- HHS Releases Final Mandate Rule, Effective Date Delayed
- MCC Applauds Senators Stabenow and Levin for Immigration Vote
- Senate Committee to Discuss Medicaid Next Week
- MCC Participates in Grand Rapids Human Life and Dignity Symposium
- MCC Statement Regarding U.S. Supreme Court Marriage Decision
Today the United States Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule on its health care mandate, which requires almost all employers to provide objectionable services such as contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs in their employee health plans. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has announced that USCCB will need time to fully review the new rule but the five month extension of the effective start date of the mandate “is appreciated.”
Comprehensive immigration reform legislation known as the Border Security, Economic Competitiveness, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744) passed the U.S. Senate yesterday by a 68-32 vote. Both of Michigan’s senators, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, supported passage of the legislation. Michigan Catholic Conference praised the action:
“The problems with the nation’s immigration policy have been transparent for several years and no institution has been more concerned about the separation of families than the Catholic Church. In Michigan and across the country the Catholic community will continue to support legislation that improves upon the status quo so that the rights and dignity of migrants will be protected. We now urge the Michigan congressional delegation to contribute to dialogue and work to enhance existing legislation in order to help finalize an acceptable national immigration solution.”
Archbishop Gomez, the chairman of the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops Committee on Migration, also applauded the decision and promised that “the Church will continue to fight for the rights of migrants.” Please call Senator Stabenow at 202-224-4822 or Senator Levin at 202-224-6221 to thank them for their votes and stay tuned for further updates and opportunities to speak up for immigration reform as the bill now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
The Michigan Senate adjourned for the summer recess last week before a vote was taken on Medicaid reform legislation (HB 4714), which would expand Medicaid coverage to 450,000 of the state’s uninsured population. The discussion will now continue throughout the summer as the Senate Government Operations Committee will meet next Wednesday to discuss the bill. Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville appeared on Off the Record today to discuss the next steps for the Senate concerning Medicaid reform. Michigan Catholic Conference continues to support reform that will respect the dignity of the working poor and increase access to health care for more of Michigan’s uninsured residents.
Michigan Catholic Conference joined with several other speakers this week for the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Human Life and Dignity Symposium. The first half of the day was dedicated to the issue of modern day slavery, otherwise known as human trafficking, and encouraged all present to become more educated about the issue in order to take action. During the second half of the day, speakers focused on the Church’s teaching on immigration and highlighted the importance of federal immigration reform. To see pictures from this great event, please take a look at the Diocese of Grand Rapids’ Flickr account.
Earlier this week, Michigan Catholic Conference sent out a Special Edition Lansing Update on the U.S. Supreme Court decisions on marriage, which included statements from the MCC and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. If you have not yet seen these statements, please click here. Michigan Catholic Conference continues to promote the truth that marriage is and can only be the union of one man and woman and encourages all to pray for this definition to be upheld in the state of Michigan.
If you haven't done so already, please join the Catholic Advocacy Network to receive regular public policy updates—including Lansing Update—via email.