, made precisely the same choice nearly 20 years ago: Switzerland. The lessons from Switzerland and other countries can’t resolve the constitutional issues, but they suggest the inevitability of some version of Obamacare….

Twenty years ago, Switzerland had a system very similar to America’s–private insurers, private providers–with very similar problems. People didn’t buy insurance but ended up in emergency rooms, insurers screened out people with pre-existing conditions, and costs were rising fast. The country came to the conclusion that to make health care work, everyone had to buy insurance.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, --The 2009 American Health Care Reform Debate, Asia, Budget, Economy, Europe, Health & Medicine, Medicare, Politics in General, Switzerland, Taiwan, The National Deficit, The U.S. Government

22 comments on “(Time) Fareed Zakaria on the New Healthcare Law and Lessons Thereon from around the Globe

  1. Br. Michael says:

    Then the answer is Constitutional amendment. The Constitution is about dividing up powers and if the Government can’t do something, no matter how desirable, it can’t do it.

  2. jkc1945 says:

    Well, certainly, if Switzerland did it, that is reason enough for all of us to want to jump on board. Surely that economic powerhouse is example enough. . . . .

  3. Capt. Father Warren says:

    Why focus on Switzerland? Let’s look at America pre-1960’s. If you were born between 1945 and 1960, it is entirely possible that your parents did not have health insurance. Or, they had a catastrophic hospitalization policy. What does this mean?

    When they hauled you down to the doc for colds, cuts, wounds, check-ups, shots, etc, your parents paid for the doctor visit with CASH. When they hauled you into the emergency room because you gashed yourself playing “war” or some other silly kid game, they paid CASH for the visit.

    And guess what? The vast majority of us are still around today having been recipients of that medical care.

    So instead of fawning over socialist Switzerland like Fareed does, how about studying how we might get back to a system that allows freedom of choice, turns back massive Fed Govt intervention and distortion of the medical market, and shrinks Govt by putting all the HHS minions out of work?

    For all the flaws which Liberals dig up about the American health system, the singular unwavering fact is that life expectancy has gone up and up and up.

  4. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    Do you folks have a Biblical or theological reason for opposing the healthcare act, or is your opposition purely political?

  5. JustOneVoice says:

    Choices in health care have many moral implications, how much to spend on what care, what care is moral, who gets what care. I don’t want the government limiting my moral choices. My morals are based on my religious beliefs. The more government is involved in health care the less religious freedom I (and you) have.

  6. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    So, your view on healthcare is based on the idea that individual freedom of chioice is the deciding factor. Does individual freedom take precedence over working for the “common good”? Do you find the idea of individual freedom to be an important part of your understanding of scripture? Does your theological tradition have an understanding of the common good? Do you find that your ideas are more influenced by political positions or by your faith?

  7. Capt. Father Warren says:

    Hey Randy, before we chase all the rabbits you are turning loose, where do you stand?

  8. JustOneVoice says:

    I believe salvation is an individual thing, not corporate. God saves individuals, not nations. I don’t think pushing the care for our neighbor onto the government is how God wants us to care for our neighbor. That is a religious position.

    Individual freedom does not take precedence over working for the common good. Individual freedom is the best way to accomplish the common good. It appears that you think letting the government decide what the common good is, how to implement it, and use force to make everyone work towards it is the best way to do this. Based on history, I disagree. (This is political view.)

    Is government the only or best way to accomplish the common good?

    I think the common good can best be discerned and accomplished by individuals and non-government organizations voluntarily doing they think is best. When laws to protect are necessary, they should be implemented as locally as possible.

  9. Capt. Father Warren says:

    JOV…..excellent. The only thing I could add is that a central, Federal Government, should only exercise those powers given to it by the Constitution. Given that America, as founded, is part of God’s providential plan for mankind, I suppose you could label that as both a political and a religious statement.

  10. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    I am interested in making Jesus Christ the Lord of all my life and in encouraging others to do so as well.
    I am struggling to differentiate between ideas that have a political and/or cultural source and those that are based in a commitment to Jesus.
    I agree that the decision to follow Jesus is an individual one. However, it seems to me that Jesus immediately brings us into a community to fill us with the Holy Spirit and to use the community to guide our spiritual formation.

  11. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    What is the place of the Church (Body of Christ) in bringing about God’s providential plan?
    On the one hand CFW, you seem to say that the State has a large part to play in implementing God’s plan. However, in most of your posts you seem very distrustful of the State.
    What is the relationship between Church and State? I find Bonhoeffer’s life instructive in thinking about this.

