Bishops to Congress: Get Health Reform Done

Church's role in health debate becomes even more paradoxical
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2010 9:10 AM CST
Bishop William Murphy, one of the letter's three authors, answers a question during a news conference following the opening of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting, Nov. 16, 2009, Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Rob Carr)
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(Newser) – The US Catholic bishops, whose primary role in the health care debate until recently was to voice concern about abortion funding, have changed tack in the wake of Scott Brown's election and are now urging Congress not to abandon the "moral imperative" of universal health coverage. The appeal the bishops sent lawmakers yesterday will test their influence with pro-life and GOP allies, David Gibson writes in Politics Daily.

The letter penned by three bishops calls health care a basic human right and urges Congress to put politics aside. To the clergymen, Scott Brown—who is both pro-choice and opposed to universal health care—represents the worst of all possible worlds. Gibson points out the bishops' paradoxical role in the health care debate: Invited to the table by Obama, whom they pilloried during the campaign, they've found their ostensible GOP allies almost entirely unwilling to listen to them on health reform.

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