The Supreme Court’s Decision

Today the United States Supreme Court issued a decision regarding the Affordable Health Care Act. I join the bishops of the United States in supporting access to life-affirming health care as the right of every individual; especially the poor and most vulnerable.

We adamantly oppose the portions of the law that (1) allow use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions; (2) fail to provide essential conscience protection; and (3) discriminate against immigrant families by denying them full access to health care benefits.

American bishops have never joined in efforts to repeal this law in its entirety and do not do so today but today’s opinion does not diminish the moral imperative to ensure decent healthcare for all, nor eliminate the need to correct the fundamental  flaws mentioned above. We continue to urge Congress to pass and the Administration to sign legislation to correct these three flaws as expeditiously as possible.

We will continue to advocate affordable health care for all and  will continue to study the Court’s opinion to understand its full implications for healthcare reform and for our religious liberty.

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  1. Stephen Levings says

    What is wrong with you? Don’t you understand that this law gives all power to the government? They will use it against you because they are of this world. Please wake up and lead with wisdom.

  2. Rob says

    Your Emminance,
    When you say “health care as a right for all” you don’t explain the cost. Who, according to the Church, is obliged to pay for it? It seems the Court today implies a tax burden be levied upon citizens. Is this just?

  3. Tom T says

    Your Excelency,
    With all due respect, I don`t know when you and the USCCB are going
    to come to grips with the realty of the life and death battle that is going on in this and other countries around the world that is everyday between secular liberals and their culture of death and pro-life conservatives who if dominated the political majority could appoint a pro-life Supreme Court Justice to overturn Roe Vs. Wade and fight to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. In other words you can`t walk both sides of the street at the same time and a government that taxes every one to provide free this and that for all the masses is simply called Marxism and it didn`t work then and it won`t work now.
    Pushing social justice issues and help for the poor and needy is best accomplished by Catholic Charites and any number of social agencies that are availabe. Secularism as a religion goes sadly hand in hand with liberal ideologies all one has to do is take a close at the dire situation in Great Britain where they kill babies even after they are born if there is something wrong with them, not to mention you can no longer display a cross publicly at work . As for immigrants not receiving
    access to health care that is plane wrong. Now if your talking about Illegal immigrants that is a subject for another time and I believe the USCCB is on the wrong side of that argument. Pax.

  4. Linus says

    Yes and that is just the problem. I am amazed that the bishops failed to see that AFCA was grossly flawed throughout, not only in the several areas you cited. For decades the bishops have been pushing for an all encompassing health care law. Well, now you have it. Enjoy.


  5. James Rich says

    Your Excellency,

    Can you please tell me where this “right to health care” comes from? Is it from God? Is it from the Church? Is it delineated in the Constitution of America?

    Can you please tell me where you, and your fellow Bishops, discovered this “right,” either in tradition or in scripture? I have done no little reading of Church history and theology, but no where have I EVER read of this “right of healthcare” in Church teaching. Can you please direct me to further study? I know it sounds nice and compassionate, but I think you and your fellow bishops just made something up. This concerns me as a Catholic who wants to adhere to Church teaching. I really like the sound of everyone having health care paid for by my neighbor (not by me or my parish, mind you), but I’m not sure where such a novel idea came from. If it’s from Vatican II, then maybe all the detractors of V-II are right after all…the post V-II architecture certainly suggests it.

    I believe Christians are obligated to address the cares and needs of the poor and needy; but how exactly does this relate to mandatory health insurance, which this law deals with? Do you conflate health insurance and health care? Do you believe, as this law now stipulates, that those who drive and those who don’t drive should be required to buy car insurance? In other words, your Excellency, if you take a bus to work, instead of driving, you should now be required to pay a penalty tax to cover the car damage of other drivers. That surely makes a lot of sense…if you’re completely insane!! Of course you’d never recommend something so stupid. So why do you and other bishops recommend this?

    Of course, it’s easy to just delete my email and ignore all people like me. But I believe you owe me and your flock better than you offered in this ridiculous email I heard read in Mass today. This is a teaching moment. I will remain in the Church whether you answer or not…whether you can explain yourself or not — which I don’t think you can. I hope you’re up to the task: please help me understand why the “Affordable Care Act,” which will bring us euthanasia, publicly funded abortion and birth control, and financial ruin is a good idea for America. How can we Catholics be so stupid?

    I’ll be waiting. I hope not indefinitely.

  6. Kathleen Sundaram says

    Please wake up from your Keynesian slumber. There is so much more wrong with this leviathan that crushes subsidiarity that we are driven to in supporting the fortnight of freedom. You are out of touch with those you rely on for support. The economy is sick.

  7. Theresa says

    By supporting central control of the health care system, you fail to recognize the nature of man. Man’s nature is original sin. We see the greed, pride, and power grabbing of individuals in high office. They will never stop.
    We must recognize that with freedom comes responsibility and without responsibility there will be control without freedom. If you want government to control, you can’t have freedom. There must be Love in helping our neighbors. There is no Love in government programs. That is why they can never work. There are thousands of government programs to help the poor, but more and more people need help. If the programs worked, wouldn’t we see less need? As more and more dollars are spent, the need grows. What does this tell us? We must, as people of God, take the steps to get charity out of government and back into the hands of Love.

  8. Mr and Mrs. Beem says

    Dear beloved Catholic leaders and your eminence Bishop Farrell,
    You have been pushing the liberal democratic agenda for many years and you are seeing the fruits of your labor with this newest Supreme Court decision.

