August, 2009 - LCWR Statement on Health Care Reform
The Presidency and National Board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious adds its voice to those of the US Conference of Catholic bishops and Catholic Health Association in their support for comprehensive health care reform.
- We believe that genuine health care reform is a moral imperative; therefore we call for a health care policy that respects and protects human life and dignity and advances universal coverage.
- We urge access for all with a special concern for those who are poor and vulnerable.
- We advocate pursuing the common good and preserving pluralism including freedom of conscience and a variety of options involving both public and private sectors, including voluntary, religious, and not-for-profit organizations.
- We believe that health care costs must be restrained, with all stakeholders, including government, employers, individuals, charitable organizations and health care providers, sharing the responsibility of financing.
There are 624 Catholic hospitals in the United States serving 1 in 6 patients. Most of these institutions were founded by the Catholic Sisters.
We affirm Bishop William Murphy, who in his July 17, 2009 letter to Congress, asserts that health care is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity. “Health care is not just another issue for the Church or for a healthy society,” Bishop Murphy writes. “It is a fundamental issue of human life and dignity and a critical component of the Catholic Church’s ministry. The Church provides health care, purchases health care and picks up the pieces of the failing health care system. . . . Genuine health care reform that protects the life and dignity of all is a moral imperative and a vital national obligation.”
We acknowledge the complexity of the issues, the legitimate approaches to strategize resolution of these issues, and the need for genuine civil discourse to move reform forward in light of the fact that the present U.S. health system, while extremely costly, is not working for the benefit of all.