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US Senate health-care bill is ‘unacceptable,’ says bishops’ spokesman

June 23, 2017

Bishop Frank Dewane, who chairs the US bishops domestic-policy committee, has described a health-care reform proposal in the US Senate as “unacceptable as written.”

Bishop Dewane criticized that the bill’s cap on Medicaid funding, saying that the result would “provide even less to those in need than the House bill.” He added that the bills should “improve real access for immigrants in health care policy.” As it stands, he said, the legislation would “cause disturbing damage to human beings served by the social safety net.”

The bishop did praise the Senate bill for “recognizing that abortion is not health care,” and said that if that provision survived, it would “correct a flaw in the Affordable Care Act.”

“An acceptable health care system provides access to all, regardless of their means,” Bishop Dewane stated. “Such a health care system must protect conscience rights, as well as extend to immigrant families.”


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  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Jun. 24, 2017 6:17 AM ET USA

    Private charitable organizations should see to the health needs of the "undocumented" population. U.S. taxpayers should not be burdened with this, as our tax system currently cannot support the U.S. citizenry. I am not arguing that immigrants without legal status should be ignored, only that the government should not tasked with this, since it is outside the role of government and contrary to government's purpose of protecting it's citizens.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jun. 24, 2017 1:02 AM ET USA

    The Catholic hospitals and colleges in most diocese are unacceptable as far as their commitment to Catholic doctrine. The bishops should clean their own houses first. Then tackle national healthcare.

  • Posted by: unum - Jun. 24, 2017 12:03 AM ET USA

    Lord, save us from our bishop-politicians! Send us clergy who understand how to both lead and serve the people of God, educating them on your Word and motivating them to use their God-given gifts to heal our country. Amen.

  • Posted by: Elan - Jun. 23, 2017 9:28 PM ET USA

    For I was hungry and you gave the goverment responsibility for me, naked and you wrote your congressman. Why did St. Mother Theresa of Calcutta do what she did? No one would shove off the care of their beloved to someone else. "For whatsover you do to the least of your brothers, you do to me" Ah shucks, I'm busy just let them apply for assistance.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jun. 23, 2017 6:24 PM ET USA

    Interesting comments. Bishop Dewane is, of course, describing a Catholic health care system, which is now disappearing by the wayside in the United States. If he wants to get political, why not promote a revitalized Catholic health system? And while he is at it, why not promote Catholic adoption agencies, Catholic crisis pregnancy centers, the Little Sisters of the Poor, and other practical Catholic charitable missions that have suffered prejudiced, unconstitutional attack for the last 8+ years?