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.
Catholics need to make their voices heard insisting that health care reform protect the lives, dignity, consciences and health of all. Please take a brief moment to send a message to your local Congressperson and two U.S. Senators. If you prefer to call rather than email, the Capitol switchboard number is (202) 224.3121.
As federal health care reform continues to move forward at a rapid pace, messages are urgently needed to elected officials like Congressman Dale Kildee (D-Flint) to prevent publicly funded abortions in any health care reform bill.
Please take a moment to follow this link, which is also pasted below, and contact Congressman Kildee. It is very important that the language in the House-passed bill preventing abortion funding, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, be incorporated in its essential features as a part of any final bill.