church-state issues with health care bill?

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by emilynghiem, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    I read the arguments in the state lawsuits mostly focus on the commerce clause, that Congress cannot overextend the regulation of interstate commerce to compel private citizens to purchase or participate in health insurance.

    My question is which groups or states are arguing about church-state issues concerning the bill, such as
    A. if federal funding is going toward companies that condone abortion (even if no money is going directly to abortion but is paid separately) can equal federal funding go toward a different option? such as medical proof of spiritual healing instead of stem cell research
    B. challenges to the limited restrictions of religious based exemptions (must be a member of a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in existence since 1999 where the members share medical expenses due to their religious beliefs) as unlawfully discriminating or regulating on the basis of religion and/or not protecting all individuals' diverse religious beliefs equally

    In general, does anyone else have a problem with the idea that
    A. on one hand, with Roe v. Wade, the federal government struck down the idea of laws criminalizing or penalizing the choice to have an abortion if people "don't believe" that life begins at conception and/or the unborn child has equal rights as a person under law
    B. on the other hand, the federal government would fine or possibly jail a person for choosing not to purchase health insurance, and thus does not recognize the right to believe in other options.

    Can anyone explain to me, preferably a fellow liberal pro-choice Democrat as I am, how the leaders of the Democratic party can justify criminalizing and penalizing someone's views against purchasing health insurance while demanding freedom to have abortion based on religious freedom. Can you please help me with any reasonable justification.
    I am having a moral dilemma with some of this bill, and trying to work out the reasons.
     
  2. Lonestar_logic
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    Lonestar_logic Republic of Texas

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    There is no reasonable justification.
     
  3. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Dear Lonestar: I'm still looking for some needle in the haystack to use as a positive focus.

    The only thing I can think of right now is that this may prove faith in God is required to accept and make sense of this error -- that only God has authority to issue self-contradictory orders through government leaders, for the "greater good" of teaching us not to depend on them solely or give them "divine unquestioned authority" but to retain the right to check and balance government, even to the point of not acknowledging laws or orders until these are corrected to reconcile with the civil laws they themselves contradict!

    So ironic that those who fight so hard to "separate church and state" are actually legislating their way into a forced integration of the two, since this legislation and its corrections cross and blur the line between mandatory funding and voluntary compliance. The immigration and prison issues also require collaboration between church and state resources in order to solve all related problems effectively. Health care reform is just a byproduct of addressing these other two areas that are otherwise wasting billions of dollars in human and physical resources on crime and corruption that could easily cover the cost of public education and health services instead.

    What a mess. It will take all parties working together nonstop with the same dedication and intensity they have been investing in fighting against each other. If Obama cannot clean up the corruption and waste from federal and corporate abuses, the US is hardly in a position to preach to Afghanistan and China -- not one party blaming the other for political gain, but all parties cleaning up the same mess we are all in together.

    Maybe the McCain/Prolife Democrats can still organize real change within the party that can cross over into collaborations across party lines, and quit the empty political posturing.

    Still looking for where the right connections can be made that rise above party politics. Like finding a tiny needle in a huge haystack that is breaking the camel's back.

    Where is it? Where both sides agree on funding housing and health care for vets instead of footing the bill for crime and corruption? Where is the silver lining on this 2,000 page cloud of corporate socialism. Where is the lesson to be learned and the statement to be made that all people will agree is the reason for this to pass?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  4. Lonestar_logic
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    Lonestar_logic Republic of Texas

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    I don't beleive in the separation of church and state the way some idiots perceive it. I believe in the real meaning which is separation of the Church from interference by the State. Not the other way around.
     
  5. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    In the case of healthcare the mandate is for the greater good of the whole society and is covered under the general welfare clause. It is similar to paying taxes or social security. In the case of abortion rights, it is individual freedom and the ability to lead one's personal life as one chooses. Politics is not always moral in the sense in which we would like it to be, and in those cases it is law that guides us.


