Some bishops don’t like proposed federal budget, Obamacare repeal

San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy says Republican proposals are "assault on the core principle of Catholic social teaching”

Bishop McElroy (photo from LifeSiteNews)

A handful of bishops offered impassioned pleas for Catholics to take a stand against both a proposed federal budget that critics say guts the social safety net and efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act with a law that could strip health care from millions of poor Americans.

“Within two weeks we may see a federal budgetary action with potentially catastrophic effects on the lives of our people, most especially children and the elderly, the seriously ill, the immigrant and our nation’s working poor,” Bishop George Thomas of Helena, Mt., said on Thursday during an address at the spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Indianapolis.

Meanwhile, Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego said bishops must do more “to recognize the breathtaking nature of the assault on the core principle of Catholic social teaching” present in the proposed Republican health care bill, adding that “health care is a fundamental human right and government is its ultimate guarantor.”

“The Affordable Care Act for all of its flaws was a movement in favor of comprehensive health care,” he added. “[The American Health Care Act] is a movement away.”

Bishop McElroy said the Republican-sponsored plan, which he said is being crafted “in stealth and darkness,” is designed in a way that “will deliberately fall apart in the coming years from market forces and ever smaller amounts of government revenue.”

Bishop McElroy said he supported his fellow bishops efforts to ensure that any new law prohibit the use of federal money for abortion, but he said an equally important consideration should be how many Americans lose coverage under any new law.

He said that “if the number of people who will be…realistically covered by quality health care by whatever emerges is diminished, then our conference should automatically oppose that legislation and categorically do so.”

Full story at America Magazine.

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  1. Greg the Geologist says:

    Can we please stop equating ‘health care’ with the mechanism to pay for it? The structure of insurance or other payment options may be changed, and in fact must be changed from the unsustainable approach of the “Affordable” [?!?] Care Act. Unfortunately many bishops don’t seem to be able to understand this. They are not economists, and shouldn’t pretend to be. And ‘how to pay for stuff’ is an economic question, where different approaches can be tried, changed, improved, etc., as a prudential matter.

  2. Bohemond says:

    These pathetic men in miters are nothing more than “social justice warrior” types they all probably voted for Hillary

  3. Bishop MacElroy, would that you address a comment about the “assault on core Catholic teaching” and the increased costs of health care, leading people to lose benefits caused by what is called the “homosexual lifestye.”

  4. Clergy who are dissatisfied with government spending need to spend our own money on the people and projects we support and hold dear. We need to live more simply in our often luxurious rectories, eat more economically to decrease our waist sizes that bulge over our belts, fly coach class, and not depend on the government to fund everything. Perhaps if a 501 c organization should be required to put up say 25% of its budget toward any activity it is asking the government to fund. I like to give to my charities from my money, and don’t want to dump them into a fund for someone else to choose to distribute.

  5. If I lived in the Diocese of San Diego, I would have to give serious consideration to relocating to a diocese that had a Catholic Bishop at the helm.

    • Bob One says:

      Xavier, could you give us examples of how the Diocese of San Diego is not Catholic. I don’t want to move to a diocese that isn’t catholic. Thanks.

      • Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

        Communion for adulterers, sodomites, and abortionists.

      • anonymous says:

        An example? Its (=McElroy’s new San Diego diocese) utopian socialism, a world of perfect equality without Christ or God.

        In fact, McElroy is notable for his rhetoric seldom mentioning Christ, God, or the Trinit—except when he needs to invoke moral weight to his entirely social-humanist arguments.

  6. Our government is not supposed to be Santa Claus or the Candy Man. Someone has to pay for all the freebees, and we the majority are sick and tired of being forced to pay for things that often are sinful, against God and against America. How dare the bishops become involved in this matter. They loved Obama, but hate Trump. They will not cease in their condemnation of everything President Trump does because he is more conservative, pro life and pro family than they are. It is Not a sin not to have health insurance, but it is a sin to be pro abortion anti God and anti family.

  7. Stephanie Hart says:

    McElroy seems to be a paid operative for the Democratic Party. I just lost my job and now have to pay an enormous premium each month with a ridiculous deductible. He has no clue how the middle class is being hammered by these policies. He’ll probably weigh in on the gas tax next — supporting it, of course.

  8. Bishop McElroy’s states: “health care is a fundamental human right and government is its ultimate guarantor.”

    The bishop is confused. The federal government, as the ultimate rights guarantor, means that the government ensures that the states or itself does not deny people their rights. It does not mean that the government gives people free stuff.

    If McElroy is correct, then I want the government, as my ultimate rights guarantor, to protect my right to bear arms and give me my free Glock.

  9. McElroy and many other Bishops have never worked a day in their lives to earn their daily bread. They went from their family homes to the seminary where their various dioceses paid for their priestly formation,
    Following ordination their dioceses and the parishes they served took care of all their needs. Since heir elevation to bishops they have been fawned over and given the best of everything by well-meaning laity. The result is men who have never worked and paid taxes and struggled to maintain themselves and a family on a middle class income. Bishop McElroy, please stick with something you should know – how to lead your flock to heaven! I am fed up with your liberal rantings!!!

    • And not just bishops. After you laity pay your own bills, you pay everything for us: housing, cell phone, internet, food, car insurance, car payment, retreats, health insurance, furniture, seminary tuition, books. Unless we have had jobs in the world before, entitlement becomes our expectation for us, and we transfer it to all people. Since we are institutionalized and taken care of by the church, we presume everyone else should be also, but transfer the responsibility to pay to the government under the guise of “social justice”. Thank you, laity, for all you do for us, but now you may understand why some of think the way we do.

  10. Joel Fago says:

    Bishop Robert McElroy, what about subsidiarity?

  11. Maria de Francisco says:

    Bishop McElroy truly needs to retire to a desert community and contemplate the damage he is doing with his well educated mind. Such a brilliant mind going to waste. He is someone who could do so much good and is doing so much damage. Perhaps we could start a Rosary Novena for him and he will mend his ways. He is a fairly young man so there is time for him to repent before he meets his maker.

  12. Ivy League says:

    You know what is an “assault on core Catholic teaching” Bishop McElroy?
    YOU ARE! May God help you!!

  13. Bob One says:

    There is a big difference, Steve, between saying that everyone, as humans, have a right to good medical care and how we pay for it. The teachings of the Catholic Church are pretty specific. People have a right to health care, pure and simple. And, if people can’t afford health care, the nation should help with the costs. The US, however, has not come to a consensus about the right to health care. Millions of people can’t afford it or don’t have a job that provides insurance. That really is the issue; how do we pay for health care. The cheapest, and I think the best health care plan is Medicare. Its cheap and only about 2% goes to administration. Why couldn’t we provide that for everyone. Think of the money we would save if we…

    • The Catholic Church should stick to its knitting. Everyone in the country had medical treatment in County hospitals and before that in Charity hospitals. We have elections to decide issues like Obamacare. Donald Trump won and Clinton lost.

    • Bob One,
      I think you’re confused about Catholic moral teaching. I hope we agree that health care access is a fundamental human right that should never be abridged. This is an extension of our constitutional freedoms. I’ve never heard a Republican nor a Libertarian deny this principle although I’ve heard some Democrats deny it.
      [Continued on Next]

    • [Continued on Previous]
      Another issue is how do people pay for healthcare. This subject is not within the domain of constitutional rights but political and economic philosophy. In this regard, Catholic social teaching speaks of human dignity and doesn’t dictate that the government must pay for healthcare for everyone who can’t afford it. Your opinion isn’t Catholic social teaching — but merely an application of it. Others may have different opinions that are also valid applications of that teaching.

    • There is a Catholic document and statement that could be used to justify almost anything under the category of church teaching. Each person has a right to approach medical services, but not a right to receive them without payment. Those who care for the sick for profit should assist the poor in their needs. There is no scriptural obligation for the government to pay doctor and hospital bills for everyone for everything for which they approach the medical system. This is a prudential issue as to how much a society wishes to pay in taxes and how it will spend that money on its priorities. Bishop McElroy deserves respect for the promotion of his personal priorities, but they are not necessarily requirements of justice defined by Jesus.

    • Anonymous says:

      What Bob One means is “free healthcare.” When healthcare is mandated as a right it must inevitably become free.

      As for Medicare, hospital and doctors’ reimbursements by Medicare now run about 20-25% of usual and customary fees. As a result, many MD practices will not accept new Medicare patients. Can’t afford the loss, which is shifted to paying patients. Is that ‘fair’?

      Or, we could simply reduce Bob One’s social security and pension and other income to 25%, and finance free health care. He won’t mind, I’m sure.

  14. Give to Cesar what belongs to Cesar. Then you can dress him in a blue suit with French cuffs and a long red tie and have him knifed by Black Senators in Central Park while Cesar’s wife wails in a Slovenian accent.

    The good SJW Bishop surely has offered masses for the recovery of Congressman Scalise. s/

  15. These bishops are a scandal. Christ warned these clerics what would happen to them if they caused the least bit of scandal to the little ones. For over fifty years we have been treated to heretical teachings, been given stones instead of bread, and so, for all practical purposes, just as Christ was entombed, so too the remnant of the Catholic Church has been forced to go underground. Faith is a grace, which can be lost. It is obvious that the vast majority of the Catholic hierarchy has lost the faith and abandoned the true teachings of Christ because of a lack of grace.

  16. How old is McElroy? His seventy-fifth birthday can’t come soon enough. Just pray that he is highly ineffective and does not do too much damage in the mean time.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Reading the US Bishops’ Conference proceedings now is like reading realclearpolitics.com—all politics, all the time. Socialist-democrat politics.

    Jesus, don’t interrupt our discussions, puh-leeze.

  18. Chardin says:

    Would that the bishops were as passionate about the future of the church as understood by institutions of higher learning that accept large sums of money under the pretense of Catholic identity.

    Some causes are just…well…safer.

  19. Jesusita says:

    The barque of St. Peter has been pervaded and overtaken by modernist plague infested rats. These disgusting vermin seek to invade and destroy every bastion of orthodoxy in the Catholic Church. Through grace, many traditional Catholics have already sought shelter in the life boats of normality supplied by traditional orders and priests. But unfortunately many more Catholics have abandoned the true faith by escaping to pirate ships run by schismatics and apostates. Once baptized Catholics such as Sarah Palin, Neil Gorsuch, Mike Pence, James Comey and John Brennan have sought refuge in these boats in order to at least keep their faith in God alive. Unfortunately the vast majority of Catholics have become like the rats themselves, infesting…

  20. Jesusita says:

    infesting and killing as many souls as possible. Ave Maria Purrissima !

  21. Father Karl says:

    Jesus Christ founded His Church to bring souls to God. It is the primary purpose of the Catholic Church to administer the sacraments and to guide souls correctly on the path to Heaven. School lunches, birth control, abortion, free college tuition, sex change operations etc. have nothing to do with striving for Heaven. The bishops act as if Heaven were HERE on earth, and for them,that is ALL that is important. Considering that our lives on earth are supposed to be full of weeping in this valley of tears, everyone seems to want Heaven, without having to die for it.

  22. Bohemond says:

    Notice how Bob One cannot respond….

  23. Bohemond says:

    No thanks Bob One, I do not want the government in charge of my healthcare and some faceless bureaucrat making my health care decisions. Healthcare IS NOT A RIGHT…..if want it work for it….. quit asking me to pay for you..

