06 July 2009

For what it's worth...

With all the talk about "health care reform," here's an interesting tidbit:

A person with even the most basic moral sense would agree that access to necessary medical assistance should belong to everyone. And actually, that's the case now. No one in real need of medical attention can be turned away. Of course, the issue does go beyond that, into such important issues like preventive health care, long-term medical care for terminal conditions, maintaining human dignity and respect... the list of concerns goes on. But let's face it: the government isn't the place to turn for any of that. And the red herring being dragged out by members of our present government, when they parade the statistics having to do with the uninsured, is an unsubtle ploy to grab more control and power over us all. The facts show that a huge number of uninsured people are that way by choice -- people with sufficient income to actually have insurance, but who are betting that they won't need it, and who want to spend their money on things of their own choosing.

But what about those who really can't afford insurance, or who don't have the level of medical care they require? The Catholic Church has the longest and most successful track record of providing for those in need, regardless of their circumstances. Our hospital systems and hospice care have their roots in the Church's understanding of charity and mercy. And when was the Church most successful in those endeavors? When there was little or no government interference, and when lawyers didn't fund their lifestyles by bringing lawsuits against doctors. Try being merciful and caring today, and see how long it is before you're named in a lawsuit. The school nurse can't even put antiseptic on a skinned knee without the fear of being sued.

Rather than having more involvement in health care, I think the government should get out of the way. In fact, if our legislators really want to be helpful, let them concentrate on finding ways to do away with frivolous lawsuits. If the Church and others of good will were able to develop medical institutions and provide care without our present government's stifling micromanagement and interference, we might all be healthier.