    "The Court soon modified its holding in the Butler decision in Helvering v. Davis (1937). There, the Court sustained the old-age benefits provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935 and adopted an expansive view of the power of the federal government to tax and spend for the general welfare. In Helvering, the Court maintained that although Congress's power to tax and spend under the General Welfare clause was limited to general or national concerns, Congress itself could determine when spending constituted spending for the general welfare. To date, no legislation passed by Congress has ever been struck down because it did not serve the general welfare. Moreover, since congressional power to legislate under the Commerce clause has expanded the areas falling within Congress's enumerated powers, the General Welfare clause has decreased in importance." General Welfare Clause: Information from Answers.com



    "In the 1950s, about a million illegal abortions a year were performed in the U.S., and over a thousand women died each year as a result. Women who were victims of botched or unsanitary abortions came in desperation to hospital emergency wards, where some died of widespread abdominal infections. Many women who recovered from such infections found themselves sterile or chronically and painfully ill. The enormous emotional stress often lasted a long time."

    HISTORY OF ABORTION

    http://bostonreview.net/BR20.3/thomson.php
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2010
  6. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Thus, can it be argued that since this "mandatory" requirement to pay specifically for health insurance under federal guidelines PREVENTS people from exercising equal religious freedom to put that same money into FREE programs such as church run teaching hospitals or vet programs or FREE spiritual healing that serves more people, including populations left out of the bill.

    A. would this force the federal govt to recognize and allow funds to go into alternative church programs (instead of exemptions only for Amish or other certain 501(c)(3)
    B. if not, would it be a violation of religious freedom and equal protection from discrimination
     
  7. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    Don't you think paying for public health care is DIFFERENT from paying for insurance plans?
    Also, don't you think people should have equal freedom to fund charity hospitals or vet care that is more efficient and accountable than the state run systems? Why can't that be deducted or substituted for the health insurance mandate? Why is the exemption only limited to members of certain 501(c)(3) with certain beliefs or practices. Isn't that religious discrimination that fails to protect all people equally?

    A. For example, I believe in spiritual healing including research to prove this medically to make it accessible to more people. What if only people who believe in this want to fund the research or facilities to provide these free services to all people. Since these methods cut the costs of medications and surgeries (including curing people of addictions or disease instead of just treating chronic symptoms) shouldn't I have the right as a taxpayer to fund the most cost-effective methods instead of insurance plans that charge for coverage whether or not it is used. again paying for "insurance" is not the same as paying for services. Currently the bill only recognizes nonprofits in existence since 1999 that don't believe in social security or insurance but share expenses directly among their members; what about people who don't believe in purchasing insurance until we need it, but aren't affiliated with a nonprofit group, Is this FORCING us to join a qualifying religion in order to protect such beliefs in not buying insurance? Do you see why I have questions about this.

    B. RE: insurance, Do you think this analogy is fair or close enough
    1. currently the state not federal govt requires car insurance IF you own and drive a car.
    (again, the Amish would naturally be exempt because they ride buggies not cars)
    but what if you choose to ride a bike because of environment reasons, and aren't part of a religion that has this in their system of laws. can the govt still require that you purchase "car insurance" even if you do not want or need it while you are walking or riding a bike instead
    2. can the govt require you to buy insurance, not for yourself, but to cover the services of other people who cannot afford to pay for insurance (for sake of public benefit)?

    Can you see why I would question this?
    Why would I trust the insurance companies to charge more for reckless driving?
    Why can't I control which people I want to cover their health services for, such as vets, and not pay for criminals who shoot each other out and end up in the emergency room on the public tab. Why can't the states decide if restitution for crime should cover for that?

     
  8. saveliberty
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    saveliberty Diamond Member

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    emily, I think you are just trying to put a square peg in a round whole. You are a conservative in manys ways, not a liberal. What exactly maeks you feel your a liberal, if I may inquire?
     
  9. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist Supporting Member

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    I believe in isocracy or isonomy by the Constitution, which does not fit into any given category without stretching it beyond recognition. It's mostly that the community groups and neighborhood I work with tend to have connections or membership with the Democratic Party. Because the leadership I have seen there absolutely will not take corrections from opposing parties, the only way to implement change is to work within in support of the leaders and constituents. So I work with the given institutions for their sake.

    When I need to connect with conservative, Republican or Christian groups, the common values shared about the Constitution and Christianity are usually enough to work together; but with the liberal Democrats, the party affiliation is needed to have that same connection.

    So this is the best way I know to position myself where I can work with people equally.