    • Bob One says:

      Bohemond, I’m back from short recess! :). I have paid for private insurance all of my adult life. For many years I was paying $1,000 or more per month for a really great plan. All during that time I had to have the insurance company, some bureaucrat, decide if they would pay for various procedures, I have had to wait weeks to get MD’s appointments, etc. I’m currently on a Medicare Advantage plan. Everything provided, no questions asked, for about an additional $100 per month for each of us. It always bothered me that I could get great health care, because I could afford it, and poor people couldn’t. Everyone deserves good health care. HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, except in the US of A, the richest nation in the…

      • Anonymous says:

        You have had to wait weeks because Medicare MD reimbursements are only about 25% of usual and prevailing fee rate. You have helped in the increased rationing of care.

        Think about it! Bob One wants his full social security and pension income monthly, but wants MD’S who are keeping him alive to be paid only 25% of their federally determined fair pay.

        And then he defaults into the Bernie Sanders/sans-culottes argument, that “the richest nation” should transfer wealth to pay for [his] free Healthcare. Yay, the hypocrisy!

        • Bob One says:

          Anon, you misread what I said, or at least tried to say. Do I think every human being is entitled to health care? Yes! Do I think Doctors are paid fairly? No! Should they be paid fairly? Yes! Should the quality of health care one receives be based on their economic status? No! There are a number of things we could do to improve health care in the US. We could make all make all private insurance companies provide various levels of coverage at the same price. We could make insurance policy cover clients nation wide, not just in one state like today. We could require all people to purchase at least minimum coverage nation wide. Allowing people to opt out if they
          are young and healthy increases the risk to insurance coverage and…

      • Anonymous says:

        The rich should pay for Bob One’s “healthcare-as-a-right”:

        Such as, Elizabeth Warren, in Feb 2017 worth $15.5 million; Nancy Pelosi, now worth $120 million; Dianne Feinstein, now worth $52 million; Barry Obama, now worth $20 million or more (Bob One, why don’t you levy Barry’s $60 million book-deal bucks?)—and of course Hillary, worth $32 million.

        There’s your $$$, Bob, go get it from them: should be easy.

        • Bob One says:

          Anon, there is more we can do. We could have insurance coverage at reasonable rates between jobs, or that carry from job to job. We could streamline the delivery of healthcare. Healthcare is a major industry that is just starting to use technology. We could increase the number of med schools significantly to provide more doctors, we could increase the use of para-professionals and save the MD’s for the serious stuff. We could allow the government to negotiate Rx prices. We could stop allowing Rx ads on TV (don’t they just go on and on?) like we do liquor and cigarettes. Let them use that money for research. In 1993 insulin was $21 a vile, today $250. What?

          • Catherine says:

            “We could stop allowing Rx ads on TV (don’t they just go on and on?) like we do liquor and cigarettes. Let them use that money for research. In 1993 insulin was $21 a vile, today $250. What?” = Dear Jesus, Please, enlighten the mind and misguided heart, of Bob One!

            Bob One, Please, re-read Father Karl’s beautiful June 18, 2017 at 10:13 am post!

            With God all things are possible!

  24. the real Herman says:

    The paraphrase Solzhenitsyn, the bishops have forgotten about God. It is tragic, but true that probably many of the hierarchy no longer believes in God, let alone has a relationship with the divine. The one truth that must be accepted for modernists is that there is no unchanging truth. This heretical thinking has found its way deeply into the Catholic Church, and it is a tragedy beyond reckoning. One cannot be a true Catholic and a socialist at the same time. After all, socialism is candy coated communism.

  25. A few years ago, a radio host told us about the government running things. He contrasted the United States post office with UPS. In most cases, the private carrier was more efficient, cheaper, and faster in delivering parcels than was the government sponsored post office. Seeing this, why would anyone want the government to run their health insurance. Look at the V.A. See how long it takes to have a doctor examine you. Many veterans have died waiting to be seen by a physician. With all the government waste and bureaucracy it is plain that the government cannot manage or operate anything and be successful. Remember the $700. toilet seat?

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