In Holland we apply the “law of solidarity” for the national costs of healthcare. This means that everyone has to contribute by law. The exception that confirms the rule are religious people that place their faith in a higher power and do no want to insure themselves for medical care. To cover the solidarity principles and avoid misusages those people are exempted from contributing but agree to pay a higher tax.
Healthcare is one of the largest social costs in Dutch society and it grows tremendously. In 2013 we all have to contribute about 16.500€ per person (babies included) in taxes, of which 5000€ or more are related to healthcare. It takes a lot of solidarity to accept that.
The high costs may have to do with the graying population, the longer life expectancy and the many illnesses we encounter along the way. It also may have to do with the extremely high bureaucracy, inefficiency and hierarchical structure of the caring system. It may also have to do with the fact that the healthcare has been more or less liberated but with just one source of financial support: the seemingly unlimited tax and insurance payer’s money. Business people in health care are smart in tricking and cause over time an exponential curve of costs that have little to do with medical care and very much with a culture of greed over the back of the fearful, aging, lonely and worried and by law committed citizens.
The problem we face now is that we ethically question the type of society we have built. The costs of our healthcare are a direct consequence of our lifestyle. Many people introduce a new lifestyle and want to take a different approach to healthcare. They cannot because of the old lawful imposition of solidarity with the old system. They are not religous enough to turn their back to everything yet do reveal serious opposition against a system that destroys our habitat and with it ourselves. Paying an increased amount of money for an obsolete system gives the feeling of contributing to something that is wrong. When we also see that healthcare is being canabailzed by the system and only very little of the invested money actually gets used for health care the solidarity is rapidly ailing. Solidarity then means that you support a system that you want to disappear.
Alternatives health systems are being proposed and developped but find serious blockage along the way by the current system, supported by law. People who develop such progress do this for themselves and their fellow people. They show the same or more solidarity than those who just pay off their responsibilities through unquestioned taxes and insurances. Ethics should become a new parameter in society that allows changes to be happening with an important degree of progressive freedom. Solidarity should never be be expressed in money, it needs to expressed in terms of humanism, social meaningful interaction and value creation. If people pretend to be able to do better than government why should they not be allowed the chance?
Ethics is an inner commitent of people towards a universe and our human evolution. When this is questioned or blocked by a government or any other organization then people claim their universal rights. Solidarity should be with ethics, not money, hierarchies or politics. Time hence for change.