Not buying health pitch - Catholic Courier

Not buying health pitch

To the editor:

Father Richard McBrien continues his denigration of traditional Catholic teaching, substituting his own convoluted theology. Taking off his suit and tie and putting on his collar has fooled very few.

His contention that the health care bill will not fund abortions is based solely on the Hyde Amendment and a presidential executive order. He is a well educated and intelligent man. He knows well how baseless his arguments are, but is overcome by his support for abortion and other anti-Catholic positions.

The Hyde Amendment is not permanent law. It is not even a law unto itself. It is a rider that is attached to an annual appropriation bill. It must be approved each and every year and can be rejected at any time. It only applies to Department of HHS and only affects Medicaid, not all health systems funded by the federal government. The senate’s refusal to include similar language written by Rep Bart Stupak and his supporters is proof that the Hyde Amendment does not apply to the reform bill. They know very well that the Hyde Amendment by itself does not preclude funding by the new reform bill.

A promise by the President to issue an executive order to prevent abortion funding — many suspect other inducements were offered — was enough for Rep Stupak to give up his objection to the bill. An executive order is subject to the whims of one man and is therefore toothless, ineffective, unenforceable and changeable.

If Father McBrien is so against Catholic traditional teaching why doesn’t he do like the many other protesters in history and start his own protestant sect. He even objects to the positions taken by the liberal U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Shame on Notre Dame for employing him and shame on the Catholic Courier for publishing his column.

Paul Vitale

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