Friday, September 14, 2007

The System: Health Care, Mortgages, Debt - and the Free Market

I just read an enlightening article on Townhall about the Swiss system for health care. Like our car insurance laws, everyone is required to own health insurance, which isn't very cool with me. But it is a market-driven approach, requiring consumers to make choices rather than their big corporation employers. There is less wasted money in the Swiss system.

Anyway, our health care system is too bureaucratic and inefficient. To completely socialize medicine would be much worse. As Geico tells you, it saves money to eliminate the middle man. Or in the case of government, we have to say "middle men."

A senator from Oklahoma is trying to introduce a bill to revolutionize the American healthcare system in that way. I haven't read it, and if it makes laws limiting the free market, that's a mistake and none of the government's business. As usual, the government would do best to back out.

In the Denver area, on 710 KNUS (my talk radio station), there is an advertiser whose commercials play regularly during my favorite shows. The company is Lenox Financial. Their plan is to revolutionize the mortgage industry by offering no closing cost refinancing. What I'm getting at here is not only their novel approach, but that they did not need the passage of laws to begin effecting this revolution.

What I am advocating, then, is that we the consumers of healthcare rebel against the broken system and innovate new methods, advertise them in the free market, and make beneficial changes ourselves. Refuse to comply with current systems.

Though I mentioned a mortgage company above, I want to suggest that we also rebel against the debt system. For instance, my car insurance company on my last bill informed me that my rates might be lower if I had a credit rating. Their problem: I save up money and pay in cash for things I purchase. That's a no-risk deal. But they would trust me more if I borrowed money from some bank or credit card company (not my brother, since that wouldn't be documented), and pay them back regularly. I'm told credit ratings can affect the availability of housing. It is almost impossible to survive in this country without at least a debit card, which means patronizing credit card companies even if not for credit. The money you and I put in the bank is used by the bank to encourage debt. They lend it. You almost can't buy a house without going into debt because the prices are artificially inflated. What should we do? Buck the system. Write letters. Money talks. Don't give it to those who abuse potential borrowers.

To God be all glory.

PS: I added theology as a label for this post. Stay tuned for a study of how much the Bible talks about money: debt, giving, stewardship, earning, etc.

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