US Catholic Faith in Real Life

A different sort of health care/religion debate

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There's an interesting debate about religion and health care insurance reform that has nothing to do with abortion, sort of.

A small town NY paper is reporting that the Amish have an exception from purchasing health care. According to the Watertown Daily Times, the Amish "generally rely upon a community ethic that disdains government assistance. Families rely upon one another, and communities pitch in to help neighbors pay health care expenses."

The provision doesn't specify the Amish--you can't have a law directed at a specific group. So the commenters on the article (all anti-government health care) are saying that anyone could get an exception for "religious reasons" (or perhaps they'll all become Amish to avoid it). Could Catholics get a religious exemption because of abortion? 

The idea of pooling risk is diminished if nobody contributes.

We are working on a story on the spirituality of money, and one debate that came up is between the idea of not worrying about savings/retirement and trusting God completely (the woman who gave away the only two cents she had) and the idea that you should put money away in your 401k.

I admire the Amish greatly and would like to think that I could live without insurance and trust my neighbors to pay tens of thousands of dollars of bills I'd have should I get cancer or diabetes or get in an accident, but I think our society is no longer structured like that.

That's why we have insurance, and somebody has to pay for it. Setting aside the question of abortion, can any of us afford to opt out of insurance these days?