God wants Congress to take over medicine, at least according to the Colorado Catholic Conference (CCC).
In an “action alert,” the CCC today called for legislatively guaranteed “health care coverage for all people from conception until natural death.” (The CCC wants “inclusion for legal immigrants,” so apparently illegal immigrants would not have access to tax-funded health care under the organization’s desired system.)
Even though the CCC wants to use the force of the federal government to compel some people to finance the health care of others’ fertilized eggs, the organization wants to forbid forced funding of abortion. The CCC calls on Catholics to demand federal politicians to “continue federal ban on funding for abortions and reject any mandate for abortion coverage or access to abortion.”
There is no mention of whether the CCC favors tax funding of contraception, which Catholics regard as sinful.
The CCC also likewise endorses “including freedom of conscience for providers, health care workers and patients.” For health care workers, presumably this means that tax-funded doctors and other health care providers may be free not to offer abortion and contraception to patients. Does it also mean that women should be left free to decide whether to get an abortion? (Somehow I doubt that is the CCC’s intended meaning.)
Once force guides the process, such decisions will be determined by mob rule and bureaucratic influence. Whether politically-controlled medicine subsidizes or forbids things like abortion and contraception will necessarily become fundamentally a political matter.
The CCC made clear that, in its view, politically-controlled medicine is demanded by God’s teachings in the Bible:
Catholic Social Teaching and Health Care: In our Catholic tradition, health care is a basic human right. Access to health care should not depend on where a person works, how much a family earns, or where a person lives. Instead, every person, created in the image and likeness of God, has a right to life and to those things necessary to sustain life, including affordable, quality health care. This teaching is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve “the least of these,” our concern for human life and dignity, and the principle of the common good. Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance. According to the Catholic bishops of the United States, the current health care system is in need of fundamental reform. To learn about Catholic teaching on health care in more detail, read the full statement by the United States Catholic Bishops, A Framework for Comprehensive Health Care Reform, at usccb.org/sdwp/national/comphealth.shtml
For excellent essays on why health care is not a right and why politically-run medicine is a disaster, see Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine.
For why the United States ought not impose religious faith by force of law, see the First Amendment and the material at the Coalition for Secular Government.