The Right to Health Care

Just in case you may be of the opinion that health care is a commodity that should be bought and sold, and we should receive what we are able to pay for, either as individuals or as communities, take a look at the Holy See’s statement to the UN General Assembly a couple of days ago.

Here it is in part:

“For its part, the Catholic Church remains committed to providing access to health care for everyone.  Through its 5,000 hospitals, 18,000 health clinics, and 15,000 homes for elderly and disabled, as well as other healthcare programs throughout the world, Catholic based institutions are committed to providing the right to quality and effective and morally responsible health care for all.” — Holy See’s statement to the UN General Assembly, 10/17/09

There are many on the “right” theologically who seem to have trouble with this. Like it or not, the Church stands for the right to health care for all. 

The big question is how to do it. God help us get it right in this country.  The stakes are too high for us to get it wrong.

The conversation on all of this in the political and social realms is centered on money. It is the wrong place to begin. The fact of the matter is that the price tag is not really all that high when you take a look at what we have spent in the past ten years on war. Free health care for all is possible if we are willing to provide it and get our values and priorities in right order.

That is the truth.

The conversation about this issue must begin where the Church begins it: with the dignity of each human person and the right to life.  

When you start from a position of cost and money, you end up cultivating a culture of death. I know.  I work in a health care institution (not a Catholic one) and what they are talking about is cost and dying.  The elderly are reportedly the big “consumers” of health care. They “cost” a lot to treat, especially in the final years of life. So the polite conversation is on about how to limit their access to certain health care. 

God help us to not walk down that road.

The problem we have is one of greed and the love of technology; we have failed in loving life and in charity.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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