Catholic World News

Bishops’ conference fires back at White House press secretary, denounces Senate Finance Committee bill

October 15, 2009

Three officials of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) criticized the $829-billion health care reform legislation approved by the Senate Finance Committee on October 13 in a 14-9 vote. Conference officials note that the legislation does not contain “policies against abortion funding and in support of conscience rights,” does not extend health care benefits to legal immigrants, and does not in their judgment meet the test of making health care “affordable and available to the poor and vulnerable.”

“Time is running short and if the provisions are not fixed, the bishops have been clear that they will have no choice but to oppose a final bill,” said Kathy Saile, director of the USCCB Office of Domestic Social Development. “The stated purpose of pursuing health care reform was to provide those without health care coverage access to quality and affordable health care. There is real doubt that this bill will achieve that goal.”

Criticizing inaccurate comments by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, added, “Contrary to recent misleading comments from some sources, this and other health care reform bills appropriate their own funds outside the scope of the annual Labor/HHS appropriations bills, and so are not covered by the Hyde amendment that prevents those bills from funding abortion coverage. This legislation needs its own provision against such funding.”


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  • Posted by: - Oct. 18, 2009 4:43 PM ET USA

    When, Oh when are the bishopd going to realize that salvation does not come through the Democrat Party? All through the 2006 and 2008 election we were told that these people were going to dismantle the Hyde ammendment and all things pro-life, and yet they encourage Catholic to vote democratic to keep the government money flowing into their charity coffers. There is no virtue in letting the government do our charity for us.

  • Posted by: William F. Folger - Oct. 17, 2009 10:21 AM ET USA

    Here’s THE problem: check articles for term “subsidiarity”. Note 3rd article uses subsidiarity ONCE, calling it important moral principle, but then drops it at crucial ending, demoting its import. The 2 bishops use it ZERO times! USCCB not magisterium, Thank God.

  • Posted by: William F. Folger - Oct. 15, 2009 6:15 PM ET USA

    Absence of the CRITICAL principle SUBSIDIARITY in most USCCB docs hints of “surprise” passage of public option if president uses Gibbs’ gaffe to “apologize” and then to “humbly” justify direct exclusion of abortion in a “Public- Option” Bill – THE prize sought. If so, not only is USCCB responsible for Obama’s election but also for government takeover via public option which Barney Frank said is best way to single-payer. JP II & BXVI support “subsidiarity”. Karl Rove also sees a public option.