Acton Institute Powerblog

The solution to healthcare is solidarity, not socialism

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“The answer to the healthcare conundrum is not be found in Congress or in the White House, or in any draconian centre of usurped power,” says Joseph Pearce, “it is to be found on our own doorstep, in our own homes and in the homes of our neighbors.”

Put simply, the principle of subsidiarity rests on the assumption that the rights of small communities—e.g., families, neighbourhoods, private associations, small businesses —should not be violated by the intervention of larger communities—e.g., the state or centralized bureaucracies. Thus, for instance, in practical terms, the rights of parents to educate their children without the imposition by the state of “politically correct” school curricula would be enshrined by the principle of subsidiarity. Parental influence in schools is subsidiarist; state influence is anti-subsidiarist. In terms of healthcare provision, it seems inescapable that a one-size-fits-all healthcare system, imposed by an over-sized and over-zealous central government and administered by an over-sized and therefore inevitably inefficient bureaucracy, is a gross violation of the principle of subsidiarity. In short, ObamaCare, or any reincarnation of it in another guise, is unjust because of its riding roughshod over the justice inherent in subsidiarity.

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Joe Carter Joe Carter is a Senior Editor at the Acton Institute. Joe also serves as an editor at the The Gospel Coalition, a communications specialist for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and as an adjunct professor of journalism at Patrick Henry College. He is the editor of the NIV Lifehacks Bible and co-author of How to Argue like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator (Crossway).

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