To the editor:
The New York State Catholic Conference has published a document titled, "Statement of Core Principles Regarding Medicaid Reform." The document begins with "… it is only reasonable that one of the largest items in the state’s budget, Medicaid, be examined for savings …" then spends the better part of three pages detailing the items that should not be cut.
Implicit and explicit in these arguments is that Medicaid be maintained — indeed even expanded — for moral reasons. It seems to me a suspect moral calculus — particularly one claiming to be Roman Catholic — that defends and promotes the stealing of property. Medicaid is not charity. Money is confiscated from its rightful owners, taxpayers, with threat of force. At least three of the Ten Commandments (7, 9, 10) decry theft in one form or another. Helping one’s neighbors is certainly laudable and what we are called to do. But using the legislative process to forcibly take property from its rightful owners is in my view immoral, in addition to being of very questionable economic efficacy. The fact that you can get a majority vote for it in a legislature makes it no less theft. Are we to believe the ends justify the means?
At one point the paper exclaims "More than $45 million in state and local taxpayer dollars are spent each year on induced abortions through the Medicaid program." If you make a deal with the devil you should not be surprised when things go badly.
Amazingly, near the end of the document is this statement: "No person or institution should be compelled by law to participate in actions which violate fundamental religious and moral beliefs or mission statements."
I could not possibly have summed it up better; I only wish the previous three pages of the document followed this reasoning.