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March 17, 2010

Catholic women's groups join to push health bill

The heads of major Catholilc women's groups, representing 59,000 Catholic sisters in the United States, Wednesday voiced strong support for the Senate version of health care change--even though it has less restrictive abortion language than its House of Representatives counterpart.

"While it is an imperfect measure," the groups said in a letter to members of Congress, "it is a crucial next step in realizing health care for all."

The groups explained, "We have witnessed first hand the impact of our national health care crisis, particularly its impact on women, children and people who are poor.We see the toll on families who have delayed seeking care due to a lack of health insurance coverage or lack of funds with which to pay high deductibles and co-pays.

"We have counseled and prayed with men, women and children who have been denied health care coverage by insurance companies," it added. "We have witnessed early and avoidable deaths because of delayed medical treatment."

The House is expected to vote on later this week, or at least deem as approved, the Senate bill, which passed that chamber Dec. 24. A separate bill would then make some changes, and need approval of both Houses.

Abortion is a major controversy, and about a dozen Democrats have expressed concern about Senate language, which is less restrictive than the House.

But, the sisters said, "We urge you to vote yes for life by voting yes for health care reform" in the bill.

Among those signing the letter were Marlene Weisenbeck, FSPA, president, Leadership Conference of Women Religious; Joan Chittister, OSB, co-chair of Global Peace Initiative of Women and St. Mary Persico, IHM, president, Congregation of Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

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Better Gnomes and Gardens

We will probably not see the real costs until after the 2013 elections

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