- Jan 24, 2020
In a lengthy message to European physicians, Pope Francis called for a “withdrawal of ‘overzealous treatment’,” adding that “such a decision responsibly acknowledges the limitations of our mortality, once it becomes clear that opposition to it is futile.” The pope also pointed to “a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care,” and invited legislators to protect the most vulnerable.
Catholic health care leaders expressed relief after the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed to garner support in the U.S. Senate. Opponents of the bill criticized the fact that the new health care program would leave many uninsured, did not consider immigrants and lacked sufficient conscience protections.
Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, who heads a Committee on Religious Liberty the U.S. bishops recently voted to make permanent rather than ad-hoc, applauds the recent “Trinity Lutheran” decision of the Supreme Court allowing a religious school to receive government aid to resurface a playground, and says it should trigger a push to eliminate all “Blaine amendments” from state constitutions.
In a new letter to the U.S. Senate, the chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development said that “removing vital coverage for those most in need is not the answer to our nation’s health care problems” and urged senators to work for the common good.
The chairmen of four U.S. bishops’ committees wrote a letter to the Senate urging its members to ensure that the health care reform not only respect life and religious liberty, but also remove the “unacceptable changes to Medicaid” that would leave “millions of additional people uninsured in the years ahead.”
The bishops in the United States say the new American Health Care Act falls short of those obligations imposed on us by Christ in the Gospel of Matthew, because it contains proposals that would be disproportionately harmful to the poor and to immigrants. We have a choice: Take the words of Jesus seriously, or accept what is convenient to us in Christ’s message while rejecting Christ himself.