Earlier this year, I wrote a blog about health care reform and the Catholic Church’s principle of subsidiarity. In the essay, several Catholic bishops who had raised the same question in relationship to health care reform were quoted. Shortly thereafter, several readers wrote to say that they had never heard of the principle of subsidiarity before. They asked if I could explain it in a fundamental way that would be easy to understand.
I agreed to do this but moved on to other topics of concern and immediately forgot my promise. But then a brick bat struck me in the head (not literally) as I began to absorb the totality of what government-mandated health care reform would really do to the one fundamental structure that operates best in our society—the human family.
If the family itself is placed at the service of the government, chaos results. And in the United States, we have the statistics to prove that. Just what has the welfare program done for families, for example?
Statistics readily available to anyone show that the welfare system has contributed directly to the breakdown of the family unit. As family research expert Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., has testified regarding what states and the federal government have done to assist families, we learn something remarkable about our tax dollars at work... Read the rest of Judie's blog post here.
Senators approved an amendment to the government-run health care bill today that calls abortion "preventative care." They voted 61-39 in favor of the Mikulski amendment that could make it so every health care plan in the United States would have to cover abortion.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a pro-abortion Maryland Democrat, offered Amendment No. 2791 dealing with federally mandated coverage of "preventive care."
Though most of the discussion on the amendment centered on a mammogram coverage problem in the bill, it presents significant concerns for pro-life advocates.
Despite the advance of the Stupak Amendment in proposed health care legislation, Bishop Robert Vasa of Bend, Oregon says there are still “very serious concerns” about the legislation. These include funding for abortion, pro-life conscience protections, assisted suicide, sex education and interference in the doctor-patient relationship.
Bishop Vasa wrote in his Dec. 3 column for the Catholic Sentinel that Catholic support for the Stupak Amendment, which barred federal funding for most abortions, should not be interpreted as complete support for the health care legislation.
He noted that the legislation funds abortion in cases of rape and incest and when the life of the mother is threatened, which he said is contrary to Church teaching about the “inviolability and dignity” of every unborn human being despite the circumstances of his or her origin.
Much of the press coverage of the Democrats' health-care legislation, now fiercely embattled in Congress, focuses on the public option, the actual long-term costs and tax increases, and the amendment barring funding for abortions, but the cold heart of Obamacare is its overpowering of the doctor-patient relationship – eventually resulting in the premature ending of many Americans' lives for being too costly.
To call the dangers of this legislation "death panels" obscures the real-life consequences to Americans, not only the elderly, of a federal government-run health-care bureaucracy. In the Senate bill, for instance, Medicare doctors whose treatments of certain, mostly elderly, patients costs more than a set government figure each year, will be punished by losing part of their own incomes.
Not only Medicare doctors will be monitored for their cost-effectiveness. In the House bill, as Cato Institute's health-care specialist Michael Tanner explains (New York Post, Nov. 8), "111 government agencies, boards, commissions and other bureaucracies – all overseen by a new health-care czar," the commissioner of health-care choices, will keep watch on what the president has called excessive, wasteful health-care expenditures.
Moreover, President Obama has made clear that eventually he desires a U.S. equivalent of the British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, a commission that decides which drugs and procedures for patients are within the national budget for health care. The current baseline expenditure for each Briton, according to Michael Tanner, is $44,305 per year.