Catholics reverse stance on federal health care

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), one of the most vocal opponents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, submitted a letter last month asking Congress not to appeal the law until a viable replacement was found to cover the millions of people insured under the ACA.

“While we supported the general goal of the law to expand medical coverage for many poor and vulnerable people, the USCCB ultimately opposed the Affordable Care Act because it expanded the role of federal government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion, and it failed to provide essential conscience protections and access to health care for immigrants,” wrote Rev. Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice. Dewane notes that now millions “reply upon it for their wellbeing.”

The letter reinstates the charge Bishop William Murphy issued to Congress on behalf of the USCCB in 2009, “All people need and should have access to comprehensive, quality health care that they can afford.”