Friday, January 29, 2010

Does the USCCB really want healthcare reform?

Two days ago I wrote about a letter the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent to members of Congress. It urged them to salvage the healthcare bill but to make sure it was “genuine healthcare” which protects unborn lives, consciences, immigrants, and as many people as possible.

That letter managed to make some people very upset with the bishops. A notable case is an article by Sarah Posner. Among other things, Posner says:

“In other words, as the bishops state in their letter, a reform bill without these "protections" is "not true health care reform." It's their clever way of trying to duck blame for stalling the bill -- we support "true" reform, honest!”

Why can’t he bishops define “true” reform as they see fit? Why can’t the bishops oppose a bill that doesn’t live up to their expectations?

“the bishops' motive is quite clear: they are using health care reform to normalize and expand their agenda on reproductive care and end-of-life issues.”

Actually they, like me, just think abortion and euthanasia are the unlawful (natureal law) ending of a life and don’t think they have any place in healthcare; especially healthcare we pay for with our taxes. Granted, I wouldn’t complain if this somehow “normalizes” their agenda on these issues.

"Now is not the time to abandon this task," the bishops write, "but rather to set aside partisan divisions and special interest pressures to find ways to enact genuine reform." If only they had thought of that three months ago.”

Three months ago the bishops worked to pass the House bill with Stupak language. Their request quoted by Posner and their actions three months ago are consistent.

“Now that Scott Brown's election threatens to kill reform, the bishops are attempting to portray themselves as the heroes who can save it.”

They are portraying themselves exactly the same way the portrayed themselves before. Compare the letter written on January 26 to this one written on November 20. The content is the same; in fact the Jan 26 letter looks like it was cut and pasted in part from the Nov. 20 letter! The USCCB has had the same position for decades; much less since before Scott Brown’s win.

“The bishops claim to support reform, but imply it was supporters of reproductive choice who stood in the way of passage because they didn't support "genuine" reform.”

Supporters of reproductive choice claim to support reform but explicitly denounce bishops for standing in the way of passage because they didn’t support “genuine” (abortion funding) reform. Kettle, meet pot.

Consider this, “supporters of reproductive choice” stridently oppose Stupak-Hyde language. It appears virtually non-negotiable. Can we assume then that they are using this as a shield because they actually don’t want reform at all? Of course not! They believe that reform without abortion coverage isn’t reform! It’s that simple.

Why won’t folks like Posner see it’s that simple for the USCCB? Healthcare reform that forces taxpayers to fund abortion, tramples conscience rights, etc isn’t reform!

It’s that simple.

No comments: