Jay Carney said the Catholic bishops never supported health care. Is White House press secretary stupid or a liar? Or did he just misspeak, in which case we will quickly get a correction. Below is a press release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops correcting the record:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BISHOP BLAIRE REFUTES WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY’S CLAIM THAT BISHOPS NEVER SUPPORTED HEALTH CARE REFORM
WASHINGTON—The White House press secretary, Jay Carney, said in a press briefing at the White House on February 13, “…I would simply note with regard to the bishops that they never supported health care reform to begin with…”
“This is not the case,” said Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“Since 1919, the United States Catholic bishops have supported decent health care for all and government and private action to advance this essential goal,” Bishop Blaire said. “Long before the current battles, the Catholic Church was persistently and consistently advocating for this overdue national priority.”
In the recent health care debate the USCCB called universal and affordable health care “an urgent national priority and moral imperative.” The USCCB’s criteria insisted reform should be truly universal, protect human life and conscience and not discriminate against immigrants. “The USCCB opposed the final legislation because it failed this test, a judgment sadly but clearly borne out by the failure of the law and the recent regulation to protect conscience and religious liberty,” explained Bishop Blaire.
“I hope those who made or repeated this false statement will correct the record and report the bishops’ long and consistent record of support for health care which protects the life, dignity and consciences of all, especially the poor and vulnerable.”—
Keywords: Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Jay Carney, White House, press secretary, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, health care reform, U.S. bishops, Affordable Care Act, poor and vulnerable, human life and dignity, Stockton