Bishops say health care is ‘basic human right’

.- Adequate health care is a basic human right and the state should do more to ensure medical treatment for the poor, say the Catholic bishops of Kentucky.

"We, bishops of Kentucky, consider access to adequate health care to be a basic human right, necessary for the development and maintenance of life and for the ability of human beings to realize the fullness of their dignity," said Archbishop Thomas Kelly, chairman of the board of the Catholic Conference.

"The lack of access to affordable health care for so many children and adults in our country and in Kentucky is a structural injustice that harms people and undermines the common good," reads the statement, issued by the bishops.

The statement by the Catholic Conference of Kentucky notes a 2004 study, which indicates that 600,000 Kentuckians are without health insurance coverage, including 100,000 children.

The bishops make the recommendation that the Kentucky Children's Health Insurance Program and Medicaid, the joint state-federal program that provides health care services to the poor, should be improved to include preventive care, smoking cessation and substance abuse treatment.

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