Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nuns v. Bishops on health care
Tom Smith

Ugh.  I think the Bishops have a far more realistic view of how the law if enacted is likely to play out. And suppose it turns out federal money does end up going to fund abortions when we were assured it would not?  Will anybody who made those assurances have to pay any sort of price?  I don't theeenk so. So if you say, Amalgamated Tarsands Inc. will have a great quarter and it doesn't, the plaintiffs' lawyers will skin you alive, but if you say, we won't use your money  to pay for abortions and you do, well, that's just dandy.  I find this rather disappointing.  You would think it would deserve at least a sharp rap on the knuckles, which really hurts, I can tell you. 

I have not seen anybody mention what institutional interests Catholic hospitals and the religious orders that own them may have in ObamaCare.  I'm guessing, a lot.  One might even say, Budgets Before Babies!  That is, I'm guessing Catholic hospitals will lose less treating the currently uninsured under ObamaCare than they do now. And who knows what else is buried in those 2000+ pages.  Mind you, that's just a guess by old cynic, well, maybe not old, but in his prime.  Meanwhile, the Bishops are not directly responsible for hospitals owned and managed by religious orders, which for you non- or not well informed Catholics out there, are usually quite independent of the dioceses in which they are located. The Bishops are accountable up the hierarchy to Rome, which is very pro-life, and down the hierarchy to their congregations, which are generally pretty pro-life too.  The religious orders are not very accountable to anybody, which is why the Vatican is trying presently to get some kind of grip on them, since some of them have gotten rather let us say out there when it comes to religious orthodoxy.  The problem is, nominally pro-life Catholic legislators may take the jumping nuns (if I may term them that) as doctrinal and legal authority that the Senate bill presents no danger of reversing the Hyde amendment policy.  In truth, it is nothing of the kind, but it may work very well for your average Catholic voter in Ohio or upstate New York, for whom a hospital sister is the very picture of good Catholicism.

On a related point, NPR as one would expect gave the Catholic hospitals coming out for ObamaCare fulsome coverage yesterday, and interviewed Professor Timothy Jost of Washington & Lee law school on the issue of whether the Senate bill was consistent with the Hyde amendment.  Guess what!  It is!! I was so shocked I just about drove off the I-8.  The Professor took the view that it is consistent, no problem at all, and that the Bishops are a bunch of worry warts, but representing the Bishops' POV on NPR was none other than . . . nobody!  That's NPR for you, I suppose.  Give a quick look at position A and B and then have a long discussion with an expert who takes position A, which fortunately is that of truth and light. The bishops' response to Jost's analysis is here.  Oddly, nobody made these points in the NPR story.  I think a good question for the professor would have been, where do you stand on the abortion issue?  We know where the bishops stand.  If you were trying to decide whether to take his analysis of the legislation seriously, wouldn't you want to know that?  I don't know and am curious.

Well, I guess those poor children are now less likely to get born and if they do manage to get born, they're less likely to get vouchers to go to a decent school.  Presumably because African-American children trapped in schools that are just utterly beyond shitty are less important than sucking up to the teachers unions, even when they are full of teachers who cannot teach.  Those darn Democrats.  They are just so filled with compassion for the less fortunate and overall goodness, they make me ashamed not to be one of them.  Just kidding, Sister.

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Tom Smith


Actually, most Catholic hospitals no longer are affiliated with religious orders. They are owned by very large corporations. Such as Trinity Health.

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I don't think you meant "fulsome."

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