As at least a nominal Catholic, I was perplexed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) decision to endorse PelosiCare after the Stupak amendment prohibited federal funding for abortion. While abortion is the number one issue confronting those who are trying to build a culture of life, it isn’t the only one. There are at least five reasons why Catholics should still oppose PelosiCare, reasons that the American bishops should have been paying more attention to if they were going to insert themselves into health care policy decisions.
1. Deficit spending is anti-life, anti-family, and immoral in general. By supporting PelosiCare, Catholics would be passing the cost of health care reform primarily to their children and grandchildren. PelosiCare will create the fiscal and economic conditions that will encourage the next generation of Catholics to continue using contraception and discourage them from having large families — simply because large families will cost too much.
2. PelosiCare will fund abortifacient contraception — including the birth control pill and the morning after pill. Although the Stupak amendment prohibited federal funding for surgical abortion, chemical abortion will still be provided using federal dollars under both the public option and subsidized private insurance. It has been scientifically proven that the birth control pill can destroy a life after conception, and the express goal of the morning after pill is to do just that.
3. Procedures using embryonic stem cells would also be funded under PelosiCare. There is nothing in the House bill that would prohibit either public health insurance or subsidized private insurance from using federal dollars to fund procedures that use embryonic stem cells. While many Catholics remain opposed to embryonic stem cell research, under PelosiCare their tax dollars might be used to subsidize the destruction of embryos and the use of their stem cells in medical procedures.
4. Under PelosiCare, care rationing (AKA “death panels”) will become reality. Do you want the government deciding whether your parent or grandparent should live or die, or what kind of treatment is “too much”? Under PelosiCare, that will be inevitable. As Americans begin to realize the full cost of a reform plan that expands access but doesn’t cut costs, politicians will be looking for ways to reduce the pricetag. Rationing will become reality. It already is reality in other countries with government-run health care.
5. There is no guarantee that the final health care bill won’t provide federal funding for abortion. The bishops should have known better. Why would they trust a rabidly pro-choice House Speaker, a pro-choice Senate Majority Leader, and a pro-choice president — all beholden to Planned Parenthood and NARAL — to prevent federal funding for abortion? They’re already backtracking, and President Obama has gone on the record saying that language about abortion will need to be changed. The final bill on President Obama’s desk may well feature federal funding for abortion, if not under the public option then under subsidized private insurance.
In their zeal to provide health care for all Americans, Catholic bishops have overlooked these serious issues. They have also overlooked the good that Catholic ingenuity has accomplished within the boundaries of private health care, and have instead bought wholesale into government-run health care. The bishops are simply wrong, and it is well within the rights of lay Catholics to decide that this is the case and to continue opposing PelosiCare.
Cross-posted to RedState.