Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Bishops Naumann and Finn issued a statement on health care reform last week. I am not by any stretch an expert on health care reform, but I think there is much to talk about in the document. For now, three quick points/questions:
First, I always think it's interesting to see how our worldviews, including our religious worldviews, are shaped by our surrounding culture, and I suspect that the central concerns of these bishops -- defending personal responsibility against centralization and bureaucracy -- might look strikingly American to bishops in other parts of the world.
Second, was end-of-life counseling "mandated" by any of the reform proposals, as the bishops assert, or was it just covered by the proposals?
Third, according to the bishops, "the right to health care" is merely "the right to acquire the means of procuring [health care] for one's self and family." If that explanation is accurate, what substance is left to the right? Who is denying anyone the right to acquire the means of procuring health care? Is this formulation a prudent concession to economic reality or a hollowing-out of the Catholic social tradition?