Saturday, February 25, 2012

Argument for Single-Payer

The recent furor over the details of medical coverage provided by religious institutions just provides another reason to have single-payer health care.  Equal protection under the constitution means that government-mandated insurance coverage should apply to all workers, even those employed by religious institutions.  Just because someone sweeps the floors in a church for a wage instead of the floors of a bank doesn't mean they should have to give up constitutional protections.  Religions have a right to invite anyone to adhere to their particular rules of sexual behavior, but by virtue of paying someone a wage they should be required to provide the same minimum level of health care coverage that any other employer is required to provide.  If a church objects to its premiums being used to supply birth control, the onus is on them to persuade their work force by moral argument not to use it.  But a church employee should have the at least the same minimumly-mandated health care choices that a factory worker has.

When churches want to opt out of health care options that other employers are required to provide, it makes a case for getting the employers out of the health care business.  If there were a single-payer system that was supported by a universal tax, the churches wouldn't have to worry about having their name on a check to Planned Parenthood for some birth control.

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