Thursday, June 28, 2012

With Obamacare Upheld, What Next?

With word today that the Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare, many Catholics wonder what is next.

It would certainly have been quicker and more decisive to have the Obamacare bill struck down today (and would have saved the Church lots of legal bills moving forward), but the lawsuits that have been brought forth by colleges, dioceses, hospitals and others now take center stage.

Some might ask "if the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare's constitutionality today, what shot does the Church have in challenging its constitutionality?" A good question, but not to worry, because the Supreme Court today ruled that it is okay for the Federal Government to require people to buy health care, but our Catholic gripe has to do with HOW the Federal Government plans to implement the coverage - a topic not considered by the Supreme Court yet.

The HHS mandate that has Catholics so concerned will be a completely separate case, and I believe strongly that the Supreme Court will eventually rule in favor of the Catholic Church.

It is important to remember that the Church isn't even de facto opposed to universal health care, so in reality the Church really can be neutral on today's ruling. The reason it may feel like a defeat is because we already KNOW a gigantically disturbing aspect of HOW this particular Obama brand of universal health care WILL be implemented, and so in that sense, most Catholics would have liked to see the entire package struck dead.

But again, the protest that the Church has been making all along has not yet been considered by the Supreme Court, and there is certainly cause for much optimism that when it reaches the Supreme Court, the HHS Mandate which is at the heart of the Church's concern will be struck down decisively.

24 comments:

  1. If you look at what Christ taught, it is foolish to be truly neutral on whether or not universal healthcare is instituted. Christ did this Himself! "So I have done for you, you shall do for others." Christ provided His body, Blood, and Soul for the world. This is, literally, spiritual health care for the world. So to say that we should not follow His lead and provide care for all people, be it for body, mind, or soul (to be truly healthy requires being "fit" in all 3), is ludicrous. I am not saying that you are saying this, but I *am* saying that to be so neutral on such an important topic is not, in my perspective, ok (though I believe you have the right and responsibility to have and express your own opinion). "So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth" (Revelations 3:16). While the Church may not agree with some aspects of the HHS mandate, the Church (and all people of the nation) should support affordable, mandatory, effective health care for all.

    (You know, Jesus was basically the first socialist...read up on the start of His apostles and their commune. God struck one of the members dead in that chapter, if I remember correctly. I think it was in one of Paul's letters, though I cannot recall at this time. Little help, someone?)

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    1. What you are describing is in Acts and no, those people were not struck down dead for refusing to go communist, they were struck down for deception. No, Our Lord was not the first socialist. Please see the Holy Father's latest encyclical that deals with the episode from Acts and also levels sharp criticism at both capitalism and socialism.

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  2. SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE, PLEASE! KEEP YOUR RELIGION OUT OF POLITICS.

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    1. sure. Just keep your politics out of my first amendment protected (for now) religion

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    2. I say your church ought to pay taxes like everybody else has to. Remember in the Bible what Jesus said about people complaining they have to pay taxes to Cesar? He said specifically to give to Cesar what is Cesar's, but give to God what is God's.

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    3. You are absolutely right that we should give to Ceasar what is Caesar's, but Catholics also have a duty to witness to the truth, even when it is made illegal to do so. Since the state has a duty to protect the common good, they have an interest in leaving non-profits alone to contribute to the common good and even giving them a break from taxes. To say non-religious non-profits gets tax breaks, but not religious ones is plain bigotry. Also, I should point out that the prohibition for tax-exempt groups from politics is a). an IRS regulation, not law b). Applies to campaigning for a specific candidate, but policies are generally fair game and c). they could be ruled unconstitutional. So, if it is put to the test, there is at least a possibililty that Church's would be able to campaign for anyone and anything AND keep the tax break, so be careful what you wish for.

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    4. And you received your law degree from what particular law school Scott?

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    5. I don't have a law degree. However, I think I am correct and if incorrect, I would insist on a substantial reason why. It doesn't take a law degree to reasonablly conjecture that the IRS gets plenty of complaints about religious groups violating non-profit regulations. In fact I've heard several people tell me they contacted the IRS when a particular pasrish did something that gored their ox. To the best of my knowledge, the IRS acts on very few of them and the only one I explicitly remember is when one non-Catholic church's leaderships told the congregation explicitly to vote for a specific candidate. Basically, we've heard the "Pull church's tax-exempt status! That'll shut them up!" threat many times. Apparently this is supposed to scare us. It doesn't.

