For the U.S. bishops, any repeal of key provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act should not take place "without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing."
President-elect Donald Trump, in a press conference last week, pressed for a speedy repeal of the health care legislation commonly known as Obamacare. He has also spoken of replacing the legislation with his own proposals that promise "insurance for everybody" and "much lower deductibles," CNN reports.
However, some Congressional Republicans have voiced concern about any vote that would end major parts of the 2010 law that covers 20 million people without providing an alternative, creating widespread disruptions.
The U.S. bishops emphasized that health care reform "should be truly universal and it should be genuinely affordable."
"Every person is made in the image of God and possesses inherent dignity," Bishop Dewane's letter said. "A just community strives to see and address the needs of those who struggle on its margins, and each segment of society is called to build toward a common good that creates and maintains conditions aimed at true human flourishing."
He cited Pope John XXIII's 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris, which spoke of the right to life and the right "to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services."