Down to the wire on House health care bill

“Today all members of Congress were afforded the opportunity to vote their conscience and represent the wishes of their constituents on the issue of federal funding for the abortion,” U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Catholic and pro-life Democrat from Michigan, said Nov. 7. He was the leading sponsor of an amendment to the House’s landmark health care reform proposal. The amendment passed 240-194. The House bill passed 220-215.

Like the Hyde amendment it prohibits the use of federal funding for abortion under the public health insurance option and prohibits using government affordable-health-coverage credits for any policy that covers abortion.

The same day, before the House vote, the U.S. bishops in a letter urged House members to support the Stupak amendment to “keep in place current federal law on abortion funding and conscience protections” in the House bill. The letter was signed by Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Pro-life Activities and Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.

“Our bishops’ conference has been working for many years to support health care reform legislation that truly protects the life, dignity, health and consciences of all. Adopting this amendment will help move us toward this essential national priority and moral imperative,” Cardinal Rigali and Bishop Murphy wrote.

A day before the vote the bishops sent a letter to House members reiterating their position on how the legislation deals with abortion and immigrants.

The Nov. 6 letter to House leaders — signed by Cardinal Justin Rigali, Bishop Murphy and Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City, chairman of the Committee on Migration — emphasized points that have been made often and firmly by the U.S. bishops.

It urged members to:

“– Support an amendment to keep in place current federal law on abortion funding and conscience protections and to oppose a closed rule that would prevent the House from voting on this crucial matter;

– Oppose measures that would leave immigrants, especially legal immigrants, worse off as a result of health reform;

 — Support access for immigrants to the health-insurance exchange, regardless of legal status, and support removal of the five-year ban on legal immigrants accessing Medicaid and other federal health-care programs; and

 — Support strong provisions that would make health care more affordable and accessible, especially for the poor and vulnerable, by expanding Medicaid to adults who are living at 150 percent or lower of the Federal Poverty Level and offering adequate affordability credits for households up to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.”

The bishops’ full remarks are available here.

6 Responses

  1. Tax-payer funding of abortion isn’t health care !!!

  2. “This bill is the greatest threat to freedom that I have seen in the nineteen years I have been here in Washington”

    John Boehner
    November 5, 2009

    Oh, dear! Where was (he) on September 11, 2001? Or when the Patriot Act was passed for that matter. Where was (he) in 2000 when the Supreme Court put a stop to the vote counting in the state of Florida and installed the Bush Mob in the White House? The greatest threat to freedom in nineteen years? Have another sip, Mr. Boehner.

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, NY

  3. I believe it was a very grace-filled day when this legislation passed. Finally, it looks like all Americans will have a fair chance of receiving what citizens of every other civilized nation on earth has, guaranteed health care. And, most importantly, the bill does not pay for the abomination of abortion. Now I can really get behind the President and root for him all the way on this. Thanks to all those who pushed for this amendment and voted to pass the bill.

  4. Tom, perhaps you should read some of the provisions of this 1990+ page House bill. If you think the Patriot Bill was government intrusion, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Now you can have the government deciding if you are keeping you children healthy, and if not, their gone.

    And just who is going to pay for all of this, without going farther into hock with China? You can bet the wealthy like Kohl ($214 mil.) & Kerry ($200+ mil.) have great tax lawyers, so they will pay next to nothing. What happens when, as usual, the lower upper Class, and middle Class get stuck with the bill, while this country financially sinks .

  5. Obama and his accomplices lied again and some Catholics (not all) were manipulated again!

    Lies do not change Obama’s pro-abortion and pro-infanticide (late-term abortion) stand, nor the aberrant stands (based on eugenics) of Obama’s Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel and Science Czar John Holdren.

    Obama’s Health Care Czar Ezekiel Emanuel, rightfully called “Doctor Death,” would make Dr. Kervorkian proud.

    Dr. Emanuel has said that “Medical care should not be given to those who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens.” As per Dr. Emanuel, your mother suffering from Alzheimer’s or your child diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome SHOULD NOT receive medical care. …

    And Obama’s “Science Czar” John Holdren has called for population-control policies such as forced abortions, mass sterilizations, and mandatory population controls. …

    Lies do not change the FACT that we are broke and Obamacare will further destroy our economy, our future and the future of our children and grandchildren.

    Lies do not change the FACT that Obamacare is another scam to enslave us.

  6. Gratitude to the Pro Life congresspersons of both parties. Now let’s get this thing done without paying for abortiions, but providing needed health care for all Americans. Abortion is not health care but death to innocent children. Period!

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