Catholic Charities USA Calls for Affordable and Accessible Healthcare for All

Feb 25, 2010, 09:28 ET from Catholic Charities USA

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In accordance with its 100 year history of working to reduce poverty in America, Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and its President, Rev. Larry Snyder, today called for Healthcare Summit attendees to put politics aside and unify behind the need to once and for all bring affordable and accessible health care to all Americans.

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"As our nation's leaders come together to look for a bipartisan pathway to reform our broken healthcare system, it is essential that they recognize the implications of inaction," said Fr. Larry Snyder.  "People throughout our country are burdened by healthcare costs, pushing a new generation of Americans into poverty."

In its most recent Snapshot Survey, CCUSA unearthed alarming data pointing to a 53% increase in those seeking emergency financial services.

Of the agencies surveyed, 51% reported an increase in those self-identifying as middle class seeking services.

In Boston, MA organizations are increasingly serving dual income families who can no longer make ends meet.

In the face of dramatically reduced donations, agencies in Phoenix, AZ are being forced to reduce health insurance benefits for their workers.

"We have hope that our country's leaders can recognize the moral imperative of addressing the need for affordability and accessibility of healthcare that respects the dignity of life," said Fr. Larry Snyder.  "There are many issues associated with healthcare reform that divide us as a nation, but one that can unite us all; healthcare reform is essential to the reduction of poverty in America.   CCUSA believes the call for healthcare reform represents a national moral crisis, but recognizes that the nation's poor are living this reality as an economic crisis.  The nation's current healthcare system has become an underlying cause for the proliferation of poverty in America.  As the leading voice in the mission to reduce poverty throughout the country, we see fixing the nation's healthcare system as integral to our overall efforts."

Catholic Charities USA's members—more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for nearly 8.5 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary.

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA