A few years ago, I helped write a book, How to Be a Christian in a Brave New World, about the bioethical challenges in the 21st century. Today, one of our foremost ethical challenges is how to accomplish health care reform in a way that respects most Americans' traditional religious values.

As a quadriplegic for the past 43 years, I have had more than my fair share of doctors' visits and medical treatments. I know the difference between good care and bad care, and I can tell when a physician has my best interests at heart. I am thankful that, for the most part, my doctors have always treated me as the individual I am rather than just another patient in a wheelchair.

For these reasons—my faith and my experience with medical care—I am very concerned about two specific items that currently exist in proposed health care legislation:
—Federal funding of abortions
—Rationing of care.

Proposals in the current House and Senate health care bills would set up a health insurance marketplace to benefit small businesses and people buying coverage on their own, with the promise of some subsidies to keep premiums affordable. The difference, however, is that the House bill would prohibit government-subsidized health plans from covering abortions, and the Senate bill would not.

Anyone watching the drama unfold in Washington this week knows that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to round up the votes to pass the Senate version of the bill through the House.

The House-approved version would prevent the American people from being forced to pay for abortions, and it closely follows existing law (the so-called Hyde Amendment) that prohibits most federal funding of abortions.

Another major concern I have is the $11 billion ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.