Skip to comments.HEALTH REFORM BILL NEEDS MORE WORK DESPITE NEW LANGUAGE ON ABORTION, SAY CATHOLIC BISHOPS
Posted on 12/21/2009 2:37:16 PM PST by the invisib1e hand
DATE: December 19, 2009
FROM: Sr. Mary Ann Walsh
WASHINGTON--The Senate health reform bill should not move forward in its current form, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City said December 19, as senators proceeded closer to a vote. Cardinal DiNardo chairs the bishops' Committee on Pro-life Activities. Bishop Murphy chairs the bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development. Bishop Wester chairs the bishops' Committee on Migration.
"Yesterday the bishops commented on good-faith efforts by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) to improve the pending Senate health care reform bill on the issues of abortion and conscience rights," Cardinal DiNardo, Bishop Murphy and Bishop Wester said. "Today a Manager's Amendment was proposed to make final changes in that bill. The amendment includes some improvements from Senator Casey's proposal, including adoption tax credits and assistance for pregnant women, but differs from that proposal in other ways: It does not seem to allow purchasers who exercise freedom of choice or of conscience to "opt out" of abortion coverage in federally subsidized health plans that include such coverage. Instead it will require purchasers of such plans to pay a distinct fee or surcharge which is extracted solely to help pay for other people's abortions. Further the government agency that currently manages health coverage for federal employees will promote and help subsidize multi-state health plans that include elective abortions, contrary to longstanding law governing this agency.
Therefore, while we appreciate the good-faith efforts made by Senators Robert Casey and Ben Nelson (D-NE) to improve the bill, our judgment is the same as it was yesterday: This legislation should not move forward in its current form. It should be opposed unless and until such serious concerns have been addressed. The bishops' conference continues to study that 383-page amendment's implications from the perspective of all the bishops' moral concerns -- protection of life and conscience, affordable access to health care, and fairness to immigrants. We will continue to work vigorously for authentic health care reform that clearly reflects these fundamental principles because such reform is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority."
The previous day a longer statement, signed by Cardinal DiNardo, addressed the bishops' concerns. The December 18 statement follows.
'ABORTION COMPROMISE' DOES NOT ADDRESS CORE PROBLEM IN SENATE HEALTH BILL, SAYS CARDINAL DINARDO, BISHOPS' PRO-LIFE CHAIR
The Cardinal commented on efforts by Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) to improve the Senate bill's treatment of abortion.
"Senator Casey's good-faith effort to allow individuals to 'opt out' of abortion coverage actually underscores how radically the underlying Senate bill would change abortion policy. Excluding elective abortions from overall health plans is not a privilege that individuals should have to seek as the exception to the norm. In all other federal health programs, excluding abortion coverage is the norm. And numerous opinion polls show that the great majority of Americans do not want abortion coverage."
"I welcome Senator Casey's good-faith effort to improve this bill," said Cardinal DiNardo. "In particular he has sought to improve protection for conscience rights, and to include programs of support for pregnant women and adoptive parents that we favor in their own right. However, these improvements do not change the fundamental problem with the Senate bill: Despite repeated claims to the contrary, it does not comply with longstanding Hyde restrictions on federal funding of elective abortions and health plans that include them."
Cardinal DiNardo had written to the Senate on December 14, saying that "the Catholic bishops of the United States strongly support authentic reform of our ailing health care system." His letter cited "three moral criteria for reform: respect for life and conscience; affordability for the poor; and access to much-needed basic health care for immigrants," noting that so far the Senate bill "has fallen short of the example set by the House version of this legislation in each of these areas."
