The United States Supreme court today upheld much of the health care reform act, especially the provision that mandates every American to purchase health care insurance.
The 5-4 ruling of the justices affirms health care coverage for an estimated 30 million Americans, but did not remedy some provisions that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) finds most troubling.
The mandate for Catholic organizations to provide coverage for contraception and sterilization, with little alternative for conscience exemption, was not specifically resolved in the ruling.
In a statement July 28, the USCCB said that for “nearly a century” Catholic bishops have called for “comprehensive health care reform to ensure access to life-affirming health care for all, especially the poorest and the most vulnerable.”
The bishops’ conference opposed three major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), as the health care reform law is known.
• The law allows federal funding to pay for abortions and for plans that cover abortions, which the statement said “contradict(s) longstanding federal policy.” It added that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already approved “”high risk’ insurance pools that would have covered abortion.”
• Language for “essential conscience protection” is not included in the law, the statement said. The lack of conscience protection for the law’s mandates is apparent in HHS’s “preventive services mandate, which forces religious and other employers to cover sterilization and contraception, including abortifacient drugs,” the statement said.
• Immigrant workers and their families are not treated fairly by the law, according to the statement. “ACA leaves 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 U.S. bishops have not joins in some efforts to repeal the ACA. But the high court’s decision on President Barack Obama’s signature initiative as president “neither diminishes the moral imperative to ensure decent health care for all, nor eliminates the need to correct the fundamental flaws” that the bishops’ identified, according to their statement.
“We therefore continue to urge Congress to pass, and the Administration to sign, legislation to fix those flaws,” it said.
— Matthew Gambino
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103