BARACK OBAMA SAYS THE CATHOLIC WAY IS THE RIGHT WAY ON HEALTH INSURANCE
Presidential candidate Barack Obama has come out in agreement with the U.S. Catholic bishops on the important issue of health care coverage. Senator Obama agrees with the Church leaders that health care "should be a right for every American."
The Catholic bishops have called health care a "fundamental human right" and an "urgent national priority." The Catholic Church in the USA has supported universal health care longer than any other social actor, going back to 1919 -- before even the American Federation of Labor or the Socialist Party endorsed it.
Senator Obama's position is long standing. As an Illinois state senator, Obama introduced the “Bernardin Amendment,” which would have inserted language from a pastoral letter by the late Roman Catholic Cardinal Joseph Bernardin into a universal health care program. The amendment contained Cardinal Bernardin’s teaching: “Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and there is an obligation for society to ensure that every person is able to realize that right.” The bill, which did not pass, was to be funded with money taken from tobacco companies.
The Senator does not support a government run program like in the UK. His health care plan relies on economies of scale, based on large numbers of people choosing to enroll in the same kind of health insurance plan that covers the U.S. Congress if they are unhappy with their current coverage or don't have any. It leaves an importan trole for Catholic and other faith based health care providers.
McCain's plan is to tax employer sponsored health care and would result, in the opinion of many experts, with the end of broad insurance plans but with families paying most of their costs out of pocket. Dr. Patrick Whelan, a respected Catholic layman and leader of Catholic Democrats said "Sen. McCain's plan to tax employee health benefits just like all other income is a radical experiment that could result in an additional 20 million working people losing the health insurance they currently have."