During October and November, diocesan and parish leaders distributed two consecutive Nationwide Bulletin Inserts on health care reform. Since that time the U.S. House passed health care reform that reaffirms the essential, longstanding and widely supported policy against using federal funds for elective abortion coverage. The U.S. Senate has rejected this policy and passed health care reform that requires federal funds to help subsidize and promote health plans that cover elective abortions. All purchasers of such plans will be required to pay for other people’s abortions through a separate payment solely to pay for abortion. These two bills are being combined into one bill that both the House and Senate will vote on in final form.
Catholics need to make their voices heard insisting that health care reform protect the lives, dignity, consciences and health of all. Provisions against abortion funding and in favor of conscience protection, affordability, and immigrants’ access to health care must be part of a fair and just health care reform bill. Unless and until these criteria are met, the final bill must be opposed.
The U.S. bishops developed a new USCCB Nationwide Bulletin Insert (in English and Spanish) on health care reform to be printed or hand-stuffed in every parish bulletin and/or distributed in pews or at church entrances in the coming weeks. Final House and Senate votes may take place soon. If your Arch/bishop approved disseminating the earlier bulletin inserts, consider this an update.
Thank you for your urgent actions and prayers on behalf of this nationwide effort!