Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

Evolution for the Catholic Student

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

One More Chance on Obamacare

One More Chance on Obamacare

          I count myself among the majority of Americans who believe the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is a bad law.  In fact, I count myself among the plurality who believe it is horrible.  In light of that, Friday’s Supreme Court ruling upholding the law was quite a disappointment.
          As a Catholic, I have grave concerns over the inclusion of abortion in the act and the fact that we will all have to finance it, as well as the “death panels” (loaded language to be sure, but not inaccurate), and the fact that the act completely violates the Catholic social justice principle of subsidiarity.
          On a practical level I am also deeply worried that this act is the first major step toward a single-payer, government-run health care system that will divorce morals from medicine, rob people of their freedoms, and destroy the quality of health care in this country, as such systems have done in other parts of the world.
          The Supreme Court, as Chief Justice John Roberts said, was not charged with determining whether Obamacare was good law, only if it was Constitutional law.  On that point, I agree with four Supreme Court justices and countless legal experts who believe the court got it wrong.
          The main question revolved around the individual mandate, forcing Americans to purchase health care insurance or pay a penalty.  The court said that the mandate did not pass muster under the commerce clause but was ruled Constitutional as a tax.  This, however, is wrong.  There is such a thing as a sales tax, but not a non-sales tax.  To force someone to pay for not purchasing something is not a tax; it is a fine.
          The court ruled that the Obama administration lied in adamantly claiming that Obamacare was not a tax.  However, I disagree.  I actually think Mr. Obama was being accurate in not classifying the individual mandate as a tax.  However, five justices disagreed, and that is all that saved the bill.
          A word about Chief Justice Roberts, who shocked everyone by joining with the “liberal” justices to give the bill the one-vote majority it needed.  I will not accuse Mr. Roberts of betraying his Catholic Faith, like many people do, for example, when anyone votes for a budget that does not exponentially increase funding for their favorite social program.  Though the anti-life provisions in the bill would make it hard for me to cast a vote in support of it, regardless of how I felt about its Constitutionality, Justice Roberts believed (erroneously I would submit) that he was interpreting the law correctly, and upholding the duty with which he was charged.
          What, then, do we do?  The survival of this bill is a devastating blow to many, probably most, Catholics.  There is still some hope, though.  The egregious portions of Obamacare, for the most part, do not take effect until 2014.  That means we have one last chance to do what the Supreme Court did not – kill the bill.
          If Mitt Romney wins the White House, and especially if Republicans take control of both houses of Congress, there is good chance that we will never suffer under the worst parts of Obamacare.  If they lose in November, however, all you-know-what will eventually break loose.  The stakes just got even higher.