The Solution: Kindred Health Care

I just had an incredible idea: a solution to the health care crisis.

People who believe in a “universal health care option,” where every citizen must pay to support everyone who needs it (even for services you personally may never need), often cite that it’s morally the right thing to do. The question is simply gathering up enough money to pay for it from everyone.

So I propose a “kindred health care plan” instead. If a person or family cannot afford their health care, the government will determine who the next nearest relative is to that person or family and, if they can afford it, the government will order that family to pay for their relative’s health care services.

Simple and effective, right? C’mon, they’re family! Your own kin? Shouldn’t providing for your own blood be morally the right thing to do? And it doesn’t cost the government or anyone else a thing… unless they put you in jail for being so stingy, ya uncaring deadbeat!

“Kindred Health Care: It’s All Relative.”

10 thoughts on “The Solution: Kindred Health Care

  1. Well, there’s two ways this could be implemented.

    One would be to create a huge government bureaucracy to mine genealogical databases to establish who is related to who. That way, anyone at anytime can get their health care provided merely by proving their relationship. The bureaucrats will then send the relatives a bill and sue if they don’t pay. Of course, they will also need to audit annual finances for anyone who claims they cannot pay or be subject to further penalties or fines.

    Option two would be to require that relatives to accept responsibility; no acceptance, no care. But those same relatives would also be responsible for getting their deadbeat, do-nothing family members off the couch and into clinics to stop smoking, drinking, start exercising, and anything else to ease the health care burden. Of course, if the disease is genetic, you only have you own family to blame for poor genes.

    Remember, it’s the morally right thing to do.

  2. “But those same relatives would also be responsible for getting their deadbeat, do-nothing family members off the couch and into clinics to stop smoking, drinking, start exercising, and anything else to ease the health care burden.”

    So, yeah, do that. Or else when I or my kids get real sick, I will find you, because “next nearest relative” works in TWO directions…

  3. But remember, it’s the next nearest relative that can afford it, so if I (for example) couldn’t, then the bureaucracy would move to the next nearest relative.

    Keep in mind that this is a work in progress; thanks for pointing out that this part needed clarification!

  4. It’s kind of the same principle as the ‘social universal’ model really, except now family members are supposed to take care of each other. The problem I see with it is that, while your system appeals to one of the strongest relational bonds possible (family ties) and therefore probably yields good results in terms of appreciation of the system, I don’t see a moral rule to favor the relatives system over a humane system in general. I mean: aren’t all people (supposed to be) equal? It’s normally only because you KNOW your relatives better and because of your shared history that you, personally, appreciate their presence more than that of persons outside the clan. They’re not worthwhile persons just by virtue of being part of a family.

    A nice quote about this subject: “Culture is the measure through which a society caters to the least fortunate man. The measure in which the sick, invalid, old or poor people are taken care of. In short, the measure of collective unselfishness.” (Stefan Denaerde)

    In that spirit the morally ‘right’ people would automatically agree with a universally financed health care system for everyone. However, while people wishing to maximize their own heap of money may not want to comply with this, it’s also kind of immoral to FORCE such persons to do so in case they resist.

    So in the end, I think, it all comes down to the morality levels of individuals. The most justifiable thing you can do in this matter is to try and educate people and especially CHILDREN morally.

    That in itself is a tricky thing too as you don’t want to, like, stuff people’s minds with moral propaganda. They should merely be neutrally informed, and perhaps provoked to think over the pros and cons of this ‘morality’ presented to them. A one-sided, persuasive approach is simply just brainwashing. (In this light advertising can be seen as a very immoral, but sadly enough widely accepted form of brainwashing. People seem to need to be told what to buy…)

    Anyway… here in the Netherlands we already have a universal-compulsory system for health care financing. I do like the fact that it guarantees the less wealthy people access to good health care, but I don’t *entirely* agree with the compulsory part. Since I can’t imagine a much better system myself, and will never accept total anarchy (some people see THAT as an option; I think it’s very dangerous), I just… live with it.

