Wednesday, January 27, 2010

USCCB spells out what genuine healthcare reform looks like

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sent a letter to each member of the House of Representatives yesterday outlining the key elements of genuine healthcare reform. If you’ve ever wondered “what’s the big deal about the healthcare debate?” then this letter is a great read for you! It succinctly covers the core requirements for genuine healthcare and highlights what aspects of currently pending legislation do not meet those basic requirements.

A lot of people pushing the healthcare bills currently in Congress label those of us who oppose them as “anti-healthcare”; as if by supporting conscience rights for healthcare workers and taxpayers and opposing funding of abortion we are opposing healthcare coverage of more people.

This rhetoric is flatly inaccurate as the USCCB’s letter shows. It’s by no means a call to give up on healthcare reform but instead a call for genuine reform; reform that will cover as many people as possible while still protecting all life and consciences.

"The health care debate, with all its political and ideological conflict, seems to have lost its central moral focus and policy priority, which is to ensure that affordable, quality, life-giving care is available to all."

"Whatever the legislative process and vehicle, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to urge the House and Senate to adopt legislation that:

• Ensures access to quality, affordable, life giving health care for all;
• Retains longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and effectively protects conscience rights; and,
• Protects the access to health care that immigrants currently have and removes current barriers to access."

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