Catholic Organizations Ask Congress to Help Uninsured; Letter Recommends Budget Surplus Be Used to Increase Health Coverage

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Catholic Health Association of the United States

    WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The national leadership of the United
 States Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Health
 Association have written Congressional leaders in hopes of enlisting support
 in dedicating a portion of the budget surplus to reduce the number of
 uninsured persons in this country.  Currently, approximately 43 million
 Americans lack health insurance.
     In a letter directed to all members of the U.S. Senate, Cardinal Roger
 Mahoney (Chairman of the Domestic Policy Committee of the United States
 Catholic Conference), Rev. Fred Krammer, SJ (President and CEO of Catholic
 Charities USA) and Rev. Michael Place, STD (President and Chief Executive
 Officer of Catholic Health Association) joined in requesting that during
 deliberation on the FY 2002 federal budget, the Senate, at a minimum, should
 "include $132 billion in the budget to expand coverage to the uninsured."
     "The unified message being delivered today illustrates the gravity of this
 issue.  Although our organizations represents very different responsibilities
 within the Church, our shared commitment to assisting those in need demands
 collaborative attention," said Fr. Place.
     The letter, which will arrive in Senate offices on April 3rd, highlights
 Congressional Budget Office projections that place the federal budget surplus
 over the next decade at nearly $3.1 trillion.  In light of this amount, the
 letter states that "the surplus provides a significant opportunity to dedicate
 necessary resources towards reducing the number of uninsured."
     The letter to policy makers notes that the steady rise in health care
 costs and anticipated double-digit increases in health insurance premiums will
 only exacerbate an already serious situation.   The $132 Billion sought by
 Catholic organizations is in line with levels recommended by President Bush
 during his presidential campaign.
     The three major Catholic organizations noted that "in a country as
 prosperous as the United States, assisting the uninsured to gain necessary
 health coverage must be a public policy priority."
 
     The St. Louis-based Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)
 is the national leadership organization representing the Catholic health
 ministry.  CHA's more than 2,000 members form the nation's largest group of
 not-for-profit health care sponsors, systems, facilities, health plans, and
 related organizations.  For more information, visit the CHA website at
 http://www.chausa.org .
 
 

SOURCE Catholic Health Association of the United States
    WASHINGTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The national leadership of the United
 States Catholic Conference, Catholic Charities USA and the Catholic Health
 Association have written Congressional leaders in hopes of enlisting support
 in dedicating a portion of the budget surplus to reduce the number of
 uninsured persons in this country.  Currently, approximately 43 million
 Americans lack health insurance.
     In a letter directed to all members of the U.S. Senate, Cardinal Roger
 Mahoney (Chairman of the Domestic Policy Committee of the United States
 Catholic Conference), Rev. Fred Krammer, SJ (President and CEO of Catholic
 Charities USA) and Rev. Michael Place, STD (President and Chief Executive
 Officer of Catholic Health Association) joined in requesting that during
 deliberation on the FY 2002 federal budget, the Senate, at a minimum, should
 "include $132 billion in the budget to expand coverage to the uninsured."
     "The unified message being delivered today illustrates the gravity of this
 issue.  Although our organizations represents very different responsibilities
 within the Church, our shared commitment to assisting those in need demands
 collaborative attention," said Fr. Place.
     The letter, which will arrive in Senate offices on April 3rd, highlights
 Congressional Budget Office projections that place the federal budget surplus
 over the next decade at nearly $3.1 trillion.  In light of this amount, the
 letter states that "the surplus provides a significant opportunity to dedicate
 necessary resources towards reducing the number of uninsured."
     The letter to policy makers notes that the steady rise in health care
 costs and anticipated double-digit increases in health insurance premiums will
 only exacerbate an already serious situation.   The $132 Billion sought by
 Catholic organizations is in line with levels recommended by President Bush
 during his presidential campaign.
     The three major Catholic organizations noted that "in a country as
 prosperous as the United States, assisting the uninsured to gain necessary
 health coverage must be a public policy priority."
 
     The St. Louis-based Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA)
 is the national leadership organization representing the Catholic health
 ministry.  CHA's more than 2,000 members form the nation's largest group of
 not-for-profit health care sponsors, systems, facilities, health plans, and
 related organizations.  For more information, visit the CHA website at
 http://www.chausa.org .
 
 SOURCE  Catholic Health Association of the United States