Local Catholic bishop urges changes in Affordable Care Act

Published: Jun. 28, 2012 at 9:04 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 15, 2014 at 1:58 AM CST
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Provided by Catholic Diocese of Lubbock

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as Constitutional. Through Catholic Social Teaching, we welcome this effort at universal access to health care, protecting human life and dignity, and respecting the right of conscience of all. We welcome the Court's opinion for healthcare reform and for our religious liberty.

The United States Catholic bishops have been advocates for comprehensive health care reform for nearly a century. This is easy to understand because we contribute to society and the 'common good.' Besides, we add the reality of the Church as the "Body of Christ," which validates the 'common good.'

Our nation needs affordable health care reform that ensures universal healthcare.

In order for our religious freedoms and respect of the right of conscience to be protected, there are three main flaws that we will continue to urge Congress and the Administration to fix:

ACA allows use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions and for plans that cover such abortions, contradicting longstanding federal policy.

ACA fails to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protection, both within and beyond the abortion context.

ACA fails to treat immigrant workers and their families fairly, leaving them worse off by not allowing them to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges created under the law, even if they use their own money.

The decision of the Supreme Court neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws. We Catholic Bishops have not joined efforts to repeal the entire law, and we do not do so today.