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US bishops renew push for health care reform

Catholic World News - February 25, 2010

The United States Catholic Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging congressional leaders to "commit themselves to enacting genuine health care reform that will protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all."

In a new letter to Congressional leaders, USCCB renew their plea for passage of health-care reform legislation. The letter deliberately avoids references to any specific piece of legislation. But the bishops' letter appears just as President Obama convenes a "summit" with leaders of Congress looking for support of his plan, which would include coverage for abortion.

Without directly addressing the Obama plan, the USCCB leaders make a more general argument for pro-life legislation. "As pastors and teachers, we believe genuine health care reform must protect human life and dignity from conception to natural death, not threaten them, especially for the voiceless and vulnerable,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop John Wester, and Bishop William Murphy write in a February 24 letter. “We believe health care legislation must respect the consciences of providers, taxpayers, purchasers of insurance and others, not violate them. We believe universal coverage should be truly universal and should not be denied to those in need because of their condition, age, where they come from or when they arrive here.”

The three bishops, who head the committees on pro-life activities, migration, and domestic justice and human development, added that “we will continue to work vigorously to advance true health care reform that ensures affordability and access, keeps longstanding prohibitions on abortion funding, upholds conscience rights, and addresses the health needs of immigrants. Dialogue should continue and no legislation should be finalized until and unless these basic moral criteria are met.”

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  • Posted by: Colonel Joe - Feb. 25, 2010 10:15 PM ET USA

    Somewhere I remember "render unto Ceasar the things that are Ceasar's, render unto God the things that are God's." Seems to me health care is not the government's job, it is the responsibility of Church, and other similar groups. The Catholic church was instrumental in developing health care in many locations of our nation, such as the NorthWest. The Bishops are basically passing off onto the government what they don't want to pay for and contributions will drop significantly.

  • Posted by: DrJazz - Feb. 25, 2010 1:55 PM ET USA

    The President and legislators must wonder just what it is these bishops want. Reform health care! Don't pass the reform bill because it favors abortion! Enact health care reform! They just can't leave well enough alone. It's not good enough that we've narrowly escaped a disastrous piece of legislation thus far. They're the moth to Obama's flame.

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