(Vatican Radio) American Bishops have urged Senate members to oppose any effort to repeal Obama’s Affordable Care Act without a concurrent replacement plan that protects poor and vulnerable people, including immigrants, safeguards the unborn, and supports conscience rights.
In a letter addressed to the Senate, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops reiterates its belief that health care should be truly universal and genuinely affordable.
The letter, signed by Bishop Frank Dewane, Chairman of Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, follows a statement by President Donald Trump this week who tweeted that the new Republican healthcare policy should be to allow the current law to collapse.
Support for the Republican Senate bill fell apart on Monday when two more senators said they could not back it.
Bishop Dewane strongly affirms “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”.
“To end coverage for those who struggle every day without an adequate alternative in place would be devastating” he said.
Dewane concludes saying that reform is still needed to address the ACA's moral deficiencies and challenges with long-term sustainability, and while a law is needed that protects the conscience rights of all stakeholders in health care as well as religious freedom, it is imperative to “remove current and impending barriers to access and affordability, particularly for those most in need”.