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Respect Life Ministry (Diocese of Belleville) at 2620 Lebanon Ave., Bldg #2, Belleville, IL 62221 US - Federal Health Care Reform  

Federal Health Care Reform  

 CLICK HERE for USCCB Conscience Protection Webpage. (Check for updated parish resources!)

(For US Representative contact information in strips to print/distribute click side one and side two.)

Updated NCHLA for HHS Comment period! - Click here
***NCHLA Action Alert Center (Submit e-mail directly to legislators urging support for the "Respect for Rights of Conscience Act")***

4/15/2012

"Our First, Most Cherished Liberty: A Statement on Religious Liberty" by the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee on Religious Liberty

4/10/2012

Click here for the intial USCCB response to the March 21 "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" (ANPRM) to the HHS Mandate.


3/23/2012

In solidarity with gatherings across the country, today there was an inspiring and well attended Mass and Religious Liberty Rosary Walk in Belleville. Click here for the local paper's slide show of the walk and herefor prayer that we still need to pray!  



3/15/2012

Please note this final paragraph of the most recent Administrative Committee Statement from USCCB emphasizing continued vigorous defense of Religious Liberty:    (Click here for complete statement from March 14, 2012) 

"Most importantly of all, we call upon the Catholic faithful, and all people of faith, throughout our country to join us in prayer and penance for our leaders and for the complete protection of our First Freedom—religious liberty—which is not only protected in the laws and customs of our great nation, but rooted in the teachings of our great Tradition. Prayer is the ultimate source of our strength—for without God, we can do nothing; but with God, all things are possible."

3/4/2012  Status summary and next step

---   What is the status?   There was a back and forth over supposed accommodations, some splintering (also see here and here – Catholic Charities denied support however) of what had been a real united Catholic voice, and then a turn to the Senate with hope for protection through the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, which garnered a base of support, but was unable to pass after a vote of 51 – yes to 48 – no.

 ---   What to do next?  This issue will continue to be debated in this Congress. It is especially important at this time that Senators hear from us in response to the vote. A message of deep disappointment needs to be sent to Senator Durbin who voted to set it aside.  Encouragement needs to be sent to Senator Kirk (who indicated his support but was unable to vote) to remain firm in his support until such a time as he has the opportunity to vote.  NCHLA has set up a special e-mail campaign to enable constituents to send messages to their two Senators. Users will be shown the two suggested messages. The system will automatically choose the correct message for the user’s two Senators.  Click here to act now.

2/25/2012  Catholic Information Center Panel Discussion on the HHS Mandate on C-Span Video For a summary listen in at 8:20-18:00; but the full length of 1:26:00 is very much worth hearing!

2/15/2012  Cardinal DiNardo, Chair of USCCB Pro-Life Activities Committee, urges Senate support for "Respect or Rights of Conscience Act" (S. 1467)

2/15/2012  Birth Control Mandate:  Unconstitutional and Illegal  (WSJ Article)

2/13/2012  Six More Things Everyone Should Know About the HHS Mandate (USCCB Blog Post)

2/7/2012  Letter from Bishop Braxton for bulletins and to be read at all Parishes

2/3/2012  "White House Misrepresents Its Own Contraceptive Mandate" - A USCCB response to Obama Adminitstration claims found on the White House blog.

1/30/2012 - "Here Comes Everybody... on HHS" A USCCB blog post showing broad support of the Church's position, with links, including this link to sign a WhiteHouse.gov petition.

Posted 1/26/2012 From Diocesan Feb 2012 Monthly Mailing:
USCCB regarding United States Department of Health and Human Services

Memorandum from Monsignor Ronny E. Jenkins, General Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.

Press Release
  For further reading:
  Talking Points
  Backgrounder
  Question and Answer Fact Sheet
  Script of Video featuring Cardinal-designate Dolan
  Ad limina Address of the Holy Father to the Bishops of USCCB Region IV (Gives excellent context!)

(For interest : Catholic Charities of Sacramento vs. Superior Court, 2002)

Listen HERE to a conversation with Mr Zach Wichmann from the Catholic Conference of Illinois about the issue of the HHS Rule and Conscience Protection - recorded during the comment period - but remains relevant!

Posted 9/12/2011 Important Links for HHS Rule/Mandate Alerts


Urgent USCCB HHS Rule Memorandum

USCCB HHS One Page Bulletin Insert     Spanish Version
Illinois Bishops' Statement
Catholic Conference of Illiniois (CCI) HHS Rule Talking Points
Sample editorial comments by Zach Wichmann, CCI
USCCB Webpage on Conscience Protection and Threats

***Continue to next post for additional information and means of submitting comments.***

Posted 9/9/2011 CCI Alert for HHS Rule

On August 3rd, the federal Department of Health and Human Services issued Interim Final Rules on Preventive Services.  The rules include two highly objectionable provisions: (1) a mandate on all private health care plans to cover prescription contraceptives approved by the FDA – including abortifacient drugs -- surgical sterilizations and related patient education and counseling; and (2) an incredibly narrow definition of religious employer for exemption from the mandate.

The Department has called for public comments to be submitted on these rules until September 30, 2011.

Through the Catholic Conference of Illinois (CCI), the Bishops of Illinois have submitted in public comments their objection to the rules.  The Bishop’s letter is attached. (See post above) We are also asking all Diocesan Pro-Life Offices and Pro-Life individuals to take time to send in comments.  To facilitate this, talking points are also attached to this email.  Please use them to guide your submission.

You may submit comments in one of the following ways:

-- Electronically at http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=HHS-OS-2011-0023-0002.

-- By regular mail to: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-9992-IFC2, P.O. Box 8010, Baltimore, MD 21244-8010. (Please allow sufficient time for mailed comments to be received before the close of the comment period.)

-- By express or overnight mail to: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services, Attention: CMS-9992-IFC2, Mail Stop C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21244-1850.

-- By hand or courier.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this very important matter.

Zach Wichmann
Director of Government Relations
Catholic Conference of Illinois

Posted 5/25/2010

The USCCB supports H.R. 5111 to help remedy the morally flawed Health Care Reform Law.  Click here for statement and more information. 

* US Representatives with districts (at least in part) in the Diocese of Belleville- (Click name to get to website):

   
Jerry Costello    Timothy Johnson    John Shimkus
      618-233-8026           618-262-8719           618-252-8271

Posted 4/13/2010

Click here for "Abortion Funding in the New Health Care Reform Act"

Posted 3/30/2010 

Excerpt from the conclusion of the detailed legal analysis from the USCCB re the Health Care Reform Bill with the Executive Order (for full analysis click here) (CHCs - Community Health Centers):

"In sum, the Executive Order cannot and does not fix the statutory problems of direct funding of abortion at CHCs, and of funding insurance plans that cover abortions; it cannot and does not make up for the abscence of conscience protections that are missing from the statute; and it does not strenghten the protections that are there, though it could have in certain limited ways.  Where the Order purports to fix a shortcoming of the Act in these areas, it is highly likely to be legally invalid; and where the Order is highly likely to be valid, it does nothing to fix these shortcomings."
 
Posted 3/23/2010    Click here for the Bishops' response to the passed Health care Legislation.

I would like to express sincere appreciation for the work and prayers of all who labor in defense of Life. The disappointment of seeing a morally flawed Health Care Reform Bill pass weighs heavy. As we continue to witness to life, lets remember that how we speak (our "process") will also b
e received as part of the message; may it communicate both truth and love.

Posted 3/20/2010  Bishops submit one more letter hoping that morally flawed legislation NOT be passed!  Click Here

Posted 3/17/2010 

Please Click Here for a March 15 statement by Cardinal Francis George, President of the USCCB, regarding the current Health Care Bill.  "The Cost is too High; the Loss is too Great"

POSTED 3/11/2010 

Bulletin Insert Update with links to updated NCHLA Action Alert.  
CLICK HERE

USCCB has a dedicated Health Care Reform webpage!  
                 
