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John O’Callaghan of Notre Dame writes this in response to John Breen’s claim about the Church’s proper response to the HHS mandate. A Thomist philosopher’s take on the matter:

But with the involvement of the state comes the coercive power of the state.  And so there are at least two problems with the position that the very meaning of ‘health’ and ‘healthcare’ are subjective determinations of the autonomy of private individuals.  The first is semantic and bears upon coherence.  If the meaning of “health” and “healthcare” really are subjective determinations of the autonomy of private individuals, the state in mandating any sort of legislation concerning “healthcare” is quite literally legislating nothing.  Any apparent law involving the terms “health” and “healthcare” are really schema with place markers or variables in them like “X” and “Y”, which of course means that they are not laws at all.  Thus the incoherence—the law is not a law. And this brings me to the second problem with the position, the moral or political.

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