The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urges you to contact your Senators to ask them to protect health care for the poor and vulnerable people they represent.
The Senate is once again considering a bill that would repeal and possibly replace the Affordable Care Act. The "Graham-Cassidy" legislation will harm poor and struggling families because it risks loss of coverage for millions and will limit the quality of health care for those currently assisted by the Medicaid program. The legislation does correct a serious flaw in the Affordable Care Act by ensuring that no federal funds are used for abortion or go to plans that cover it, and it redirects funds from organizations that provide abortion. It is essential that any final bill retain these provisions. Write, tweet, Facebook message, or call your Senators regarding the "Graham-Cassidy" proposal. Insist these three criteria are met by the Senate:
Strip out harmful changes to Medicaid that will wreak havoc on the poor and vulnerable, including the "per capita caps" and block granting (and sunset) of assistance for the millions of families covered by the recent Medicaid expansion;
Ensure that this bill retains its current Hyde amendment protections for the unborn by prohibiting use of federal funds for abortions or plans that cover it;
Include conscience protections for those involved in the health care system.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has been clear that: no repeal ought to take place without a concurrent replacement; such a replacement must ensure that those who most depend on affordable health care can reliably access it; it respects the dignity of all including the unborn; and that such a replacement plan must not leave the poor in worse circumstances.
The Senate can fix problems with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in a bipartisan way: by extending full Hyde Amendment protections to the ACA, enacting laws that protect the conscience rights of all stakeholders in health care, protecting religious freedom, and passing legislation that begins to remove current and impending barriers to access and affordability, particularly for those most in need.