> Click Here to visit!<

 

"In sum, the Executive Order cannot and does not fix the statutory problems of direct funding of abortion at CHCs, and of funding insurance plans that cover abortions; it cannot and does not make up for the absence of conscience protections that are missing from the statute; and it does not strengthen the conscience protections that are there, though it could have in certain limited ways. Where the Order purports to fix a shortcoming of the Act in these areas, it is highly likely to be legally invalid; and where the Order is highly likely to be legally valid, it does nothing to fix those shortcomings."

 

Excerpt from the conclusion of the detailed legal analysis from USCCB re the Health Care Reform with the Executive Order (for complete analysis click here):

"In sum, the Executive Order cannot and does not fix the statutory problems of direct funding of abortion at CHCs, and of funding insurance plans that cover abortions; it cannot and does not make up for the absence of conscience protections that are missing from the statute; and it does not strengthen the conscience protections that are there, though it could have in certain limited ways. Where the Order purports to fix a shortcoming of the Act in these areas, it is highly likely to be legally invalid; and where the Order is highly likely to be legally valid, it does nothing to fix those shortcomings."

Posted 03/09/2010

Click here to read a one page fact sheet, prepared by the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, on "Abortion Funding in the Senate Health Care Reform Bill."

Posted 01/07/2010

Recognizing the unpredictability of the congressional calendar on Health Care Reform, the USCCB has sent an URGENT Request for action (contacting legislators) with the following resources:

Cover Note to Leaders (Spanish Translation)
Pulpit Announcement and Prayer (Spanish Translation)
Bulletin Insert (Spanish Translation)


Posted 12/23/2009

A letter (click here) has been sent to the Senate from the USCCB urging them not to move its current health care reform bill as it is considered deficient for not meeting the following moral criteria: "keep in place current federal law on abortion funding and conscience protection; protect the access to health care that immigrants currently have and remove current barriers to access; and include strong provisions for adequate affordability and coverage standards."

Posted 12/5/2009

From the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, in affiliation with the USCCB: "The Senate has begun consideration of its health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3950). Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) have submitted an amendment that, like the Stupak amendment, prevents this legislation from mandating abortion coverage or providing federal funds for coverage that includes elective abortions. The Senate is expected to vote on this amendment during the week of December 7, perhaps even early in the week. " Click here to go to the alert!


Posted 12/2/2009
 

U.S. Bishops Voice Disappointment in Abortion-Funding Provisions in Senate Health Bill, Urge Better Care for Immigrants and Affordability

WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the Senate to make essential changes its health reform bill in order to keep in place federal law on abortion funding and conscience protection on abortion, protect access to health care for immigrants and include strong provisions for adequate affordability.

The bishops called the Senate health care bill an “enormous disappointment” that creates new and unacceptable federal policy for funding and coverage of abortions, as well as rights of conscience. Bishop William Murphy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop John Wester voiced their wish for better health care reform legislation in a November 20 letter to the Senate. They chair the bishops’ Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pro-Life Activities and Migration, respectively...." (for the rest of the text and link to the letter click here). 

Posted 11/14/2009

On November 13, 20009 Tom Grenchik, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, sent an URGENT request that Parishes continue their active engagement to ensure that the language in the Stupak Amendment to the House Health Care Bill be adopted by the Senate.  Additionally, "the Senate needs to address other essential moral priorities such as protecting conscience rights, making health care more affordable and accessible for those without coverage, and ensuring that immigrants do not lose or will not be denied needed health care coverage."   Parishes and Pastors have been sent resource information to help in this regard.  The UPDATED Bulletin Insert is included HERE. (Spanish Here)  Thank you for your efforts, and most especially ongoing prayers.
 
Posted 11/12/2009:


From USCCB, November 9, 2009, after passage of House Health Care Reform:  "Cardinal George Lauds House Action to Ban Federal Funds for Abortion; Promises Vigilance as Senate Pursues Health Care Reform, Wary About Effect on Poor, Elderly"  Click here for full release!


Thank you to those who contacted legislators to encourage voting "Yes" on the Stupak Amendment.  Please click here to see how your Illinois Representative voted and consider placing a call to either thank him or her, or to request reconsideration for such legislation in the future.   

