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Women religious urge Senate to reject bill repealing Affordable Care Act


  • A volunteer walks past people receiving dental care July 22 at the Remote Area Medical Clinic in Wise, Va. More than 7,100 U.S. women religious signed a letter that was delivered to U.S. senators July 24 urging them to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act and any proposals that would repeal the Affordable Care Act or cut Medicaid. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)
  • A sign for health care classes is seen posted July 21 at the Remote Area Medical Clinic in Wise, Va. More than 7,100 U.S. women religious signed a letter that was delivered to U.S. senators July 24 urging them to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act and any proposals that would repeal the Affordable Care Act or cut Medicaid. (CNS photo/Joshua Roberts, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Sister Simone Campbell, a Sister of Social Service and executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization, personally delivered a letter to U.S. senators July 24 urging them to reject the Better Care Reconciliation Act and any proposals that would repeal the Affordable Care Act or cut Medicaid.

The letter,signed by 7,150 U.S. women religious, said Catholic sisters stand by their "belief that health is a universal right." It also described the Better Care Reconciliation Act as "the most harmful legislation for American families in our lifetimes" and something that goes against Catholic faith teaching.


"As Catholic women religious, we have witnessed firsthand the moral crisis of lack of quality, affordable health care in this country. We have seen early and avoidable deaths because of lack of insurance, prohibitive costs and lack of access to quality care," said the letter, written by Sister Campbell.

The letter focused on the Senate's original proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, but it also included a section criticizing the Senate's last-minute attempts to pass a bill that didn't secure enough votes July 17 to move to debate.

The afternoon of July 25, the Senate was poised to cast a procedural vote to try again to allow debate on a health care bill.

U.S. women religious sent a similar letter in 2010 urging the House to vote yes on the Affordable Care Act.

This summer's letter points out that he women religious "fought for the expansion of coverage in the Affordable Care Act" because they value programs such as Medicaid that cover children, pregnant women, people with disabilities and senior citizens and even some women religious in nursing homes.

The letter said that the Senate's Better Care Reconciliation Act, or BCRA, "would end the Medicaid program as we know it by taking lifesaving health care away from millions," which the sisters said was "not a pro-life stance."

"We urge you to be mindful of the needs of all of our people and the call to the common good," the letter said, concluding: "Vote no on the BCRA."

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