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Posts Tagged ‘Obamacare’

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In his recent interview with David Gregory on Meet the Press, Cardinal Timothy Dolan reiterated that the only problem he and the bishops had with Obamacare was the HHS mandate for contraceptive and abortion coverage in all insurance plans. He lamented that Obama was alienating a body of bishops that wanted to support this legislation, wanted to support Obama in his efforts at it. Most respectfully, the interview with Gregory was a missed opportunity on so very many fronts. Our bishops and several in the pro-life movement have had such a myopic focus on contraception and abortion issues in Obamacare that moral issues just as big and even bigger have entirely gone unaddressed by them. First, to the interview. David Gregory asked:

“What about Obamacare? You have voiced your displeasure with certain aspects of it in terms of mandates for hospitals and so forth. What about the overall goal? Do you think it will ultimately prevail? Would you like it, do you think it’s important for our country that universal health care insurance be available?”

Cardinal Dolan responded:

“Yep, and I’m glad you allow me to make that distinction,” Dolan replied. “We bishops are really in kind of a tough place because we’re for universal, comprehensive. life-affirming healthcare. We, the bishops of the United States–can you believe it, in 1919 came out for more affordable, more comprehensive, more universal health care. That’s how far back we go in this matter, okay. So we’re not Johnny-come-latelys.

“We’ve been asking for reform in healthcare for a long time. So we were kind of an early supporter in this. Where we started bristling and saying, ‘Uh-oh, first of all this isn’t comprehensive, because it’s excluding the undocumented immigrant and it’s excluding the unborn baby,’ so we began to bristle at that.

“And then secondly we said, ‘And wait a minute, we who are pretty good Catholics who are kind of among the pros when it comes to providing healthcare, do it because of our religious conviction,and because of the dictates of our conscience, and now we’re being asked to violate some of those.’

“So that’s when we began to worry and draw back and say, ‘Mr. President, please, you’re really kind of pushing aside some of your greatest supporters here. We want to be with you, we want to be strong. And if you keep doing this, we’re not going to be able to be one of your cheerleaders. And that, sadly, is what happened.”.

Sadly?

Really???

In a 2,000+ page document filled with countless yet-to-be-determined, open-ended policy that states, “The Secretary [of HHS] shall determine…”, how is it considered moral to cheerlead for something completely undefined, especially in this nation with what Pope John Paul II called an ascendant “Culture of Death,” and with the party of death as its authors and administrators?

How could the bishops cheerlead for a law that will be administered with hefty doses of what is euphemistically called “rationing,” when President Obama brought aboard Dr. Donald Berwick whose expertise is in rationing? From Wiki:

“Berwick has studied the management of health care systems, with emphasis on using scientific methods and evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness research to improve the tradeoff among quality, safety and costs.[2][3][4] Among IHI’s projects are online courses for health care professionals for reducing Clostridium difficile infections, lowering the number of heart failure readmissions or managing advanced disease and palliative care.”

How could the bishops cheerlead for a law when the “tradeoff” regarding cost is, “quality of life,” as determined by a bureaucratic algorithm that takes into account average life expectancy given a treatment, age of the patient, etc.? If the numbers fall the wrong way, the state will offer either physician assisted suicide or hospice care as they deny further treatment. This has been standard in Oregon for years. Also read here.

How could the bishops cheerlead for a law whose costs have soared before a workable website could even be put in place, with a government that is close to $20 Trillion in debt, and the certain knowledge that physician-assisted suicide is being pushed in almost every state in the Union?

How could the bishops cheerlead for a law they now know was founded on the lie that, “If you like your plan you can keep it,” knowing that over 7 million people have been dropped in the last two months?

How could the bishops cheerlead for a plan that the Congressional Budget Office projects will STILL leave more than 30 million people uninsured, especially when the principal reason offered for going down this road was to insure the 30-40 million uninsured?

How could the bishops cheerlead for a plan that increases funding for abortion and contraception through the HHS Mandate, just so long as the Church gets her exemption and doesn’t have to get her hands dirty?

This immoral and unjust legislation is not at all what the bishops of 100 years ago militated for. They would have raged against it all, because they were very different men. Those men were shepherds. Their flock was a large immigrant population in a strange land, with a strange tongue for many, with strange customs. The Church was the one great constant in their lives, and their bishops fought for them.

And politicians feared and respected them.

A far cry from a Cardinal lamenting forced participation in 10 percent of a one-hundred percent abomination of legislation and healthcare.

A far cry from a Cardinal who admitted on CBS This Morning, the week before he received the red hat, “We bishops aren’t fighters, we’re pastors.” (See video below)

Notably absent from Cardinal Dolan’s lament was that the small business owners in his flock, and outside of his flock, would be forced to violate their consciences.

