The House passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement health care bill on Thursday, but one bishop warned that the new bill poses serious problems for the vulnerable.
Bishop Frank Dewane, chair of the domestic justice committee for the U.S. bishops’ conference, said the legislation “still contains major defects, particularly regarding changes to Medicaid that risk coverage and affordability for millions.”
Bishop Dewane expressed serious concerns about the legislation although he commended its pro-life provisions.
As the revised health care bill re-surfaced recently in the House, Bishop Dewane said that “serious flaws” still remained, like changes to Medicaid that eventually capped the Medicaid expansion and a lack of conscience protections for doctors and health care providers.
Revisions to the bill included allowing states to determine “essential health benefits,” or benefits that health plans had to include under the ACA which included hospitalizations and maternity care.
Also, under the new bill states could charge more per person based on their health history, which the ACA forbade, provided they set up high-risk pools.
Bishop Dewane warned that proposed amendments “could severely impact many people with pre-existing conditions while risking for others the loss of access to various essential coverages.”
The bill “as it now stands, creates new and grave challenges for poor and vulnerable people, including immigrants,” he said April 27. “The House must not pass the legislation as it is. Members should insist on changes, especially for the sake of those who are struggling in our communities.”
Full story at Catholic News Agency.