Politicians claim that they are reforming healthcare. They mandate everyone to have health insurance, they will fine people who don’t, they hire more tax collectors, they might even make suing doctors more difficult. But they surely are confused — health insurance is not healthcare, it just reimburses the cost of it. Cost that is not going down.
The MRI equipment isn’t getting cheaper. Going to medical school isn’t getting cheaper. The regulatory process to get drugs approved isn’t getting cheaper. Staff aren’t taking huge pay cuts. Building costs aren’t just going to go away.
It seems that the government has done nothing to reduce cost of healthcare. Not a shock. Does it even possess the ability to lower health costs? Probably not, at least in any significant way. But somebody does.
Christian religious orders have been experts at providing medical care for hundreds of years. They did not do it to grow rich or to live luxurious lifestyles. No, they lived lives of poverty and gave great works of love. The monks and nuns who staffed these clinics and hospitals worked virtually for free with their religious order providing basic food and shelter.
Imagine two hospitals. One has nurses paid $40 or $5o per hour, doctors much more, and even the janitors are paid well above minimum wage. The other is staffed by people who own nothing, collect no wages, and are provided only the basic necessities of life — they spend almost all their life in work or prayer — and overtime is never an issue. We all know which one will cost less money. Sure, there is still the cost of drugs, equipment, and electricity to light the building — but a significant portion of the costs are suddenly gone.
The simple (but not easy) solution to the healthcare “crisis” our nation is suffering from is that we need more religious monks and nuns! The rise in healthcare has come almost exactly at the same time and rate as the collapse of Christian religious orders in the United States.
Other than get out of the way, what can our government do to help? Statistically, families who have five or more children, pray the Rosary, and have a devotion to the Eucharist are much more likely to have a vocation. These are all in the realm of the family. So support the family. Enact policies to encourage larger families. Promote homeschooling and religious schools. Put reasonable restrictions on the media and filter immoral material from the internet when the viewer is likely a child.
Given a generation of this, the health of religious orders will improve — and then will improve the state of our nation’s healthcare. But not before.