Saturday, December 19, 2009

Is socialized health care good?

Here is a question that has been haunting me of late. And I mean this sincerely, not rhetorically nor as a sarcastic swipe. If anyone can give me an honest reply (for which I may have more questions), I would be grateful. Here it is:

As a young man I was a socialist, believing that government programs were the answer to most of society's problems. It took a personal conversion to Jesus, and, as noted elsewhere, some serious soul searching before I was able to rethink my ideological loyalties. Other, wiser souls were able to help me to see that socialism is inevitably atheistic. I came to see for myself that it also seemed bound up with legalized and tax-funded abortion, and with a host of other moral depravities.

Before long, I had adopted as my own the quote so favored by Dorothy Day,

He who at 20 is not a socialist has no heart.
He who at 30 is a socialist has no head.
I began to appreciate the Church's consistent stand against atheistic socialism. I cheered to see Pope John-Paul's role in the dismantling of the Soviet regime. I understood now that it was the Church and individual Christians, not the government, who could address the maladies of society. Through the centuries, the followers of Jesus have been the ones to build hospitals for the sick, orphanages for the abandoned, who have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, and treated the ill and the dying.

But lately the consistent message from U.S. Catholic bishops is that we do well to expect health care from our government, only it just needs to be monitored so as not to violate Christian values. Bishop William F. Murphy, for example, is quoted as saying, "Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation". This is no isolated quote, but seems to be the consensus among all the clergy.

After all the hard work and sacrifices that have been offered by Christians for the relief and healing of the sick, after building and staffing all those hospitals in Christian charity, after all the religious orders founded upon the apostolate of healing, now we should turn the reins over to government? And - - this government?????

I truly don't understand.


OperationCounterstrike said...

Socialized health care may be good or it may not, but it cannot be worse than what we have in USA now.

I've worked with visiting-science types from Germany, Switzerland, Israel, Spain, France, Norway, Finland, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, Holland, and even the despised England and Canada. For every story I hear about having to delay a specialty-procedure (most of which, like bypasses and joint-replacements, can be safely delayed), I hear MANY stories about getting big-time sick or injured, or giving birth, and getting adequate medical care with physical therapy and all the "extras", without every having to THINK about money AT ALL.

I'll take that one, please.

Jerry said...

Thank you, Operation Counterstrike, for your response; you will get no argument from me regarding the state of the medical industry. But you did not address my question.

My question is how did the medical industry come to be just that - a high-priced industry - as opposed to an avenue of Christian charity? And why do the bishops seem to be content with that, and with placing health care within the purview of the government instead of within the Church?

With all due respect, the answer to this particular question ought to come from someone within the Church, preferably someone in a leadership role.