Notably absent was any mention of rationing, euthanasia, the tissue of lies, the millions who have been dropped, the outrageous projected increases in premiums by as much as 179% in some states, the yet-to-be-defined policies a priori codified in the law.

These would have been real issues for the bishops of 1919. They most certainly would not have been tolerated 70 years before that with New York’s fourth Archbishop, “Dagger” John Hughes. From an excellent article about Hughes:

Hot on the heels of the school controversy came Hughes’ third battle, which showed him at his feisty best or worst, depending on one’s point of view. In May 1844 anti-Catholic Nativist rioters in Philadelphia burned down two Catholic churches in several days of violence that cost a dozen lives. The Nativist leaders then announced their intention of coming to New York City to stage a large public demonstration that almost certainly would have precipitated anti-Catholic riots. Bishop Hughes placed armed guards around his churches and warned the mayor that “if a single Catholic church were burned in New York, the city would become a second Moscow.” John Hughes’ tough talk paid off. Under pressure from him and other civic leaders, the Nativists canceled their rally.

This stands in stark contrast to Cardinal Dolan’s Feb. 2012 interview on CBS This Morning, when speaking of the HHS Mandate he said:

I would say… The religious exemption is very choking and very tight. There’s a restriction there that we can’t live with. Simply in the best American principles of freedom of religion, simply give a much more dramatically wide latitude to that religious exemption and protection of conscience and religious freedom, and you’re not gonna hear from us any more.

So, give the Church that exemption and she will go mute on all of the other horrors this law is visiting on Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

“You’re not gonna hear from us anymore.” (see the video below)

No, Cardinal Dolan. Most respectfully, we need you and the other bishops to fight for us, to show the moxie of Archbishop Hughes. Want to fill the pews? Defend your flock! The nation has awakened to the trap laid by Obama, the imprisonment, the economic destitution coming under this law, the massive carnival of death on the other end of the life spectrum, and not just abortion. The nation is aroused, and my bishops are losing the forest for the tree.

There is not a shred of moral decency in this law. It is a eugenicist’s dream. It preys on the very weakest on both ends of the life spectrum and impoverishes everyone in-between.

In your interview two years ago, you indicated that the president made all sorts of promises to you and the bishops and then broke them all. Where is your outrage and disgust? You cannot deal with such men. You can only defeat them.

This president and his signature piece of legislation are tearing this nation apart. This is the golden moment for our bishops to stand and fight, with a nation desperate for leadership in that fight. This is our defining moment in the Catholic Church.

This is bigger than contraception and abortion.

This is the forest, not just one tree.

[Photo Credit: http://alchemystudio.com%5D

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Conscientiously Objecting to Obamacare

lipstickpig

In the movie Becket, King Henry II of England is trying to raise money for a war with the French and imposes a tax on the Church. After strenuous objections by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other bishops, Henry’s new Chancellor of England, Thomas Becket, barks that it is pointless to continue the discussion. Then, with sweetly sinister cordiality he states,

“The law has given us the means of coercion, we will use it.”

So it is with the pending enrollment in Obamacare. Those who refuse to be enrolled will eventually be fined by the IRS with a fine that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled is not a fine, but a tax. The mgovernment has given itself the means of coercion, and it will use it.

Many pro-lifers believe that they cannot in good conscience pay for healthcare that pays for abortion. Many will declare their refusal to cooperate, no matter what.

Civil disobedience.

While that sounds good, and is most noble, there are hard truths to consider for any contemplating such an action. First, there is the issue of a third of a billion federal dollars annually given to America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. We already fund abortion through this malignant giant.

Then there are all of the states that use federal and state tax revenues to fund abortion through Medicaid. In New York State, more than 40,000 Medicaid-funded abortions are performed annually.

School districts all across the country partner with Planned Parenthood, using tax revenues and school facilities to promote the organization and its agenda.

The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say that Obamacare is not the first large-scale government funding or promotion of abortion. So what is to be the point of civil disobedience here, especially when the government will simply garnish one’s salary through the same confiscatory practice that is used to collect taxes in arrears?

Focussing on the abortion dimension may be the least of all pro-life considerations in this debate, as it ignores the much larger issue of rationing healthcare and the subsequent denial of services to desperately ill people. That is an issue that so very many pro-lifers refuse to engage, and in so doing they alienate large constituencies with whom we could build effective coalitions. It is the trap of being more anti-abortion than being wholistically pro-life.

So what is to be gained by declaring one’s disobedience to a law that gives the government the power to simply garnish wages? Apart from a moral victory, I suspect not much. However, there a plenty of ambivalent, and outright pro-choice folk who stand to suffer greatly under Obamacare as premiums skyrocket to over $20,000 in many markets, who will be denied lifesaving therapies as has been the case for years in Oregon.

It seems that the only way to defeat Obamacare is to rise up at the polls. We’ll get there one way or the other. When we do, it will be less through statements of noncompliance that fail to stop the confiscatory power of the government and more through the suffering of people broken financially by Obamacare’s obscene costs, and emotionally by its heartless parsimony.

Until then the law has given Obama the means of coercion, and he will use it.

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The Holy Hours and prayers have all been said, the letters written to legislators, the blogs have been written, the teach-ins have played themselves out, and the church bells have all been rung.

Now What?

Where do we go from here, and will our bishops continue to lead us along the way? These are the questions on many lips today, and in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling last week, the space between now and election day is potentially some of the deadliest political battle-ground ever in American history. Hanging in the balance is nothing less than how this nation will be constituted moving forward.

These are consequential times and the laity of the Catholic and other faithful Christian churches have to contemplate what government control of healthcare will mean for biomedical ethics and the very character of our healthcare system if Obamacare is not consigned to oblivion in November. We need to consider exactly what is at stake.

The healthcare system as we know it, the process of scientific and therapeutic discovery, the development of new pharmaceutical agents will all slow tremendously as the government takes control. That’s because the government will suck the profit incentive out of the system in an effort to control costs. That’s what socialist systems do.

Profit is not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all. “Big Pharma” has been villified to the point of absurdity by people who don’t understand the workings of discovery, or pension plans. One of the most profitable sectors in the economy has been the biotech industry, and anyone with a private or government pension plan has seen it grow in no small measure because of the pension plan’s investments in these corporations.

On average, companies have less than ten years from the time a drug comes to market to recoup the research and development costs over the first ten years of the patent, before the patent expires and the drug goes into generics. By way of example, for new antibiotics the cost of R&D approaches $1 billion from the time the compound is discovered in the lab until the drug clears all three levels of FDA clinical trials. Investors (anyone with a pension plan) want their money back ASAP, not twenty years from now. And people who have spent four years in college, ten years in a Ph.D. program, at least three years in post-doctoral training rightly demand six-figure salaries as compensation for almost twenty years of their adult lives spent in training.

It takes a small army of such highly skilled researchers to advance the discoveries. Their just compensation is also an issue of social justice. Their discoveries and resultant profits do not feed the insatiable maws of a handful of fat cat executives in silk top hats, as is often caricaturized. Those discoveries ultimately extend and improve all of our lives (either when the drug is new and expensive, or in a few short years when it goes into generic production), and the profits sustain our retirees in their old age.

Europe had a thriving pharmaceutical industry before they adopted socialized medicine. Once the government became the single-largest purchaser of pharmaceutics they set the prices they were willing to pay so absurdly low that they collapsed the industry in Europe.

Hillary Clinton did the same thing to the vaccine wing of our pharmaceutical industry when Bill Clinton was president. The only portion of her nationalized healthcare that became policy was the children’s vaccine initiative. It was a noble attempt to vaccinate every child in America.

At the outset there were over thirty manufacturers of vaccines in the U.S. After the government became the single-largest purchaser of vaccines, they set the price and collapsed the industry. By the time of the anthrax scares post-9/11, there were less than seven manufacturers left, and the U.S. is now forced to purchase most of our vaccines abroad.

Then comes news last week that the Supreme Court struck down the provision in Obamacare that would have widened the medicaid involvement—–which was the precise population used to justify this entire mess in the first place. Now we are left with the worst of two worlds, the uninsured still being uninsured, and the government co-opting and destroying the very system they claimed they wanted for the uninsured.

Brilliant.

It only goes to substantiate for Americans the experiences of other nations under socialized medicine. To be sure there are the apologists in Europe and Canada who will tout the superiority of their systems. What they do not tout is the radical eugenics and euthanasia that have seized these nations and which have become a permanent part of the landscape. It’s easy to boast of the superiority of one’s system when the very sickest among us don’t factor into the equation at all.

This is our choice come November. To my fellow Catholics at the conclusion of this fortnight, we have our work cut out for us. Either we rise up as the muscular Church we once were, or we consign ourselves to the status of paper tiger for at least a generation to come.

We stake all on the November elections.

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Golden Coconut Award

In November, Coming Home began a monthly award, the Golden Coconut, an award for the coconut pro-abortion apologists who spout the most anti-scientific nonsense in the headlong pursuit of butchering babies.

There has been one individual within the Catholic Church who is deserving of the December AND the Year-End Award, and that is Sister Carol Keehan, a member of the Daughters of Charity.