Posted 10/29/2009:

NATIONWIDE USCCB BULLETIN INSERT

  In addition to contacting legislators you are encouraged also to contact the White House directly  - click here for e-mail form and other contact information!   
**Click here for two-sided contact sheets that can be copied, cut and distributed.**

Posted 10/26/09     Please consider placing a call to the U.S. Capitol switchboard as indicated below!  CLICK HERE to get to the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA) Action Alert.  Here is an excerpt: 

ACTION: Contact Members through e-mail, phone calls or FAX letters. To send an e-mail click here. Call the U.S. Capitol switchboard at: 202-224-3121, or call your Members’ local offices. Full contact info can be found on Members’ web sites at www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.

MESSAGE—SENATE: “During floor debate on the health care reform bill, please support a floor amendment to incorporate longstanding policies against abortion funding and in favor of conscience rights. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”

 MESSAGE—HOUSE: “Please support the Stupak Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Help ensure that the Rule for the bill allows a vote on this amendment. If these serious concerns are not addressed, the final bill should be opposed.”
 
 
Who is NCHLC and what do they do?  From their website:
The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment is dedicated to pursuing this vision. The organization's objectives include educating citizens, developing pro-life legislative networks, and offering programs in support of pro-life legislation. Among its various activities, NCHLA produces educational and program resources, communicates with leaders about legislative priorities, and presents legislative seminars throughout the year. In a special way, NCHLA assists dioceses, state Catholic conferences, and Catholic lay groups. The Committee also works closely with the Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.   (Emphasis mine.)

Posted 8/14/2009  

The USCCB has launched a Health Care Web Page promoting its support of “truly universal health policy with respect for human life and dignity.” The page,www.usccb.org/healthcare, includes letters from bishops to Congress, videos, facts and statistics, frequently asked questions, and links for contacting members of Congress.
 
Posted 8/12/2009 

Click here to read a letter from Cardinal Rigali, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Pro-Life Activities, urging amendments to HR3200 to correct fundamental deficiencies.

Posted 8/7/2009  

Here is a link to "A Line in the Sand" by Tom Grenchik, Executive Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted 7/23/2009    

Here is a link (Click Here) to contact information for Health Care Reform policy makers who you may contact in addition to your own Senators and Congressman. 

For the most recent USCCB JPHD Action Alert click here.
Also an excerpt from an update from Richard Doerflinger, USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat, 7/22/09:

 The House Energy and Commerce Committee has interrupted the markup of a House “tri-committee” bill to see what can be worked out on a number of key issues that are blocking broader support for the legislation, including pro-life concerns. Two other House committees passed the bill earlier this week, but it is Energy and Commerce that has jurisdiction over the parts of the bill where pro-life concerns are most pertinent.  If these concerns are not worked out by consensus among Energy and Commerce committee members we will soon be writing to the committee specifically supporting amendments to address them.

 
Posted 7/21/2009   

Please see this link (Click Here) to the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment (NCHLA), affiliated with the USCCB, for a Federal Legislative Action Alert in support of health care reform that respects life.  

*This page provides a link to the letter written by Bishop William Murphy, Chairman of the Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, to Congress last week saying: “The USCCB looks forward to working with you to reform health care successfully in a manner that offers accessible, affordable and quality health care that protects and respects the life and dignity of all people from conception until natural death.”    There is also a two page information sheet, Making Health Care Reform "Abortion Neutral":  What is the Legal Status Quo on Abortion? by the USCCB Pro-Life Secretariat.

*NCHLA also provides a very user friendly way to send an e-mail to your legislator with both suggested text and the opportunity to personalize (which perhaps speaks more influentially to your legislator!) your remarks.

Posted 7/17/2009    

This link (Click Here )is to an Action Alert/Information Sheet from the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development (JPHD).  It includes a prayer for the uninsured.  (On this link you will also see where you can sign up for direct Action Alerts this Department and ideas about being involved.)

This link (Click Here ) is to a concise Statement for the Record by Bishop William F. Murphy, Chairman, USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, to the United States Senate Committee On Finance Roundtable Discussion on "Expanding Health Care Coverage," dated May 20, 2009. 

The full range of JPHD Health Care Reform resources (including above) is found by clicking here!
 

 

Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Public Policy Day Keynote from Rocco Palmo on Vimeo.


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