U.S. bishops issue statement on health care reform

Cardinal George is interviewed March 23. (CNS/Bob Roller)

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops this afternoon issued a statement on the health care reform bill approved by the House of Representatives on Sunday and signed into law by President Barack Obama this morning. According to an accompanying news release, the USCCB said the statement, by Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, USCCB president, had been approved unanimously by the 32-member USCCB Administrative Committee, which by coincidence was meeting in Washington for its regular March meeting. The committee is a panel of bishops which conducts USCCB business between the bishops’ general meetings.

The news release also said Cardinal George issued the statement “moments after President Barack Obama signed the Senate version of health care reform legislation approved by the House of Representatives.”

The full statement:

For nearly a century, the Catholic bishops of the United States have called for reform of our health care system so that all may have access to the care that recognizes and affirms their human dignity. Christian discipleship means, “working to ensure that all people have access to what makes them fully human and fosters their human dignity” (United States Catechism for Adults, page 454). Included among those elements is the provision of necessary and appropriate health care.

For too long, this question has gone unaddressed in our country. Often, while many had access to excellent medical treatment, millions of others including expectant mothers, struggling families or those with serious medical or physical problems were left unable to afford the care they needed. As Catholic bishops, we have expressed our support for efforts to address this national and societal shortcoming. We have spoken for the poorest and most defenseless among us. Many elements of the health care reform measure signed into law by the president address these concerns and so help to fulfill the duty that we have to each other for the common good. We are bishops, and therefore pastors and teachers. In that role, we applaud the effort to expand health care to all.

Nevertheless, for whatever good this law achieves or intends, we as Catholic bishops have opposed its passage because 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, as did the original bill adopted by the House of Representatives last November, 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. Stranger still, the statute forces all those who choose federally subsidized plans that cover abortion to pay for other peoples’ abortions with their own funds. If this new law is intended to prevent people from being complicit in the abortions of others, it is at war with itself.

We 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.” However, the fact that an Executive Order is necessary to clarify the legislation points to deficiencies in the statute itself. We do not understand how an Executive Order, no matter how well intentioned, can substitute for statutory provisions.

The statute is also profoundly flawed because it has failed to include necessary language to provide essential conscience protections (both within and beyond the abortion context). As well, many immigrant workers and their families could be left worse off since they will not be allowed to purchase health coverage in the new exchanges to be created, even if they use their own money.

Many in Congress and the administration, as well as individuals and groups in the Catholic community, have repeatedly insisted that there is no federal funding for abortion in this statute and that strong conscience protection has been assured. Analyses that are being published separately show this not to be the case, which is why we oppose it in its current form. We 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 passage. We believe, finally, that new legislation to address its deficiencies will almost certainly be required.

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.

As bishops of the Catholic Church, we speak in the name of the church and for the Catholic faith itself. The Catholic faith is not a partisan agenda, and we take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to working for health care which truly and fully safeguards the life, dignity, conscience and health of all, from the child in the womb to those in their last days on earth.

46 Responses

  1. Sometimes I think the Bishops confuse Utopia with the Kingdom of God. What do they call it in the Catechism “Secular Messianism”. Their support for this beast of a bill saddens me.

  2. Kudos to the Conference for finding its Catechism. It’s a shame they didn’t feel the need to quote its many references to Catholic social teaching in its fullness when it counted.

    If the USCCB had done this, it would have been abundantly clear to all concerned that Catholic teaching is not a mandate for socialized medicine and government enforced universal health insurance. It is a call to morality, mercy and charity. It includes both solidarity and subsidiarity. It upholds man’s dignity through collective effort in order to meet the needs of the broader community, especially those of the poor, but it also defends individual freedoms, including freedom from excessive government control — in this case, control at the hands of the most radically pro-death Administration and Congress this nation has ever seen.

    The Conference – as usual – behaved far more like a political action committee than a body of Apostles. Now we will reap what they have sown through their negligence.

  3. Well said. I was rather upset to hear that many Catholics were opposing this bill for the wrong reasons and having no concern for those who are not provided with health care which made me think it must be frightening to be ill in the US.

    I also heard that Obama conceded to the pressure of 12 Catholic Democratic members who insisted that public funding would not be used for abortions. This, the Church is right to insist upon, but not on any of the other issues which makes me think that Catholics in the US have a very much “I’m all right Jack” attitude towards their neighbors in less fortunate positions than themselves.

  4. Focus your fire on protecting American children from pedophile priests. Maybe then, and only then, I’ll care a wit about what you have to say about Healthcare reform.

  5. The Executive Order was necessary to get the bill passed, because the bishops chose not to trust the people who disgreed with their legislative interpretation. Public funding of abortion already was out of the bill. This is one Catholic who is delighted that we now have meaningful health care reform in this country, with my pleasure tempered only by the fact that my Church cannot share credit for the victory in what should have been one of its finest hours. Their is a division in our faith, and which each utterance, the bishops always seem to make it wider.

  6. Deceived! Oh, my dear God, they’ve been deceived.

    Has the UCCB seen this video of the so-called pro-life Stupak and what he said about voting for abortion back in November. If not , here it is http://www.lonelyconservative.com/2010/03/21/stupaks-been-lying-all-along-video-surfaced-obamas-deal-wont-even-count/

    Why is there no passion for the unborn babies that will achieve abortion in Obama’s Democrat utopia.

    This is the line in the sand, no?

    When does the Manhattan Declaration kick in, Cardinal George?

  7. “I was rather upset to hear that many Catholics were opposing this bill for the wrong reasons and having no concern for those who are not provided with health care which made me think it must be frightening to be ill in the US.”

    No, Eva… what is frightening is when (people like you) accuse people half a world away of lacking compassion when in fact they have no blessed idea what they’re talking about.

    Use your internet connection to get educated about Catholic social doctrine and then perhaps you’ll understand why so many American Catholics – who happen to be among the most charitable in the world – opposed this bill.

  8. We got news too here in Italy that public funds would not be used for abortion as Dave Smith says above.

    To kill a life is not negotiable but when it involves governments there are compromises as the Italians, a 90% Catholic country, has had to accept divorce and some “therapeutic” abortions are included in our health care. We realize that divorce is not accepted by the church but no one is willing to go back to the days when one could not have this option. We all remember the bitter criticism the Church received because a mother’s life would be taken to save the unborn… And most of us were on the side of the mother. I think those who acidly denounce this moment in US history are only thinking of their own desires and trampling over those who have no rights at all to being cared for.

    Like I said, killing a life is not negotiable, but to use abortion as a pretext to deny other people the sacred right, as taught by Christ that our duty is to care for the sick… which up to now, this has blatantly not been happening in the US unless you paid handsomely- as it hasn’t, it isn’t in China, India or Africa…

    To deny the glory of this historic moment in US history, is throwing away the baby with the bath water. And don’t forget, the world is looking on… at selfish minded Catholics…

  9. Cardinal George routinely insults Republicans with the “heartless canard”, Chicago, all too predictable.

  10. The comments here are already getting heated. Just remember our comments policy at the top of this blog – http://cnsblog.wordpress.com/comments-policy/ – which clearly states that we will not tolerate name-calling. As the policy says, these will be edited or deleted.

    Jim Lackey
    CNS Web editor

  11. Nice that you got [sic] news in Italy, Eva, but a Catechism would be helpful as well.

    “To kill a life is not negotiable but…” and then you go on to negotiate it. You departed authentic Catholic doctrine at “but.”

    “Some ‘therapeutic’ abortions” cannot be justified for any reason. Period. At least have the integrity to admit that you dissent from Church teaching.

  12. There is no excuse for the destruction of an innocent unborn child. The US Government has commited a grave sin by passing legislation that forces its citizens to pay for abortions, even if indirectly done. I am adamantly opposed to this legislation in its current form and I will refuse to pay one dime in taxes until clear and concise legislation is passed that bans the use of tax payer dollars, either directly or indirectly, to pay for abortions. I may very well be locked up for this but my conscience will be clear. Willful destruction of innocent life is a mortal sin in which I refuse to participate.

  13. “Some ‘therapeutic’ abortions” cannot be justified for any reason. Period. At least have the integrity to admit that you dissent from Church teaching.”

    Your accusations against me are unfounded.

    My attitude towards this matter is not one of the Pharisees who insisted on “the law” be executed, but that of Jesus when he said: “Those among you without sin, cast the first stone.”

  14. “To deny the glory of this historic moment in US history, is throwing away the baby with the bath water. And don’t forget, the world is looking on… at selfish minded Catholics…”

    Eva, tragically, the baby is getting thrown out with the bath water. Where’s the glory in that?

  15. It’s not I who accuse you, Eva, but your very own words.

    No one “has to accept [that] divorce and some ‘therapeutic’ abortions are included in our health care.” And the person who does certainly has no moral authority for lecturing those Catholics who think with the Church and disagree.

    Yes, Eva… we all know about Jesus and the first stone comment, as if that is relevant to the conversation. We’re all sinners, and guess what, your … attitude toward abortion and … concern for the sick and suffering is … irreconcilable with authentic Church teaching (and) entirely unconvincing.

  16. I consider myself an adamant pro life catholic. But what I can’t figure out is, why do some people think this bill will use tax payer dollars to fund abortions but some people think it will not?

    I read President Obama’s executive order which maintains the current Hyde Amendment. Do we just not trust the President? (not saying that I do)

    I am just having a hard time seeing how the gov’t role in abortion is going to change any with this new bill.

  17. Louie, I don’t think I have made myself understood by the term, “accept”. By this I am referring to the fact that I live in a society where the law allows for people to divorce. By accepting that, I mean, there is nothing I can do to alter that fact except make another law to forbid it, which I do not have the power to do, which is different to “agreeing” with that law.

    Authentic Church teaching as you call it is always evolving, nothing except the 10 commandments is written on stone. Each one of us has to be prepared to face new challenges and development in the Church’s growth, the first to set this example, in our times, was Pope John XXIII- Your attitude reminds me of, as I well recall, those Cardinals who proclaimed they wanted to die soon so they could die still a “Catholic”. Have we not come a long way from those days? We don’t have to say “Fish on Friday and a baby every year now,” which would have been blasphemous then, but not now.

    It is not a question, of me trying to convince you of anything, why should I? Or of diluting the faith, but getting closer to that Charity that Christ by His attitude of mercy sets as an example for us to imitate… because with the harshness of heart that you hold within your words, your burden is heavy to bear, and totally needless.

  18. Cathrine, When I say “throw away the baby with the bath water” (rather unfortunate term I used as it reminds of abortion) I mean that since Obama has taken heed of the Catholic Senators not to use public funds for abortions, to try and undo this bill is throwing away one of the most important development in US society, and although I am not an American citizen, we outside the US, the rest of the world, is only too aware of the lack of health care assistance to those who cannot affords a 6,000 dollars or more health policy a year. Yes, I know about medi-care too. Therefore, if this acid condemnation of the bill is due to the abortion part only, there is no need for such upheaval until, when and IF the bill will make public funding for abortion legal. That’s why I can’t understand why Catholics are so vehement against this bill- and I would love for someone to tell me- but I won’t buy that one on abortion… as I said that is simply a pretext for…. tell me please!

  19. This ^ is good, The Bishops are right on! They are correct to defend life at every stage. In history it is a very sad affair when some life is considered less valuable then another. When someone has wanted care for the sick and the poor the Catholic church has served and loved as Christ has for 2000 years, Long live Christ the king.

  20. Eva Ulian, To take a lot of good, Let’s say a Hard working man; Mr. Wood, and to say he is a just man. He does many good deeds, he cares for the sick, he loves his wife, and doesn’t curse, and 100’s of other good actions but he does one bad thing sleep with other women from time to time. Even though he is mostly a good man, the one bad vise he has is still a very bad thing. So is the case with heath care reform. You said: “until, when and IF the bill will make public funding for abortion legal” The many good parts and theories in the bill are all destroyed by one very awful part. If they don’t plan on paying federally for abortion then it should be no problem to state that in the bill! As for the example above: Tiger Woods a very good man, destroyed his life with one small bad thing.

  21. They seem more interested in maintaining a cozy relationship with the Democratic Party then they are in honesty and defending the fundamental right to life. They talk about the “admirable intention” of President Obama when it comes to issuing his executive order. I now know where to go if I want to pass a counterfeit $100 bill. The executive order isn’t worth the paper on which it is written. The president knows it and I think the bishops know it. This language nauseates me.

  22. The end is good, not question about it, but the bishops forgot the means, forcing people to pay is not and act of charity and also I don’t remember Jesus saying “people should by force to pay”. History tell us that these kind of means, these utopia bring a lot of corruption.

  23. Tommy asks a good question. From a legal standpoint, it is the considered legal opinion of many (including those lawyers consulted by the USCCB) that an executive order does not have the force to override the provisions enshrined in the current legislation.

    For all of the praise heaped on the Hyde amendment, it only shifts the cost of abortion coverage to the states, 17 of which use tax payer money to fund abortion right now.

    Add to this the fact that this Administration makes no bones about its opinion that abortion = health care, and this is a dancing with the Devil proposition to be sure.

  24. Abortion is an intrinsic evil, Eva. That teaching is not going to “evolve” as you seem to believe. “Some abortion” can never be considered an acceptable stepping stone to “charity.” Ever. Do you really think fish on Friday is a good example? Really?

    You’ve made yourself plenty clear. This new law is not a cause for celebration, for one due to abortion, but also because it flies in the face of subsidiarity; an important component of Catholic social doctrine that the Conference chose to ignore throughout this process.

    Yes, witnessing the degree to which Catholic teaching is distorted in the name of “development” is a heavy burden to bear, but that’s the price of being committed to Holy Mother Church in this day and age. Those who think it is their purview to determine what teachings should evolve and how wouldn’t understand.

  25. Christian discipleship means, “working to ensure that all people have access to what makes them fully human and fosters their human dignity” – Amen.

  26. I wish the bishops would take on ALL aspects of pro-life.

    Some Catholics I know are very good at defending the unborn, but when it comes to the innocent Iraqi and Afghani people killed (with use of our tax dollars), they call it “just”. Well, last time I checked, WWII barely fit the criteria for being “just” as far as the CCC is concerned. Pope John Paul II spoke out against the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. Why can’t the American Catholics? Because if we speak out against the candidates that support unjust war AND abortion, we’re left with very few candidates.

    I disagree with the use of tax dollars for abortions, and have a feeling some of that language might be changed, but I think extending health coverage to 32 million people is very, very pro-life.

  27. A roll of Charmin is worth more than an Executive Order. Abortion is part of this bill–there is no bones about it. Hopefully the Republicans can overturn the whole shebang.

    Even so, this horrific piece of legislation forces others–namely hard-working ‘Joe the Plumbers’ like myself–to pay for the health care of slouchers like illegal immigrants and those who wouldn’t work an honest day in their drunken lives. Forces! There’s no charity (love) in that! That’s what private charities are for. The government (and those in bed with the government) have no business in this affair (except banning abortion).

  28. *Surely his imminence the Pope, will work tirelessly to remove this imposter; God strengthen his hands and those of His Church in this holy Inquisition:

    BARRY SOETORO? Native-born Kenyan, Citizen of Indonesia / ILLEGAL IMMAGRANT LIVING IN THE U.S.

  29. I think the new health care law is horrible. All that has been done is expand the nanny state to levels that we as a country cannot afford. I for one have always been for expanding health care for those that need it, but to dismantle a system and re-build it with one where the power is concentrated at the Federal level is just too darn scary. What happened to subsidiarity. Why all of the sudden look to the Feds to help man. The governmnet canot even run its existing health programs effectively.

    The “pro-life” language in the Senate bill is not enough and this is a fact. Why do you think the other side of the isle put up such resistance and fought to keep the Senate language untouched, because in the end it will end the status quo. An Executive Order is not law and can be challeneged through the courts. This is nothing but a ploy to make people feel better about voting.

  30. Eva, I still remember many “selfish” Catholics who gave their lives to bail out your country in WW II.

  31. TM, have you ever read a history book? Japan attacked Pearl Harbor without warning killing thousands of people. My godmother was there, and had to take care of the wounded. Germany declared was on the US following the Pearl attack, and BEFORE the US declared war on Germany.

    Do you realize the millions of people the German government killed. Or how many civilians killed by the Japanese in SE Asia? Remember the Bataan Death March, and the hundreds of Philippine soldiers used for bayonet practice?

    “Those who do not lean from history, are doomed to repeat it”.

  32. Wasn’t the Mexico City Policy also an executive order?

  33. Putting the healthcare system in the hands of an all-powerful, all-controlling government will always result in evil. The bishops must remember that true charity is individual charity, which is good for the soul. Forcing us to help others through massive taxes and loss of freedom is NOT charity. The bishops’ position on this healthcare issue saddens me profoundly.

    I don’t help someone in need by making you open your wallet to give them money. I am to open MY wallet and give them MY money.

    Socialism. Legalized Stealing. Covetousness. Tyranny. Bishops, when did you stop believing in individual freedom?

  34. As a convert to the catholic faith I find it very hard to believe that any TRUE Catholic was in favor of this health care bill. Abortion is killing a new human life. The bill also has other life issues such as end of life counseling that it will promote humans that they are a burden to society so they should destroy their life. It also allows planned parenthood to advocate abortions to teens in public schools. It gives billions to planned parenthood, who’s sole purpose is abortion. They are number one in the world. There are so many things in it that there is not enough room to list them.

    If you are for this health care bill, you are not a True catholic. Plain and simple.

  35. Did someone call President Obama a Kenyan illegal immigrant? Where are the moderators? Where are the other posters calling thT person out for promoting tired conspiracy theories? As for this ‘blog, I ask the staff of Catholic News Service to reconsider llowing comments. I haved viewed the site precisely because it does little more than simply report on news surrounding the Mother Church. I’ve seen how heated, chaotic, and sometimes extreme dscussions can become on other Catholic news sites. PS Please excuse the typos…I am using a keypad on a controller for Playstation 3.

  36. An observation that concerns me is that as a Catholic site I don’t read of people asking for prayer for our Bishops and goverment officials. Is it possible that if wer prayed for Gods Grace for them and ask the Holy Spirt to lead them to receiving the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist during these difficult times we might have different results .

  37. The fundamental goal of health care is to allow human life to continue. Life begins with the baby human. If a health care bill is put in place that questions the ability of a baby human to continue living, then we should all question that law and try to change it before it is implemented. That is what the Catholic Bishops have done. In fact, all that was requested was to have the current wording about abortion, already in place in our government, continue to be in place. Nothing can be easier than that. The fact that the Senate refused to keep this existing wording, is proof that they had no intention of continuing the same protection of baby human life. They wanted that protection changed. So, I keep hearing things about “how shameful it was for Catholics to fight against healthcare, under the guise of ‘abortion’ and force millions of un-insured people to not have healthcare”. Why do you not question the anti-life side, and say “if you are so concerned about the millions of people without healthcare, why can’t your group stop stalling healthcare reform and just accept the current abortion wording and get this bill passed?”
    Obviously, they are not as truly concerned about those millions of people as they claim.
    Oh, what about all the non-healthcare related items also passed in this bill that no Americans were aware of until after it passed……… another reason to vote No.

  38. J. Bob, Italy and the whole world is grateful to America for liberating us from the iron hold of Fascism. It is now time to show the same nobility of spirit by freeing 32 million of your own people from being condemned to the scrap heap when they get sick- that too is killing a life and not at all Christian. One judges the level of civilization of a nation in the degree they take care of the helpless.

  39. i have felt for years that the american church has not been firm in the teachings of morality. i am not at all surprised with the outcome of the health care bill. our engaged couples have been allowed to live together and when financially ready, get married in the church. they usually become the foundation. we now have a very small foundation. my husband and i ministered to engaged couples for 17 years and were forced to make a decision to stop because of the lack of support on morality. i know of only a few religious from my area that teach the tenets of the church. the lack of disciplinary action taken by our bishops and priests to our catholic politicians during elections and for supporting the health care bill has enabled our faithful to justify their silence. the 59ers (so called nuns) who claim to be catholic and who support the politicians that refer to themselves as catholics, such as kennedy, pelosi, kerry and who ever the rest are. our vulgar vice president, joe biden, stood proudly before cameras on ash wednesday with ashes on his forehead and posed as a devote catholic . and we wonder why the bill was helped passed by catholics? i can see where my church is heading. one bishop in r.i. did say something to a kennedy. praise god for that! we are taught that we should not be judgmental. we need to understand what judgmental really means. wrong is wrong and we should be aware of false prophets. we the faithful are left to struggle with teaching our families with very little support from our pulpits or catholic officials. the eucharist is sacred and receiving of the eucharist gives us strength in living our faith in difficult and trying times such as these . last sunday my parish priest asked us to pray our politicians make the right choice. really, that is all we have to do? the church in my area is for one party and is not going to make waves. the judgment has been made and we will be made accountable for our actions. never once have i seen or heard my bishop come and check on his flock for no reason. not even for a closing of a church. the faithful need to see the shepard and know that he is real and not just a figure head . one last thing. i went to a baptism in the episcopal church and i witnessed many catholic eucharist ministers go to the altar and receive what they thought was the eucharist. we are in need of direction and teachings. i was told they are just like us. i answered, no, they are “catholic”, we are “catholic”. they had no a clue. who teaches them to be eucharist ministers? it’s christ to us. wonder why the pews are empty? i pray for the church during it’s time of purification and know that “where there are two or more gathered in “his” name “the church will again be strong. our lack of priests is very noticeable. because of the lack of teachings to” his” flock from the pulpit, for fear of lost $$$ and power for whatever that is in politics. i guess fear. we can now start anew, and free ourselves from the slavery of supporting one political party. register as “u” and see the difference that makes. what appears to be the end is only a new beginning. let us pray for the church, that they may find strength in the true teachings of christ and his church. and maybe then we will grow with more priest, nuns, and brothers. when we follow christ he feeds us and we grow. may our faith in god give us strength to serve our faith so we can give love, hope and service to those in need . our founding fathers were men of faith. only through sacrifice in faith will we know the true meaning of freedom. i am thankful for the education that the “catholic” nuns gave to me back in the 60′s, and to those bishop’s and priest who have been speaking out. we are very thankful. we need more accountability.

  40. Eva, the statement about 32 mill being relegated to the “scrap heap” means you obviously do not know much about the US. Especially about how many of the poor are treated in hospitals and clinics. This has happened for decades, so I’m not sure where you get your info.

    By the way, I wonder who will bail you out , if your country follows Greece and Spain in their economic troubles.

  41. Really…. I mean really…. as I read through the posts I wonder who among us is free from sin… perfect in every sense? Well neither is the health care reform. There is plenty to be upset about and to work to change. However, intolerance about immigrants receiving health care, the bill being a pro-abortion agenda, etc. is purely radical hype. Thats right, so if you are participating in it, shame on you. I don’t judge you, but I do judge your actions. Certainly there are many great things to cheer about and certainly it is time that Christians in general hold their legislators accountable.

    I often wonder if we spent as much time working with our legislators as we do trying to convince someone they are wrong by throwing it in their face (by the way, not a particularly effective method), and if we recognized that holiness is measured not in our adherance to doctrine but in our willingness to give of ourselves for the sake of others, perhaps our tone would be different, perhaps we would cheer, perhaps we would recognize that pro-life means that the most important identity anyone has is that they are loved by God. So what if I lose some tax dollars so someone can continue living on the couch eating potato chips. I mean really!

  42. J. Bob, TM also states: “I disagree with the use of tax dollars for abortions, and have a feeling some of that language might be changed, but I think extending health coverage to 32 million people is very, very pro-life.”

    However this is the information that is transmitted world wide, so it seems we are all wrong except you.

    But I am not here to waste my time and yours to quibble with people intent on doing what Shakespeare warns us against:

    “Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot that it do singe yourself.” Henry VIII Act 1 sc 1

    What I am trying to say, if people will allow me without misconstruing my words is, as we pay for our children to be educated because to be educated is a basic human right, to be saved from death is also a basic human right which civilized countries agree upon and which we in Europe, and not only, pay for – And because there may be some things not clear with the abortion issue does not make the health bill in itself evil- without it people have killed every day- not sitting on couches eating potato chips as some seem to cruelly suggest.

  43. Sorry, error, the last sentence should read:

    And because there may be some things not clear with the abortion issue does not make the health bill in itself evil- without it PEOPLE HAVE BEEN KILLED EVERY DAY- not sitting on couches eating potato chips as some seem to cruelly suggest.

  44. Eva, unless I lived in a country for many years, fluent in language, customs and history, even then I would be careful in the comments I make about it.

    I grew up next to a “shanty” town. I have seen people do without. I have “hitch hiked”, road trains, planes and cars around the country. I have presented international papers. I have probably broke bread with virtually every ethnicity in the world.

    I do not need “information transmitted world wide” to tell me about this country, I live it. Perhaps we see things a little different. Our ancestors left Europe to be free of kings nobility etc., and be able to think and make up our own minds, not be patted on the head and told what to do by ”
    Big Brother”. At the same time, what nation has provided more help to others by it’s private citizens, not government, to others not only in it’s own country, but others? Remember the CARE program?

  45. The note below is vitriolic hate speech.

    randy thompson, on March 24, 2010 at 9:36 am Said:

    *Surely his imminence the Pope, will work tirelessly to remove this imposter; God strengthen his hands and those of His Church in this holy Inquisition:

    BARRY SOETORO? Native-born Kenyan, Citizen of Indonesia / ILLEGAL IMMAGRANT LIVING IN THE U.S.

  46. Pray for the country and the unborn!

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