In a Jan. 18 letters to members of the 112th Congress, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops advised important changes to the health care overhaul passed by the previous sitting of Congress.
One day after the conference released the letter to the public, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to cancel the law in question, the 2010 “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”
Significantly, the USCCB has selected neither to support, nor to oppose, Republican-led efforts to cancel the law. Instead, the bishops plan to “continue to devote our efforts to correcting serious moral problems in the current law, so health-care improvement can truly be life-affirming for all.”
Although the overall revoke measure stands little chance of passing in the Senate after its approval by the House, it is seen as the prelude to a strategy that could result in changes to important portions of the overhaul.
These changes could slot in some of the suggestions that the bishops made in their recent letter that explained their dangerous but nuanced position on health care reform.
The letter's signatories were Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, and Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles – the chairmen of the committees on Pro-life Activities, Domestic Justice and Human Development, and relocation, respectively.