WASHINGTON—Inlight of today's Senate Republican vote to address the healthcare law, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of theU.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, is appealingto Senators on both sides to work together in the days ahead to advance changesthat will serve the common good of all.
Bishop Dewane's full statement follows:
"In the wake of a procedural votetoday that opens debate on the amendment process to reform the Affordable CareAct, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) calls on membersfrom both political parties to work together to advance changes that serve thecommon good. The health care reform proposals currently underconsideration would harm millions of struggling Americans by leaving too manyat risk of losing adequate health coverage and continue to exclude too manypeople, including immigrants. We are grateful for the efforts to includeprotections for the unborn, however, any final bill must include full HydeAmendment provisions and add much-needed conscience protections. Thecurrent proposals are simply unacceptable as written, and any attempts torepeal the ACA without a concurrent replacement is also unacceptable.
As was made clear in the USCCB's letter ofJuly 20, there is much work to be done to remedy the ACA'sshortcomings. We call on the Senate to make changes in all of the areasmentioned above. In addition, current and impending barriers to accessand affordability under the ACA must be removed, particularly for those most inneed. Such changes can be made with narrower reforms that do not jeopardize theaccess to health care that millions currently receive."
Keywords:U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice andHuman Development,Affordable Care Act (ACA), Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), proceduralvote, Hyde Amendment, conscience rights, access, affordability, common good.
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