Two months ago I wrote a column entitled, Why Catholics Will Not Get Abortion Out of the Health Care Bill."
The bottom line, as I saw it at the time, and still do, was this:
The overall impression given by Church leadership thus far is that universal health care coverage is so badly needed that they are not willing to endanger the legislation by protesting too loudly against abortion coverage.
With the exception of a few individual bishops (Read Bishop R. Walter Nickless of Sioux City) and the Catholic Medical Association, Church leadership has been silent on the danger of government-run health care itself. I have argued throughout the debate, "Catholics Should Oppose a Federal Takeover of Health Care, Period." I wrote:
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Are all Catholics supposed to become socialists in order to solve the health needs of the poor, the immigrants, the uninsured? Opposition to a federal takeover of health care is not just an "American" protest, it is a Catholic one, as well. A Catholic should know as well as any other citizen that the truly personal lives of individuals and families should not be controlled by the state.
I recommended an approach, based upon the position of the Catholic Medical Association, based upon health savings accounts (HSAs) owned and directed by individual citizens, "A Workable Alternative to Government-Run Health Care."
In my interview with several members of the Catholic Medical Association, the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship was put forward as an important reason to respect the principle of subsidiarity in medical care, "The Problems With Government-Run Health Care."
But the bishops' conference, the USCCB, supports government-run health care as long as abortion is not included, "USCCB Takes a Huge Risk on Obamacare." The USCCB issued a supportive press release after Obama's speech to the Congress on health care, where he explicitly denied abortion was contained in the present legislation. I wrote:
In other words, the USCCB recognizes the fact about abortion coverage that Obama denies but does not call him to task for his misrepresentation. Instead, the USCCB praises his "commitment." Where is any evidence of Obama's sincere commitment?
The CMA stated:
In conclusion, we call upon all Catholics and Catholic organizations to reaffirm their support for the foundational ethical and social teachings of the Church which provide a framework for authentic health care reform, and to unite as one in an uncompromising commitment to defend the sanctity of life and the conscience rights of all providers as essential parts of health-care reform.
The Obama administration is not acting in good faith when it promises that abortion will not be included in the final health care bill -- Obama has had multiple chances to back amendments barring federal funds for abortion. A government-run program will inevitably lead to such coverage, as well as a loss of personal choice for all American citizens regarding their medical care.
The decision on the coming health care legislation will have an immense impact on our politics, our culture, and the character of our nation. The change could be so fundamental that in one decade we might no longer recognize the way of life we were born to.
Oh, one more thing, the Democrats insist they don't need to read the Baucus health care bill before voting on it. Sen. Baucus himself says, 'It's too difficult to put online." This, coming from the man whose name is on the bill that will reshape the future of medical care for all Americans!
When I read such things, and they seem to be appearing more and more often, I just shake my head with disbelief. Who are these people who think they can act with such arrogance toward the very people they represent?