The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Legal Analysis and Moral Judgment at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

Picarello Jr., Anthony R.
August 2012
Linacre Quarterly;Aug2012, Vol. 79 Issue 3, p338
At the time that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was being debated in Congress, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops took great care in its response to the act. This article describes some of the internal legal issues raised at the USCCB that informed the bishops' ultimate moral opposition to the act. In short, the issues were the threats to conscience contained in the bill, how the bill addresses coverage for illegal immigrants, and whether the bill would fund abortion. While the debate about abortion funding captured almost all of the media attention, all three of these considerations informed the position of the bishops that the bill should be opposed. The reasoning behind each concern is discussed as well as the respective roles of the lawyers, analysts, and bishops in reaching the conclusion.


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