The USCCB Ramps Up on Health Care

 |  NCR Today

The USCCB has prepared a bulletin insert for all parishes regarding health care, entitled “Tell Congress: Remove Abortion Funding & Mandates from Needed Health Care Reform.” There is one word in that title of the insert that, unfortunately, fails to find any amplification in the rest of the text – “Needed.”

The bishops’ conference is entirely correct that now is the time to call your congressional representatives. Indeed, no matter what you political leanings, I think it is always a good thing when citizens are contacting their representatives to voice their opinions. But, as I have argued before, it is critical to the current debate that we Catholics marry our insistence that the health care reform not provide federal funding for abortion, or for abortion coverage, with an equally firm insistence that we want health care reform. We want to support this effort.

Republicans have decided to adopt a rejectionist stance on health care reform, so they are not going to decide the final outcome of this debate. The people, the only people, in a position to remove the abortion funding are pro-life Democrats and those Democrats who are not really pro-life but understand the concerns of pro-life voters and don’t want to see health care reform get shipwrecked over the issue.

Sources very close to the negotiations tell me they think that the Stupak amendment might, with some modification, pass the full House. But, the last thing we want is members putting in their chits on behalf of opposing the public option and not on behalf of restrictions for abortion funding. The person who is most likely to get a hearing from Speaker Nancy Pelosi is someone who will vote with her on the public option but also in favor of the Stupak Amendment.

Christmas-NCR-gifts-half_0.jpgGive a subscription to our award-winning newspaper and save $10.

So, I applaud the USCCB for its flyer. I just wish they had made more of the fact that health care reform is needed. It is. And if we support it, and are clear about our support, we have a better chance of winning support for Stupak’s amendment. If the leadership concludes that nothing will satisfy the USCCB, they have no reason to listen.

Support independent reporting on important issues.

 One family graphic_2016_250x103.jpg


NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

Commenting is available during business hours, Central time, USA. Commenting is not available in the evenings, over weekends and on holidays. More details are available here. Comments are open on NCR's Facebook page.



NCR Email Alerts


In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017