Regardless of the intentions of their proponents, I suspect that the Democrats’ health care bills may be largely a means of increasing the profits of the health insurance industry and financing unjust wars. In connection with those topics, CounterPunch columnist Paul Craig Roberts, who was an assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, has published a thought-provoking column entitled “The Health Care Deceit”:
Roberts makes a terrible mistake when he calls abortion a “subsidiary” issue, but I believe that he is correct to advocate single-payer national health insurance. If U.S. bishops and Catholics were to use their potential political muscle, such a system would *not *pay for–and should not pay for–abortion (surgical or chemical), euthanasia, assisted suicide, contraception, *in vitro *fertilization, embryonic stem cell research, or sterilization. But such a system, intelligently constructed, could, along with increasing the number of medical schools and physicians and enacting malpractice reform, save billions of dollars by slashing paperwork.
The vast potential of a single-payer system lies in the enormous pool of insured people. This huge pool would make individual premiums affordable. And, in accordance with Catholic teaching on solidarity, there is nothing intrinsically wrong about having those who are younger and healthier subsidize the health needs of those who are older and less healthy–especially in view of the tremendous cost of contemporary medical technology.
Please note that the Catholic Church has never condemned in principle the national health care systems of Britain, Canada, and France. Please note, too, section 2211 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
There is no point in defending the right to life against the “culture of death” without simultaneously–and staunchly–defending the correlative right to adequate health care.
Keep and spread the Faith.