CD logo

November 6, 2009

Please Call or Email Your Representative Today for Universal Health Care for All

For me this is a season of hope -- new hope for a justice and fair prosperity for the many, and not just for the few -- new hope.  And this is the cause of my life -- new hope that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American -- north, south, east, west, young, old -- will have decent, quality healthcare as a fundamental right and not a privilege.
Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democratic National Convention, Denver, CO, August 25, 2008

Dear Friends,

It is expected that this Saturday evening, and for the first Senator Kennedy at the DNCtime in over 60 years, the House of Representatives will vote on comprehensive health insurance reform legislation.  The House vote will mark the beginning of the final leg of an historic journey championed by the late Senator Ted Kennedy, who sought to provide affordable health care for all.  It is expected that the vote will be very close, as the better angels of our nation inform our national conscience with faith and reason to overcome a campaign rooted in the politics of fear that has been waged by supporters of the insurance industry.  We are writing to ask you to help pass universal health care by contacting your Representative TODAY.

Health care is a moral issue.  It is viewed as a fundamental human right, not only advocated in Catholic Social Teaching but also in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  This right is reflected in the values of the economic systems of every western industrialized country except one, the United States of America.  We are the only country among those 27 industrialized nations that does not provide universal health care.  In contrast, our Church has been at the forefront of advocating for health care as a right for decades, including pastoral letters in 1981 and 1993.

John XXIII quoteOur Catholic sensibilities give us an innate understanding of health care as a moral issue and how it is inextricably linked to the DNA of the common good.  Today, one in six people receiving health care in the country are treated through the Catholic health care system - carrying on the legacy of Christ, His miraculous healing of the sick and His instruction to the Apostles to do the same.

The current bill, the Affordable Health Care for America Act (H.R. 3962), incorporates months of debate, as well as years of understanding for the need to reform our health insurance system.  We are reminded every day of the political consequences for Democrats to pass a health care legislation.  More important, however, are the medical, financial and personal consequences for over 70 million people each year whose medical needs go unmet.  Our call as Catholic Democrats is to help those people in need.

We are asking you to contact your representative by going to - even if you know they are supporting the current bill - and convey three short messages to them.

  • Pass a health care reform bill that provides universal health insurance for ALL Americans.  The current bill only covers 96% of legal residents in our country and the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 12 million people will be excluded.
  • Pass a health care reform bill that allows undocumented immigrants the opportunity to purchase health insurance from the proposed health insurance exchange.  The current House bill does not allow this.  Allowing undocumented immigrants to cover their own health costs not only makes economic sense but it is also the right thing to do morally.
  • Pass a health care reform bill that maintains the status quo with respect to the prohibitions of federal funding for abortion as governed by the Hyde Amendment.  There is a broad consensus - which includes the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops - that the focus of this debate should be on providing universal health care and not on abortion.  The status quo should be maintained.  

We suggest that you first try calling your Representative.  If the lines are busy and you cannot leave a message, then go to their Web site and send them an email using the input form they provide on the site.  To find the contact information for your representative, go to and either look up your representative by name or type in your zip code.

The Republicans and the insurance industry will be doing everything they can to derail this historic legislation -- don't let them.  Make your voice heard.  Be a part of history.  Please contact them today.

Thank you for your continued support.

Warm regards,

Patrick Whelan MD PhD
Suzanne Morse
Lisa Schare
Steve Krueger

PS  Please consider making a donation to Catholic Democrats to help us continue our efforts for health reform and in advancing Catholic Social Teaching in the public square and within the Democratic Party.