Friday, December 17, 2010

Spirit & Life Newsletter:

Stopping Socialized Medicine 

Around the world we are engaged in a fight against the totalitarian tendencies of contemporary democracies that stifle the most basic human rights given to man by our Creator. So we have to celebrate the courageous ruling of Judge Henry E. Hudson handed down on Monday December 13thdeclaring that a pivotal section of the national health care reform law is unconstitutional. The case was brought by the Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, challenging the constitutionality of the law's mandate requiring individual citizens to purchase health insurance. It is important to see how theMinimum Essential Coverage Provision is the linchpin which provides financial viability to the other critical elements of the overall regulatory scheme.     

In Judge Hudson's ruling there is a fundamental question of principle. Political society does not have the right to force any inhabitant of the land to purchase a given product or service, nor to compel any person or community to enter against their will into the stream of commerce. The requirement to purchase a service which is contained in the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision is an affront to natural freedom because every inhabitant of the land has the right to freely acquire the moral products or services that in his own judgment better serve his needs or legitimate interests, or to refuse to purchase them. It is also true that if it does not damage his family or inhibit his personal duties, a person can choose to abstain from participating in private commerce, as in the case of members of religious communities. A society can forbid the acquisition of a given product or service because it is evil in itself, or if it can be an instrument for evil, but the state should not force any person to buy a given product. To determine when a given product can serve as an instrument of evil is a complex question, but it should be noted that any society has the right to place barriers in international trade if it necessary to protect the legitimate livelihood of its citizens or to prevent an evil society from gaining economic resources. Also it is perfectly legitimate that citizens might organize themselves to refuse to purchase products from a manufacturer know for selling immoral products or giving contributions to immoral organizations. This is an option that is part of the liberty of commerce.

Also it should be considered that the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision might become a hidden form of taxation. One of the roads that lead towards the socialist state is excessive taxation that in the end becomes confiscatory of private property, and worse, of the hard labor of citizens. Excessive taxation robs the citizens of the fruits of their labor. So we have to resist with all possible legal and moral means the confiscatory taxation of many contemporary governments. Obviously to reduce taxation we have to put an end to the wasteful and immoral expenditures of contemporary governments. 

With a fine sense of irony Judge Hudson points out that, "Despite the laudable intentions of Congress in enacting a comprehensive and transformative health care regime, the legislative process must still operate within constitutional bounds. Salutary goals and creative drafting have never been sufficient to offset an absence of enumerated powers."

A government has only the enumerated powers given to it by society, acting in conformity with natural law and Revelation. This principle is clearly codified in article I, section 8 of the Constitution that confers unto Congress only the specific and enumerated powers described in the foundational charter. Any expansion of those powers in unilateral form by the government is a step upon the dangerous road towards tyranny. As Judge Hudson points out, "If allowed to stand as a tax, the Minimal Essential Coverage Provision would be the only tax in U.S. history to be levied directly on individuals for their failure to affirmatively engage in activity mandated by the government not specifically delineated in the Constitution." This judicial statement places a barrier to the constant legal engineering of the Constitution that this country has been suffering for many years.

We have to keep in mind that these legal maneuvers have the purpose of transforming the constitution into an instrument of social change. These changes in the interpretation of the Constitution make it an instrument for the establishment of an unnatural regime that is contrary to the vision of the framers of the Constitution. This is a type of regime that through the constant growth of the power of the government reduces the rights of the states and erodes the space of freedom of the individual members of society. This erosion creates a clear risk that in the future the government might assault the free exercise of the religion, just as it has been constantly assaulting the rights of the unborn and the rights of families for many decades. As the Judge rightly notes, "The unchecked expansion of congressional power to limits suggested by the Minimal Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers."

We have to understand well that the National Health Care Reform contained in the Affordable Care Act is evil not only because it allows and abets immoral procedures like abortion, but because it is a step towards the establishment of a totalitarian state. A state that will not only allow, but impose all sort of immoral actions like abortion and marriage between persons of the same sex and will launch a persecution against Christians. These actions by totalitarian "democracies" will be a consequence of the materialist ideology that is at their core. 


This legal decision shows also the value of prayer. On the day that the Court heard oral arguments in this case, October 18th, the day of the feast of St. Luke the Evangelist, Fr. Frank Papa the chaplain of HLI offered Mass for this intention. His prayers were no doubt united with the prayers of many good Christians all over the United States of America.

At the same time that we oppose any form of socialism we have to assure that all human persons have access to medical care. As Benedict XVIrecently taught, "Health is a precious good for the person and the community to be promoted, preserved and protected, dedicating the necessary means, resources and energy in order that more and more people may benefit from it. ... It is necessary to work with greater commitment at all levels to ensure that the right to health care is rendered effective by furthering access to basic health care." (Message of Benedict XVI, to the participants in the 25thInternational Conference of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, November 15th 2010

)  Later in this same document he denounced the "reproductive health' mindset that takes recourse "to artificial techniques of procreation that entail the destruction of embryos, or with legalized euthanasia."

It is not easy to establish a health system that on the one hand prevents socialism and state ownership of the health care system, and on the other hand provides all human persons basic health care. Here we have a challenge for human creativity. This human creativity should be rooted in natural law and in Revelation, but at the same time should be capable of properly utilizing morally good technology.  

Sincerely yours in Christ, 

Monsignor Ignacio Barreiro-Car√°mbula
Interim President, Human Life International