(Vatican Radio) The chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Frank Dewane of Venice, Florida, has written the U.S. Senate urging lawmakers “to oppose any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a concurrent replacement plan that protects poor and vulnerable people, including immigrants, safeguards the unborn, and supports conscience rights.”
Congress is considering legislation to replace the controversial health care program, also known as Obamacare.
Bishop Dewane notes that, even before any legislation had been proposed, the U.S. Bishops had made clear “that a repeal of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act ought not be undertaken 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.” He continues: “To end coverage for those who struggle every day without an adequate alternative in place would be devastating.”
The difficulties faced by Congress in passing legislation to reform the ACA, he says, should not lead legislators to repeal the ACA without a replacement.
The Bishop acknowledges that “reform is still needed to address the ACA's moral deficiencies and challenges with long-term sustainability,” and suggests that efforts to do so should be done with “more narrow reforms, and in a bipartisan way.”
The full text of Bishop Frank Dewane’s letter to the Senate can be found on the USCCB website.