- Oct 20, 2020
“Health care is a fundamental human right, and government is its ultimate guarantor,” Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego said. “The Affordable Care Act for all its flaws was a movement in favor of comprehensive health care. This is a movement away.”
Finally President Trump has signed the long-awaited executive order for religious freedom. Unfortunately many Catholic leaders and advocates are disappointed with the order with some calling it “woefully inadequate,” others defining it as “pretty much nothing,” and more viewing it as “a betrayal.”
Catholic leaders have said several issues still need to be addressed as the Congress considers possible new health care reforms, such as conscience protections for those who participate in the delivery or coverage of health care services, problems of rising costs and premiums, and the obstacles to immigrant access to health care.
“We’ve just been dismissed,” Sister Carol Keehan, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association, said about the Republican process of writing the AHCA, noting that she attended a few small group meetings on Capitol Hill, but “they were not meetings to get our input on what ought to be done with the bill but meetings to tell us what was going to be done. This has just been railroaded through Congress.”
Dr. Adam Gaffney, a pulmonary and critical care physician at Harvard Medical School and the Cambridge Health Alliance in Massachusetts, said: “What makes the bill bad is essentially it takes away health care from the middle-class and the poor and redistributes wealth upwards to the rich.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that for-profit businesses under the control of just a few people — with no real distinction between the owners and the business — can hold religious views and lawfully choose not to cover employees’ contraceptives. The Nevada legislature seeks to overturn the high court decision.