Friday, August 7, 2009

Obamacare and Subsidiarity

Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete (born January 7, 1941), a Roman Catholic priest, is an American theologian, scientist and author. A New York Times Magazine contributor, Albacete is one of the leaders in the United States for the international Catholic movement Communion and Liberation. He is the Chairman of the Board of Advisors of Crossroads Cultural Center.

Interesting article by Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete, regarding the subject of "Subsidiarity", out of via

Subsidiarity, a principle that lies at the heart of Catholic social teaching, holds that decisions about social issues should be made at the most local level of society possible. So how does Obama’s plan conflict with this? By seeking to intrude the federal government into intensely personal health-care decisions regarding matters like abortion and euthanasia, according to Msgr. Albacete.

Comments Msgr. Albacete,

I think the problem is that the American people almost instinctively feel a threat to one of the most important, defining values of American nationhood, namely the value of subsidiarity. I think it is the President whose background lack of experience of the value of subsidiarity makes it difficult to him to understand the dangers almost instinctively experienced by the majority of the people.
The fact is that the American people pay more to get less health care security than any other industrialized nation in the world. I think most Americans understand this. Most Americans understand that there is need for reform of their present system. The question the ask is: at what cost?
The problem is that the question about cost is being described purely in economic terms by Obama and his advisors. And indeed, the question about economic cost is an important one. The people are afraid that the way of dealing with this concern proposed by the President is simply too risky and it may even worsen the economic health of the country. I think though that the economic risk is however not the one that most concern the majority of Americans.
Perhaps one example will clarify the issue. Part of the proposed cost-cutting measures in the proposals that the President will accept proposes that the Federal government will pay for a doctor-patient discussion about the possibility of what is, frankly, assisted suicide. The Administration insists that the final choice about refusing treatment will always be that of the patient and that the Federal government will respect the patient’s choice. Still, consideration of the possibility of choosing assisted suicide will be paid for by the government as a cost-cutting possibility, and this simply scares those for whom the pro-life issue is crucial. Others see it as opening the door to the Federal government’s intrusion in to what should remain a private, intensively personal issue.


1 comment:

Gabriella said...

Monsignor Albacete is certainly very clear in what he writes but I don't think our secular world can be stopped in proceeding along its own wrong road.
True we Catholics are afraid but we have the Church and our Holy Father as an anchor - thank God! And we know that in the end the Church will triumph so we can only pray, pray, pray!