Health care reform has been at the forefront of the American political discourse in the past few months. One of the most difficult tasks in this debate is to discern an authentically Catholic approach to reform efforts. The Catholic Church takes no official position as to how a health care system ought to be structured, but rather presents enduring moral principles that must be present in public policy.
Adhering to the richness of Catholic social teaching, the ultimate goal for Catholics must be to establish a system that is capable of universal access and coverage for all American citizens, one way or another. Any number of schemes might achieve universal health insurance and preferences will differ based on political philosophy, but the end result seems to be a Catholic moral obligation. In this sense, no Catholic ought to oppose universal health care, if it means achieving coverage for all Americans citizens either through market schemes, government assistance, “third sector” non-profit organizations, co-operatives efforts (co-ops), or some combination of these depending on the social need, the ethical principles at stake, and the resources each solution offers.
Catholic social teaching treats health care as a profound social interest and essential for the common good. Health care, because of this, ought not to be viewed as a mere commodity. The poor and vulnerable, by default, are immediately disadvantaged as health care costs increase. The United States, we are told, has the most technologically advanced and best quality medical care. But, one must inquire: at what cost? Other consumer “goods” are not essential safeguards to the indispensable good of human life in the same way as medical care.
Health care markets that are laissez-faire, an inherently utilitarian mechanism, do not necessarily yield nor are they ordered toward natural justice. Natural law theory is alien to such a mechanism— it is not intrinsic to it, neither is solidarity or preferential option for the poor, though these things are not necessarily excluded by it.
It is self-evident that different spheres of society appropriately employ different standards of distribution. College professors assign grades based on merits of achievement; athletic competition employs the same principle. Parents might distribute slices of cake at a birthday party to strict equality. In the same way, numerical equality governs votes in a democratic society. Food, clothing, shelter, electronic goods, clothing, automobiles, jewelry, etc, receive unequal distribution by market mechanisms—sometimes justly, sometimes not.
Need is one of those principles of distribution (and one of those things often argued about) recognized in some spheres, but not others. Need is terrible for distributing grades, but the proper principle for distributing emergency food supplies. Need, arguably, is a proper principle for the distribution of health care. Health is necessary for a community’s proper functioning. Justice, in terms of health care, will require a redeveloped way of distributing health care based on personal responsibility, collective interest, and legitimate need—the weakest and most vulnerable among us first and foremost.
Many important areas of life must resist “commodification,” at least in the same sense as dispensable goods. This could not be more evident than by the fact that people are becoming commodities to other people. Children are the prime example of this, from abortion to assisted reproduction. Fundamentally, justice demands that we re-examine our consumerism for it is the heart of the issue and I believe, the life-source of the “Culture of Death.” Continue reading
At this point it is almost irrelevant what President Obama thinks, says, or does.
As long as former Presidents Carter and Clinton keep calling Americans racists…
As long as Speaker Pelosi refers to Patriots as violent, swastika wearing, un-Americans…
As long as the extreme left on the Democratic Party insist on ignoring a movement that not only contains conservatives and Republicans, but pretty much everyone else in America…excluding most liberals.
Then it really doesn’t matter what the Obama Administration and their proxies continue calling ordinary American patriots.
Thus the only relevant question that can be asked is how badly will the Democrats continue to shoot themselves in the foot?
…It depends on how radical a health care bill they pass.
In the meantime an insignificant handful of crazies the rest of America will wait for another round of insults as they continue to turn a deaf ear to the rhetorical platitudes of an ever increasingly irrelevant presidency.
[Updates at the bottom of this post as of 5:52am CDT on AD 9-9-2009]
News is emanating from the White House that President Obama’s monumental speech will push for the infamous public option. It is well known that most Republicans will call this a deal breaker but at the same time liberal Democrats will say the opposite that no Health Care bill will get through if it doesn’t contain a public option.
Jonathan Weisman and Janet Adamy have reported in the Wall Street Journal that President Obama will be pushing for the public option. It is also being reported that there will be penalties imposed to those that are not paying for Health Care, regardless of the reasons.
White House aides acknowledged they expect little Republican support if any.
[Update at the bottom as of 7:39 pm CST for 8-21-2009 AD]
The Democrat and Liberal attempts at demonizing the American people having failed, President Obama could be beginning to understand that we don’t want socialized medicine.
Now come reports that the Obama Joker poster artist is a left-wing extremist, and a Dennis Kucinich supporter to boot. Not the white, conservative, racist that the mainstream media was accusing the artist of being.
In other news CBS News has reported that the liberal-oriented A.A.R.P. has lost approximately 60,000 members since the video showing an A.A.R.P. representative belittling members at a town hall meeting. The American Seniors Association has gained 5,000 new members, a rival organization to the A.A.R.P. and significantly less liberal.
CBS News reported that the A.A.R.P. response to the exodus of members as ‘with 40 million members that adds hundreds of thousands each month, losing 60 thousand is just a drop in the bucket.’
