Skip to comments.Some Catholic bishops question gov't health care
Posted on 09/05/2009 5:42:15 PM PDT by La Enchiladita
DENVER (AP) -- U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have taken a consistent line on a health care overhaul: It's vital, but they cannot support proposals that go too far in covering abortion and not far enough in protecting health workers who don't want to provide that procedure.
Now, at least a half-dozen bishops have gone beyond that position, some of them using hard-hitting terms such as "socialization" and "monopolization" to launch a broader critique of big government.
Their argument isn't that the federal government should necessarily stay out of health care coverage altogether, but that an oversized government health system could wield too much power over people's lives.
...Although the limited-government bishops are a small minority, if their arguments gain momentum it could pose another challenge to President Barack Obama's efforts to make sweeping changes to the nation's health care system.
U.S. bishops for decades have advocated comprehensive health care coverage as a right for all Americans, with a special focus on meeting the basic medical needs of the poor, elderly and disabled.
But bishops taking the lead on health care - the ones who have written letters to Congress on behalf of the bishops' conference - have made it clear that the current legislation has too many problems.
Bishops have criticized proposals that would allow the proposed government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions. As it stands, federal funds for abortions are restricted to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. Bishops also are insisting on protections for health care workers who in good conscience feel they cannot have a hand in abortion services.
(Excerpt) Read more at hosted.ap.org ...
Eventual what the Democrats will do is to force Catholic Hospitals to provide abortions or be out of business. Any Catholic who supports government run health care is a fool.
- Bishop Walker Nickless of Sioux City, Iowa, warned that health care should not be subject to "federal monopolization." He wrote "... the proper role of government is to regulate the private sector in order to foster healthy competition and curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect."
The church, Nickless wrote, "does not teach that 'health care' as such, without distinction, is a natural right."
- Bishop Thomas Doran of Rockford, Ill., wrote that health care should be thought of "as more of a market than a system." He added: "Our federal bureaucracy is a vast wasteland strewn with the carcasses of absurd federal programs which proved infinitely worse than the problems they were established to correct."
- Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput wrote that "a proper government role in solving the health-care crisis does not necessarily demand a national public plan, run or supervised by government authorities. Real health-care reform need not automatically translate into federal programming."
- Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo, N.D., cited the danger of thinking "the national government is the sole instrument of the common good."
The most thorough critique, however, comes in a joint pastoral letter from Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Kansas City, Kan., diocese and Bishop Robert Finn of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese in Missouri. [My father was born in that diocese!]
Posted online Tuesday, the letter says: "The right of every individual to access health care does not necessarily suppose an obligation on the part of the government to provide it ... The teaching of the universal church has never been to suggest a government socialization of medical services."
Right! double HUH????
Typically deluded AP assertion. Bishop Nickless has stated (correctly) that the social mandate does not prescribe or mandate in any way a "government supplied" healthcare scheme. He argues (correctly) that only a free-market approach can provide an adequate range of services to meet all needs; and that a government monopoly (even a defacto one) would actually work against fulfilling the mandate of providing for the medical needs of society.
Heres an analogy on health reform plan
I open my door to a well dressed man who says, Sir, Im here to trade cars with you. I explain to him that I dont want to trade cars because I like mine and want to keep it. Im then told that I just dont understand. My car may be just fine for me but only by trading it for another will the dealership be able to offer the same deal for my friends and neighbors who dont have good cars.
I begin to ask the man some questions about the new car I would be getting such as, does it run, the make and model, color and other particulars and Im told, I havent actually seen the car, I only have a short time to unload them. When I repeat I dont want to trade, he retorts Sir, you are a rabble-rouser and have a deep-seated hatred against my dealership and my car czar!
When I ask what this is going to cost me he says, somewhere between $1,000 and $10,000. He then says, Your new car will be delivered shortly and you will receive a bill in a few days!
Doesnt this kind of sound like the Democrats who are trying to sell President Obamas health reform plan?
Glad this is getting some coverage. Cdl O’Malley is responsible for muddying the waters, as usual, because in his “explanation” of his lavish funeral for somebody who publicly dissented from and worked against important Church teachings, he said that he wanted to “share with [Obama] that the bishops of the Catholic Church are anxious to support a plan for universal health care
This is not the truth, and certainly it cannot possibly be said that, as he was implying, they want to support government health care of any kind.
I have read some excellent statements by individual bishops not only opposing abortion and euthanasia in the “health plan,” but the very idea of a government or centrally controlled plan.
The basic fact is that beyond a certain size, government will inherently infringe on, attempt to subvert, then attempt to destroy religion, because religion exists within government’s temporal domain. It pushes its way into every other sphere of life, so why not religion?, is government’s rationale.
The first intrusion are secular laws that conflict with religious laws. In more controlled governments, an entente is reached that, while it insists on secular criminal authority, social authority can be maintained by religions. But over-expansive government resents that religion has this social authority, that government craves.
And when religion begins to feel the pressure from government, so does humanity itself. The natural authorities and rights of people are likewise where such government wishes to intrude. Usually with either the excuse of, “It is for your own good”, or “It is for the good of the people”.
This is government demanding worship of the Leviathan of the masses, instead of God. “We act in the name of the people!”, is used as often to burn down churches as it is to murder people execution style.
yes, a minority report.
bishop healthcare pinger
Here are the links I have:
Iowa Bishop: Dont Be Railroaded into the Current...Health Care Proposals
in a message issued by the Diocese of Sioux City (The Church on Universal Healthcare)
Nazi Health Care A Catholic Bishop Speaks Out Against "End of Life Care" (Germany, 1941)
Bishop Nickless: "No Health Care Reform is Better than the Wrong Health Care Reform"
Cardinal Rigali, Abp. Chaput Intensify Warnings Against Obamacare's Abortion Expansion
Thanks, I should have scrolled down. (Saving this thread too.
