Sunday, July 13, 2008

Calling All Conservative Catholics

What alternative do you propose to universal health care, on the European model? Whatever the problems there, everyone is guaranteed basic care, no one there is bankrupted by medical bills, and everyone seems (by and large) happy with it.

How, as a Catholic, can you oppose that?

Just...explain to me why it would be so horrifying to just have universal health care in the United States. Yes it would cost money, and yes, taxes would go up - but so what? Isn't working people not being bankrupted by hospital bills ever again worth a few more percent at tax time? Isn't a society where everyone can go to a doctor when he's sick better than a society where he delays going because then he won't eat or won't be able to buy gas, or can't pay his car payment or whatever?

Give me a good, solid reason to oppose it - not a picking-around-the-edges, "particular statistic 'x' suffers in comparison to America..." reason, but simply-stated summary of why, in principle, it would be so horrible.

The reply, "we ought to care for each other in the community" sounds good - heck, I even agree with it. But the price of modern health care is too much for that kind of community-provided care. I have no idea what an MRI machine costs, but I can't imagine my local parish can fork over than kind of cash.

As Catholics, we can either, 1. Wring our hands and dream piously of New Jerusalem, or 2. Come up with a plan B.

I'll go first: "Millions of people having either no health insurance or junk insurance in a country as affluent as the US is a scandal. Universal health care, modeled on Western European systems, is practically achievable and would be good because it would guarantee basic health care to every citizen."

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