Return of the Prodigal Son by Pompeo Batoni - 1773

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fighting Obamacare

Fighting Obamacare

          I wrote a number of months ago about a conversation I had with a neighbor with whom I share absolutely nothing in common politically.  His political positions stem largely from his atheism, which he has proclaimed to me numerous times with pride.  We recently had another conversation and though I am far more concerned about his atheism than his liberalism, the conversation quickly focused on Mr. Obama and Obamacare (sparked by a bumper sticker on my car).
          One thing that has become painfully obvious in my conversations with supporters of Obamacare is that they rarely actually know anything about it.  And I have yet to meet any of its supporters who recognize its consequences (including apparently Mr. Obama).
          The most vehement opposition to Obamacare from people of faith is, of course, directed at the HHS mandate, which forces employers to pay for contraception, sterilization and abortion-drug coverages against the dictates of their consciences.  This mandate is representative of a number of things the government presumably can force us to provide and pay for, now that it is arguing it can usurp our rights to conscience protection and religious freedom.
          A report from the Congressional Budget Office last week brings up another major concern with the health law.  Since it began to be implemented, we have seen health care costs skyrocket, and now, according to the report, 7 million people who currently have health insurance, will lose it.
          Many of us saw this coming.  Mr. Obama denied that it would.
          What we are seeing is the first wave of people who will be forced off of private insurance plans that they like and forced onto the government exchanges.  Mr. Obama is on record in the past saying that he approves a single-payer, government-run system, much like what Canada has.  These 7 million people are the first wave of the coming tsunami that will make that a reality unless we put a stop to it.
          Why is that so bad?  First, it should be noted that studies universally show that countries with socialized medicine have lower quality health care.  In the Western world, Great Britain is the worst, followed by the rest of Europe, followed by Canada.  The United States, by contrast, had the highest quality medical care in the world as of 2009, just before Mr. Obama started messing with it.
          But there is a far greater problem.  Once the government takes control of health care, we will lose the choices a free market provides us.  We have seen the federal government time and time again promoting the culture of death in medicine, as an effort to cut costs.
          We have already begun to see it happen.  Insurance plans generally cover treatments that are deemed to be effective.  For example, if I am elderly and in need of a pacemaker, my insurance should cover it if a pacemaker would be an effective treatment for me and if I can endure the procedure. 
          What we have begun to see, and what Mr. Obama has built into his plan with its death panels, is that treatments are being judged not solely based on their effectiveness, but on the patient who will be receiving it.  So if I am elderly and in need of a pacemaker, it may be determined that given my age, I don’t have too many years left anyway and it would not be cost effective to save my life.  The money (controlled by a bankrupt government) would be better spent somewhere else or on someone younger.  The coverage is based on the government’s perception of the person who needs treatment rather than the effectiveness of the treatment itself.
          That’s scary enough, but how about this?  One of the Obama administration’s defenses of the HHS mandate was that by providing free contraception, it was reducing pregnancy, and saving money.  When the government runs the whole show, will sterilization then be required after a certain number of children?  Or will only the first three be covered by insurance perhaps, because after that the family is not “cost effective?” 
What about children with disabilities from birth?  Already an attitude is forming among some which says that since abortion is available, and covered, a parent who wishes to give birth to a disabled child should shoulder the responsibility without the help of insurance.  It was their choice, after all, why should a broke government bear the cost.
How about the elderly?  We have seen a decline in palliative care as it is.  Once euthanasia becomes universal, won’t we be told it is “patriotic” to be euthanized (which the government will pay for) rather than be a financial burden?  If we do make the selfish choice not to commit suicide, don’t expect the help of insurance for our care.  The government will be in charge.  And, unlike abortion, there are some choices it simply won’t subsidize.
These are all ridiculous conspiracy theories, right?  I think we’ve seen enough by now to know better.  I have not seen one thing out of the Democratic power base in Washington that would make me doubt any of these scenarios some time in the future.
So what do we do about it?  We keep fighting.  We refuse to comply with unjust laws and mandates.  We file law suits.  We support our bishops and get out the truth.  Many of our politicians are willing to give in, but we can’t let them.  Write them letters and make sure they know we’re paying attention.  Most people do not want to see these things happen.  But most people are completely ignorant of what Obamacare does.
We can also find ethical alternatives and take advantage of them.  What I have presented is a worst-case scenario, but a realistic one.  We can only keep it from becoming reality if we are steadfast.  And most of all, if we are people of prayer.  Not only is prayer our greatest weapon, but when we fight these temporal battles, we need that constant contact with God to be sure that we remain grounded and that our efforts are made in His Spirit and for His glory.