download the pdf
the issue as a matter of human dignity, everyone has the right to medical care. Like any basic element of life, health care sustains us and must always be accessible and affordable to everyone, where they need it, when they need it, without exceptions or interruptions.
The consequences of not having insurance are significant. Because uninsured patients don’t get the right care in the right place, they are up to four times more likely than insured patients to require avoidable hospitalizations and emergency care.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has taken significant steps to expand access to health insurance coverage and improve the quality of care in our delivery system, but there is still work to be done. Recent discussions to expand coverage have included expanding the Medicare program, which continues to be highly successful in bringing affordable health coverage to hundreds of millions of elderly and disabled Americans. while we are encouraged that lawmakers are considering options to expand health care coverage for many more individuals and families, we do not believe that “medicare for all” proposals are politically or financially feasible in a highly divided congress, requiring solutions bipartisan for any legislation to move forward. cha will continue to work with congress to ensure that any legislative proposal preserves and expands access, affordability, coverage, and quality within our health care system and aligns with the principles of our vision for america. health care.
ministerial tradition our mission, consistent with Catholic social teaching and values, calls us to serve as advocates for all, particularly the poor and other vulnerable populations. We believe that health care is a basic human right. To that end, health care should be seen as an essential component of a free and just society, as should education. As a Catholic health ministry, we are committed to moving the nation toward a fairer and more equitable health care system that ensures health care for all.
cha’s position and activities cha’s vision for u.s. health care sets forth our principles for a fair and equitable health care system and is derived from our core values: human dignity; concern for the poor and vulnerable; Justice; common benefit; management; and pluralism.
principles for us health care
- available, affordable and accessible to all, with special attention to the poor and vulnerable;
- well-being and prevention aimed at improving the health of communities;
- patient-centered and designed to enhance life and dignity from conception to natural death;
- safe, effective and designed to offer quality and value; and
- funded sustainably and fairly.
- improving the affordability, accessibility, and quality of coverage for all, paying special attention to low-income and vulnerable people and those negatively affected by the health and economic impacts of the pandemic.
- ensure continued access and coverage for the approximately 20 million Americans who have obtained insurance coverage under the aca, including those with pre-existing and chronic conditions.
- pursue innovative policy approaches to delivering care, such as telemedicine, to improve access and outcomes and reduce costs through integration, coordination, and prevention.
- improving access to mental and behavioral health services to ensure coordinated and holistic care
- ensure the availability of care in both rural and urban underserved areas.
- rollback the previous administration’s expansion of short-term insurance plans and association health plans. reverse the expansion of short-term limited duration plans and association health plans, which provide insufficient and extremely limited coverage and are allowed to freely discriminate based on age and pre-existing conditions.
- make permanent the affordability of America’s bailout for low- and moderate-income families. arp temporarily increased premium subsidies for people with incomes below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (fpl), while ensuring that families in the individual and small group markets never pay more than 8.5 percent of your premium income. we urge Congress to make these improvements permanent beyond 2022.
- Restore vital consumer protections. rescind the previous administration’s recent guidance on section 1332 of the Affordable Care Act which undermines protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
- restore funding for outreach, education, and in-person enrollment assistance. cha supports legislation to reverse the staggering cuts in funding to boaters and educational and outreach activities by the previous administration. such legislation must ensure that consumers have the information and help they need to obtain coverage; that education and outreach are targeted to hard-to-reach populations in a linguistically and culturally appropriate manner; and recognize that helping consumers enroll in medicaid and chip is a key part of the browsers functionality.
- fix the “family bug”. enable and assist three to six million more Americans to purchase health insurance coverage in the marketplace, thereby expanding the risk pool and increasing stability. Under current rules, employer-sponsored insurance is considered affordable if the cost of employee-only coverage is less than or equal to 9.66 percent of family income in 2016. However, if a family member has an affordable offer individual coverage, then all family members are not eligible for tax credits to purchase Marketplace coverage, even if the cost of coverage for the entire family is more than 9.66 percent of family income. While these families are not subject to penalties when dependents go without coverage, these families lack an affordable option to cover all family members.
- provide a reinsurance program to help insurers manage large and unpredictable costs by sharing a portion or allocating the risk of the insurer’s costs to their more expensive enrollees. The most common type of reinsurance allows insurers to obtain additional funds to help cover costs above a certain threshold (for example, a claim over a certain dollar amount or a member with a defined health condition). This allows insurers to better manage their costs, as more expensive and difficult to predict health care costs are offset by reinsurance. The federal government also saves money on premium tax credits, since reinsurance lowers premiums.
In accordance with our vision, the Catholic Church’s Health Ministry continues to advocate for a health care system that serves all. At the 117th Congress, we will work to:
legislationin the 117th congress cha supported provisions in the american bailout plan (arp) that allowed more people and households to access affordable health insurance through the aca. this expansion of coverage guarantees that the subsidies are available to more people, while ensuring that no one pays more than 8.5% of their income in the health plans available in the aca exchanges. While this represents an important initiative to promote affordable and accessible health care, we urge Congress to continue to make improvements to benefit individuals and families.
We support the ongoing work of the House Committees on Energy and Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education and Workforce to reduce health care costs by improving affordability in the individual market. In addition, we urge the new leadership of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Senate Finance Committee to work together with their House counterparts and build on the following provisions:
In addition, Cha remains committed to protecting the Affordable Care Act in its entirety by urging the courts to rule upholding the law’s constitutionality in Texas v. California and filed an amicus curia brief with the supreme court last year in support of the law.