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Catholic Health Association Comments on State of the Union and Need for Health Care Reform
Date:1/28/2010

"Put the Needs of Our Nation's People Above Political Interests and Partisan Concerns"

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following statement is being released by Sr. Carol Keehan, DC, president and chief executive office of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA):

The Catholic Health Association has long championed health care reform for the same reasons President Obama expressed in his State of the Union – because of the continuing tragedy of "Americans with pre-existing conditions whose lives depend on getting coverage; patients who've been denied coverage; and families – even those with insurance – who are just one illness away from financial ruin."

The President was right to say to Congress: "Do not walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people."

We commend Congress for all its efforts over the past year on behalf of those who suffer under the current system, and urge lawmakers to bring those efforts to fruition as quickly as possible. And we urge Congress to continue its work toward the goal of health reform that protects life at all stages while expanding coverage to the greatest possible number of people in our country.

We understand the political realities and concerns with passage of such important and far-reaching legislation. But we firmly believe that now is not the time to let those concerns derail what may be the last opportunity of our lifetime to address the continuing shame of allowing so many individuals and families in our nation to go without access to affordable health care. For all who have worked so hard to make health reform a reality, we have come too close to that goal to give up on it now.

The Catholic health ministry remains committed to the goal of health reform as set out in our "Vision for U.S. Health Care," and confident that our nation is capable of reaching that goal. In a letter our association sent today to Congress, we urged the members of both chambers "to put the needs of our nation's people above political interests and partisan concerns, and continue to work for comprehensive health reform this year. As Congress considers the options for moving forward, we also reaffirm this urgent priority among our health ministry and pledge to work alongside those who will continue in good faith to achieve this goal."

The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry’s commitment to improve the health status of communities and create quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. The Catholic health ministry is the nation's largest group of not-for-profit health systems and facilities that, along with their sponsoring organizations, employ more than 750,000 women and men who deliver services combining advanced technology with the Catholic caring tradition. For more information, visit the CHA website at www.chausa.org.

SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States

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SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States
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