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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
February 4, 1994     The Message
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February 4, 1994

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The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana 3 ical insurance plan: Responsibility is shared B -IWRANALYsIS in jeopardy, the church -- have some re- Church as an employer and the accord with changing condi- YPAUL IL LEINGANG Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfin- sponsibility, too. requirements of Canon Law it- tieRs. Mossageeditor ger insisted that something The committee studied med- self require that the Church Committee members were had to be done about the reed- ical insurance practices at make some provision for also directed to work with the ISSue in the news ical insurance plan. He ap- parishes, schools and diocesan health-care in the compensa- following health care philoso- health care and pointed a committee to investi- facilities -- and found a multi- tieR of its employees, phy: to respect the patient- Who should pay gate options and make tude of approaches to the com- Church teaching in the provider relationship; promote much. recommendations, plicated problem. If the new United States is clear -- al- healthy lifestyles and wellness; an issue in the After months of meetings plan is to work, committee though the principle has not educate consumers of health , too. and long hours of dealing with members reasoned, parishes always led to immediate prac- care to make wise and in- program was the difficult questions, the pe- and schools and diocesan facili- tice. The U.S. bishops wrote a formed choices; provide tools 1950s for a cial committee made its recom- ties must allwork together, pastoral letter, "Health and for employees to help them- type of Church mendation and the bishop ac- Acknowledging that the pro- Health Care," in 1981. In it selves; provide for employee "lay teacher." cepted it. visions for insurance coverage they stated that health care is participation in the cost of and the The next steps are among have always varied in the past, "a basic human right," and health care. employees grew the hardest  explaining the the committee concluded that they called for the development Once again, the philosophy program contin- recommendation and putting it such wide variations need not of a national health insurance boils down to this: responsibil- With little diffi- into effect, continue into the future. A program, ity is shared by employers, by 1990s. The committee had strug- parish will retain its unique Church Law states that lay employees, and by all of the of causes gled with questions about in- character while working to- persons who work for the people of the Church who are Medical costs surance  about costs, cover- gether with other parishes -- Church have the obligation to served by those employers and program ages, and who should pay. In taking a common approach to a work "conscientiously, zeal- employees. and a the stormy sea of variables, common problem, ously, and diligently," and The plan recommended by Ln 1991. Premiums they anchored their plan on The committee began with a "they likewise have a right the committee forges a path and SOme employ- one thing certain: responsibil- list of five assumptions. They that their pension, social secu- that is difficult -- but possible. ity for medical care is a shared included Church law and rity and health benefits be It is a plan with firm footing aeIabership de- responsibility, moral teaching, the expecta- duly provided." (Canon 231) yet it is flexible in times of grew less Employers have a responsi- tieR of a national health care There will be national, change. It requires a great deal Such g in- bility -- that's Church teach- plan, the budgeting needs of universal health-care legisla- of money -- but its four-year corn- ing and it is also what some parishes and institutions, the tieR in the future that will be phase-in approach provides Want at least might call"the American expe- need for immediate action, and employment-based and require time to adjust. It is a long- to rience." Employees have a re- the need for a specific plan of some health-care provisions on range plan which addresses diocese sponsibility that's Church action, the part of employers, immediate needs. many  teaching, too. The "Church"  Following are the five as- All parishes and institu- Most significant of all, the raore than 700 all of us who somehow benefit sumptions as spelled out in the tieRs must begin to make the plan addresses not only the The low by church ministry or partici- committee report: budget adjustments