Friday, February 10, 2006

Self-interested? Then don't vote Republican!

I'll admit, perhaps it was a low blow to accuse Catholics who only vote on abortion of being self-interested because it doesn't really cost them anything to have the courts tell women they can't have abortions. But my critique stands: Real prolife policies will cost real money, and we prolifers better put up or shut up. We've already wasted hundreds of millions trying to overturn Roe. Care to guess what real good we could have accomplished if we devoted that money to women and children in difficulty?

But now a good reason to vote Democrat in your own self-interest: You may lose your group health coverage if we leave the GOP in power too long. The horrors of Bush's proposed budget include a number of gross violations of Catholic social teaching, but among the worst and most sneaky is his attempt at health-care "reform--"health savings accounts"--which is basically another giveaway to the rich and the for-profit medical industry.

What's wrong with health savings accounts? Only this: If Bush gets his way, quality medical care will further be restricted to those who can afford it. After all, you have to have money to save for your sick days, and everyone knows that the minimum (slave) wage doesn't leave any margin for sickness. Already pension benefits are evaporating right and left; now employer-sponsored, group health insurance is going to go the way of the dinosaur, with no national program to replace it.

It sounds so reasonable that generally healthy people should take out high deductible policies and receive tax breaks for health savings accounts. Of course, realize that removing the "well" from the insurance pool will make coverage for the rest astronomically expensive. And since the poor are more likely to have chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, guess who's going to be out of luck. Ever had skin cancer? Depression? Heart defect? HIV? Welcome to the land of not covered.

Catholic social teaching identifies health care as a human right. Already our for-profit system is making it a luxury.

And don't think for a second that the abortion rate will go down if Bush gets his version of health-care reform. A $400 abortion is a helluva lot cheaper than the $20,000 in medical costs it takes to carry a deliver a child to term.


At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Bryan, why don't people get this? And if they do, why aren't they furious?


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