Regarding the original Senate health care proposal, in his June 27 letter Bishop Dewane said that "at a time when tax cuts that would seem to benefit the wealthy and increases in other areas of federal spending, such as defense, are being contemplated, placing a 'per capita cap' on medical coverage for the poor is unconscionable."
He added that under the bill health coverage costs could increase for many elderly and poor persons "because of decreased levels of tax credit support and higher premiums." And, the bishop said, the bill, like its House counterpart, lacked conscience protections.
He warned that the pro-life language in the bill was laudable, but echoed concerns of other pro-lifers that the language could be stripped by the Senate Parliamentarian before it reached the Senate Floor.
The revised Senate bill contained some slight improvements like more funding to fight opioid addiction, "but more is needed to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill," he said last Thursday.
This week, however, the Senate bill was scuttled. Yet amid the uncertainty of what the senators may vote on next week, "the appropriate response is not to create greater uncertainty, especially for those who can bear it least, by repealing the ACA without a replacement," Bishop Dewane said.
On Friday, Pence urged Americans to ask their senator to vote to begin the debate to repeal and replace the ACA on Tuesday.
Susan B. Anthony List, meanwhile, said the Senate should work to ensure a bill is passed which defunds Planned Parenthood and protects taxpayer funding from going to abortion coverage in federally-subsidized plans.
"The first step is voting for the motion to proceed to the House-passed bill which replaces Obamacare abortion funding with health assistance that does not include abortion coverage and redirects funding for certain abortion providers to noncontroversial community health centers," the group's president Marjorie Dannenfelser said in a July 20 letter to senators.
"While the House bill faces procedural hurdles, we support passage of a substitute amendment that is substantially similar to the Obamacare repeal bill sent to President Obama in January 2016," she added.
"Obamacare has been a disaster for unborn children through its unprecedented expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion," Dannenfelser said.
"The 2015 reconciliation bill that was sent to President Obama's desk or the Better Care Reconciliation Act would roll back this damage and help return us to the principle that abortion is not health care."
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.