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Is Archbishop Chaput Right?

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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.

Finances & Health Care

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E.J. Dionne has a great column today, filed in Australia, where that country’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, gives credit to both Presidents Bush and Obama for their actions in averting an economic collapse. The bailouts of the financial sector and the automobile industry, the stimulus package, and the quick passage of Bush’s final budget earlier in the year, averted what could easily have been a repeat of the Great Depression. Dionne correctly concludes that Obama will reap little political benefit from this great fact. “But because the cataclysm was avoided, this is an invisible achievement,” he writes.

Funding system of German Catholic Church challenged

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What makes this German Catholic church story interesting is that the state is actively involved in church affairs - collecting and distributing the money that funds the church's operating budgets, while here in the U.S. bishops demand that the state stay out of church affairs - unless of course dioceses get money from the state. Apparently, the German religion-based tax systems is fine for the Catholic bishops of Germany. Nonetheless, Dr. Zapp seems to be on the winning side of this debate - time will tell.

New delegation goes to Honduras

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A new delegation of North Americans concerned about human rights arrived in Honduras Aug. 18 for a week-long mission of solidarity and accompaniment. It’s needed. Grassroots organizations opposing the coup continue to demonstrate daily, and meet with government repression.

This new delegation includes Jean Stokan, director of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas’ Justice Team, Diane Guerin, RSM, justice coordinator for the Mid-Atlantic Sisters of Mercy; Edia Lopez, RSM, of the Caribbean, Central America and South America Mercy Community; and Marie Dennis, of the Maryknoll Washington office and co-president of Pax Christi International.

Amnesty International’s recent report on Honduras echoed the findings of the Quixote Center delegation in the past couple weeks, reporting serious violations of civil and human rights, particularly directed at those voicing opposition to the coup and calling for constitutional order to be restored. The new delegation, like previous ones, will document any violations and lend protection against further human rights abuses by providing an international presence and witness to events.

Watch the NCR Today blog for updates.

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July 4-17, 2014

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