On Monday I posted some thoughts on the health care reform bill being considered by Congress, and the need to make certain that reform is truly universal by not eliminating the protection of the unborn currently found in the Hyde Amendment.
There are a few other pieces that I’d like to bring to your attention.
Cardinal Francis George, the President of the United States Catholic Conference, released an excellent statement, The Cost is too High; the Loss is too Great. Please take the time to read the full statement; I know it’s been linked to elsewhere on the site, but it is so powerful I wanted to bring it to your attention again. Cardinal George concludes his insightful analysis this way:
Two basic principles, therefore, continue to shape the concerns of the Catholic bishops: health care means taking care of the health needs of all, across the human life span; and the expansion of health care should not involve the expansion of abortion funding and of polices forcing everyone to pay for abortions. Because these principles have not been respected, despite the good that the bill under consideration intends or might achieve, the Catholic bishops regretfully hold that it must be opposed unless and until these serious moral problems are addressed.
Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the USCCB Domestic Justice and Human Development Committee, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Chairman of the USCCB Pro-Life Activities Committee, and Bishop John Wester, Chairman of the USCCB Migration Committee, published a piece in the Washington Post’s On Faith blog, headlined Health Care for Life and for All. They write:
For decades, the United States Catholic bishops have actively supported universal health care. The Catholic Church teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential for human life and dignity. Our community of faith provides health care to millions, purchases health care for tens of thousands and addresses the failings of our health care system in our parishes, emergency rooms and shelters. This is why we as bishops continue to insist that health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority….
… The House Democratic leadership is ignoring the pleas of pro-life and Hispanic members of their caucus. Apparently they will not even try to address the serious problems on abortion funding, conscience protection and fair treatment of immigrants. On the other hand, Republicans pledge to do all they can to defeat the legislation by threatening to object to any improvements in the Senate bill, further complicating the process. The White House, admirably concerned for the many millions without insurance and for those who cannot purchase it, seems willing to accept even a bill which leaves immigrants worse off and undermines the President’s pledge to retain existing protections on abortion funding and freedom of conscience.
Finally, yesterday saw another good piece in the same On Faith blog, this time by Sister Mary Ann Walsh, the USCCB’s media relations director, called Why is Senate Hiding from Hyde? Sister Mary Ann gets right to the heart of the matter.
Why would any member of Congress want to use health care reform to promote elective abortion? And why has the Senate designed a system that lets insurance companies force people to pay for abortion services they do not want and find morally repulsive – and gives federal subsidies to those companies to help them do it?
All this and more information on this very crucial matter can be found at the USCCB website.