required money, but also the morality. program pate somehow in the work of The responsibilities of the by changing health-care costs. In its approach toward a re- . Some immediate action is required to maintain the avail- sponsibility which everyone ability of medical insurance for shares, the Church of South- [rorapag e western Indiana bears witness 1 For an employee cur- costs. (In just two years, 1989- employers for the present and to the conviction that adequate rently insured in another 90 and 1990-91, the diocese the immediate future, health care is a basic human includes plan, the new diocesan plan paid insurance claims totaling A specific plan for funding right. By adopting this plan, may become more attractive, over $600,000 more than the the health-care benefits is needed to give direction to this the Church testifies that the $900 Options and choices are ex- premiums that were collected.) effort even if that plan needs to right to health care flows from employee in pected to be available. Premi- Within the Diocese of Evans- be adjusted with the changing the sanctity of human life and and $900 more ums will decrease over the ville are some 717 eligible em- climate of health-care in these the dignity that belongs to all Years, to next four years as the em- ployees, who are employed at times, human persons Who are made Year; ployer's assessment increases, parishes, schools, offices, bu- Committee members had in the image of God. irainate the For a parish, school, or reaus or other institutions in- quite a balancing act to per- era- other institution, the new volved in the work and min- form. They had to come up Committee members who of the plan means an extra cost of istry of the Church. with a long-range plan, while shaped the plan include the $900 this coming fiscal year for About 250 eligible employees protecting employees' immedi- following: Phil Bousley, Vin- e according each eligible employee. Large are enrolled in the diocesan ate insurance needs. They had cennes; Dennis Feldhaus, ealth care schools and parishes with large e fed- staffs will see the largest im- medical insurance plan. Corn- to come up with a specific plan Evansville; Dr. Richard Gries, pact on their budgets, mittee members say that a vi- in a rapidly changing environ- Haubstadt; Ellen Hegeman, Lge plan also For the diocesan ad- able plan would need at least ment of health care and its re- Evansville; Alan Hoffman, ministration, the plan pro- 70 percent of eligible employ- form. They had to make spe- Jasper; Father David Nunning, corn- cific budget recommendations St. Wendel Church, St. Wen- lea pack- vides stability as the Health ees (about 500) to be success- far into an unclear future, del; Mary Simpson, Evansville, Care Benefit Fund is increased ful. The new plan is to supply They had to come up with a and Father Jean Vogler, Holy care, and eventually provides the insurance for all eligible em- plan which could be changed in Rosary Church, Evansville. PPlicable to employee, means to meet health care ployeesin 1998. MILLER & MILLER ] is ordi-  "A family name you ar era- _ - _ can trust' }hours  424-9274 or more elTl- th "' se are ose e Parishes'or any  i FVANSVILLESERVICE AND SHOPPING GUIDE the Work i FOR THE BEST mIi,I ...,, ' Medical Arts PAUL'S PLUMBING SERVICE ]00UlmSr insured Pharmacy PHARMACY aSDUn COMMERCL (FREE ESTIMATES) Sales & Service in- 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Paul Mayer, Owner GRANT PLUMBING CO. TV & 2-Way FM continue Phone 477-1532 2107 W. Franklin St. may be Donald Gutzweiler 484 S GOVERNOR AT CANAL 1916 W. FRANKLIN STREET ]orig City-Wide Delivery 425-4364 Ph. 424-244,, 1 PHONE (812) 423-7849 i Plan will Duncan's Riverside Plaza Pharmacy Carpet Cleaning Herman Goebel Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Motor Co. 'rnploy. p,esc,,nt,on se,',,co Shopping Center SERVICE MASTER o. usED cA.S Drugs- Sundries - Cosmettc Fast Prescription Service Where the best deals are made start Magazines - "We Deliver" For Free Estimates Trade up o own Wore Corner Riverside and Governor Ken and Rebecca Hacker Bank Financing Yet Evansville 422-9981 853-7141 Call 428-0900 ,2(}1 w Delaware,, ,, , 4123-7759 s how era- Stratman's Pharmacy Oak Hill Pharmacy Evansville Wet Heat M & S details w i l lot a City-Wide Delivery Prescription Specialists & Piping Co. Inc. Equip.Fire &co.SafetYlnc. Plan which 413 Locust Street Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. New & Used Boilers, Furnaces " . and John and Judy Stratman LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. Repair & Replacemanl Over 25 years sales and 425-5293 425-4422 424.0991 800 E, Oregon service in the Tstate , 670 E. Franklin 424-3863 j , IIIII I I i i i