Catholic Conference of Ohio
Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Issues - Catholic Conference of Ohio

Health Care

Affordable and accessible health care is an essential safeguard of human life and a fundamental human right.

Catholic hospitals in Ohio provide close to $1 Billion in charity care and community benefits each year. Local health care transformation continues to occur through promotion of health and wellness programs, chronic disease initiatives, expansion of information technology, and other care innovations.

Concerns remain over abortion and mandated contraceptive services within the federal health care reform law; cost effective utilization of Medicaid and Medicare; adequate provider reimbursement; and monitoring the Affordable Health Care Act to assure affordable coverage for all, especially impoverished children, families and other uninsured persons.


Link to the Catholic Conference of Ohio's Dept. on Health Affairs


 

Catholic Conference Raises Questions Regarding Proposed Work Requirements for Persons on Medicaid

Ohio Seeking Federal Waiver Which Will Result In The Loss of Medicaid Health Coverage For Some Ohioans

In a letter sent to the Ohio Medicaid Director, the Catholic Conference of Ohio offered comments regarding an 1115 Demonstration Waiver Application. The proposed waiver considered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid establishes new work and community engagement requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid. As currently crafted, it is complicated and targets a population already at serious risk for health and welfare. It also undermines the physical and mental health and self-sufficiency of a population that has shown significant improvement since expanded access to Medicaid was made possible.

U.S. Bishops Chairman Expresses Concern, Calls For Careful Implementation Of Health Care Executive Order

Concerns raised regarding Executive Actions on health care, and ending subsidies to insurers

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called for the Administration and Congress to protect low income people, as well as enact comprehensive reform for the sake of the most vulnerable.

Urge Congress to Pass the Conscience Protection Act of 2017

Defend Health Care Professionals Who Choose Not To Participate In Abortion.

Urge Congress to pass the CPA (H.R. 644) and S. 301) as part of must-pass appropriations legislation. The USCCB has joined with 32 other groups representing millions of Americans and tens of thousands of health care professionals with a profound concern about abortion, and particularly about the conscience rights of health care professionals and facilities who choose not to participate in the destruction of unborn lives.

U.S. Bishops Chairman Responds To Defeat Of GOP "Skinny Repeal” Bill

"The greatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful but how we have cared for the 'least of these.'"

In response to the Senate vote on the "skinny repeal" bill, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, issued the following statement:

"Despite the Senate's decision not to pass legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act last night, the task of reforming the healthcare system still remains. The current healthcare system is not financially sustainable, lacks full Hyde protections and conscience rights, and is inaccessible to many immigrants. Inaction will result in harm for too many people.

A moment has opened for Congress, and indeed all Americans, to set aside party and personal political interest and pursue the common good of our nation and its people, especially the most vulnerable. In order to be just, any bill for consideration must:

Protect the Medicaid program from changes that would harm millions of struggling Americans.

Protect the safety net from any other changes that harm the poor, immigrants, or any others at the margins.

Address the real probability of collapsing insurance markets and the corresponding loss of genuine affordability for those with limited means. 

Provide full Hyde Amendment provisions and much-needed conscience protections.

Any final agreement that respects human life and dignity, honors conscience rights, and ensures that everyone can access health care that is comprehensive, high quality, and truly affordable deserves the support of all of us.

The greatness of our country is not measured by the well-being of the powerful but how we have cared for the 'least of these.'  Congress can and should pass health care legislation that lives up to that greatness."

Statement

House Budget Resolution Places Poor in Jeopardy Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development expressed concern

“The USCCB is closely monitoring the budget and appropriations process in Congress and is analyzing the proposed House budget resolution in more detail.  It is clearly noted at the outset that the proposal assumes the harmful and unacceptable cuts to Medicaid from the American Health Care Act.  Additionally, steady increases to military spending in the resolution are made possible by cutting critical resources for those in need over time, including potentially from important programs like SNAP that provide essential nutrition to millions of people. The bipartisan approach to discretionary spending in recent years, while imperfect, reflected a more balanced compromise given competing priorities. 

A nation’s budget is a moral document.  Reducing deficits through cuts for human needs—while simultaneously attempting a tax cut, as this proposal does—will place millions of poor and vulnerable people in real jeopardy.  Congress should choose a better path, one that honors those struggling in our country.”

More

Revised Senate Health Care Reform Bill Still “Unacceptable,” Says U.S. Bishops Chairman

Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, Chairman of the U.S. Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development Responds

The USCCB is reviewing carefully the health care bill introduced by Senate leadership on July 13, 2017. 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."

July 13, 2017 USCCB Statement by Bishop Dewane

House Does Not Override Governor Kasich's Veto of the Medicaid Enrollment Freeze

House leaves open their option to reconsider this provision through 2018

The Catholic Conference of Ohio commends House members for not overriding Governor Kasich's veto of the State budget provision that would  freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program

The State Budget bill, approved by the Ohio GA,  proposed to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program starting July 1, 2018. Governor Kasich vetoed this provision.  The Ohio House met on Thursday, July 6, 2017 and opted not to bring up this provision for an override vote.

Because of our concern for the poor and vulnerable, the Catholic Conference of Ohio encouraged House members not to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid Expansion Program.

The Catholic Bishops of Ohio have consistently insisted that access to decent health care is a basic safeguard of human life and an affirmation of human dignity from conception until natural death. Medicaid serves the most vulnerable.  It is a vital safety net that offers health care coverage to Ohio's low-income children, parents, pregnant women, seniors, and people with disabilities, serious mental illness, and drug addiction. Our Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, mental health, and developmental disabilities programs effectively and responsibly utilize and depend on reimbursement from the Medicaid Expansion Program.

The House may decide to reconsider this provision anytime before December 31, 2018.

U.S. Bishop Chairmen Provide Senate With Moral Principles For Health Care Reform

As the U.S. Senate begins to discuss health care reform, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin provided moral principles to help guide policymakers in their deliberations.

In a letter sent on June 1, the Chairmen of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stressed the "grave obligations" that Senators have "when it comes to policy that affects health care." While commending the bill passed by the House of Representatives, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), for its protections for unborn children, the Bishops emphasized the "many serious flaws" in the AHCA, including unacceptable changes to Medicaid. 

Full Statement

Catholic Poverty–Response Organizations Issue Action Alerts regarding the Proposed Federal Budget

Catholic Charities USA and Catholic Relief Services concerned over proposed cuts to human services

Catholic Charities USA Action Alert

 

 

 

Catholic Relief Services Action Alert

Chairmen from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Raise Concerns over Proposed Federal Budget

The moral measure of the federal budget is how well it promotes the common good of all, especially the most vulnerable

President Trump's proposed budget calls for a sharp increase in military spending while making significant cuts across much of the rest of government, including reductions in many long-standing federal programs that assist the poor and vulnerable.

In letters to both the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate, the bishops reaffirmed the federal budget as a moral document containing profound implications for the common good of our nation and world. The letter states that the "budget requires difficult decisions that ought to be guided by moral criteria that protect human life and dignity, give central importance to 'the least of these' (Matthew 25), and promote the welfare of workers and families who struggle to live in dignity."

"Sharp increases in defense and immigration enforcement spending, coupled with simultaneous and severe reductions to non-defense discretionary spending, particularly to many domestic and international programs that assist the most vulnerable, would be profoundly troubling.  Such deep cuts would pose a threat to the security of our nation and world, and would harm people facing dire circumstances. When the impact of other potential legislative proposals, including health care and tax policies, are taken into account, the prospects for vulnerable people become even bleaker." 

The letter was signed by Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York, Chairman, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Bishop George V. Murry, SJ, of Youngstown, Chairman, Committee on Catholic Education, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, of Burlington, Chairman, Committee on Communications, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman, Committee on Migration. 

The full text of the letter sent to the U.S. Senate/U.S. House of Representatives is available at:  

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/federal-budget/letter-to-congress-on-fy-2018-federal-budget-2017-05-19.cfm

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Prayer for an End to Human Trafficking

Oh God, we didn't see them.

But you did-

The hundreds and thousands of human beings trafficked each year to join the millions who are trapped in modern-day slavery.

Under terrible conditions, they work in factories, plow fields, harvest crops, work quarries, fill brothels, clean homes, and haul water.

Many are children with tiny fingers for weaving rugs and small shoulders for bearing rifles.

Their labor is forced, their bodies beaten, their faces hidden from those who don't really want to see them.

But you see them all, God of the poor.

You hear their cry and you answer by opening our eyes, and breaking our hearts and loosening our tongues to insist:

No mas. No more.

Amen