On abortion funding, the Cardinal urged the Senate to "incorporate into this bill the longstanding and widely supported policies of current law, acknowledged and reaffirmed by the Senate itself" when it approved the Consolidated Appropriations Act for the new fiscal year on December 13. This Act reaffirmed the Hyde amendment and other laws that exclude elective abortions from health plans receiving federal funds -- including the plans that cover the Senators themselves and all other federal employees. The Senate so far has failed to reflect this same policy in its health care bill as the House has done, he said [see www.usccb.org/healthcare/DiNardo_1214_letter.pdf]. Cardinal DiNardo said December 18: "We continue to oppose and urge others to oppose the Senate bill unless and until this fundamental failure is remedied. And whatever the immediate outcome in the Senate, we will continue to work for health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. As the bishops have said many times, 'providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority.' In particular we will work vigorously to ensure that the substance of the House's provision on abortion funding is included in final legislation. A special debt of gratitude is owed to House and Senate members, especially Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who have placed their votes and reputation on the line to stand up for unborn children. Making this legislation consistent with longstanding federal law on abortion will not threaten needed authentic reform, but will help ensure its passage." --
Keywords: abortion, affordability, Senate, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, Bishop William Murphy, Bishop John Wester, immigrants, Catholic Bishops, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat
will the Bishops visit people like me in the slammer?
Oh, nice, I suppose. But these bishops seem to give no evidence of any interest in freedom, and as usual, they have no understanding of economics.
The seem to make the protection of life one of three points, along with “affordability” (which is listed first) and “fairness to legal immigrants.”
One can’t make an economic good affordable by legislation.
Of course we wish to be fair, but if they have in mind that new immigrants should get the same benefits as people who have been paying into a plan, that is a twisted idea of fairness.
The democrats don’t seem to listen to these bishops, anyway. And the bishops keep accepting abortionist politicians. It’s pitiful.
The democrats are happy to have operatives showing up in Mass wearing "Obama" baseball caps (as they did at Our Savior Parish in NYC), and are happy to have the tacit approval of their presidential candidate because they know that Catholics are a voting bloc that is hamstrung and deluded by a full generation of being led astray by leftist bishops. Those bishops, as far as I am concerned, handed obama his crown. Now they are handing him our handcuffs.
Today "health insurance." Tomorrow, marks on the forehead?
Christmas always reminds me of the time I discovered there was no Santa Claus. I woke up around 1 a.m., and wandered from my bed into the living room where I found my dad in his pajamas laying out presents under the tree. He told me to go back to bed, and I did - but I was crushed to see the illusion destroyed.
So much so, it still bugs me - and it happened ages ago. Well, more like a year, and it really wasn't my dad - it was a drifter I picked up in a Port Authority restroom - but the story still stands as a metaphor for health care.
Like a make believe Santa, the Democrats came in at one am, sliding down the chimney with a bag full of crap. Like a phony Santa, the health care bill cannot arrive in broad daylight - or you'll expose the illusion. The same thing can be said for that "non-binding legal agreement" Obama took with him from Copenhagen. He should have just brought us clogs.
And you know, both examples are a lot like the type of gifts you get from selfish relatives who really wanted the gifts themselves.
A. The health care bill is like a puppy. The purchaser buys it for himself, really -as an ego boost to see how excited the kids gets. Then of course, the gift-giver is nowhere in sight when it's time to paper train and feed the money-sucking furball. That's health care - except health care reform will crap over more than just the carpet.
B. The climate change agreement is a less destructive but utterly hopeless kind of present - it's a gift card for a store you want nothing from. Think Sharper Image, except everything needs to be wound up before it falls apart. Just because Uncle Gore owns stock in it, he thinks you should be grateful. Believe me, that gift card is going nowhere except the drawer where you keep the stray UNO cards.
The upside with Christmas?
You can return everything.
If we could only do the same with this crud.
And if you disagree with me, you're probably a homophobic, planet-hating racist.
cute. The “healthare” bill is, in reality, an “existence” tax, pure and simple.
I’ll be the next cell down.
Sen. Casey. Maybe I hallucinated, but didn’t he vote Yea at the 1 a.m. satanic, winter solstice floor session?
It’s way beyond existence, it’s culling.
Like digging your own grave.
Pat Monihan, from Train!
and a special guest: a Red Eye non-fan will be on the show to critique. it will be a gas and a half.
prepare to be marginalized, healthcare haters.
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