I know we've been quiet here on Of Sound Mind and Spirit about the passage of the Health Care bill. Since everyone is covering it from one side or another, what is left to say?
For Pro-life advocates, the passage is gut wrenching. While I recognize that Bart Stupak, Democrat "pro-life" Congressman from Michigan, said he would vote for the Health Care bill even with tax payer funded abortion in it, never did I imagine he would hold out for so long only to give in for a worthless piece of paper and $700,000 for his local airport. The Executive Order President Obama signed this week with no press allowed states the intent to continue the Hyde Amendment ensuring no federal funds may be used for elective abortions under the new Health Care bill. But an Executive Order does not prevail when in direct contradiction with a federal statute. If the legislative language in the Health Care bill is held to include abortion funding, which most believe it does, the statute will prevail, not the Executive Order. In addition, an Executive Order exists at the whim of the current President. It may be changed or reversed at any time by the current or any future President.
For Catholics, watching 2/3 of the Catholics in Congress vote for this bill after our Bishops have taken a public and principled stand against it and repeatedly stressed the numerous problems with the bill was disheartening to say the least. But then to watch members of our religious, like Sister Carol Keehan actively lobby in support of the bill, work against the Bishops, and confuse Catholics was unconscionable. Her appearance of Catholic support lent such an influence on the passage of the bill that she was present at the bill signing and received one of the pens the President used to sign the final Health Care bill. As Catholics, this is a sign that we must work harder to get our own house in order.
For those believing in the principles of our founding - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness paired with limited government - this bill is an abomination. It grows the federal government exponentially and gives them inherent control over 1/6 of the American economy. For the first time in American history, the federal government is forcing all Americans to purchase a product or face a government enforced penalty.
For those who believe that our government should exercise fiscal responsibility or restraint, there are numerous problems with the funding and counting of costs in this Health Care bill. As it stands now, taxes will be increased on all Americans by 1/2 a TRILLION dollars to pay for this monstrosity of a bill, including on those Americans who make under $250,000/year who the President said he would not tax. And ask yourself, when has a government entitlement ever come in close to their projection numbers? Everyone knows that they don't. They continue to expand and grow while taxes are raised and benefits are cut to pay for it.
With our federal government already on the edge of bankruptcy and with the federal debt projected to rise to 90% of the GDP over the next 10 years and so many Americans out of work, should this bill have been the top priority of the Congress and President? How does this Health Care bill, with taxes that begin in July of this year while the majority of benefits don't begin until 2014, help the American people? Now that Congress and the President have passed this historic legislation against the will of the American people, the word on Capitol Hill is that they are now focusing not on jobs or the economy, but on taxing more Americans and businesses to save the planet from the fallacy of global warming.