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  3. @Anonymous and @Anonymous

    You both support my position on the matter in your own unique ways. Yes Christ taught us to look out for the poor, ill, dying, the less fortunate. This is our duty as Christians. One that our Catholic hospitals already fulfill. However, it is not the duty of the Government to oversee that I fulfill my Christian duty. That is a dangerous slope, as Fr. Hollowell eluded to in his comment, that could allow the government to further erode our religious liberties one tiny bit at a time.

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  4. Melissa ScarlettJune 28, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    Exactly. Nicely said, Father. That is the problem, people want it their way and only their way and call that "fair"..to the extent of not being fair to the other side. Ridiculous. Besides, separation of church and state doesn't mean the government ignores religion. It means we all have the right in this country to worship freely with different values and the government recognizes that. They always have up to this Obama pres. What Obama has done has entered into that and is forcing religions to turn on their values using his position of power to mock the constitution. He is clearly UNconstitutional. AND religion aside. What is constitutional about forcing American's to buy healthcare. This affects me directly, I have the right NOT to buy it,. Now I'm forced to pay the government $2,000 a year for NOTHING. I've worked at an Insurance company for 4 months doing nothing but updating disclaimers for obama's administration. Believe me it's really scary. There is more to come. There is now a tax for tanning bed companies under this administration because they tell us it's dangerous for our health, so you will be taxed. Um. not American, sorry. This is communism. I'm very upset by Barack. This is a degradation to our country and it's going downhill fast.

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  5. "It is important to remember that the Church isn't even de facto opposed to universal health care"

    That is quite the understatement.

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  6. Father John is 100% on track. The Church has no desire to run government but the state has no right to force our core beliefs into another direction, according out Our Constitution.

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  7. Obamacare standing is still a blow to religious freedom. Millions of people will be forced into the state exchanges because employers will drop their employees insurance as the price continues to rise.( I'm one of them)
    Once individuals enter the exchanges millions of new tax dollars will flow into the hands of planned parenthood and other abortion providers. In Indiana this is prevented by law to not pay for abortions in our state, but our tax dollars(premiums) will be sent to other states to pay for abortions, there is no escaping it. Also individuals who earn less than 92,000 will get subsidies, so more tax dollars will be paying for abortions and other so called preventative health care. part of planned parenthoods new bushel basket of cash will go to spreading their propaganda, encouraging other forms of religious persecution, and driving our culture to be more secular.
    so yes the church supports universal health care, but obamacare is not universal health care. In summary the church won't support the 664 pages of rule making the hhs released last March. Under this rule making pph received its greatest gift ever. its deception is very well disguised, once again proving the saying, "nothing can deceive unless it resembles the truth".

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  8. Father,
    In two days my monthly insurance premium will be increasing to pay for contraceptive coverage. Does this mean I must cancel my coverage and go without insurance so I will not be cooperating in sin? Or, is paying my premium considered remote material cooperation with evil, and therefore morally permissible? Thanks in advance for your answer!

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    1. I think we will hear from the Bishops on your specific question soon enough.

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  9. It would be helpful if those criticizing this Act would cite the specific paragraph that is the subject of their criticism. At least that would provide some evidence that these critics have actually read the Act.

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    1. I was referring to section 1303. which I have read several times.

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  10. At least that would provide some evidence that these critics have actually read the Act.

    Many of us are opposed to the act in total as it is a violation of the principle of subsidiarity among other things. Commentary on specific objections has been offered in many places and available with a search. This is not really the place to re-visit all the arguments.

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  11. "sure. Just keep your politics out of my first amendment protected (for now) religion"

    then don't preach about your political views in the house of God. so sick of going to mass and only hearing about Obamacare. I deserve to go to mass and worship God, not hear about politics.

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    1. You are hearing about Obamacare at Mass because if it goes as currently planned by the President, you might not have a Church to go to!!!!

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  12. well then i guess i don't mind because priests like you make me want to leave the catholic church anyway.

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    1. Why does hearing the truth make people so angry? Your faith should guide all aspects of your life.

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    2. probably because i don't think it's the truth. i get angry because the catholic church is spending its time spewing hate. my faith is whatever i choose it to be. just because i believe in God doesn't mean that I can't support President Obama. Believing in God doesn't mean I can't be a democrat. It doesn't mean that either of us are wrong, or that either of us are right. What it DOES mean, to me at least, is that I don't have to force my religious beliefs onto everyone else, even in politics. Just because I think something is wrong does not mean that I have to make it illegal for everyone else or that I have to hate others for what they believe in. Jesus wants us to help the poor, not make them suffer any longer, and I believe President Obama is doing justice in this country.

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