The current national debate about health care reform should concern all of us. There is much at stake in this political struggle, and also much confusion and inaccurate information being thrown around. My brother bishops have described some clear goal-posts to mark out what is acceptable reform, and what must be rejected. First and most important, the Church will not accept any legislation that mandates coverage, public or private, for abortion, euthanasia, or embryonic stem-cell research.
We refuse to allow our own parish, school, and diocesan health insurance plans to be forced to include these evils. As a corollary of this, we insist equally on adequate protection of individual rights of conscience for patients and health care providers not to be made complicit in these evils. A so-called reform that imposes these evils on us would be far worse than keeping the health care system we now have.
Second, the Catholic Church does not teach that health care as such, without distinction, is a natural right. The natural right of health care is the divine bounty of food, water, and air without which all of us quickly die. This bounty comes from God directly. None of us own it, and none of us can morally withhold it from others. The remainder of health care is a political, not a natural, right, because it comes from our human efforts, creativity, and compassion. As a political right, health care should be apportioned according to need, not ability to pay or to benefit from the care. We reject the rationing of care. Those who are sickest should get the most care, regardless of age, status, or wealth. But how to do this is not self-evident. The decisions that we must collectively make about how to administer health care therefore fall under prudential judgment.
Third, in that category of prudential judgment, the Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care. Unlike a prudential concern like national defense, for which government monopolization is objectively good it both limits violence overall and prevents the obvious abuses to which private armies are susceptible health care should not be subject to federal monopolization. Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly from denying care arbitrarily, as we learned from HMOs in the recent past. While a government monopoly would not be motivated by profit, it would be motivated by such bureaucratic standards as quotas and defined best procedures, which are equally beyond the influence of most citizens. The proper role of the government is to regulate the private sector, in order to foster healthy competition and to curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect. Private, religious hospitals and nursing homes, in particular, should be protected, because these are the ones most vigorously offering actual health care to the poorest of the poor.
The best way in practice to approach this balance of public and private roles is to spread the risks and costs of health care over the largest number of people. This is the principle underlying Medicaid and Medicare taxes, for example. But this principle assumes that the pool of taxable workers is sufficiently large, compared to those who draw the benefits, to be reasonably inexpensive and just. This assumption is at root a pro-life assumption! Indeed, we were a culture of life when such programs began. Only if we again foster a culture of life can we perpetuate the economic justice of taxing workers to pay health care for the poor. Without a growing population of youth, our growing population of retirees is outstripping our distribution systems. In a culture of death such as we have now, taxation to redistribute costs of medical care becomes both unjust and unsustainable.
Fourth, preventative care is a moral obligation of the individual to God and to his or her family and loved ones, not a right to be demanded from society. The gift of life comes only from God; to spurn that gift by seriously mistreating our own health is morally wrong. The most effective preventative care for most people is essentially free good diet, moderate exercise, and sufficient sleep. But pre-natal and neo-natal care are examples of preventative care requiring medical expertise, and therefore cost; and this sort of care should be made available to all as far as possible.
Within these limits, the Church has been advocating for decades that health care be made more accessible to all, especially to the poor. Will the current health care reform proposals achieve these goals?
The current House reform bill, HR 3200, does not meet the first or the fourth standard. As Cardinal Justin Rigali has written for the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-life Activities, this bill circumvents the Hyde amendment (which prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions) by drawing funding from new sources not covered by the Hyde amendment, and by creatively manipulating how federal funds covered by the Hyde amendment are accounted. It also provides a public insurance option without adequate limits, so that smaller employers especially will have a financial incentive to push all their employees into this public insurance. This will effectively prevent those employees from choosing any private insurance plans. This will saddle the working classes with additional taxes for inefficient and immoral entitlements. The Senate bill, HELP, is better than the House bill, as I understand it. It subsidizes care for the poor, rather than tending to monopolize care. But, it designates the limit of four times federal poverty level for the public insurance option, which still includes more than half of all workers. This would impinge on the vitality of the private sector. It also does not meet the first standard of explicitly excluding mandatory abortion coverage.
I encourage all of you to make you voice heard to our representatives in Congress. Tell them what they need to hear from us: no health care reform is better than the wrong sort of health care reform. Insist that they not permit themselves to be railroaded into the current too-costly and pro-abortion health care proposals. Insist on their support for proposals that respect the life and dignity of every human person, especially the unborn. And above all, pray for them, and for our country. (Please see the website for the Iowa Catholic Conference at www.iowacatholicconference.org and www.usccb.org/healthcare for more information)
Your brother in Christ,
Most Reverend R. Walker Nickless
Bishop of Sioux City
Bumping that. It is so good to see a bishop say so.
Are you sure he’s a “well dressed” man?:)
I was hoping you or NYer would ping the Catholic list...?
I had to click the link to see this wonderful priest!!
I will be printing, copying and distributing to as many Catholic vestibules and events as I can.
They know, however, that the government would not be the best, nor the proper, deliverer of this need. It could assist those who are of limited means, or pay for the care, by the private sector, of the truly poor, but not be the entity that decides on who gets what care, and when.
There is a bishop who, towards the end of the article, expresses those very thoughts.