Nuns celebrate Affordable Care Act victory, but healthcare battles on Capitol Hill will continue

Charlie Neibergall AP Nuns on the Bus: Sister Simone Campbell, right, executive director of Network, speaks in front of Renate … Continued

Charlie Neibergall


Nuns on the Bus: Sister Simone Campbell, right, executive director of Network, speaks in front of Renate Dellmann, of Ames, Iowa, during a stop on the nine-state Nuns on the Bus tour..

We at NETWORK are thrilled by the Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act. Since the day we were founded by Catholic sisters 40 years ago, we have lobbied for access to affordable, quality healthcare. Catholic teachings about the common good and dignity of each person instruct us that this is a basic human right.

Because health-care access is an integral part of NETWORK’s mission, some may find it ironic that I was out in the country traveling on the “Nuns on the Bus” tour when the Supreme Court announced its decision in Washington.

Actually, I was in exactly the right place. Traveling from state to state, community to community, I have met hundreds of people representing the millions directly touched by this lifesaving, historic law.

Sunday night, I met a grieving family in Cincinnati who had just come from a memorial service for Margaret, their mother, sister and aunt. Margaret, who was 56 when she died, lacked health-care insurance through her work, and this prevented her from getting medical attention. When she finally saw a doctor, it was too late to save her life.

During our travels, a woman in a wheelchair also showed us the letter she had received saying she would lose dental coverage provided by Medicaid as of July 1.

The stories of the people we have met are real, and they touched our hearts.

When I first learned what the Supreme Court had decided I immediately thought about these wonderful people. And my friends. And my own family. So many people all around me and across the country who had been helped today.

I further reflected on the journey NETWORK had taken from our founding to today. Decades of lobbying members of Congress, testifying on the Hill, organizing our activists, and writing about health care had led to this historic day. Two years ago, I wrote the “nuns’ letter” that was signed by many leaders of U.S. Catholic sisters just prior to the historic vote in Congress. Many considered that one of the critical tipping points that led to the bill’s passing. We never questioned the law’s legality, and the Supreme Court proved us right.

So where do we go from here?

View Photo Gallery: A group of Catholic nuns associated with Network, the Catholic social justice lobby called out by a recent Vatican report, is touring the nation to draw attention to economic inequality.

Sadly, the people’s victory is not yet complete.

I found myself somewhat disheartened on Wednesday when I read in Politico that no matter what happened with the Supreme Court, House Republicans would do all they could to make sure the law’s benefits would not reach the people.

So our battles on Capitol Hill will continue.

And people in all the states will watch what happens regarding Medicaid. We have faith that state officials will see that valuing people over politics is the right and moral way to go.

As we work hard on implementation of the law, we will also work to fill in the gaps as we find them.

We want to make the law even stronger, expanding coverage to more immigrants, to more people who struggle to pay for their medical needs, and to others.

Our faith tells us that access to health-care safeguards human life. This law is pro-life and we must do everything possible to preserve and expand its reach.

Sister Simone Campbell, SSS, is executive director of NETWORK, A national Catholic social justice lobby.

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  • DavidJ9

    Your bishops are doing all they can to undermine progressives in the United States. Call them out on their anti-Christian behavior.

  • leibowde84

    Agreed. I expected to see some “you should follow your bishop’s orders” posts … but I’m very glad to see they aren’t here. If there is one thing that is for absolute sure, the Vatican is not right about everything. Questioning rules and doctrine is what makes America great … and is the only way that the catholic church can survive.

  • verbummilitant

    Dear “Sisters”,

    The blood of All the children aborted by this ObamaNation are on your hands. Celebrate now. One day soon you will reap what you have sowed.

  • SJames6621

    Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely

    When you claim to speak for God…………………………..

    BTW check out the next great scandal about to unfold in the church

    Gay kids castrated

    the same thing was done to Alan Turing, who broke the German Sub codes in WWII., Winston Churchill said we would have lost the war to the nazis except for Turings accomplishment

    Turing committed suicide in 1952.

  • verbummilitant


    There is a difference. Unlike the examples you cite above, the “Sisters” suggest that they represent sound Catholic teaching. They do not. To support any legislation that promotes a woman’s “right” to kill her unborn child is to support an intrinsic evil. No amount of good excuses an intrinsic evil.

    Unfortunately, not all Catholics know or pratice their faith. Look at the twelve Apostles chosen by Christ. It was His plan to pick one who would later betray Him. Does that make His teaching any less true? Perhaps He, who knows all, was trying to teach us a lesson that we can apply to your concerns.

  • clementw

    Affordable, accessible, health care for all is absolutely great. As to ObamaCare being Catholic, I respectfully disagree with this nun. True Catholic healthcare is as it was prior to the birth of Health Care Insurance. Congressman Ron Paul addressed this during the primary campaign. Health care was delivered by committed physicians and Catholic and Protestant nuns hands-on when Ron Paul was a young man and so was my own father.

