Loading
Health care legislation needs ‘essential changes,’ bishops say
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- The U.S. Catholic bishops have said that the proposed health care bill is “deficient” and needs “essential changes” because it lacks longstanding federal restrictions on abortion funding, hinders immigrants’ access to health care, and falls short of total coverage.Congress and the Obama Administration should create legislation that “truly protects the life, dignity, health and consciences of all,” wrote Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop of Rockville Centre William Murphy and Bishop of Salt Lake City John Wester in a Dec. 22 letter to members of the Senate.

Writing before the Senate’s Christmas Eve vote that approved the proposed legislation, the bishops lamented that the Senate version of the bill lacks the U.S. House version’s restrictions on abortion funding and Hyde Amendment restrictions found in other federal bills.

In the Senate health care legislation, the bishops said, federal funds will “help subsidize, and in some cases a federal agency will facilitate and promote, health plans that cover elective abortion.”

“All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions in a very direct and explicit way, through a separate premium payment designed solely to pay for abortion. There is no provision for individuals to opt out of this abortion payment in federally subsidized plans, so people will be required by law to pay for other people’s abortions,” they added.

The letter cited a Dec. 22 Quinnipiac University survey which reported that 72 percent of Americans oppose public funding of abortion in health care legislation.

According to the bishops, the Senate bill “continues to fall short” of the House bill’s protections for health care providers that decline involvement in abortion and also lacks conscience protections allowing institutions to provide and purchase health coverage “consistent with their moral and religious convictions.”

The bishops also urged the lifting of the five-year ban on legal immigrants’ access to federal health benefit programs such as Medicaid, Medicare and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. They endorsed an amendment by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) that would allow individual states to lift the ban.

Further, they said immigrants should be allowed to purchase a health insurance plan with their own money. Otherwise, they could be forced to rely on emergency room care. This would cause harm to immigrants and their families and the general public health and would also result in higher financial burdens, the prelates contended.

The bishops said that regardless of the Senate’s action they would work “vigorously” to incorporate their priorities.

“We hope and pray that the Congress and the country will come together around genuine reform,” their letter concluded.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
19

Liturgical Calendar

December 19, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14