Loading
Health care legislation needs ‘essential changes,’ bishops say
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston

.- 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 (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: