As the signature dries…

As President Obama signed the healthcare bill into law, the USCCB released a statement from Cardinal Francis George, president of the USCCB. A few highlights:

  • Why the bishops support reform of our healthcare system: “so that all may have access to the care that recognizes and affirms their human dignity.”
  • Why the Catholic bishops have opposed this bill’s passage: “There is compelling evidence that it would expand the role of the federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. 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. Its failure to preserve the legal status quo that has regulated the government’s relation to abortion…could undermine what has been the law of our land for decades and threatens the consensus of the majority of Americans: that federal funds not be used for abortions or plans that cover abortions.”
  • What the need for an Executive Order signifies: “deficiencies in the statute itself.” The Cardinal continues, “We do not understand how an Executive Order, no matter how well intentioned, can substitute for statutory provisions.”
  • Why the bill is “profoundly flawed,” part 2: “It has failed to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protections.” Cardinal George also notes why the bill could leave many immigrant workers and their families “worse off.”
  • Why pro-life Members of Congress should be recognized: for their “principled actions…[working] courageously to create legislation that respects the principles outlined above. They have often been vilified and have worked against great odds.”
  • What role the bishops play: “As bishops of the Catholic Church, we speak in the name of the Church and for the Catholic faith itself.”

Here, also, is a brief interview with Cardinal George from CNS.

And Creative Minority Report posted a list of the Catholic representatives who voted “Yes” on the bill. The list went on and on…84 Catholic congressmen voted “yes” on this healthcare legislation.

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