Everyone is speculating on how the Supreme Court will rule on President Barack Obama's health care legislation, which goes a long way to insuring about 50 million Americans who don't have health insurance.
I could be surprised, but my fear is that the court will strike it down despite historical precedents for the federal government to regulate activity that affects interstate commerce -- in this case, health insurance.
I'm not a constitutional scholar and so won't argue the constitutional issues around the health care law; however, it seems to me that there have been many other efforts over the years by the federal government to regulate economic activity, such as labor laws, social security, Medicare, discrimination in housing, etc. I don't see how regulating health care, especially by attempting to make it more feasible for uninsured Americans to acquire private health insurance, is any different.
What's wrong with trying to help our fellow Americans have a better life and more security when it comes to illnesses or to helping those who have been denied insurance because of preexisting health conditions? Did Jesus ask for proof of insurance when he cured the sick?
To me, the health care issue is also a moral issue: How can we stand by when many of our fellow citizens and fellow Catholics suffer because of lack of health care coverage? Where is our compassion? I was struck to recently learn that six of the current Supreme Court justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, are Catholic. How can some of them put aside their Catholic training based on the Jesus model of helping the poor and the sick by striking down legislation done in this spirit? Where is their Catholic conscience?
Looking for comments?
We've suspended comments on NCRonline.org for a while. If you missed that announcement, learn more about our decision here.