    Here are some issues where I end up working more with the liberal/progressive Democrats and real green environmentalists and pink peace and black voters:

    1. I don't believe in the prolife politics of fighting against prochoice or making abortion illegal; I am against abortion but believe that prochoice is the constitutionally correct position and that the problems must be resolved and prevented within that framework. So although I sympathize and align with prolife and antiabortion advocates, I don't follow their politics and end up working with groups that do respect choice instead of protesting it.

    2. I believe there should be a system of reparations for the economic disparity from slavery and other civil rights violations especially where govt and corporations abused authority to disparage or destroy persons, property or community. So again I end up aligning with the proactive black community on this, who mostly are under the Democrats (the most proactive business and community leader in the historic Freedmen's Town district where I live is an independent Republican but the others all support the Democratic leadership so I work within the given framework and try to push reforms from there).

    3. I believe in correcting abuses and corruption including reparation to taxpayers (probably through microlending with bonds or notes issued against past debts and damages so the capital can be reinvested while the debts are being paid or worked off by wrongdoers). The damage in my neighborhood alone, mostly by Democratic corruption, has me focused on working within that party in order to fix the problems internally first.

    The idea of issuing local currency with microlending borrows from the Green/environmental community, where the Greens push for consensus-decision making within their own ranks and also rally against corporate personhood in ways that neither the Democrats or Republicans can since they depend on campaign financing from bigger interests.

    4. I believe in preventing war by focusing on peacemaking efforts and training in conflict resolution and multicultural outreach. Most of the people I work with, or find teaching in this area of peace and justice, are the same ones with the anti-death penalty and prison rights reform and other independent progressive and liberal outreach (I run into the same activists over and over through KPFT which is liberal leaning and one of the main means of organizing all the social justice outreach in Houston).

    Those are just a few areas.

    I don't find a lot of Democrats pushing for Constitutional education as with the Republicans, Libertarians and Constitutional Party members; but that is one reason I find myself working with the liberal Democrats is to draw that focus. Otherwise, most of the resources get directed to just lobbying for elected leaders and onesided legislation, instead of enforcing existing laws directly to create changes everywhere without depending on government to do it.

    In general, I sympathize more with the issues of the Democratic constituents (even though these are hijacked and abused by the actual politicians with the influence to get elected); but respect the independent approach of the Greens, Libertarians, and Constitutionalists.

    In trying to bring that approach into the Democratic ranks, the best way I know how in order to achieve these lofty goals of serving and representing all people without discrimination, is to work within that community and build relationships and programs based on those principles. It's a long haul, and the other progressives who think on this level working within the Democratic Party are just as frustrated and feel oppressed as I do. Those are the people I most align with. I have two friends in the Republican Party who also feel they are fighting an uphill battle, so I do all I can to support them as well.

    When the Democrats were protesting the war and lobbying against Bush, I tried to work with my liberal friends to redirect their anger and energy toward constructive peacemaking efforts instead of divisive politics. Now when the independent Republicans and Constitutionalists are protesting this bill, I am trying to organize support for alternatives funded voluntarily that can prove more effective than health insurance plans.

    In this case, it helps a lot that I am with the Democrats, because that shows it is not a partisan problem but something is wrong with the logistics and Constitutionality period.

    I would not join a Party for them to help ME because it doesn't, the solutions don't come from there. I joined the Democratic Party to help those members where they are divided from other groups that really need to work together to build programs that will liberate government, instead of depending on government to reform society which is backwards.

    I align with these members on concerns and focus, while I try to bring in solutions from groups they otherwise would not connect or collaborate with. If they don't build those bridges, and quit using support and resources for political positioning, they defeat their own purpose and come across as hypocrites hijacking votes without real representation. (Note: I totally support the efforts of the Millions More Movement to organize and effect change directly, and I did support Obama's SUPPORTERS but not him directly; I actually voted for McCain as the stronger Constitutionalist, and would have wanted Obama as Vice President to implement these social experiments in reform directly through volunteer outreach and mobilization that got him elected, instead of trying to use govt and legislation. Then after model programs are proven to work, the govt could adopt those or allow taxpayers to fund them and deduct from federal taxes and bureaucracy; and Obama could have run for President after he proves his vision and leadership work. I believe the country would have been more united on collaborative solutions between institutions instead of dividing over political power to be in charge of proposing changes through government without first proving what will work best.)

    Again the only way the internal corrections can be made are within, among peers. After that, then the external policy changes and programs would follow.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2010

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