U.S. Bishops Chairman Responds to Defeat of GOP "Skinny Repeal” Bill
WASHINGTON—Inresponse to last night's Senate vote on the "skinny repeal" bill, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of theU.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issuedthe following statement: "Despite theSenate's decision not to pass legislation to r
WASHINGTON—Inresponse to last night's Senate vote on the "skinny repeal" bill, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of theU.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, has issuedthe following statement:
"Despite theSenate's decision not to pass legislation to repeal and replace the AffordableCare Act last night, the task of reforming the healthcare system still remains.The current healthcare system is not financially sustainable, lacks full Hydeprotections and conscience rights, and is inaccessible to manyimmigrants. Inaction will result in harm for too many people.
Amoment has opened for Congress, and indeed all Americans, to set aside partyand personal political interest and pursue the common good of our nation andits people, especially the most vulnerable. In order to be just, any bill forconsideration must:
Protect the Medicaid program from changes that wouldharm millions of struggling Americans.
Protect the safety net from any other changes that harmthe poor, immigrants, or any others at the margins.
Address the real probability of collapsing insurancemarkets and the corresponding loss of genuine affordability for those withlimited means.
Provide full Hyde Amendment provisions and much-neededconscience protections.
Anyfinal agreement that respects human life and dignity, honors conscience rights,and ensures that everyone can access health care that is comprehensive, highquality, and truly affordable deserves the support of all of us.
Thegreatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful buthow we have cared for the 'least of these.' Congress can and shouldpass health care legislation that lives up to that greatness."
Keywords:U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice andHuman Development,"skinny repeal" bill, Hyde Amendment, safety net, Medicaid, poor, immigrants,conscience rights, access, affordability, common good.