I am so happy that the USCCB issued this statement about Obama’s executive order. I think they said exactly what needed to be said. Here are the cliff notes that I felt laid my concerns in my previous post to rest:
1) The Church has always and will always call for “reform of our health care system so that all may have
access to the care that recognizes and affirms their human dignity.”
Universal health care is good. It is not Communism.
2) They “applaud the effort to expand health care for all”.
While they may not agree with everything in the bill, I’m glad they at least recognize that this a step toward something that benefits the common good.
3) The reason they have opposed the bill is because “the statute appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without
explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it
provides federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions.”
This is a fair point. Congress is asking us to trust them that the funds will not go to abortions when there is not specific language in the bill saying this. I can see how the bishops would be weary of these promises.
4) The bishops “share fully the admirable intention of President Obama expressed in his
pending Executive Order, where he states, ‘it is necessary to establish
an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not
used for abortion services.’
Also fair point. Obama saying that an “adequate enforcement mechanism” should be established to make sure funds aren’t used for abortion means that there is nothing like this in place nor does it give a plan how to put one in place.
5) But they “do not understand how an Executive Order, no matter how well intentioned, can substitute for statutory provisions.”
Point taken. We would all rest easier if the wording was just put in the bill.
6) The USCCB states that they and “many others will follow the government’s implementation of
health care reform and will work to ensure that Congress and the
Administration live up to the claims that have contributed to its
Basically, we’ve got our eye on you, Obama and Congress. We pray that they live up to these promises.
7) “As bishops, we wish to recognize the principled actions of the pro-life
Members of Congress from both parties, in the House and the Senate, who
have worked courageously to create legislation that respects the
principles outlined above. They have often been vilified and have
worked against great odds.”
Thank you for saying this bishops. It cannot be easy to work in politics. Especially pro-life democrats have been “vilified” and I’m glad that the USCCB has recognized that.
I’m glad that the bishops came through. While I know they bishops were not responding to me, they answered my questions.
Thanks Mr. K for sending me this link.