Pope slams employers over health insurance

Strong message from Vatican as some employers are labelled as “true leeches”

There are many high profile commentators who have had their say on health insurance in recent years – but surely none will carry the weight of the words delivered by Pope Francis.

The leader of the Catholic church has hit out at employers who he believes are exploiting workers by offering only temporary contracts or failing to provide health insurance. In fact, he went as far as to describe them as “true leeches” who are living “on the bloodletting of the people they make slaves to work.”

In a report by the National Catholic Reporter, the Pope is quoted as stating that “you cannot serve God and wealth”, warning that one day the wealthy will “weep and wail” and their riches will rot away. He believes that while wealth can be good when used for good means, it can also be a “chain” pulling people away from Jesus.

To exemplify his point, he put forward a scenario in which an employee works from September to June without any chance of a pension or health insurance, commenting that this person “must eat air”. As such he issues a warning to employers, rephrasing the words of James and stating: “The blood of all the people that you have sucked dry ... is a cry to the Lord, a cry of justice. Exploitation of people today is a true slavery.”

Highlighting that nobody can take their wealth with them, the Pope mimicked an employer stating: “I will pay you this much, without vacation time, without health insurance, all under the table - but I will become rich!”

What do you make of the Pope’s comments in regards to people working without health insurance? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.