Update I: I forgot to place the American Seniors Association weblink here.
Update II: The 60 Plus Association is experiencing a spike in members following A.A.R.P.’s endorsement of ObamaCare.
Isn’t it obvious that most of our American ancestors came over from Europe because they wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? They fled totalitarian regimes, socialist governments, and anti-Christian repression for the freedom that is afforded all Americans.
We have the best health care in the world precisely because it is not operated by the government. Private industry drives innovation, government regulation or government-run health care eliminates innovation, awards bureaucrats, and ultimately leads to marginal health care in the long run.
We are Americans, not Europeans. Yet President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and well-meaning liberals and progressives want to emulate European health care programs. What Europeans have is not necessarily right nor good.
Today Senator Chuck Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said that senators are excluding a provision on end-of-life care from the House bill. This is a major victory for ordinary Americans.
As senior citizens voice their displeasure with “death-panels” and other provisions in the House bill, the Democrat leaders are grudgingly realizing that maybe, just maybe, some provisions in their House bill will not pass with the American public.
The most recent polls show that the demonizing tactics of President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have failed to cover the growing grassroots activism that is rising among ordinary Americans.
[Updates at the bottom of this posting. Most recent update at 7:41 pm CST]
On Thursday, August 6, the White House call to arms by Deputy Chief of Staff David Axelrod, “punch back twice as hard“, at the growing grass roots movement opposing government single-payer health care produced the first violent incident later in the day. During a Town Hall Meeting with U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan at Bernard Middle School gym in south St. Louis County, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members dressed in dark purple shirts, though they look blue in the video below, attacked a black American protester by savagely beating him. The protester ended up in the Emergency Room of St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.
[Updates at the bottom of this story]
While the Democrats continue to dig holes big enough for their smarter-than-thou heads to plant in and ignore the rising public outrage of government intrusion, regular Americans continue to raise their voices of displeasure to President Obama’s health care “reform”.
On August 4, 2009, an A.A.R.P. Town Hall meeting was being conducted for members when a group of well-dressed Nazi’s carrying swastika banners sabotaged the meeting.
That’s the Nancy Pelosi/CNN version of events, here is what actually happened:
Here are some highlights from the above video:
1. Spokesperson: “I think we can agree that health care is in need of reform…“.
AARP Attendee’s: “No, we don’t agree!”
I must say, although I have never been a fan of the Lying Worthless Political Hack, I was surprised at this latest example of the depths of her political ineptitude and detachment from reality. As to her comment about “astroturfing” ( creating a fake, rather than a real, grassroots movement), David Axlerod, the campaign manager of Obama, built a large fortune by mastering the techniques of astroturfing as this article here relates. Alas for the Lying Worthless Political Hack, as the polls amply indicate, the opposition to ObamaCare is real and growing.
Hattip to the ever reticent Lads and Lasses at the Lair of the Catholic Cavemen. Yesterday I had a post celebrating the warm reception that Secretary Sebelius and Senator Specter received at a town hall meeting. Now the indispensable Iowahawk has thoughtfully penned here, a response to the voters for Secretary Sebelius and Senator Specter. No doubt they will be duly appreciative of his efforts, and Iowahawk will probably enjoy his time on the no-fly list.
“There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.”
I trust that some of the Obama supporters who frequent our site will draw the attention of the White House to a few of my posts regarding ObamaCare on this blog. When you do please remember that the last name is spelled McClarey, not McCleery, McClaren, McClary, etc. Thank you!
Update I: Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has some pointed comments here about the sheer political stupidity of the White House making this public call for informants.
Ah, it does my heart good to see Senator Arlen Specter (D.Pa) and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services exposed to the verbal anger of the public! Now why is that?
Well as to Snarlin’ Arlen, he was for decades a pro-abort Republican and now is a pro-abort Democrat. My reaction when he jumped parties earlier this year was good riddance. He jumped parties of course because he was an almost certain loser to pro-life Pat Toomey in the Republican primary. The hilarious thing is that Specter will face a Democrat primary challenge from Congressman Joe Sestak who announced his candidacy yesterday. If he survives the primary challenge he faces an up-hill fight against Toomey. In a Quinnipiac poll on July 22, Specter leads Toomey by a single percentage point 45%-44%. This is a devastating poll for an incumbent facing a well-known challenger.
As for Sebelius, she is a fanatic pro-abort, as I detailed here, and a close political ally of the late Tiller the Killer. Just before her confirmation it came out that she had received three times the donations from Tiller than she had claimed. Of course this is only the tip of a large ice berg of campaign funds that Tiller used to aid Sebelius as this letter here from Tiller indicates. Her ties to Tiller were outlined by Bob Novak last year here. When confronted about Tiller she was always in full ” Tiller?” mode:
Yep, I can watch these two being booed with a fine enjoyment! Schadenfreude? Indeed!