In 2005 the Catholic Medical Association (CMA) published a proposal to renew medical healthcare in America. Although the recommendations made are still applicable today, since then many of the principles in that proposal were not implemented in the passage of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The implementation of PPACA was not able to achieve two of its main goals: universal healthcare access and affordability. In addition, many unethical procedures have been mandated against the consciences of many physicians and have led to harm for many patients. The failure of PPACA has led to an effort to propose a single payer government controlled system that the CMA does not support as it will likely aggravate the dysfunctions in PPACA.
The CMA convened a healthcare forum in 2016 to update the initial recommendations for the Catholic based principles and include policy solutions based on Catholic Social Teaching. The pillars of the Christ-centered Catholic medicine include subsidiarity, solidarity, the sanctity of human life, and virtue. The floor is justice, the space is lit with charity, and altogether these give rise to the common good.
With the passage of proposition 106 in the ballot process this year in our own state of Colorado, the dangers to patients and families have increased. As physicians and healthcare professionals, we must work together in solidarity to reverse this culture of death with alternate proposals and opposition wherever and whenever possible. Our local guild will be comprehensively discussing healthcare reform and renewal starting with the retreat and conference in March. The conversation for reform will continue at the national CMA Conference on marriage and family in Denver in September. The most recent Linacre Quarterly in November 2016 was devoted to this subject and will serve as the basis for developing Catholic solutions to our healthcare system.