Revised Senate Health Care Reform Bill Still “Unacceptable,” Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

July 13, 2017 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida,Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and HumanDevelopment, reacted strongly to the revised Senate health reform bill, the"Better Care Reconciliation Act" (BCRA).

"The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care billintroduced by Senate leadership earlier today. On an initial read, we donot see enough improvement to change our assessment that the proposal isunacceptable. Werecognize the incremental improvement in funding the fight against opioidaddiction, for instance, but more is needed to honor our moral obligation toour brothers and sisters living in poverty and to ensure that essentialprotections for the unborn remain in the bill."

In an earlier letter concerning the draft of the BCRAthat was introduced in draft format on June 22, 2017, Bishop Dewane had warnedthat, "[t]he BCRA's restructuring of Medicaid will adversely impact thosealready in deep health poverty. At a time when tax cuts that would seemto benefit the wealthy and increases in other areas of federal spending, suchas defense, are being contemplated, placing a 'per capita cap' on medicalcoverage for the poor is unconscionable."

The full letter from June 27 can be found at:


Keywords: U.S. Conference of CatholicBishops, USCCB, Better Care Reconciliation Act, BCRA, Bishop Frank J. Dewane,Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Affordable Care Act,respect for life, human dignity, health care, affordability, abortion, poverty,immigration, conscience.


Judy Keane