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Southern Religion

Is the USCCB a staple from approving health reform?

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) says the Senate version of health reform does not go far enough in limiting abortion.

Howard M. Friedman, primary author of the blog Religion Clause, explains why.

He writes:

The Bishops’ concern seems to be that under [the current version as amended], abortion coverage will still be in some policies that receive government subsidies, so long as a separate check is written for the part of the premium applicable to that coverage. Instead, according to a Dec. 14 letter from the Bishops, they want language in the House bill that was proposed as an amendment by Sen. Ben Nelson, but was defeated by the Senate. That language provides that no federal funds could be used “to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes abortion coverage.” After that loss, Sen. Nelson negotiated the language in the Manager’s Amendment and according to AP argued that the differences were “about a staple.” By that he means that the disagreement is over whether abortion coverage — which would be paid for separately in either case — would be a part of the subsidized policy (not acceptable to the Bishops) or in a separate rider stapled to it (acceptable to the Bishops).

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December 23, 2009 - Posted by | Catholic, Health | , ,

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