  5. Oh. It’s only now that I notice ‘satire’ element. 😀 apparently I kinda just dove on a literal interpretation. ah well, the story still applies.

  6. It’s satire yes, rendered in a style that sounds completely legit (on purpose.)

    The point I was trying to bring across was this: I have heard people that I personally know have the means to care for another family member, but they would rather EVERYONE else pay out of their own pocket rather than cover all of it alone. This implies that, even though they could charitiably take responsibility, they would rather FORCE everyone else to share in the burden.

    This was often spoken in the same sentence as “I don’t care if health care has less quality, only if there is enough to go around.” While it seems a bit extreme, but if a cure costs $100,000 but we could only afford $1000 per person, NO ONE GETS CURED unless we pick an choose. Otherwise, it isn’t “fair,” right?

    If you choose to take money you have and give it to the needy, it’s called charity. If your government tells you that you must give it to the needy, it’s called tyranny. Worse of all, even it the government tells you that this is what they’re taking it for, there’s no guarantee on how they will actually spend it.

  7. First of all I felt rather dumb for not getting the real message the first time! heheh. I did notice the somewhat strange way you elaborated on the ‘incredible’ idea you apparently wanted the world to know about… but I thought perhaps that was just your level of reasoning showing. haha. 🙂 how wrong could I be.

    And well, I totally agree on the forcing = tyranny part. I’ve seen similar ideas on Do you know that website? While there’s a lot I don’t agree with there, they have a point when it comes to many personal liberty issues.

    May I ask btw, are you totally against any form of forced taxing (also for things like the justice and police system of an area for ex.) or not? I don’t know what the exact situation is like in the U.S., and especially in Florida which I read has lower taxes, but there must be some major differences with the situation in my country. If you already dislike all this taxing in the U.S., you’re probably not ever going to want to live and work in terrible ‘communist’ western Europe. 😀

    Umm lastly I wanted to clarify what I said with regard to the health care system where I live, in case that makes any difference for your understanding: we don’t pay the government itself, we just individually pay a free-market insurance company, but we *are* forced by the government to do so and pay for basic health care. The cheapest insurances are 85-90 bucks a month. People with lower incomes are partially compensated for the costs, of course with tax money largely collected from higher income groups…

    It would of course be better to have a shared, voluntary-based system for health care costs that also takes care of the poor somehow… Do such cooperations (they could be church-based for example) exist in the U.S. as far as you know? If they do and do a good job at leveling basic health care access for affordable average insurance fees, maybe those are the sort of systems to go for.

  8. I’m not against health care for the poor and such. The underlying problem is a matter of supply and demand. If there’s enough to go around, socialism actually works; everyone gets what they need or even want, so there’s no problem. It’s when there isn’t enough and when’s there’s no incentives that things fail. Limitations inheretly demand rationing and, on extreme enough cases, triage. And forget the whole “quality vs. quantity” arguement; even a child knows you can’t expect to treat cancer with aspirin or a gunshot wound with a self-adhesive bandage. Worse yet, a government leader simply cannot declare that “this is the service, this is the price, and you will provide it,” especially when they neither understand the economics of it nor care to make an effort to.

    “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” That implies our government can’t kill me without reason, can’t restrict me without reason, and must allow me the opportunity to try and better my station in life, whether that’s economically, socially, or otherwise. The entire idea of redistribution of wealth works to serve people who expect to be taken care of, not encouraged to take care of themselves. And if a free society is being punished for being sucessful, the incentive to excel is lost. Who will take care of everyone when everyone is sitting around waiting to be taken care of? It doesn’t work. There are always extenuating circumstances, and in those instances, exceptions can and should be made, but these shouldn’t be the rules to spare the feelings of the few for accepting charity; everyone needs a little help now and again.

    They say Heaven helps those who help themselves, but if no one is helping themselves, then Heaven help us.

  9. Thanks for your message. It makes good sense and I think we agree on the basics. 🙂

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