A strange quote from dotCommonweal on Northwest Iowa’s Bishop Walter Nickless:
The Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care … Any legislation that undermines the vitality of the private sector is suspect.
The private sector is, um, vital? Did I read that right? I did write “strange quote,” and I had to go to the bishop’s own page:
Therefore any legislation that undermines the viability of the private sector is suspect.
And the “kicker” to Bishop Nickless’s comment is buried in his commentary, near the end of his third point. “Viability” is somewhat different from “vitality.” I know Grant Gallicho picked this up from the NY Times, but you have to fact-check these things. It does those who engage the bishop no good to fumble his words.
That said, I have to say I’m not convinced Bishop Nickless has a bead on the situation. A simple question, the same one I’ve asked another bishop this past week, who also declined to answer despite a polite exchange of about ten e-mails, both ways:
(D)o you know if … insurance premiums (for lay employees in your diocese) will be raised, and if so, by how much?
And after I read this comment:
Preserving patient choice (through a flourishing private sector) is the only way to prevent a health care monopoly …
… I have another question: what choices are provided in the Diocese of Sioux City?