The benefits of Obamacare have outweighed the original fears of the USCCB.

Once the most opposed to the Obamacare policy, Catholic bishops are now urging the Congress to either not cancel the policy or to delay its cancellation until an alternative is provided. When the American Catholic Church first opposed Obamacare, it was out of a fear that it would lead to increased abortions. However, now that the benefits of the policy to the poorer Americans who can’t afford proper medical care are well-known, the Church has asked the Congress to provide an alternative plan which helps these people just as well as Obamacare does.

Head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committee (USCCB), Bishop Frank J. Dewane, said that although the Church had initially opposed Obamacare for fear that it would support abortion and contraception seekers, the repeal would cause a lot of inconvenience for Americans from the lower rungs.

The current Republican Congress has given strong indications that it would do away with Obamacare. President-elect Donald Trump himself had stated that he would scrap Obamacare after he gets elected as president. The Church, however, has taken note of the number of people to whom medical facilities became easily accessible, thanks to the policy, and wrote a letter to the Congress asking them to at least delay the cancellation for a while, if not completely scrap the plan to repeal Obamacare.

Obamacare included medical services for people who wanted to seek abortion and contraceptive services. As this goes against traditional Church teachings, many Bishops vehemently opposed Obamacare and said that they would rather go to prison than comply with the requirements of the policy. Catholic hospitals are also known for their open refusal to provide these services.

In his letter, Bishop Dewane wrote that the USCCB hopes that the Affordable Care Act will not be repealed by the Congress without providing an alternative to replace it immediately which would continue to assure the millions of Americans who are currently benefiting from the Act. He says that Church has recognized the gains that people have made from the Act and urged the Congress to “protect those gains.” Currently, an estimated 20 million Americans make use of Obamacare and the repeal of the Act would mean that the prices of the medical services would source too high for these people to afford.

Trump and his party don’t seem to have a replacement in mind as yet. This is a great cause of worry because according to The Congressional Budget Office, 18 million Americans would suffer from even a partial cancellation of the Act. 

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