Below is the text of the U.S. bishops' response to ScaryCare:
As long-time advocates of health care reform, the U.S. Catholic bishops continue to make the moral case that genuine health care reform must protect the life, dignity, consciences and health of all, especially the poor and vulnerable. Health care reform should provide access to affordable and quality health care for all, and not advance a pro-abortion agenda in our country. Genuine health care reform is being blocked by those who insist on reversing widely supported policies against federal funding of abortion and plans which include abortion, not by those working simply to preserve these longstanding protections.
On November 7, the U.S. House of Representatives passed major health care reform that reaffirms the essential, longstanding and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortions and includes positive measures on affordability and immigrants.
On December 24, the U.S. Senate rejected this policy and passed health care reform that requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions. All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions through a separate payment solely to pay for abortion. And the affordability credits for very low income families purchasing private plans in a Health Insurance Exchange are inadequate and would leave families financially vulnerable.
Outside the abortion context, neither bill has adequate conscience protection for health care providers, plans or employers.
Congressional leaders are now trying to figure out how the rules of the House and Senate could allow the final passage of a modified bill that would satisfy disagreements between House and Senate versions.
Mother Mary Quentin Sheridan, RSM, President of the Council for Major Superiors of Religious Women, representing U.S. religious women faithful to the Church magisterium, responds to ScaryCare, :
In a March 15th statement, Cardinal Francis George, OMI, of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, spoke on behalf of the United States Bishops in opposition to the Senate’s version of the health care legislation under consideration because of its expansion of abortion funding and its lack of adequate provision for conscience protection. Recent statements from groups like Network, the Catholic Health Association and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) directly oppose the Catholic Church’s position on critical issues of health care reform. The Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, the second conference of Major Superiors of Women Religious in the United States, finds the provision of the bill to include expansion of abortion funding and fails to include conscience protection. We believe the bill needs to include the Hyde Amendment as passed by the House in November. Protection of life and freedom of conscience are central to morally responsible judgment. We join the bishops in seeking ethically sound legislation.
Follow HancAquam ------------>