WASHINGTON—Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, reacted strongly to the revised Senate health reform bill, the "Better Care Reconciliation Act" (BCRA).
"The USCCB is reviewing carefully
the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership earlier today. On an
initial read, we do not see enough improvement to change our assessment that
the proposal is unacceptable. We recognize the incremental improvement
in funding the fight against opioid addiction, for instance, but more is needed
to honor our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters living in poverty and
to ensure that essential protections for the unborn remain in the bill."
In an earlier letter concerning the
draft of the BCRA that was introduced in draft format on June 22, 2017, Bishop
Dewane had warned that, "[t]he BCRA's restructuring of Medicaid will adversely
impact those already in deep health poverty. At a time when tax cuts that
would seem to benefit the wealthy and increases in other areas of federal
spending, such as defense, are being contemplated, placing a 'per capita cap'
on medical coverage for the poor is unconscionable."
The full letter from June 27 can be
found at: www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/health-care/upload/senate-discussion-letter-health-care-reform-2017-06-27.pdf