Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Catholic Church Does Not Teach That Government Should Directly Provide Health Care

Iowa bishop R. Walker Nickless in a message issued by the Diocese of Sioux City:

"[T]he Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care.

Unlike a prudential concern like national defense, for which government monopolization is objectively good—it both limits violence overall and prevents the obvious abuses to which private armies are susceptible—health care should not be subject to federal monopolization.

Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly from denying care arbitrarily, as we learned from HMOs in the recent past. While a government monopoly would not be motivated by profit, it would be motivated by such bureaucratic standards as quotas and defined "best procedures," which are equally beyond the influence of most citizens. The proper role of the government is to regulate the private sector, in order to foster healthy competition and to curtail abuses. Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect. "



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