Catholic World News News Feature
Catholic Charities USA backs health-care reform; silent on abortion funding July 24, 2009
As President Obama presses for Congressional action on a sweeping health-care proposal that would include funding for abortion, the president of Catholic Charities USA has written to legislators urging them to "make comprehensive health care reform a top priority," without mentioning the heated debate over abortion coverage.
In his July 22 letter, Father Larry Snyder does not specifically mention the Obama health-care proposal. And he does remind lawmakers that a Catholic approach to health care would "address health needs at all stages of life, from conception to natural death." But the thrust of his letter is clearly favorable to the Obama proposal. And a time when pro-life organizations are working diligently to strip abortion funding from the initiative, Father Snyder does not address that concern.
"Catholic social teaching affirms that health care is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity," writes the head of Catholic Charities USA. He urges Congress to implement legislation that will "expand and strengthen Medicaid…cap out of pocket costs… address health disparities." Father Synder emphasizes the need for reform that will offer protection to those who are most vulnerable, provide help for populations currently underserved by health-care agencies, ensure coverage for racial minorities, extend protection to all legal immigrants, and emphasize prevention.