Health care reform is quickly making its way through the United States Congress. I must admit, I’m surprised at just how fast they are trying to get this thing through. After passing the House just two weeks ago, the Senate is set to begin the voting process on health care reform tonight.
I have not gotten too involved in the whole health care issue on the blog here. I’ve been keeping my eye on the conversation, though and what I’ve noticed lately is that abortion is largely dominating the pro-life health care discussion. I certainly support the push by pro-lifers (especially our Bishops) to ensure that the bill will not fund or subsidize the murder of unborn children. However, abortion is not the only pro-life health care concern and, as Wesley Smith points out in this discussion from several months ago with Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins, the problem is not so much what’s written in the 2,000+ pages of the bill itself, but in the hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations to come after a bill is passed. I’m talking specifically here about rationing care and a, shall we say, less than favorable attitude toward caring for the disabled and the elderly. In fact, a Federal panel is already in place to apply a cost- effectiveness standard to health care. And it’s membership includes this guy who, among other things, has suggested that doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, “as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others” (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008).
It is still important to fight for language prohibiting the federal funding of abortion in health care reform. It would at least lessen the damage that reform would cause if, God forbid, it passes – and that’s good. But, as far as I’m concerned, if these other threats to the sanctity of human life cannot also be resolved (and I don’t know how they would be) the bill should still be rejected in the end.
See more on rationing and euthanasia concerns at the Robert Powell Center for Medical Ethics blog.
Contact your Senators and urge them to vote “no” on cloture on motion to proceed to anti-life Reid bill at 8:00 EST tonight.