“Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:9)
by Franco Famularo, UTS Class of 1994
Obamacare. Universal healthcare. Private Insurance. Long lines in the U.K. Even longer lines in Canada. Forty million people without health insurance in the U.S. Mega-insurance companies fleecing people. Big pharma. Small business owners getting wiped out by medical mishaps.
If you live within earshot of American talk radio or TV news as I do, you will have heard some or all of the above. Discussing universal healthcare in the United States can be most contentious.
European, Canadian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, African, Asian, and American Unificationists will all approach this topic differently. Is there a Unification position on universal healthcare? Do the current systems available to residents of various countries reflect the ideal in any way?
Living a mere 45-minute drive from the Canada-U.S. border has caused me to ponder this topic and I’ll submit my conclusion first.
Neither government-run healthcare nor a system that is privately operated can be trusted to do a good job in providing adequate healthcare within the current circumstances. Human beings still lack the Godly virtues to keep the best interest of the public in mind and fall short, since none has mastered “living for the sake of others.”
The issue is not whether publicly funded or privately run healthcare is better. The problem is the moral and ethical quality of human beings and the solution lies in a moral reformation. When those involved in providing healthcare (government, medical practitioners, administrators, etc.) are comprised of individuals with the highest Godly qualities of the human spirit, an “ideal” health system will emerge.
My interest in the universal healthcare issue was strongly stimulated back in 1993 when UTS classmates Eric Holt, Jerry Chestnut and I took on the challenge at the annual UTS debate of defending Bill Clinton’s proposal to the U.S. Congress. This helped us to see both sides of the American arguments at the time.
I was born in Canada and have lived here most of my life. For ten years, I spent extensive periods in Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and was able to observe the various healthcare systems to some degree. They are not all alike.
Last year, some of us listened to presentations under the banner of the “Freedom Society” that addressed the issue to some extent. Proposals were made for a return to the days where churches, charities and families took care of healthcare needs. I can remember the time before universal healthcare was established in Canada when doctors did house calls and Catholic nuns cared for the sick. I have strong doubts that returning to such a system is plausible. We also heard severe criticism of the U.K. and Canadian healthcare systems. I simply had to laugh as I listened to the ill-informed comments which reflected more the well-known American talk radio show hosts than reality in Canada or the U.K.