Health care reform in the United States has gone from heated debate to raging firestorm over the past couple of months. The smoke is drifting north of the border into our sister nation, Canada. During the discussions about what universal health care in the U.S. might look like, many have held up the Canadian system for praise as a good model or ridicule as a bad one. Either way, there always has been a lot of back and forth across the U.S.-Canadian border for medical treatments and medicines. Some are easier to get here or cheaper there, depending upon the one’s illness, insurance and personal needs or desires.
Many viewers of Salt + Light Television, Canada’s largest Catholic media operation, and an excellent one, and readers of The Catholic Register, a national Catholic Canadian newspaper based in Toronto, have wondered how Americans might view the “socialized medicine” available in Canada and if Canadian Catholics might help inform the U.S. debate in a helpful way.
Basilian Father Tom Rosica, a Scripture scholar, theologian and seminary professor, who happens to be president of Salt + Light, penned this piece on the health care debate in this week’s Catholic Register. In it, he reflects on the responsibility of all Christians to care for those in need, as well as for unborn children and the elderly.
Sometimes it helps to see how Catholics in other lands, especially our closest neighbor, see our important struggle and reflect upon their own decision to provide universal health care to their citizens.
(Father Rosica, also based in Toronto, was recently named by Pope Benedict XVI a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.)