Since our founding more than 40 years ago, NETWORK has advocated for accessible, affordable, quality, universal healthcare. We believe, on the basis of Catholic Social Teaching, that access for all to affordable, quality healthcare is a fundamental social good – i.e., something that benefits all of us – as well as a human right.
The passing and signing into law in March 2010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (healthcare reform) marked the first time in U.S. history that our government has committed to steps to ensure that people of all ages, including those with preexisting health concerns, have healthcare coverage. The new law does not have everything we wanted, but it is a historic step, and we were elated when its constitutionality was affirmed by the Supreme Court on June 28, 2012.
The new law promotes quality healthcare that is more accessible, affordable, universal and pro-life .
Specific changes in our healthcare system are occurring year-by-year  as aspects of the new law come into effect.
What We Need:
- We must protect and expand the Affordable Care Act. A total of 16.4 million non-elderly adults have gained health insurance coverage since the Affordable Care Act became law five years ago this month. This is a historic reduction in the number of uninsured people.
- All states should immediately expand Medicaid programs for families and individuals who are eligible. Under the ACA, families and individuals who earn less than 138% of the federal poverty level are eligible for Medicaid. Lawmakers who deny access to healthcare for Americans struggling in poverty are acting unjustly. Medicaid must be available to all eligible persons, and elected officials should immediately expand this vital healthcare program.
- Congress should immediately enact a four-year funding extension for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) this year. While the CHIP program was reauthorized through 2019, the funding is currently set to expire in 2015 unless Congress acts this year.
- We must eliminate restrictions on coverage for immigrants. Eliminate the five-year ban for documented immigrants to be eligible for government healthcare benefits (Medicaid, federal subsidies, etc.) and allow undocumented immigrants to buy healthcare coverage on the exchange with their own money.
NETWORK's current healthcare project: Medicaid Expansion in all 50 states. For more information and to access our toolkit, visit: http://www.networklobby.org/nuns-bus-medicaid-expansion