U.S. Catholic Bishops' statement on the Health Care Bill: "Profoundly flawed"

Tuesday, March 23, AD 2010

USCCB Statement on the recently-passed health care legislation (March 23, 2010):

For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have called for reform of our health care system so that all may have access to the care that recognizes and affirms their human dignity. Christian discipleship means, “working to ensure that all people have access to what makes them fully human and fosters their human dignity” (United States Catechism for Adults, page 454). Included among those elements is the provision of necessary and appropriate health care.

For too long, this question has gone unaddressed in our country. Often, while many had access to excellent medical treatment, millions of others including expectant mothers, struggling families or those with serious medical or physical problems were left unable to afford the care they needed. As Catholic bishops, we have expressed our support for efforts to address this national and societal shortcoming. We have spoken for the poorest and most defenseless among us. Many elements of the health care reform measure signed into law by the President address these concerns and so help to fulfill the duty that we have to each other for the common good. We are bishops, and therefore pastors and teachers. In that role, we applaud the effort to expand health care to all.

Nevertheless, for whatever good this law achieves or intends, we as Catholic bishops have opposed its passage because there is compelling evidence that it would expand the role of the federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. The statute appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions. Its failure to preserve the legal status quo that has regulated the government’s relation to abortion, as did the original bill adopted by the House of Representatives last November, could undermine what has been the law of our land for decades and threatens the consensus of the majority of Americans: that federal funds not be used for abortions or plans that cover abortions. Stranger still, the statute forces all those who choose federally subsidized plans that cover abortion to pay for other peoples’ abortions with their own funds. If this new law is intended to prevent people from being complicit in the abortions of others, it is at war with itself.

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7 Responses to U.S. Catholic Bishops' statement on the Health Care Bill: "Profoundly flawed"

  • “By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.” — John Paul II, Centesimus Annus, 48

  • “. Subsidiarity is first and foremost a form of assistance to the human person via the autonomy of intermediate bodies. Such assistance is offered when individuals or groups are unable to accomplish something on their own, and it is always designed to achieve their emancipation, because it fosters freedom and participation through assumption of responsibility. Subsidiarity respects personal dignity by recognizing in the person a subject who is always capable of giving something to others. By considering reciprocity as the heart of what it is to be a human being, subsidiarity is the most effective antidote against any form of all-encompassing welfare state.” — Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate

  • “In order for the principle of subsidiarity to be put into practice there is a corresponding need for: respect and effective promotion of the human person and the family; ever greater appreciation of associations and intermediate organizations in their fundamental choices and in those that cannot be delegated to or exercised by others; the encouragement of private initiative so that every social entity remains at the service of the common good, each with its own distinctive characteristics; the presence of pluralism in society and due representation of its vital components; safeguarding human rights and the rights of minorities; bringing about bureaucratic and administrative decentralization” – CSDC, 187

    “As an instrument of the State, public administration at any level — national, regional, community — is oriented towards the service of citizens: “Being at the service of its citizens, the State is the steward of the people’s resources, which it must administer with a view to the common good”.[844] Excessive bureaucratization is contrary to this vision and arises when “institutions become complex in their organization and pretend to manage every area at hand. In the end they lose their effectiveness as a result of an impersonal functionalism, an overgrown bureaucracy, unjust private interests and an all-too-easy and generalized disengagement from a sense of duty” CDSC 412

    Where we ought to be looking, as opposed to the federal government and its bureaucracy:

    ” Meaningful testimonies and examples of self-organization can be found in the numerous initiatives, business and social, characterized by forms of participation, cooperation and self-management that manifest the joining of energies in solidarity. These are offered to the market as a multifaceted sector of work activity whose mark of distinction is the special attention given to the relational components of the goods produced and of the services rendered in many areas: instruction, health care, basic social services and culture. The initiatives of this so-called “third sector” represent an ever more important opportunity for the development of labour and the economy.” CSDC 293

  • In other words, I profoundly disagree with the idea that abortion is the only problem with this otherwise supposedly fine and upstanding bill.

  • For the record, I’m right there with you Joe. Funding for abortion is a crucial issue but not the sole evil in this bill.

  • Looks like Mr. Stupak’s defense may be to go on the offense against the Bishops. I’m not familiar with the source, but it appears he is charging the Bishops with hypocrisy and trying to use the abortion issue as a ploy to bring down health care reform. What alternate universe is this guy from?

    http://dailycaller.com/2010/03/23/stupak-says-catholic-bishops-pro-life-groups-tried-to-use-abortion-to-defeat-health-bill/

  • He is either delusional or a liar. I suspect the latter.

