Health Care Reform That Respects Life: Cover The Uninsured and Don’t Harm Their Children.

32 million uninsured in this nation is inexplicable to me. 40 million people living at or below the poverty line is simply wrong. We need health care reform so that the uninsured can have access and that the cost of uncompensated care isn’t passed on to those w/third party pay or bankrupts providers.

We should explore a responsible free-market approach. Amendment of the McCarran-Ferguson Act that would allow interstate competition in health insurance would be a start. Public Option? Why not? While I do not believe “government-run” health care makes sense, tell me this: If the government does get into the mix as offering people a “choice” to purchase a “medicare-type” plan, does this not allow for more competition?

Democrats that seek an entirely government-run form of health care are misguided. However, I’m not particularly trustful of the GOP to get sensible reform accomplished. The GOP, while they purport to favor competition, is awfully protective of big insurance and big pharma. Additionally, I’m skeptical of their sincerity when it comes to their concern for those living on the margins of our economy. Their track record isn’t all that great.

Lastly, if the Senate bill is pushed through as-is by Speaker Pelosi — which seems rather underhanded to me — then we further enhance our reputation as being a schizophrenic society.

Here’s my problem: Making health coverage available for 32 million low-income, uninsured Americans is a good thing. Using federal tax dollars for abortive services is morally unjustifiable. That is unless you believe it’s a good thing to have less poor people by exterminating their offspring.

Help me understand the argument of people like Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) who believe if we do not provide for federally-funded abortions, a woman’s right to choose is in peril. That argument is no different than the National Rifle Association saying if we do not provide automatic assault rifles to anyone over 14 years of age who desires one, the 2nd Amendment will be abolished.

I just hope that Congress and the President can find a way to give the 32 million uninsured Americans a chance at coverage, not use tax dollars to fund abortions, and allow doctors and other health care professionals to maintain their right of conscience, ALL of these measures would demonstrate our commitment to life.

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One response to “Health Care Reform That Respects Life: Cover The Uninsured and Don’t Harm Their Children.

  1. Lance Boecker

    Jason,

    I agree with your overall sentiments but I would propose a different solution. More radical, more free-market and, I would argue, more Catholic.

    First we need to get third-party payers, (i.e. government and insurance companies), out of paying for minor medical issues for the vast majority of people. Health insurance should be more similiar to auto in that when you go in for a general check-up you should pay cash and not have to submit a claim. This way we would drive costs down for that service as people would shop for general care and be more price conscious. We would have catastrosphic, (i.e. collision for big crashes), insurance for large medical costs. Each person could buy a policy and choose a deductible.

    For the poor the government could help by subsidizing care and providing very low cost, or free in some cases, catastrophic insurance. I know that all poor can not afford this but I think those with means should have to pay some of their costs. Trust me a lot of poor people have the ability to pay for cable, and I do not think asking some to drop cable and pay $50.00 a month for their medical costs is an undue burden. (Simplified argument, but the point being that being poor and destitute is different).

    Taking third party payers out of the majority of health-care decisions would force people to shop for price and be more responsible for their health decisions. As price factored more in the market overall costs would come down as doctors would have to compete with each other, thus making healthcare more affordable. It would also encourage more healthy habits as people began to connect their general health with their pocket books.

    Certainly you could argue that people would potentially delay getting treatment for cost factors, but that happens even with insurance. But if you divorce direct costs from healthcare people consume it like an open bar at a wedding. They gorge and eventually run the system dry.

    I would also encourage doctor’s to do pro-bono work in clinic settings and let them count it as a tax deduction. To further encourage them I would grant large tort exemptions for that work, and do general tort reform to reduce litigation/costs of extra testing done to avoid litigation.

    My solution would also send a clarion call to all parishes in the USA encouraging more service from the parishoners in respect to healthcare. I believe Catholics will respond if asked.

    I believe this is Catholic in the sense that it still recognizes a need for us to assist those less fortunate, but the majority of the solution is implemented at the local, (subsidiarity theory), level and reduces the influence of large institutions in the decision making process.

    Being nit-picky, but I think a lot of this debate has used the term healthcare and health insurance interchangably which confuses the issue. In reality everyone in this country gets healthcare, (admittedly some of it is very costly through ER visits for non-emergency issues), while not everyone has health insurance to cover the treatment.

    As to your other point about abortion coverage you are correct. To keep myself sane I keep in mind the vast majority of pro-life Cathlolic politicians align themselves much more with their party than by their faith. (As a side note, tt does not help that LCWR and CHA are giving them cover).

    Apologize for the long-winded reply, but you know me.

    Lance

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