Catholic World News

USCCB: new health-care bill has ‘major defects,’ is ‘deeply disappointing’

May 09, 2017

The chairman of the US Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said that the American Health Care Act (AHCA, H.R. 1628), passed by the House of Representatives in a 217-213 vote, “still contains major defects, particularly regarding changes to Medicaid that risk coverage and affordability for millions.”

“It is deeply disappointing that the voices of those who will be most severely impacted were not heeded,” said Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fl. “The AHCA does offer critical life protections, and our health care system desperately needs these safeguards. But still, vulnerable people must not be left in poor and worsening circumstances as Congress attempts to fix the current and impending problems with the Affordable Care Act.”

The prelate added:

When the Senate takes up the AHCA, it must act decisively to remove the harmful proposals from the bill that will affect low-income people—including immigrants—as well as add vital conscience protections, or begin reform efforts anew. Our health care policy must honor all human life and dignity from conception to natural death, as well as defend the sincerely-held moral and religious beliefs of those who have any role in the health care system.

Sister Donna Markham OP, president and CEO of Catholic Charities USA, expressed similar concerns about AHCA, stating that it “falls far short of protecting the millions of Americans who have insurance or gained it under the Affordable Care Act. It also fails to provide access to affordable healthcare for the millions who still live without coverage.”

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  • Posted by: unum - May. 10, 2017 1:38 PM ET USA

    I notice that the bishops never mention how the country is going to pay for their "teachings" or who is going to pay for the "less fortunate" when our nation is in bankruptcy! Their plan to "Save Puerto Rico" (a U.S. protectorate) should be instructive!

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - May. 09, 2017 6:05 PM ET USA

    What the heck!!! Let's get on with it and give it away to everyone for free and put this all behind us. Then we can get on with taking over the farm industry, the banking industry, etc. An Italian dictator and a whole variety of others thought that way almost 100 years ago and even tried to justify it all in warped Catholic lingo. And if Bishops don't read history who will.