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One Step Forward, One Step Back

March 1, 2010

Health care reform is back in the news again as progressive forces are mulling parliamentary procedures to make an end run around a proposed filibuster.  This is unfortunate, since the language of the current Senate bill contains abortion funding provisions. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) rightly opposes this particular bill, and has issued a nation-wide call to action as the legislation is absolutely unacceptable as it stands.

However, an organization funded by the USCCB through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) has a different view of the matter.   The Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC), a group which we had warned about last August, has taken a position directly opposite of the USCCB and is urging for the Senate version of health care reform to pass with no changes.

Exhibit A: THCC’s web-site contains an urgent call to action to support the current Senate health care reform bill.  (see: THCC website)

THCC exhorts Tennessee residents to pass the following message on to Congress:

Vote Yes to pass the Senate bill entact. You are not going to get a better bill now and more delay will put any chance of reform at risk for years. Support the Senate bill as it is and live to fight another day to improve upon it. (see: ibid)

Analysis and Commentary

It is unpleasant to have to write up this particular report.  We warned the CCHD about this group last August as being one that had a high risk of acting against the USCCB in regard to health reform, and unfortunately our predictions have come to pass.  Working with radically progressive groups carries an inherent danger, and this is one illustration of what can happen.

The USCCB itself has acted strongly in protecting the preborn, and they should be applauded for that.  However, funding groups which under-cut your good work is not a recipe for success.  THCC should be defunded immediately.

Particularly striking is THCC’s statement to support the Senate bill as it stands “and live to fight another day to improve upon it.”  These are harsh words for the infants who would meet a gruesome end in the event this legislation passed.   Where is the concern that they live to fight another day?

We will continue to monitor THCC as well as other CCHD grantees and networks which are acting in opposition to the USCCB’s call to oppose abortion funding in health legislation.  In the meantime, please consider signing the Reform CCHD Now petition to support common sense reform of the CCHD’s grants process.

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