What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, AD 2010

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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11 Responses to What Will ObamaCare Look Like

  • Clearly, the program only failed because it wasn’t properly funded. The rich need to pay their share to ensure everybody has access to health care. Your opposition to health care reform is really a manifestation of your deep-seeded hatred of the poor and fear of those who are not like you. It is shameful for you to use abortion as a smokescreen for your racism.

    //There. Just saved a few folks some time this morning.

  • Steve,

    That is a failure of imagination.

    All problems cannot be solved by throwing more money at it.

    Massachusetts is a model of what will happen to America.

  • Steve, you do deadpan humor better than I do it! You parodied the arguments of the Left to perfection. Well done!

  • Steve,

    I’m enjoying my sucker-pie right now.

    Good one!

    🙂

  • Yes, but Steve forgot to mention fascism. A fatal flaw in any real argument

  • I don;t know enough about Mass to comment.

    However, if public options are doomed to fail, how come they seem to do OK in Canada and Europe and have done for decades?

  • RuariJM,

    Canada and Europe have been subsidized by American military power for the past fifty years. If those ungrateful countries had to spend money on their own military, they wouldn’t have enough money for universal health care. The only our country could afford to ensure health care for all is to do what those countries do – gut our military spending and shut down the one trillion dollar budget.

    Yeah, right! Who else is going to stop Western Civilization from succumbing to the jihadists, if not the American military?

    // I jest. 🙂

  • “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget

    Thanks to greater-than-expected enrollment. It’s a good thing.

    Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

    So what’s an acceptable price tag? The VA budget is $57 billion. Is that too much?

    Besides, most of the $900 million was already being spent to reimburse hospitals for treating the uninsured. The shortfall is $100 million.

    The choice is between insuring the uninsured, reimbursing hospitals for treating the uninsured, making hospitals suffer the losses from treating the uninsured, or allowing hospitals to turn away the uninsured. Pick one.

    Average Massachusetts premiums are the highest in the nation and rising. We also spend 27 percent more on health care services, per capita, than the national average.

    It was probably already the highest before the reform. I do know for a fact that since the reform, the rate of increase has declined both compared to the past and compared to other states. This is consistent with the CBO report which predicts lower costs offset by higher premiums for more comprehensive plans (a net increase in premiums but a decrease in cost). The Massachusetts plan apparently lowered costs more than it increased the price of premiums.

    In Massachusetts, ObamaCare 1.0 is such a mess our governor is talking about imposing draconian price controls.

    The federal government will deal with a larger deficit the way it always does, borrowing. If the federal government was going to impose price controls, it would’ve done so already to save money on Medicare/Medicaid which dwarfs ObamaCare.

    uninsured Bay State residents has gone from around 6 percent to around 3 percent.

    That’s hundreds of thousands of people. That’s great news! A federal program will help millions!

    In conclusion, the Massachusetts plan doesn’t defy logic and works largely as it’s expected to work. Nobody expected it to be free.

    If you oppose ObamaCare, offer an alternative. The way I see it if you take out the public option and include the Stupak Amendment, you have an acceptable plan. Sure, HSA’s would be preferable but if that’s not an option, insurance is still better than nothing.

  • In all seriousness, the rich have no greater right to health care than the poor. The rich are rich not for their own sake, but for the sake of the poor. To those whom much is given, much will be expected.

    Now, having said that, I do not approve of national taxes and national health care schemes. State taxes and state health care schemes . . . I’d have to think about.

  • RuariJM,

    That would explain why the premiere of Newfoundland decided to have surgery in the US and not Canada.

    As well as many more Canadians crossing our border for superior and sorely needed doctors visits.

    Remember, dead patients don’t complain while waiting in line for a transplant.

    That’s why you don’t hear much of them complaining, but there are complaints and it is ugly.

  • I hope Republicans will run attractive candidates for every open House and Senate seat who promise to repeal it. If this Obama/Piglosi/Reid abomination can be crammed down our throats via the nuclear option, why can’t it be repealed via nuclear option once all the Marxist-Alinskyite dirt bags have been voted out of Congress this November? By the grace of God there will be enough of a conservative flip to override ObaMao’s veto.