Kansas City bishops question centralized health-care system
September 02, 2009
Two American bishops from neighboring dioceses have joined in a public statement questioning the drive toward a single-payer national health-care system. The statement by Archbishop John Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, and Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, argues that any reform proposal should honor the principle of subsidiarity, giving individuals the greatest possible degree of freedom to design their own health-care plans. The statement also emphasizes the importance of a plan that respects the dignity of human life and protects the rights of individuals to avoid complicity in procedures that violate their consciences. While acknowledging the need for reforms, the Kansas City bishops raise serious questions about current proposals, saying:
Many of the proposals which have been promoted would diminish the protection of human life and dignity and shift our health care costs and delivery to a centralized government bureaucracy. Centralization carries the risk of a loss of personal responsibility, reduction in personalized care for the sick and an expanded bureaucracy that in the end leads to higher costs.
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- Joint Pastoral Statement on Principles of Catholic Social Teaching and Health Care Reform (Kansas City diocese)
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