Jesuit journal praises US health reform law as needed, long-awaited
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
June 3, 2010
ROME (CNS) -- The health care reform law passed in the United States marked "a needed and long awaited beginning" of bringing greater justice to all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, said an influential Jesuit journal.
"Limited access to health care compromised in many ways he health of citizens and the country," said the journal, La Civilta Cattolica.
It also said the different positions within the U.S. Catholic community over whether the measure should have been passed reflected a "clash" of differing opinions over how to implement church social teaching.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama March 23, is a continuation of efforts by U.S. presidents to introduce "measures that aim for greater justice for all citizens and, in particular, for the most vulnerable," the journal said.
The Rome-based biweekly magazine is reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication.
The June 5 article, released to journalists June 3, was written by Italian Jesuit Father Andrea Vicini, a professor at the Pontifical Faculty of Theology of Southern Italy in Naples and visiting professor at the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College.
The article praised the substance of the law, especially its aim of making the health care system less expensive, more efficient and more dedicated to the needs of the people, especially the estimated 15 percent of the population with no current heath care coverage.
However, the Jesuit magazine lamented the extreme divisiveness that built up during the debate on the measure, saying that "the monolithic opposition of the Republican Party was surprising," especially given that some innovative projects for providing universal health care coverage had been promoted by some notable Republican leaders in the recent past.
"The degree of division and political and partisan opposition that crystallized during the months of debate before the reform was a source of