  12. jkc1945 says:

    Randy Hoover-Dempsey, you ask a fair question, and I will answer specifically. Jesus said to “render to Caesar what IS Caesar’s,, and to God what is God’s.” And then went on to teach, in all sorts of ways, that one of the responsbilities that I, and YOU, have as individuals, is to be our ‘brother’s keeper.’ So. . . my perspective, and my theology, is this: the church of Jesus Christ is called provide the service of taking care of our brother / sister in the area of ‘health care.’ Randy, do you literally tithe? I do, and then some. Since I don’t give you my name, I will tell you, in 2012 I gave over 16% to my church. And I KNOW that most Christians did not!! But I AM doing my part to provide health care for my brothers/sisters, and my local church has an outreach ministry wherein we pay for TWO visits to the doctor for all who need them, and will come to us with a genuine need. THAT is how to solve the ‘health care crisis, Randy. LET THE CHURCH DO WHAT JESUS SAID IT OUGHT TO, and quit either delegating or expecting the government to do it. The government, Caesar, could not do this if you held a gun to all their heads and said they had to, because this is GOD’s domain, not Caesar’s. OK?

  13. jkc1945 says:

    Sorry. In my previous post, I said ‘2012.’ I meant last year – – 2011.

  14. Capt. Father Warren says:

    [i]you seem very distrustful of the State[/i]…yep! Especially when the state [federal, state, local] oversteps its lawfully constituted bounds; that never bodes well for freedom & liberty.

    [i]What is the place of the Church (Body of Christ) in bringing about God’s providential plan?[/i]…any Christian Catechism should illuminate that in detail. In particular I recommend the Catholic Church Catechism.

    America, as founded, can be viewed as part of God’s providential plan for mankind because it represents the best earthly manifestation of God’s divine desire for mankind; which is enshrined in this founding document; ” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. The purpose of religion, the purpose of the Christian religion, and especially the purpose of the Church in supporting the founding ideals of America were commented on by many of the founding fathers.

  15. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    Our church works with a local faith-based clinic to help provide medical care to those who need it. We have over two hundred members who are political refugees. Thanks to Medicaid some of our members have received care that would have been beyond the ability–corporate or individually–of our people to provide.

  16. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    CFW, to say that I am struggling with the issue of what motivates our ideas–faith or culture–does not mean that I’m ignorant about the issue. I am interested in the way other people, particularly other people who think in different ways than I do, think about this.
    I find it interesting that you have chosen the screen name of Captain Father. I’d like to know more about this. Is there any tension between being both a Captain and a Father? (I do not mean this in a challenging way. I’m sincerely interested.)

    It’s also interesting to me that comments on so many blogs quickly become angry diatribes. I’m interested in a meaningful exchange of ideas, not another opportunity for emotional venting.

  17. off2 says:


  18. Capt. Father Warren says:

    [i]Is there any tension between being both a Captain and a Father?[/i]

    Not at all. It originated in a friendly discussion in my parish of what I should be called following my ordination back in 1999. Someone who overheard the discussion and knew of my passion for sailing quipped that I needed to be called “Captain Father Warren”. It stuck.

    Blog discussions that involve angry, [i]personal[/i] rhetoric or ad hominem attacks probably aren’t worth following. But not all anger is personally directed. Many of the things which have happened in our country over the last 50+ years can make me rather angry at times.

  19. Randy Hoover-Dempsey says:

    CFW thanks. I used to sail a Mirage.

  20. Sarah says:

    Hi Randy Hoover-Dempsey,

    In response to the somewhat strained and artificial question above, I believe that Obamacare 1) will not be effective in achieving its stated goals, 2) will harm others, 3) is unConstitutional and 4) is immoral.

    As with most issues political, my reasons therefore are *theological* and political.

  21. libraryjim says:

    To Randy,
    In looking for theological reasons to oppose the Healthcare bill (apart from its attacks on Freedom of Religion), I came across this post on another forum:

    [blockquote]Obamacare is not to be rejected because it is wasteful and unworkable. It is to be rejected because the state is not our Father. We do not ask Washington for our daily bread. Because the state is not our Father, any attempts to fulfill that role will of course be attended by one disaster after another. But the disasters are the symptoms. We do not want them to take on these things even if they could do them. Remember in the next election, you are voting for a president, not a savior. You already have a Savior. [i]–Doug Wilson[/i][/blockquote]

    Jim <><

  22. NoVA Scout says:

    The Lord’s faithfulness is also our shield and buckler, No. 20, but we still maintain a standing Army, Navy and Air Force as organs of the State. I don’t think the distinction between the state and God is a useful one for evaluating the efficacy or constitutionality of health care legislation, any more than it is for evaluating the need for earthly provision for military defense.