Friday, September 4, 2009

Obamacare and The Bishops: A Reflection of the 23rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

I have been opinionated in the current health care debate that is raging across America this past summer as demonstrated by a post I wrote on August 10th. Personally, I do not trust the federal government to take care of me and my family. My battle cry has been when the feds can provide adequate health care at Veteran's Administration Hospitals or to those with Medicaid or Medicare then I will think about letting them have access to my health care.

I have been conflicted by people posting as their status on Facebook the past 24 hours, "No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, please post this as your status for the rest of the day." That's a loaded statement because obviously everyone would agree with that statement but it doesn't mean that I support the current health care proposals.

I'm further conflicted when I read this weekend's readings. Our second reading come from the books of James and says:
My brothers and sisters, show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our
glorious Lord Jesus Christ.For if a man with gold rings and fine clothes comes
into your assembly,and a poor person in shabby clothes also comes in,and you pay
attention to the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Sit here, please, ”while
you say to the poor one, “Stand there, ” or “Sit at my feet, ”have you not made
distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters.Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who
love him?"
Then in the gospel reading which is from Mark 7: 31-37 when Jesus heals a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. A reading about caring for the poor and then another about healing the ill. Well, I do not think it is a shocker to anyone that catholic social teaching is take care of the poor and help to heal the heal. How can I help correlate Catholic teaching with my anxiety and dislike of Obamacare?

And then my very own Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph issued a joint statement with Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas on heath care reform. This statement, which can be found on The Catholic Key blog, just put all of my qualms and concerns.

The statement speaks of all of the problems we have with the health care system in America and then goes into all of the strengths. The statement then goes into what is needed in health care reform to include
  1. The Principle of Subsidiarity--respecting the freedom and dignity of the individual by never doing for others what they can do for themselves thereby letting the individual have the most say in what happens in their lives.

  2. Principle in the Life and Dignity of the Human Person--federal tax money should not go to pay for abortions, the rights of health care providers should be protection by a conscience clause, no mandatory end of life counseling.

  3. The Principle of Solidarity--we must take care of those who need protecting. We must take care of those weaker and less fortunate than ourselves.

The statement concluded by saying that "a hasty or unprincipled change could cause us, in fact, to lose some of the significant benefits that Americans now enjoy, while creating a future tax burden which is both unjust and unsustainable." It also said that change” for change’s sake; change which expands the reach of government beyond its competence would do more harm than good." In essence, the statement is saying that improvements are needed but that the proposals are off the mark and could be dangerous.

It was very lifting to see my spiritual concerns addressed by my bishop. Yes, we must take care of the poor and ill but we cannot rush into a plan that raises more issues that it answers or that. No, no one should die because cannot afford health insurance and no one should die because they are sick. The dignity of human kind must be protected and we can't afford to pass a plan that does not address these issues. I'm relieve to see that there are a number of bishops that have these same concerns as The American Papist site shows there are currently 30 US bishops who are against it.

1 comment:

  1. I wrote this on another website (Bustedhalo)All I see is misguided compassion. To say that we can use government to be compassionate towards are fellow citizens is absurd and naive.
    Never mind who’s going to pay for it, social security, Medicare Medicate, and everything else is going bankrupt and if any one knows anything, socialism does not work.
    To destroy what we have, over 80% of Americans are happy with their health insurance now, and have an inept government take over my health care will be suicide.
    It will destroy our republic and everyone will be dependant on Uncle Sam for everything.
    I say take care of the one’s that don’t have health care and leave the rest of us alone.
    Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not compassionate about your fellow human being due to you’re against this socialist health care scam. I’m a Catholic that knows history and I know that this scam will fail. Look to the countries that have tried this socialist utopia and time and time again, it’s failed.