Monday, December 14, 2009

Civil Disobedience

It appears that very soon, Christians across the United States will be facing opportunity for civil disobedience on a scale that we have not experienced since the Vietnam War.

After the House passed their version of Health Care reform, eliminatng public funding for abortion at the demand of the people, the Senate has put abortion funding right back in to all of their options. And abortion is not the only issue. There is also the phasing out of medicare for the elderly, who have spent a lifetime already paying into that program; the danger of veterans losing their health care, which they often have to fight to get after fighting for our continued freedom; the possible "rationing" of services based on whether the government values the particular patient or not. The list goes on and on.

In theory, socialized medicine seems like a good idea - everyone gets health care. But in practice, there is always the danger of corruption. The unborn, elderly, special needs and "undesirables" are not protected. People are forced into treatments they have reasons of their own to refuse. Fines or jail time are threatened to those who cannot afford a plan and morally refuse to "go on the dole" (1930's talk for government aid). While I agree that the current system is not the best, more government control is not the answer.

One possible solution, Health Care Coops - like the financial credit unions - share in the expenses of members, and wield negotiating power with providers. Coops are formed around members' beliefs and ability to pay, so if one did not wish to fund someone else's elective plastic surgery, one would join a coop that did not pay for that. Unfortunately, too few coops exist to really offer an acceptable range of choices. The State of Washington offers an option for residents. There are Samaritan Ministries and Christian Care Medishare. What about our own Catholic Church? We used to run hospitals before the era of widespread malpractice abuse, why couldn't we set up health care coops based on our own principles?

But before we could even consider that route, we have to exercise our voices to our Senators over the next few weeks of their debates on health care.

I plead, let us rise up with one voice, united to our bishops - reject any plan that does not respect and protect life from conception to natural death!

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