What’s a Catholic to Think About Health Care Reform?

Paul Keggington

September 02, 2009

sranne.jpgThe U.S. Catholic Bishops recently launched a website to clarify positions on health care reform. They promise specific action alerts when Congress returns to work this month so that more voices can be heard in meaningful discussion. Although the bishops have not taken a position for or against any particular piece of legislation, principles and criteria remain consistent.

Basic Catholic teaching includes:

  • health care coverage is for all people from conception until natural death, and the federal ban on funding for abortion should be continued
  • access should be for all with a special concern for the poor
  • the common good is to be pursued and pluralism preserved, including freedom of conscience
  • efforts be made to restrain costs and apply costs equitably among payers.

scottmcconnaha-05-08.jpgFranciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Healthcare Ministry Inc. Director of Corporate Ministries, Scott McConnaha, added his voice to the discussion on health care reform in America, a national Catholic weekly magazine in the United States.

Read his August 31, 2009 article entitled Deceptions and Distortions’ Why are pro-life groups attacking Catholic health care leaders?

Recent attacks against health care reform and its supporters—based on fears of expanded abortion coverage and state-sponsored euthanasia—are as absurd as Don Quixote’s battles against windmills. Of course, I do not believe opponents of reform are insane, as Don Quixote was thought to be, but the fervor with which they are fighting mythical health care proposals calls to mind Cervantes’ hapless hero.

First of all, I want to be clear that support for health care reform does not insinuate support for abortion and euthanasia. Catholic health care organizations across the United States have unwaveringly advocated a health care system that promotes and defends the dignity of every person from conception until natural death.
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