US bishops: Health care should be truly universal, affordable [CNA] D.C., Jan 18, 2017 / 01:47 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Any changes to health care law under the new administration should not abandon the principal of genuinely affordable health care for everyone, said the U.S. bishops in a letter to Congress.

In American policy, they said, “we must not see health care as a luxury, but as a necessary building block to help individuals and families thrive and contribute to the good of the community and the nation.”

“We recognize that the law has brought about important gains in coverage, and those gains should be protected,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida said in a Jan. 18 letter to members of Congress.

He wrote in his role as chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

For the U.S. bishops, any repeal of key provisions of the 2010 Affordable Care Act should not take place “without the concurrent passage of a replacement plan that ensures access to adequate health care for the millions of people who now rely upon it for their wellbeing.”

President-elect Donald Trump, in a press conference last week, pressed for a speedy repeal of the health care legislation commonly known as Obamacare. He has also spoken of replacing the legislation with his own proposals that promise “insurance for everybody” and “much lower deductibles,” CNN reports.

However, some Congressional Republicans have voiced concern about any vote that would end major parts of the 2010 law that covers 20 million people without providing an alternative, creating widespread disruptions.

The U.S. bishops emphasized that health care reform “should be truly universal and it should be genuinely affordable.”

“Every person is made in the image of God and possesses inherent dignity,” Bishop Dewane’s letter said. “A just community strives to see and address the needs of those who struggle on its margins, and each segment of society is called to build toward a common good that creates and maintains conditions aimed at true human flourishing.”

He cited Pope John XXIII’s 1963 encyclical Pacem in Terris, which spoke of the right to life and the right “to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services.”

Pope Francis echoed these words in May 7, 2016 remarks to a doctors’ group: “Health, indeed, is not a consumer good, but a universal right which means that access to healthcare services cannot be a privilege.”

The bishops’ letter to Congress noted the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ support for the general goal of the 2010 health care law, but added that the conference in the end opposed its passage “because it expanded the role of the federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion, and it failed to provide essential conscience protections and access to health care for immigrants.”

“We remain committed to the ideals of universal and affordable health care, and to the pursuit of those ideals in a manner that includes protections for human life, conscience and immigrants,” the letter concluded. “We urge you to approach the important debates in the days ahead seeking also to honor these principles for the good of all.”

Full article…

Sooo… they support the ACA.

Honestly, if the ACA is to be scrapped, the replacement should be single-payer universal coverage. The GOP is going to hurt a lot of people if they go forward with any of their proposed plans.

"Pope Francis echoed these words in May 7, 2016 remarks to a doctors’ group: “Health, indeed, is not a consumer good, but a universal right which means that access to healthcare services cannot be a privilege.”

A universal right. :clapping: Pope Francis! Now the harder part is to get Republicans on board.

No where in that article did it say anything about supporting Obamacare.

As a Republican, I agree with everything that article said. Health care should be universal and affordable.

But Obamacare failed at being affordable. And switching to a single payer system is a terrible idea.

Okay, what is this magical option 3 though? How else to you provide truly “universal” care. Please, point me in the direction of a single plan proposed by the GOP that fits the criteria set forth in that article.

For the last time… Republicans DO believe that health care is a universal right. But we do t believe Obamacare is the answer and it needs to be fixed. How it’s fixed (patches/updates to Obamacare, “repel and replace”, etc… I don’t care. But it needs to be be fixed and fixed without hurting families and people.

Lol, the “I don’t care” is CRITICAL. Of course it has to be fixed - Dems acknowledge that Obamacare is deeply flawed. My issue with all of your posts is that you presume that Republicans believe its a universal right, yet you cannot point me to a single plan proposed by a Republican that would do that.

Not a rhetorical request by the way - actually asking you to produce such a plan.

Why is single payer worse than open market? How is the open market going to make it universal and affordable? Competition? If insurance companies cannot make a profit they will not care to be competitive.

This is not about politics but peoples’ lives. A measured, well-executed modification is needed but not the hysteria, which only grabs eyeballs and improves click-counts for various sites. And the plan should be presented to the public prior to the political nonsense, AND IN COMMON ENGLISH.

While exploring, my biggest issue was the farther away you lived from health care facilities, the more you had to pay. Check on it. Call them. Ask them.

Also, it was my personal experience that the provider I had decided to raise my monthly premium, as if I would make X dollars more per month this year over last year. Not happening, so I switched. I realize that has to gather any changes to anyone’s income, address, family size, etc. But fer cryin’ out loud, I had a heck of a time going through the pages of questions. Some of which were confusing.

There should be a “no changes” box, followed by the other version.

And privatizing the Health Insurance Industry is a bad idea. And promising them billions of dollars to ensure profits was also a bad idea. Shady. “We’ll promise you billions if you don’t make money or come up short.” Yeah, I wish I had that guarantee.


Open market is the answer to everything for some people. Sort of a magical 42 talisman that they use for every issue.

42 is the answer to What is the meaning of life? in a novel by Douglas Adams.

I don’t want single payer. That leads to rationing.

What do you want. What does anyone here who “supports” the Bishops’ pleas but disagrees with the ACA want.

I feel like you fundamentally don’t understand what you’re asking for, because it doesn’t exist. But I ask - please show me a plan that would replace the ACA but insure all.


Care to point me to the type of system you’d like to see replace the ACA? I ask because all of the proposed plans by the GOP would fall short of what the bishops requested, namely providing universal coverage.

A free market system.

It works when it’s not being abused.

Tort reform would have worked to bring costs down in the days before the ACA, but Congress did not have the will to take on the lobbyists who would oppose the reform. The writers of the ACA found a way to appease the health care providers so they wouldn’t swarm D.C. with lobbyists, thus ensuring passage of the ACA. But the ACA wasn’t designed to work anyway, it was simply a foot in the door for a government takeover of health care.

It’s our own fault, we’ll have to take our medicine one way or the other.

OUR fault? No way. How many lobbyists have you encountered - referring to no one in particular.


And what plans does the GOP have specifically that would hurt people?

The plans proposed by Rand Paul, Paul Ryan and Tom Price all would leave millions uninsured or fail to ensure coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

They are. We have a mandate to fix healthcare and will do so immediately.

What specifically about their plans will do that?

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