Thursday, July 30, 2009

Deception Surrounds Catholic Demand for Health Reform

It's a truism that the healthcare system in the US could stand some reform. Nobody really argues against 'reform.'

But there are very serious issues, and at the top of the list is abortion.

As currently written, HR3200 will force the US taxpayer to fund abortions, overriding the Hyde Amendment. That IS the case, although the convenient lie is available: "It doesn't SAY that."

Well, your weather forecast doesn't SAY that the sun will rise, either.

Now comes a demand from three Catholic entities calling for immediate "reform" of healthcare. In and of itself, that's no surprise. But when those Catholic entities resort to linguistic manipulation to support their position, it is a disappointment, to say the least.

"Please call and e-mail your Representative in the next 24 hours expressing your support for Congress to enact health care reform now," the groups urge in an alert released last week. The page hosted by St. Vincent De Paul offers contact information and email forms for congressional offices.

"Saint Vincent de Paul is partnering with Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Health Association to amplify our collective voice to let Congress know that health care reform can not wait," it continues

"Can not wait"?? Really?? Can not wait until when, exactly?


Pro-life lawyers say that the government health care insurance is bound to include abortion as an essential health care benefit and would be funded by taxpayer dollars, unless an amendment is introduced to specifically exclude abortion. However, all such amendments, including amendments to protect doctors' conscience rights, have failed in both the House and Senate.

Now watch the deception.

When (LSN) described the healthcare plan's abortion mandate to Roger Playwin, the National Executive Director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, he interrupted to say: "The bishops' office has advised us that that's not accurate. So I can't speak to it, because all I know is that the bishops' office has said that story is going around, but it's inaccurate. That's all I know."

Playwin said that by bishops' office he meant the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, specifically the bishops' charity arm, Catholic Charities USA. "There's a lot of disinformation about - there is no legislation, number one," he said. Asked to clarify, Playwin said, "There is not a piece of legislation that the House and Senate are going to agree to about health care reform

Either Playwin is lying, or Catholic Charities is lying, or in any case, Playwin was deliberately non-responsive to the question. He's a pathetic jerk.

Not only that, he didn't bother to cover his ass.

When LSN sought comment from the Catholic Health Association (CHA) on the matter, communications director Fred Caesar said he was not familiar with the press release, and directed LSN to a letter CHA issued to Congress in July 2008, urging them to uphold pro-life amendments in the annual appropriations bill.

And there are other problems in the proposals.

Judie Brown, president of American Life League, responded with outrage at the organizations' failure to address the serious problems inherent in the current health care legislation, saying that "There is no social justice in rationing charity."

"Millions of taxpayers will be forced to subsidize abortion, contraception, euthanasia and bureaucratic denial of health care to the poorest of the poor," she said

This coalition better get its act together, and Mr. Playwin owes an apology to SVDP members--not to mention to millions of others who want reform, but want it done right.

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