Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Amish Exempt From HCR? Conservatives Say Unfair!

Hilarious! Raymond Arroyo writes at Laura Ingraham's site that it's just not fair that Amish and Old Order Mennonites are exempted from the health care mandate - but the rest of the religious groups in the country aren't!

The exemption of Amish and Old Order Mennonites is not confirmed. But it should be included: theirs is a long-standing objection to insurance of any kind and applies to health and home insurance (they don't have cars). They take care of their own community's needs by pooling money to meet health care needs of members. I wrote about this yesterday.

UPDATE: Malkin's saying it too! Nice. Wingers envying the Amish. Let them all adopt the Anabaptist faith and politics, give up their cars, wear bonnets, and drop out of politics! Anabaptists don't pay taxes because they don't use them.

The fact that Arroyo wants to exempt Catholics and, well, that new religion, teabaggers, from the mandates is silly. I don't at all agree with the way the new bill is shaping up - it severely damages women and it's a blatant give-away to the insurance company - but simply disagreeing with a bill doesn't mean you can adopt a new religious policy against insurance.

Both the Senate and House Health Care bills have one religious conscience clause. Unfortunately it only applies to the Amish and a few other religious sects. According to the Watertown Daily Times, the exception would allow the Amish to avoid the health insurance mandate and a fine should they refuse to carry health insurance.

So get this straight: the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and possibly Christian Scientists can opt out of the health care plan, with no penalty, while Catholics and other Christians are bound to pay premiums that fund abortion. How is that fair? Hundreds of Christian, pro-life hospitals, doctors and nurses may soon be forced to violate their consciences and offer or perform procedures they consider morally objectionable.

The Congress could care less. If the pro-life community fails to demand conscience clause protections, and loudly, they could find themselves morally compromised by this new health care regime. Even the leading voice for conscience clauses, the US Catholic bishops, have been muted in recent days, preferring to convey their desires via letters and statements issued by their Conference.

Now is the time for a full throated, public discussion of this critical issue. The ethical future of health care is being negotiated now in the back rooms of Capitol Hill. Of course if everyone would rather focus on Harry Reid's comments, I suppose there is the option of riding a horse and buggy to work. Though some Catholic doctors I know will look pretty silly in those straw hats. Let me know what you think at raymond@raymondarroyo.com

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