Catholic health ministry urges President Bush to hold White House health care summit

President George W. Bush’s plan for expanding health coverage “falls short of addressing the dire circumstances surrounding more than 43 million individuals who are uninsured and the millions more who are underinsured,” said Fr. Michael D. Place.

The president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) issued his statement following the president’s State of the Union address Jan. 19, in which he outlined his plans for health care coverage.

“The truth is that this nation lacks an integrated national health policy that assures all individuals access to a comprehensive array of basic health services,” said Fr. Place. He explained that the many families and individuals, who have no or inadequate health coverage, are making huge sacrifices just to access the basic care they need.

“Being uninsured is not an inconvenience; it is a formidable barrier to obtaining necessary medical care,” that can lead to serious sickness and even death, he said. 

The CHA called on the president to convene a White House summit on health care this spring “to achieve a new national policy that ensures quality, affordable health care services across the continuum for all individuals.”

This summit would gather representatives of various government, corporate, provider, and consumer stakeholders.

“The Catholic health ministry stands ready to assist the President and other national leaders to transform the health care delivery system into one that is just, improves quality, expands access, and dramatically improves the health status of people and communities,” said Fr. Place.

For more information, visit the CHA Web site at

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