What Government Controlled Healthcare Really Means

By Fr. David Mullen, MCFL Board of Directors

1) The End to Private Health Insurance. President Obama has made it abundantly clear over the last few years – the evidence is easy to find if you want to on the internet – that his goal is a “single-payer” system. The single-payer would be the Federal Government or some sort of “Co-op” controlled by the Fed. Regulations in the various bills now before the House and Senate would make it cheaper for many businesses to simply pay the tax penalty rather than continue with private health insurers for their employees. Private health insurance would wither on the vine for those who are not rich. It might even be made illegal eventually, simply because the government would not want there to be resources that would not be at their disposal. This means that many of those reading this article would lose their company-provided health insurance within a few years of the adoption of a GCHC – whether you want to or not.

2) More Abortions. Government Controlled Health Care (GCHC) means that all resources will be controlled and regulated through the single-payer principle. What the government will not pay for will not be able to be carried out. For those with problem pregnancies, you might be told that care for a handicapped child would not be paid for. This would drive many towards abortion, even if the government didn’t pay for that. But the reality is that those in control in Washington are so pro-abortion that GCHC will not be passed unless it covers abortion. This means that many will be pressured to have abortions and that your money will be used to pay for them.

What do you think that a couple will do if they are told that the tests show that they might have a Downs Syndrome child and that the GCHC will not pay for the care of such a child because it was preventable? And if they are told that the GCHC will pay for the abortion, what will they be pressured to do?

3) The End to the Catholic Hospital System. GCHC will want access to all resources so that they can be fairly distributed amongst all citizens – doesn’t that sound good? This means that Catholic Hospitals have to do their fair share. Doesn’t that also sound good? But that means that they are going to have to follow GCHC regulations. Notice what happened in Massachusetts with our new state health insurance mandate (the state makes us get insurance – because, apparently, we are their children): the Catholic hospitals, in order to participate in the program, are required to offer “full reproductive services”. This is the code for killing babies in the womb, among other things. This inevitably will become the national standard if GCHC is adopted. The argument will be made that if a Catholic hospital is unwilling to do abortions then it is not serving all of the population (because in the culture of death you “serve” the population by killing some of them). Catholic hospitals will not be allowed to “benefit” from the national system – which will be the only system – unless they are willing to do all of the work that is presented to them. Not doing abortions will be seen as “imposing Catholic morality” on others.

4) The End to Conscientious Objection. Why would the government hire you for the GCHC system if you are unwilling to do abortions and sterilizations, or give granny the exit pill she “needs” (see the article next week)? Why would Mcdonald's hire someone who was unwilling to work the fryolator? Catholic physicians and nurses would be a drag on the system. Even if you were tolerated for a while, the medical education system would only train those willing to give a full range of “services” (which means of course, killing people).

5) Rationing by a Federal Panel of “Experts”. One of the silliest questions in the Government Controlled Health Care (GCHC) debate is over whether there would be rationing or not. Everything that is bought or sold or traded in the world is rationed, hence GCHC will also be rationed. The only real question is the methodology of rationing.

Rationing for most things bought and sold in the world is through a free market or a quasi-free market. In the free market hundreds of millions of Americans, every day make decisions as to what car to buy, clothes to buy, computers to buy, food to buy, etc. Sometimes the government interferes with the free market. For example, taxes interfere with the free market, making some things artificially expensive. In health care, state mandates, various government regulations, generous compensatory and punitive court awards in court cases, and the actions of HMOs and insurance companies alter the cost of insurance, usually making it much more expensive. GCHC would take the free market out of health care completely, simply because a “single-payer” system means that the one who pays (the government) is the one who makes the decisions. No other non-governmental persons would have any decision-making power regarding the distribution of health care resources. This means you and me. The experts in the government panel(s) set up for this purpose would tell us what would be covered for whom, as well as when and where. You would have no recourse other than to sue the government. How many people do you know who have successfully sued the government?

If the government takes over health care it will have to limit the cost of the GCHC system because the Federal government is deeply in debt. Our deficit this year is 1.6 Trillion dollars, and the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are estimated to be close to 100 Trillion dollars. There is no money to spare. 

This brings up the question as to why anyone in Washington would want to take over health care, considering the dire financial condition of the nation. It is not to improve health care, it couldn’t possibly be. It is to centralize power in the Federal government. But as they centralize they will have to save money on health care costs.

The money would be saved mainly at the beginning and ending of life. This is simply because that it is at the beginning and end of life that most health care dollars are spent. This then means that there would be more pressure for abortion of children who have birth defects. (See # 2 above –last week.)

Most money would be saved at the end of life. This is because most health care dollars are spent in the weeks and months before a person dies. Most “savings” would have to be found then in limiting care at the end of life. Those who contend that this is not so are either not thinking, or they are lying to you. So you and I, under GCHC, would not be deciding whether or not to try such a treatment for grandma, rather the government would tell us what they will allow. It is quite obvious that this would mean the limiting of treatments that would lengthen the life of the elderly.

Remember: the government has no interest in lengthening the lives of retirees. They don’t produce anything, they simply take. (Yes, I know, they have given their all when they were working, but that was then and this is now. You have to start thinking like a government bureaucrat!) So if hospital stays are shorter, and if treatments likely to lengthen life are omitted, then the old person will die earlier and money will be saved. An extra bonus for the government is that a dead person does not take a social security check.