Navigation Links
Bishops Call Senate Health Care Reform Bill 'Deficient,' Essential Changes Needed Before Moving Forward
Date:12/22/2009

Seek to retain federal policy on abortion funding and conscience protection

Want to protect access to health care that immigrants have now, remove barriers to access

Need strong provisions for adequate affordability and coverage standards

WASHINGTON, Dec. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The current health care reform bill is "deficient" and should not move forward without "essential changes," the chairmen of three committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said December 22.

The chairs, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities; Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, of the Committee on Migration, stated their position in a December 22 letter to senators working to pass the Senate version of health reform legislation.

The entire letter can be found at http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/letter-to-senate-20091222.pdf.

The legislative proposal now advancing "violates the longstanding federal policy against the use of federal funds for elective abortions and health plans that include such abortions -- a policy upheld in all health programs covered by the Hyde Amendment as well as in the Children's Health Insurance Program, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program -- and now in the House-passed 'Affordable Health Care for America Act,'" the bishops said.

They said that the health care bill passed by the House of Representatives "keeps in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy against government funding of elective abortions and plans that include elective abortions" and "ensures that where federal funds are involved, people are not required to pay for other people's abortions." The Senate bill does not maintain this commitment.

In the Senate version, "federal funds will help subsidize, and in some cases a federal agency will facilitate and promote, health plans that cover elective abortions," the bishops said. "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." The public consensus against abortion funding, said the bishops, "is borne out by many opinion surveys, including the new Quinnipiac University survey of December 22 showing 72 percent opposed to public funding of abortion in health care reform legislation."

"This bill also continues to fall short of the House-passed bill in preventing governmental discrimination against health care providers that decline involvement in abortion," the bishops said. And it also "includes no conscience protection allowing Catholic and other institutions to provide and purchase health coverage consistent with their moral and religious convictions on other procedures."

The bishops also called for all immigrants, regardless of status, to be able purchase a health insurance plan with their own money.

"Without such access, many immigrant families would be unable to receive primary care and be compelled to rely on emergency room care," the bishops said. "This would harm not only immigrants and their families, but also the general public health. Moreover, the financial burden on the American public would be higher, as Americans would pay for uncompensated medical care through the federal budget or higher insurance rates."

The bishops urged removal of the five-year ban on legal immigrants accessing federal health benefit programs, such as Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and Medicare, which was proposed by Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). His proposal, "which would give states the option to remove this ban, should be included in the bill."

The bishops said they want health insurance to be affordable and said that while the Senate bill "makes great progress in covering people in our nation," it "would still leave over 23 million people in our nation without health insurance. This falls far short of what is needed in both policy and moral dimensions."

The bishops urged Congress and the Administration to "fashion health care reform legislation that truly protects the life, dignity, health and consciences of all."

Right now, they said, "in all the areas of our moral concern, the Senate health care reform bill is deficient. On the issue of respect for unborn human life, the bill not only falls short of the House's standard but violates longstanding precedent in all other federal health programs. Therefore we believe the Senate should not move this bill forward at this time but continue to discuss and approve changes that could make it morally acceptable. Until these fundamental flaws are remedied the bill should be opposed."

"Regardless of the outcome in the Senate, we will work vigorously to incorporate into the final legislation our priorities for upholding conscience rights and longstanding current prohibitions on abortion funding; ensuring affordability and access; and including immigrants," they added. "We hope and pray that the Congress and the country will come together around genuine reform."

SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Health Reform Bill Needs More Work Despite New Language on Abortion, Say Catholic Bishops
2. Abortion Compromise Does Not Address Core Problem In Senate Health Bill, Says Cardinal DiNardo, Bishops Pro-Life Chair
3. Bishops Deeply Disappointed by Senate Vote to Table Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment
4. Abortion, Bishops, and Healthcare: Announcing Deaf at the Cathedral Tour in Nine States.
5. Senator Ben Nelson Puts U.S. Bishops Interests Ahead of Americans Healthcare Needs
6. U.S. Bishops Urge Senators to Support Nelson-Hatch-Casey Amendment on Health Care Reform; Urge Constituents to Back it
7. Everybodys Healthcare Is Threatened by Catholic Bishops Interference
8. U.S. Bishops Voice Disappointment in Abortion-Funding Provisions in Senate Health Bill, Urge Better Care for Immigrants and Affordability
9. Bishops Urge Passage of Stupak-Ellsworth Anti-Abortion Amendment for Health Reform Bill
10. Bishops to House: Keep Abortion Funding Out of Health Care Reform, Make Health Care Available to Vulnerable
11. U.S. Bishops: Current Health Care Bills Violate Essential Principles; Will Seek Changes or Have to Oppose
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... 20, 2017 , ... “Code Word: Chocolate Biscuit”: a biographical account following a man who went ... creation of published author, Marlyn Ivey, born in Lynn Haven, Florida and at the age ... at 19 years of age, he joined the Navy and got married right out of ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse”: ... by faith. “Knowledge is God’s Lighthouse” is the creation of published author, Gene Gaapf, ... and poetry collections. , “I have been writing since high school and have ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... , ... Next week after January 20th, the fear for many is that ... health needs of over 30 million. Many interviews with Dr. Carol Francis at the ... servants were suppose to prioritize. Interviews provided below. , Among those present ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 2017 , ... WhoHaha , a digital media company dedicated to creating ... to produce a three-part video series that uses humor to highlight ways to improve ... of AHA’s Healthy For Good™ movement, which is designed to inspire all Americans to ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Scotch Plains, NJ (PRWEB) , ... January 19, ... ... a board certified dermatologist by the American Board of Dermatology and fellowship trained ... Institute of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Li completed his internship in ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/20/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017  Ethicon ... acquired Megadyne Medical Products, Inc., a privately ... and markets electrosurgical tools used in operating ... intelligence of Ethicon,s* advanced energy devices with ... a major step forward in Ethicon,s goal ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , Jan. 20, 2017  Palladian Health, a ... announced the launch of an opioid management program ... on opioids and helps stem the growing tide ... prescribed to treat chronic non-cancer pain (back pain, ... risks and lack of evidence regarding long-term effectiveness. ...
(Date:1/20/2017)... , January 20, 2017 Avillion LLP, ... appointment of Mark Weinberg , MD MBA as Chief Medical ... , USA . ... Dr Weinberg has spent more than 17 years ... 20" pharma companies to micro-cap biotech. Over the course of his ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: