One thing that is often overlooked in this controversy is that the intent of President Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act is fix one of the biggest disgraces of the USA, namely that we are the last industrialized country without a national health care system, and this results in an incalculable amount of suffering, death and hardship for Americans.
Let’s talk about the immoral situation that has been the USA without a decent health care system: The 45,000 people dying in the USA for lack of adequate health care. The 62% of bankruptcies resulting from family medical costs, the 50% (over half a million homes) of foreclosures that came from medical costs. If such death and hardship were caused by a natural disaster or enemy attack, it would be an unparalleled catastrophe, but it’s been happening every year. Think about how much suffering comes from just one tragic death and then multiply it by 45,000, think about thousands of homeless families, and then you’ll realize that, in trying to finally find a solution to this mess, Obama is doing a very Christian and heroic thing.
We live in a pluralistic democracy which means we all pay taxes for things we don’t want to necessarily support – for the death penalty, for ongoing war, for weapons of mass destruction – but that’s the price we pay for living in this kind of society. We have to make the same (and actually minor) compromises to correct this moral evil of lack of health care access. Whether with the progressive Single Payer plan or this conservative solution of business/individual mandated health insurance, various groups paying indirectly for something they would rather not is just a reality of life, and one they should welcome in order to right the moral evil of lack of health care access.
I have international clients in Spain (AKA 70% Catholic Spain) and when I tell them about this controversy they think I am kidding. They would never dream of having a Catholic mandates in their national health care system.
So consider the fact that finally creating some kind of system for universal health care access – a concept long urged by US Council of Catholic Bishops – is in itself a humane act that would certainly qualify as Christian in terms of its goal of relieving the human suffering on a catastrophic scale that is going on in this country. Support the efforts in our country to correct this moral wrong.