Catholic World News

Prelates tell Senate that House GOP’s health care bill has ‘many serious flaws’

June 12, 2017

Four bishops who chair committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said recently in a letter to senators that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), passed by the House of Representatives in a 217-213 vote, has “many serious flaws.”

“Most troubling are unacceptable changes to Medicaid that reports indicate will leave millions of additional people uninsured in the years ahead,” said Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Fl., and Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin.

After offering six moral principles, the prelates made ten suggestions related to “retain[ing] the positive elements of the bill,” including protection for the unborn, and “remedy[ing] its grave deficiencies,” such as lack of conscience protection.

“The Catholic Church remains committed to ensuring the fundamental right to medical care, a right which is in keeping with the God-given dignity of every person, and the corresponding obligation as a country to provide for this right,” the bishops concluded. “Health care debates must not be reduced to only those elements which appear most politically expedient; those without a strong voice in the process must not bear the brunt of attempts to cut costs.”

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  • Posted by: Gregory108 - Jun. 13, 2017 5:46 AM ET USA

    But Obamacare, our present health plan apparently beloved by "the Bishops", has many serious flaws too, primarily that it is unsustainable and is coming undone right before our eyes. It is bankrupting, with more and more insurance companies losing so much money that they are opting out, and premiums and deductibles so high that insurance never pays a penny unless you get hit by a truck or need a heart transplant. Maybe the bishops should address themselves to these flaws before criticizing.

  • Posted by: FredC - Jun. 12, 2017 9:14 PM ET USA

    These people might lose their medical insurance, but they will be treated at any hospital free of charge. At the hospital where I volunteer, a hospital executive gave a presentation in which he said that Obamacare would greatly increase the profits for the hospital. It would cover those who appear at the ER without insurance. Perhaps those with self-induced illnesses could be given only basic care, just as the self-induced go to the bottom of the priority list for organ transplants.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jun. 12, 2017 6:42 PM ET USA

    I don't know what gives these Bishops the expertise to advise the government on a National Healthcare Program when they can't even get the catholic hospitals in their own diocese to adhere to the teachings of the Church.