Restoring Liberty and Health Care Freedom—the Biblical Way
Samaritan Ministries International Points Out How Biblical, Economic and Political Principles Apply to Health Care
PEORIA, Ill.—Americans are suffering increasing government control over personal decisions in their everyday lives. This interference and overreach is especially apparent, and dangerous, in their health care. Many long for a “free-market” revival: less government restriction of choices of treatment for patients, and more options to shop for providers and pay for service.
Samaritan Ministries International, one of the leading health care sharing ministries in America, regularly examines how Biblical, economic and political principles affect health care for all Americans, including the quarter of a million Samaritan members.
Recently, writer, editor and Samaritan member Michael Thomas Hamilton wrote a commentary for both the Samaritan Ministries member newsletter and The Christian Post on “A Biblical Defense of Liberty and a Free Market.” In the piece, Hamilton lays the groundwork for how Christians should think about free-market principles, especially when it comes to health care.
“Should Christ-followers defend people’s right to buy and sell at will—or should we support stricter government control?” Hamilton asks. “Our response ought to stem from what God’s Word says about the proper role of government. With few exceptions, this role does not include forcibly limiting people’s freedom to steward their God-given resources.”
The biblically defined role of government—the administration of justice as a check against violence—is a principle applicable to any form of government man dreams up. The United States’ founders understood the importance of limiting government to its proper role.
“Although not all the Founders were Christ-followers,” Hamilton writes, “they baked two biblical principles of government into the birth of the United States: First, government’s proper role is to protect people. Second, justice flourishes when rulers are confined to this proper role. When rulers overstep, injustice abounds.”
Today, Hamilton adds, cries of injustice fill the United States, a country increasingly used to government intervention in health care, education, the environment, entitlements and the economy.
“Our rulers tell us what to teach our children, how to identify genders, whose abortions to pay for and who must pay for birth control,” he says. “Laws should protect us from bodily harm, subjugation, and theft—all forms of violence—by punishing and deterring the perpetrators. Most regulations, however, seem an unwarranted and unwelcome violation of our right to choose how to live, conduct business, spend our money and worship.”
As an example, Hamilton points out, the past decade’s restrictions of health care markets have limited available options for care, discouraged price transparency, inflamed insurance rates and put more patients on the government dole.
“Different views of the proper role of government breed disagreement about what constitutes government overreach,” he concludes. “Christ-followers ought to derive their views from Scripture, even if that means letting go of their support for programs God did not institute government to run, however well-intentioned such programs may seem.”
Each month, Samaritan Ministries’ 76,994 member households (250,169 individuals) “bear one another’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 | ESV) by lifting up fellow members in prayer and support while they send financial shares directly to other member families. In this way, Samaritan members share $26 million in medical needs each month through an effective, affordable and God-honoring ministry for Christians.
Last year, Samaritan Ministries added a second membership level, Samaritan Basic, which offers a lower monthly share coupled with a higher initial unshared amount than the original Samaritan Classic, giving both current and future members another option for choosing what they believe is best for their families—and their budgets. Monthly shares for Samaritan Basic start as low as $100 for one person, $200 for two people and $250 for a family of any size, depending on age. Some guidelines differ between Samaritan Basic and Samaritan Classic; contact Samaritan Ministries for details or visit this link.