Loading
Religious groups consider merits, flaws of U.S. health care reform proposals
Rev. John Hay appearing in an ad urging health care reform
Rev. John Hay appearing in an ad urging health care reform

.- Responding to some Americans’ displays of vocal opposition to health care legislation, a coalition of religious leaders has launched a national campaign for health care reform, characterizing the matter as a “fundamental religious issue.” However, the Catholic Medical Association severely criticizes the proposal.

The coalition supporting the proposed reform, “40 Days for Health Reform,” includes a television commercial and has planned a conference call with President Barack Obama on August 19. Proposing to hold dozens of prayer vigils, rallies and meetings with politicians from August 11 to September 18, the coalition also requests that clergy preach on health care reform during the last weekend of August.

Its backers include Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders. The coalition was organized by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Sojourners, Faith in Public Life, Faithful America, and the PICO National Network.

Coalition members say they see too many people in their pews who struggle with being uninsured or underinsured due to job losses, pre-existing conditions and other factors beyond their control.

Rev. John Hay, an Indianapolis pastor featured in the new commercial, explained that his parishioners lived within walking distance of major hospitals but had to put off serious health problems until they became chronic.

“This is no way for the most blessed country in the world to treat its most vulnerable citizens,” he commented. “This is as much a crisis of faith as it is a crisis of health care.”

"We've come together across the spectrum, across party and political lines, to say that coverage with inclusive, acceptable, affordable health care for all of God's children is for us a moral imperative and a religious issue," said Evangelical Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners and moderator of several events at the Democratic National Convention’s Faith Caucus.

"All of God's children need to be covered," he commented.

According to the Religion News Service, Wallis and other participants in the coalition have agreed not to allow “heated differences” over abortion to “sabotage” a health care reform bill so long as the legislation prohibits public funding for the procedure and allows conscience protections for pro-life health care workers.

The Catholic Medical Association issued its own statement on health care reform on July 29, saying it is “particularly concerned” about respect for the conscience rights of health-care providers and any mandates to finance and provide abortion.

CMA’s executive director, John F. Brehany, said that conscience rights are not adequately addressed in any current legislation. He reported that the House Tri-Committee bill on the issue does not even mention the topic and a relevant amendment was defeated.

“This issue is very timely, since the department of Health and Human Services canceled a Conscience Protection Rule earlier this year and has not announced what will replace it,” Brehany said.

“Coercing health-care providers to deny their deepest values and ethical commitment to patients’ well-being will harm the medical profession and undermine trust in the provider-patient relationship,” he continued, noting that President Barack Obama has promised a “robust conscience clause.”

CMA President Louis C. Breschi, M.D., expressed alarm that abortion was not explicitly excluded from health care requirements.

“Few people realize that, as things stand, abortion could be a required benefit in all health insurance plans, and it would be subsidized not only in health-care premiums, but also through taxation. This unjust mandate must be excluded,” Breschi said.

The CMA has also expressed concern about “significant shortcomings” in the economic and clinical aspects of proposed legislation, saying that the proposals do not reduce long-term costs but increase them. It also charges that the proposals rely on “heavy-handed government control” antithetical to the rights of patients and physicians.


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
17

Liturgical Calendar

April 17, 2014

Holy Thursday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Gospel
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ex 12:1-8, 11-14
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 11:23-26
Gospel:: Jn 13:1-15

Homily of the Day

Jn 13:1-15

Homily
Date
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: