The Catholic bishops have advocated for quality, accessible and affordable health care for all for decades. The bishops have consistently insisted that access to decent health care is a basic safeguard of human life and an affirmation of human dignity from conception until natural death. Health care policy should be supported that:
- Ensures access to quality, affordable, life giving health care for all;
- Retains longstanding requirements that federal funds not be used for elective abortions or plans that include them and effectively protects conscience rights; and,
- Protects the access to health care that immigrants currently have and removes current barriers to access.
Providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental criteria is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority. Hill Notes, USCCB, 2011
December 31, 2013: HHS Mandate Temporarily Halted Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked the Obama administration from forcing some religious-affiliated groups to provide health insurance coverage of birth control or face penalties as part of the Affordable Care Act. [MORE]
December 31, 2013: Archbishop Kurtz Asks President Obama for Temporary Relief from Burdensome Fines Against Ministries of Service to the Poor, Sick and Vulnerable [MORE]
The Catholic tradition affirms that health care is a basic right flowing from the sanctity and dignity of human life. Millions of Americans continue to go without health care coverage in our nation. Over 48 million people lack health insurance. As provisions of the Affordable Care Act are implemented the uninsured rate has dropped some. The provision to expand Medicaid in the Affordable Care Act is expected to have the one of largest impacts on reducing the number of insured along with the creation of the health insurance exchanges. Although the law mandated that states expand their Medicaid coverage to most people living at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2012 removed the mandated expansion and gave states the option of expanding eligibility for their Medicaid programs.