Kentucky Prepares To Turn its Largest Hospital Over to Religious Fanatics
Kentucky is about to turn its largest public hospital over to a bunch of women-hating, poor-people-exploiting, child-rapist-protecting, anti-Democratic, un-American clerics who will let people die rather than obey the law.
(Kentucky Governor Steve) Beshear said he wants to make a decision “by the end of the year.”
“I think the merger partners have requested that I do that because they’ve got some … legal issues with bonds and different things that if they get to move ahead they need to do so by Dec. 31,” Beshear said. “So I think I owe it to them. I think we’ve spent the time we need to spend, and gathered the information we need to gather, and I’ve got to sit down once I get the attorney general’s report — either this afternoon or tomorrow — and make a decision.”
The merger would unite University Hospital with Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System in Lexington, which is owned by Denver-based Catholic Health Initiatives.
CHI follows Catholic health directives, and University Hospital has agreed not to perform certain procedures, such as sterilizations — prompting concern by many area residents and leaders.
"Concerns" is a gross understatement. Terror and fury are the appropriate responses.
As I wrote in September and November, this merger will simply kill the public hospital, eliminate all services not approved by His Popey-Rapeyness, and leave Louisville's 99 Percenters at the mercy of the Big Pharma profiteers who run the private hospitals.
Religion and health care don't mix. Never have. Never will.
Ed Kilgore recommends Peter Laarman's top ten list of ignored stories in the world of religion. I can't say I really understand why I should care that Southern Baptists are apparently becoming more Calvinist (#3 on the list), but even so, this is more interesting than, say, the top ten celeb fashions of 2011 or the top ten Republican hostage taking incidents. And this one certainly deserves a bigger spotlight:6. Upside-Down Ideas About Religious Liberty
The dramatic new push for religious liberty exemptions for faith-connected providers of taxpayer-supported health services underscores the radical way in which understandings of religious liberty have changed in recent years. It's not that the push for exemptions hasn't made the news; it's that no one is writing (at least in the MSM) about the radical nature of the shift. In the past, the social service arms of religious bodies understood that if they wanted public money they would need to honor public law regarding the disposition of the money: i.e., provide the full range of mandated services on a universal basis. We used to say to objectors, “If you don’t like the mandate, don’t take the money.”
Apparently such a commonsensical response is now insufficiently deferential to religion. More and more people seem willing to say that if a Catholic health care provider doesn’t “believe” in providing reproductive health care to women, that private belief can trump public law. This is a particularly thorny problem because of the many regional health care system mergers involving Catholic partners: there are now many places in the country where, if a dominant provider that toes the bishops’ line won’t provide the service, area women will be out of luck and deprived of benefits they are entitled to receive by law. Does anyone defer to them? Afraid not.
I'm not sure I'd say this has been entirely ignored in the mainstream media, but it certainly gets less attention than it has at some times in the past, despite the fact that it's a problem that's continued to grow and continued to expand. A decade ago it was mostly restricted to abortion services, but since then its tentacles have spread to just about anything that religious conservative simply don't like very much. It's also one of those things that can be strongly influenced by executive orders, which means it depends a lot on who happens to be president. Just another reason to care about what happens next November.
The only gleam of hope in this looming catastrophe is that the University of Kentucky's hospital in Lexington will get a good, up-close look at what happens when you sell out the public commonweal, and shred any nascent merger plans of its own.