    Here is how many conservatives see the situation.

    For many decades, we have seen the terrible consequences of health insurance. As a family of medical care workers, we have seen the terrible waste of money and the demands of the insurance agency policies shackle the doctors in providing for their patients. Insurance is a large part of the problem in America–NOT the solution.

    We, personally, have opted out of the insurance debacle early in our marriage and have personally paid for all our medical needs. We felt insurance is WRONG.

    The USSCB has been promoting universal health insurance. You have been trying to force insurance on us, even when we felt that was the worst thing for our country and against OUR conscience.

    Now that you have been successful in getting your personal ideas through and force us to go against OUR conscience by purchasing something we feel is absolutely going to KEEP people from getting good health care. Now insurances will have TOTAL control of the doctor. Now that you have seen the fruits of your labor to control the United States and force us to each have health care insurance, you are shocked that it has backfired on you.

    Now part of the healthcare you lobbied so hard for contains something
    that goes against your conscience you are calling on all of us, your Catholic parishioners to support you. And we will and we will pray for you and go to jail with you and even die with you in martyrdom. For we love our Fathers and bishops no matter HOW poorly they have handled this situation.

    But PLEASE, PLEASE learn from your mistakes. If you want the government to implement the Catholic agenda, you will end up having your own throat cut. Let us implement Catholic charities with our own money, with our own time and talents. The government isn’t the answer. WE are….

    With respect and honor and devoted love,

  9. walt says

    ” Discriminate against immigrant families by denying them full access to healthcare” Is he serious!!! I am an immigrant and US citizen and have never been denied full access to health care! Why are these Bishop’s so disingenuous? He wants full access to health care for illegal immigrants. Why doesn’t he just say that.

  10. Gary Kruse says

    We should learn from experience that making deals with secular societies (such as Israel did with Rome in Maccabees) will only end in disaster (as it did in 67 AD). If we are going to go against the government in some issues within healthcare and not dissent to their ends, we will succumb. We need to compete squarely against what it (the government) stands for in the marketplace, irregardless of the consequences. Having the public witness persecution from the status quo is a powerful motivator. Being eliminated in the end …leaves no one. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!

  11. Matt Soldano says

    Thank you Bishop Farrell. The Chief Justice implies that we have to change the bill through the election by voting for supporters of the changes the Bishops support.

  12. says

    No one is ever “entitled” to what legitimately belongs to another. For one to have a “right” to health care, or a house, or a car, or food, or any other material good, it must be bought by the person for himself, or paying for it by others has to be voluntary. The government’s taxation/redistribution scheme is a violation of the 7th commandment against theft, and advocacy thereof is material cooperation in that intrinsic evil.

  13. Flamen says

    Do you really think that there is any chance whatsoever in having the Republican controlled House make any modifications to the law when their chief aim is to reapeal it in its entirety? Stop urging the laity to vote Republican if you want to see anything done for the middle class.

  14. says

    I have no idea what makes the Bishops think that the Gov’t will be able to provide health care to all citizens especially the poor and needy immigrants. Their track record is abismal. What program can they point to to demonstrate gov’t success? I am a patient in a Gov’t run health program and if what I am getting is what everyone else will have ,I pity them. The loss of freedom however is certain.The Bishops continually join the democrats in passing programs which destroy our constitution and our freedom.Our country has become great because of our constitution. When will the Bishops understand that big gov’t isn’t the solution ,it is the problem.

  15. says

    Bishop Farrell,

    I respect your consistent call for the right to life and equal treatment, especially as many of the moral issues that must be brought to forefront of this debate; however, I am perplexed as to how the right to own property, whether as possessions or money, that can been understood though at least natural law, is not part of your statement.

    As you know, under the health care law a person is monetarily penalized by not purchasing health insurance. This clearly violates Catechism Paragraph 2411, which states:

    “2411 Contracts are subject to commutative justice which regulates exchanges between persons and between institutions in accordance with a strict respect for their rights. Commutative justice obliges strictly; it requires safeguarding property rights, paying debts, and fulfilling obligations freely contracted. Without commutative justice, no other form of justice is possible.”

    The health care law absolutely does not safeguard property rights, but even further, compels each American, possibly against their own free will, to enter into a contract with an insurance company or medicare/aid.

    I ask that you consider this disregard for the natural right to private property and the right to freely and justly enter enter into contractual agreements as the violation that is are and, call for the measures that offend these rights to be amended. It is through this across-the-board and consistent support of Catholic Social Teaching that a just and agreeable alternative can be met.

    Andrew Sciba

  16. Deacon Bill Gallerizzo says

    Well put! Congress has the power to adjust the legislation, but it is their choice (I use the word loosely) to decide to do something positive for the people, or to whine, complain, downtalk, and continue to do little as has so marked recent politics. They are supposed to be intelligent adults (that is also a loose term). Congress gets good health care themselves and a fine pension for a two term minimum. They have taken care to provide themselves with the best; take care of the people, all the people, and give THEM the best.

  17. Larry says

    All due respect I couldn’t disagree more. these are great goals and could be implemented IF, and thats a big if. If the US was not in such a huge debt crisis. If the US wasn’t spending so much military. If the congress would establish a minimum manufacturing base for US corporations forcing them to bring jobs home. If there was not such a terrible recession. Believe me, unemployment is much greater than. 8.5 %. If they would work to bring down health care cost.

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