    The Health Care system which has been existing since Third Party Insurance took over, has become more and more impersonal and this Nun’s statement that ‘It is Catholic’ means that completetion of the Impersonal delivery and consnsumption by the faceless ‘government’ is catholic and akin to saying that each and politician is a god/idol.

  • verbummilitant


    I’m sorry, but the few women these days that die giving birth are not killed by anyone. To kill is to “cause the death of; to destroy.” In a abortion, the mother actively “causes the death of; destroys” her unborn child.

    Neither I, or any other Catholic “causes the death of, or destroys” a mother who dies in childbirth.

    “Save the pre-molested?” There is no greater form of child abuse than a mother killing her own unborn child. None! Have you ever witnessed a ultrasound image of a child fighting for their life in a mother’s womb as the abortionist slowly cuts off one limb after another before sucking the dismembered body out?

    Let’s be sure we define all of our terms. Abortion is not a “woman’s chioce” — it is a bloody, mutilated child, killed by his or her mother.

    The “good news” is that God is a loving Father and will forgive even those who slaughter His children if they repent.

    “Sisters” abortion is an intrinsic evil. Nothing; no amount of supposed good wraped around ObamaCare will ever change the rotten core of this law.

  • rocko fritters

    nothing in obamacare would help the lady whose funeral Sr. attended. in fact it will make certainly more cases like this. government involvement only makes things more expensive and less caring. but Sr’s focus on social justice and government action on her narrow focused view of what social justice is provides an insightful view into why the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and NETWORK are now in trouble with the Vatican and based on her views will obviously be merrily marching off to schismville in the next year or two… what a shame but that’s what her left myopic view leads to eventually

  • statsman

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Frankly, too often these “religious” act as if they have the right to be everyone’s conscience without ever having to personally pay, like the rest of us, for the consequences of their espoused policy. Starting with the a priori notion that everyone should have health care may be fine, but then, you cannot walk away from the consequences of a bad policy with unintended consequences, like the loss of your religious freedom, for one. Government medicine has been tried and is a disaster in much of Europe or Canada or the U.K., which simply means that there will be far more heart rending stories for sister to complain about in 15 years after Obamacare gets done with us. This is a bait and switch that is the first step to European style “health” “care” which will destroy civil society and religious run hospitals. Will these nuns be there when the damage happens and government “Healthcare” kills us literally, or like I suspect, will their political attitudes and love for Obama keep them silent. To ask the question is to answer it, unfortunately. Sorry sister, “Social Justice” is fine, but the devil is in the details.

  • jack824

    Why do you think Europeans don’t like their healthcare systems? o system is perfect and there will always be those with complaints, but Most run far more efficiently than ours. Some high-priced end-of-life treatments might not be fully covered, but the entire popuation is whithout payers spending a fortune trying to pass the costs onto each other.

  • rhcrest

    You should be ASHAMED of yourselves! There is a tax that everyone must pay of $1 a month for abortion in this horrendous law! And you call yourselves Catholic? Jesus will judge you when you die and don’t think you get excused because you are a nun. Have fun with Satan when you die

  • APEppink

    How’s this law Pro Life Sister? You women rejected your habit and now you reject the Church’s teachings. Why call yourselves Catholic?

  • CXT20

    I am a former Catholic who was baptized as a few-day-old infant and attended Catholic school through eight grades. These nuns give the Catholic church the kind of credibility it no longer has because the male hierarchy covered up for pedophiles and discriminates against women and gays. If Sister Simone were Pope, I’d be a Catholic again.

  • rufuschoate2

    This nun’s order will be extinct in the next ten years, it has no future nor faith. It is an dying lifeless left wing organization that has not been relevant for the 30 years in the faith life of Catholics. I was educated in grade school and college by Nuns. I, to this day, have never met a more vile and vindictive collection of women anywhere than the Sisters if Saint Joseph. Street walkers have more decency and humanity. .

    I am still a Catholic and appreciate the wisdom of the Savior in selecting only men to be his Priests and Apostles.

  • ThomasBaum

    Do you think/believe that Jesus took all of the sins of all of humanity upon Himself on the cross?

    If yes, then apparently you believe that Jesus died in vain.

    If no, then how can Jesus judge anyone?

  • ThomasBaum

    Jesus also selected Mary Magdelene as the Apostle to the Apostles.

    Apostle means “sent” and it was Jesus Who sent Mary to tell them something about Himself, did He not?

  • ccnl1

    Only for the Sisters of the Bus:

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?: And how many “souls” would be saved?

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror LIKE 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian “religions” and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!



    For Obamacare-
    U.S. Department of the Treasury
    Credit Accounting Branch
    3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
    Hyattsville, MD 20782

  • persiflage

    …..and Turing essentially invented computer technology. There was hardly a greater contributor to the advances of the 20th century.

    He was outed as a gay man and heaviliy ostracized thereafter by way of the prevailing Victorian ethos of the British Isles……. thus leading to his suicide. Humans are such pawns of their early conditioning……..

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