Sr. Keehan has had herself a banner year. She gave political cover to politicians on voting for Obamacare, rode to the defense of another sterling woman religious, Sister McBride, who has been presiding over a hospital that aborts babies in the case of rape, incest and the “mental health” of the mother (which means anything that might be on the stress scale at all). Keehan also defends McBride’s governance which includes sterilizations of men and women, and the prescribing of all manner of contraceptives, many of which are abortifacients.

In statements defending Catholic Healthcare West, of which St. Joseph’s in Phoenix is a member, Keehan stated:

“They carefully evaluated the patient’s situation and correctly applied the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services to it, saving the only life that was possible to save,” and that CHW and St. Joseph’s were “well-known” for a “long and stellar history in the protection of life at all stages.”

This in direct opposition to Ob/Gyn’s on the ethics board in Phoenix, and a Bishop with a doctorate in Canon Law.

The National Catholic Reporter has named Sr. Carol Keehan as their very first “Person of the Year”. A serious award from a publication that has long been the broadsheet for the shadow magisterium in America.

First Ever Award!

FB friend, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf writes:

National Catholic Reporter has named Sr. Carol Keehan as their very first “Person of the Year”.

Even though she was head of the Catholic Health Association, a political lobby group, before 2009 Sr. Keehan was relatively unimportant.

Then Sr. Keehan, as an exponent of the Magisterium of Nuns facing off against the Catholic Bishops, gave cover to “catholic” pro-abortion politicians to vote in favor of legislation that would ultimately provide taxpayer money for abortions.

But this honor NCR is giving to Sr. Keehan isn’t really about her opposing bishops or bishops’ conferences.

This isn’t really about nuns being persecuted by a Vatican investigation.

This isn’t really about the conflict between women and bishops or women’s roles.
This certainly isn’t about compassion for the poor, or health care.

Sr. Keehan’s award is about abortion, and bringing the abortion business into “catholic” hospitals.

NCR is offering Sr. Carol Keehan as the acceptable Catholic face, the poster person, for compassionate access to abortion for poor women.

NCR honors Sr. Keehan because this year she did more than anyone else to change the perception that Catholics must oppose abortion.

Quite a legacy.

Quite a legacy indeed. For her efforts, Coming Home joins the National Catholic Distorter in recognizing Sr. Keehan’s life’s work. For her untiring defense of those who strike at the child of the womb, for her consistency in striking at the Bishops and undercutting their authority, for misrepresenting public policy and Canon Law, for leading souls astray via her shadow magisterium, it is the responsibility of Coming Home to award her the highest distinction it can bestow on a leader in the Culture of Death,

The Golden Coconut Award.

The great solace for the Church and the Culture of Life is that orders such as Keehan’s will cease to exist in another fifteen years, as most of their members will have died off, and the remaining will be very old and in retirement and nursing homes. Young, vibrant and faithful communities are springing up in their place and renewing the Church landscape.

Rebellion and death are hardly the stuff of vocations posters. Young women with a love of the Lord don’t want to sign on to community life with a bunch of angry old women. Keehan and her ilk are living anachronisms. Their rebellion, their pro-abortion advocacy is part of a feminist rage at perceived inequity because of a male-only priesthood. It is a quid pro quo with the lives of babies, and the spiritual and psychological welfare of the mothers whom they lead astray.

They are angry women, whose sin of anger leads them into a scorched earth campaign.

Along with her Golden Coconut comes sincere prayers for her conversion of heart and reconciliation with the Bishops whom she has repeatedly struck with wicked claw.

My thanks to pro-life friend and activist Tina Mahar for bringing the NCR award to my attention.

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This photo of Obama from this past Sunday’s New York Times.

The Cross.

The Halo.

The finger pointing Heavenward.

The Temple (White House).

The Sermon on the Mount.

This isn’t photojournalism. This is Marxist-style propagandizing. The Times has dropped all pretense at journalistic objectivity. They have been waging war on Christianity for decades, with Evangelicals and Catholics being their biggest targets-the so-called religious right.

Marxism has always made the state the replacement of religion, that opiate of the masses. There is no God. The state is god. It is from the state that all blessings flow, including one’s sustenance. Statist totalitarianism mandating atheism. It’s happening right before our eyes as the final push is on to grab the healthcare system. Then the government will BE god, determining who lives and who dies, and how soon.

The co-opting of the saint’s halo, the Cross, and the Messiah Himself in this photo may well be our last warning. The Times has proclaimed the New Messiah. The White House is the New Jerusalem. The picture tells all. They believe that they have won. This past Sunday was Obama’s grotesque Palm Sunday, the Messiah’s welcome parade.

The question is whose Easter will prevail? Obama’s or Christ’s?

This is our rallying point.

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