For Release :
US Bishops Reiterate Opposition to Senate Health Care Bill
US Bishops reiterate opposition to Senate Health care bill because of abortion funding The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has reiterated its opposition to Senate Bill H.R. 3590 because it contains federal funding for elective abortions.
The Bishops support authentic health care reform, but oppose the bill approved by the Senate, "primarily due to its serious flaws on abortion and conscience rights," they said Friday in a statement.
The Bishops favor the House-approved health care reform bill (H.R. 3962), which "follows indispensable and longstanding federal policies on abortion funding and mandates, and conscience rights on abortion, while the Senate bill does not."
The statement on Friday came as a rebuttal to an analysis by Timothy Stoltzfus Jost of the Washington and Lee University School of Law, which claimed that there were no "significant differences" between the House and Senate bills on abortion.
"In our judgment... the Jost analysis is wrong in most of its major claims. The Senate bill's major flaws are as real as ever and must be addressed."
According to the bishops, the Senate bill:
- Provides for direct federal funding of elective abortions in community health centers
- Provides federal subsidies for health plans that cover such abortions, violating longstanding federal policy under the Hyde amendment and similar laws
- Will force families to choose between their health needs and their consciences on abortion, by forcing all enrollees in many health plans to pay a separate fee solely for other people's abortions
- Fails to apply longstanding federal policy on the conscience rights of pro-life health care providers to the new funding provided under this bill.