Catholics Need To Be The "Game Changers" on Health Care
Reconciliation…The “Slaughter Solution”…Senate version…House version…Conference Committee…Whip Count…game changer. These are all words and phrases that only the Washington D.C. culture could use interchangeably in everyday conversation and lately they are all we hear when the punditry discusses politics and the health care reform legislation.
For most American Catholics, it probably seems like the first time you tried to understand the Latin Mass and thinking to yourself moving to English was a part of Vatican II you understood the logic behind. I am confident in American Catholics that if they sat down they would understand all of these versions of Washington-speak. The point is they should not have to be an expert in Congressional parliamentary gimmicks to know what is at stake in the health care bill.
American Catholics understand the issue at hand is simple. There are the non-negotiable issues in the health care legislation such as opposing federal funding for abortions and preserving the rights of the Church to operate based on its teachings.
Then there is the broader issue of health care reform. The over 20 million Catholics who, according to Gallup, regularly attend Mass know the fact stated by my colleague Deal Hudson when he recently wrote “Catholics need to realize there is no ‘Church’s view’ on the present health care bill, but there is a position being taken by the bishops’ conference. The Church teaching Catholics are obliged to consider comes in the form of moral principles that must be applied prudentially to the legislation under consideration. A majority of Americans do not support the current legislation. Even more Americans think the “reforms”, as proposed, will hurt the economy.
Washington will focus on the deal making and back room strategy sessions to manipulate the rules of Congress and the words of the Constitution even after any vote occurs. American Catholics should neither focus on what a cable show talking head thinks, what Bishops Conference officials are saying or not saying, nor the flawed stance of the Catholic Health Association. We need to focus instead on the basic fact Congress should not allow the federal government to fund abortion and take matters into our own hands.
On January 4, 2010, Catholic Advocate encouraged Congress and the President to start over on the health care legislation. We believe a more appropriate strategy to address the needed reforms would be to separate the legislation into individual, smaller portions. Pass the parts in a methodical and thoughtful manner instead of force feeding American Catholics a policy that in reality does not make sense for their families.
Catholics have a right and a duty to hold fire to the feet of our elected officials. If you are reading this and have also grown increasingly frustrated by politicians voting against your values, there is a very simple solution. Become a Catholic Advocate, ensure your voice is heard, and become the real game changer.
On Monday, March 15, 2010, the Budget Committee started the process to reach Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s goal of voting on the health care legislation later this week without the pro-life Stupak-Pitts language. During Monday’s consideration, pro-life members were unsuccessful in adding the House pro-life language into the Senate bill. The actions on Monday were purely procedural and another example of the majority party in Congress voting against life. One of the next steps will be Thursday when the House Rules Committee takes up the Senate bill.
Monday’s actions are just another example of why we have a duty to contact our Members of Congress and tell them to oppose the health care bill. There is a very simple way for the Catholic Advocate community to “Write Your Representative.” Step one select your state; Step two enter your zip code; Step three click on “contact my representative”. You will be taken to your Member of Congress’ website where you can find their phone number in Washington to call or a way to send them an e-mail. It is critically important for Catholics to be heard NOW at this critical moment as Congress is close to passing this major piece of pro-abortion legislation. We cannot let the labor unions and other pro-abortion lobby be the only pressure on Congress.
By Matt Smith, Catholic Advocate Vice President
Special Note from Catholic Advocate:
In addition to contacting your own representative, there are ten Catholic Members of Congress who might become critical votes and need to hear from our community.
- Representative Jerry Costello (D, IL-12)
- Representative Henry Cuellar (D, TX-28)
- Representative Kathy Dahlkemper (D, PA-03)
- Representative Joe Donnelly (D, IN-02)
- Representative Steve Driehaus (D, OH-01)
- Representative Brad Ellsworth (D, IN-08)
- Representative Marcy Kaptur (D, OH-09)
- Representative Dale Kildee (D, MI-05)
- Representative Dan Lipinski (D, IL-03)
- Representative Charlie Wilson (D, OH-06)