“Losing My Religion” On Health Care

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This news story tells us the following (and I hope I’m being metaphorical only with this post title, by the way)…

Senior Catholic bishops are threatening to oppose the health care bill under consideration in Congress if lawmakers don’t make significant reforms regarding federally funded abortions and other issues.

“No one should be required to pay for or participate in abortion,” the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a letter Thursday to members of Congress.

See, the bishops (including Justin Cardinal Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia) are in a snit because the amendments from Sen. Orrin Hatch to the health care legislation that “sought to explicitly state that the current ban on federal funding for abortions would apply to all aspects of health insurance in the bill and prohibit the government at any level from forcing hospitals, doctors and other health care providers to perform abortions” were thrown out (partly because the wording was idiotic: the “government” can’t “force” ANY medical provider to perform ANY service or procedure…these are just more word games that are part of the process of trying to make abortion illegal under all circumstances and prosecute women seeking this procedure and health care providers who offer it, in an effort to legislatively invalidate Roe v. Wade).

Also, as the story notes, “Federal law allows government funding for abortions only in the cases of rape, incest or danger to a mother’s health,” and I think it’s barbaric to deny abortion services to women facing those circumstances (also, please see the bottom of page two here to read the debunking of the claim that taxpayer funds would be used for abortions).

And for anybody who thinks the Catholic Church would stop at abortions, I should let you know what I heard from the pulpit last Sunday, which was opposition not only to abortion, but in vitro fertilization and stem cell research (welcome to the dark ages).

I’ve tried to find a scientific, impartial source from which I can determine whether or not the number of abortions in this country is going down or not, and I believe it is slightly, but I’m not sure how the data is being manipulated from some of the pro-life sites I’ve visited to learn more about this. However, this tells us that teen birth rates are up in 26 states, with gains primarily in the south and southwest, and decreases in the north.

So even if abortion rates are decreasing in these states, the increasing birth rate tells me that there’s less of an emphasis on sex-ed and access to birth control (I understand the theological reason why the church opposes this, but it utterly flies in the face of the sometimes devastating real-life consequences of acting without education or methods of protection).

Which, I’m sure, is just fine for Cardinal Rigali and his pals. And for all of the reasons I cited above, he and the bishops would oppose the health care bill.

Well, Cardinal, this tells us of a September rally in our archdiocese attended by 400 people (who I’m sure represent many more than that), claiming that “health care for all is a basic human right” and carrying signs, at least one of which read “Insure people, not profits,” before marching to Cigna’s Center City headquarters at 16th and Chestnut streets (and I can recall a time when someone from your church would have actually participated – I’m not aware of any such presence from the story).

And oh yes, CIGNA – those are the people who denied coverage to Natalin Sarkisyan, who, as noted here…

…was a 17-year-old from Glendale, Calif., who had leukemia and needed a liver transplant. Cigna said the procedure was “too risky”, despite the fact that a liver was available and she had a 65 percent chance of survival after six months. As a result of public pressure and publicity, Cigna relented and agreed to pay for the procedure. But it was too late. In December 2007, Ms. Sarkisyan died for lack of the transplant hours after Cigna reversed its decision.

And Will Bunch tells us here of the reception some CIGNA troglodytes gave to Sarkisyan’s mother when she arrived at company headquarters, claiming that CIGNA, in essence, killed her daughter; he tells us that employees “look(ed) down into the atrium lobby from a balcony above, (and) began heckling her, she said, with one of them giving her ‘the finger’.”

Philadelphia, the city that loves you back…

And that kind of made me wonder how much the Catholic Church in Philadelphia has received in donations from CIGNA as well as other corporations, but the problem is that that information isn’t available from the archdiocese’s web site (though LifeSiteNews has no problem providing that information from Planned Parenthood here, including CIGNA – oh, but LifeSiteNews isn’t officially sanctioned by the church…riiiiiight).

This also gives me an excuse to renew my cry for banning of all funds in so-called health savings accounts to be used for abortion (here), and to point out that “good shepherd” Rigali once got “the flock” all in an uproar over the Freedom of Choice Act here, which quite probably will never even pass out of the congressional committee from where it originated.

So Rigali and the bishops apparently refuse to see the consequence of trying to undo health care reform in this country over “values” issues while thousands continue to lose coverage, their savings, their homes, and, in some cases, their lives.

Rigali is lucky that intolerance isn’t considered a pre-existing condition, or he would lose his own coverage.

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