It’s been an interesting “dust-up” between President Obama and the Catholic Church the past couple of weeks. Seems as though The Church has taken exception to being forced to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives and “morning after” pills. The latest compromise doesn’t seem to do much other than take The Church off the hook for specifically covering these items and shifting the burden to their insurance carriers (who will bake the cost into the premiums…so The Church is still paying for it…but their hands are clean…Hey Pilate…pass the soap.)
This will come as no surprise to those of you who have read my blogs, but I do not like government mandated healthcare. At least not healthcare that is all-in cradle to grave (correction: make that intercourse to grave). I do think that “basic healthcare” is part of our social safety net. There is a need for “public health” services and I expect to pay taxes that will fund those services. There is a place for Medicare and Medicaid as well. But what level of services should those programs provide? As a society we seem to be OK with providing very basic food, clothing and shelter for those who cannot afford it. But when it comes to healthcare, only the best, or perhaps more accurately…the SAME…for everyone. And for that matter, what should be covered under the healthcare umbrella? Contraceptives? Morning after pills? How about gym memberships? Personal trainers? Exercise equipment? A chicken in every pot, an elliptical in every home.
This whole healthcare issue is a tough one for me. When I ask the WWJD question (What Would Jesus Do?), He answers my question by commanding that His disciples “Heal the sick” (Matt 10:8). But then He goes on to say “raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” So based on that command, perhaps The Church (including all of us who profess to be followers of Christ) should be leading the march toward universal healthcare coverage. I just can’t figure out how we can do it for free. Perhaps that comes AFTER we’ve raised the dead and driven out the demons.
Saturday, February 11, 2012
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