Like his fellow conservative delegates
from Louisiana, one U.S. Representative has vowed not to support Obama's health
care overhaul. But Representative Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-New Orleans) says that his
primary motivation stems from a desire to preserve his own soul from the danger
of participating in the destruction of "thousands of innocent lives" that are
threatened by the vast expansion of abortion embedded in the bill.
"At the end of the day if the health care reform bill does not have strong
language prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortion, then the bill is
really a no-go for me," Cao, the first Vietnamese-American Congressman and a
Catholic, told the Times-Picayune this weekend.
Cao once studied to become a Jesuit priest before turning to a career in
politics. "Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice,"
Cao said. "I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to
health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow
the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives."
"I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of
my political career," he continued, "but I have to live with myself, and I
always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, 'How does it profit a man's
life to gain the world but to lose his soul.'"
The abortion mandate may not be the only thing preventing Cao's support for the
bill: he also told the newspaper that he is wary of the formation of a public
health insurance option, which Cao believes could end up crippling the private
insurance market and facilitating a "government takeover" of health insurance.