Archbishop Chaput counsels patience in the health care reform effort and no one can deny that patience is a virtue. But, there are nonetheless many difficulties with his statement that jump off the page.
First, he quotes from a moving testimonial from a couple with a Down’s Syndrome child. The mother says she is worried about the “public option” and what that might mean for her child: Would the government see the same value in the expensive treatments for her child that he pediatrician sees? But, that is the wrong question. The pediatrician doesn’t pay for the child’s health care, the family’s insurance company does. So, the proximate analogy is a different one: Would the government see the same value in the expensive treatments as the health insurance company does? This is easy. A federal plan will not have profit as a motive. The insurance company does not place those expensive treatments on the plus-side of its ledger.