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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 a
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SOURCE U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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