Advocacy Agenda 2021-2022

(117th Congress)

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About CHA

2019-Advocacy-AgendaThe Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA) is the
national leadership organization of the Catholic health ministry,
representing the largest not-for-profit provider of health care services in the nation. By pursuing the priorities of the ministry, CHA is working
to create health care that serves everyone. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are served by Catholic health care organizations providing acute care, skilled nursing and other services including hospice, home health, assisted living and senior housing. Our advocacy is grounded in the core 

Our advocacy is grounded in the core values that form the CHA Vision for U.S. Health Care:

  • Human Dignity: Because each person is created in the image of God, each life is sacred and possesses inalienable worth. Health care is essential to promoting and protecting the inherent dignity of every individual from conception to natural death.
  • Concern for the Poor and Vulnerable: The moral measure of society is how it treats the poor and vulnerable, who are particularly marginalized by a lack of access to health care.
  • Justice: Health care is a basic human right alongside food and shelter, all of which are necessary for individuals to participate fully in society.
  • Common Good: The health and well-being of each person is intertwined with the health and well-being of the broader community. Access to health care is an essential element contributing to the common good alongside others such as education, employment and a safe environment.
  • Stewardship: Our societal resources are finite, and we must make wise choices for how they are allocated. Health care resources should focus on the well-being of the community and be structured to deliver the care that is most medically beneficial and promotes public health.
  • Pluralism: The health care system should allow and encourage involvement of the public and private sectors including voluntary, religious and not-for-profit organizations, and it should respect the religious and ethical values of patients and health care providers alike.

Our Priorities for the 117th Congress

As stated in our Vision, CHA advocates a health care system that is available and accessible to everyone and is designed to create and sustain a strong, healthy national and global community. The U.S. health care system should support and promote the health and well-being of every communitiy, including rural and urban underserved areas. We will work with Congress and the administration to create a system that provides equitable care for everyone and utilizes innovation to improve access and outcomes.

Ensuring Access, Coverage and Affordability for Everyone: While significant progress has been made toward expanding access to coverage and improving the quality of care in our delivery system, far too many are still uninsured or have coverage and care that does not fully meet their needs. We will advocate:

  • Enhanced affordability, accessibility and quality of coverage for everyone, paying special attention to low-income and
    vulnerable individuals, disadvantaged communities and those in rural areas
  • Better and more effective financing models to improve the provision of and access to care and the sustainability of the health care system
  • Innovative policy approaches for delivering care to improve access and outcomes and reduce costs through integration, coordination, telehealth
    and prevention
  • Improved access to mental and behavioral health services, as well as substance use disorder treatment, to ensure coordinated and holistic care

Eliminating Disparities in Health Care Access, Quality and Services: CHA and its members are committed to eliminating health disparities and to achieving equity in the provision and quality of health services. We will support:

  • Policies that ensure access to quality health care services for everyone; end racial and ethnic disparities in health outcomes; promote and improve the delivery of culturally competent care; and increase the diversity of the health care work force
  • Efforts to achieve economic and social equity and address health disparities and systemic racism through programs and services that address the social determinants of health, including housing, nutrition, education, employment and discrimination

Maintaining a Strong Safety Net: The Catholic health ministry is committed to serving those in need, young and old, throughout every stage of life, and to advocating on their behalf. We support:

  • Preservation and strengthening of the Medicare and Medicaid programs to protect the health and well-being of seniors and vulnerable
    low-income individuals
  • Efforts to improve access, care and quality outcomes in Medicare, Medicaid and other safety net programs
  • Policies to improve reimbursement to ensure the ability of health care providers, particularly disproportionate share hospitals, rural health and
    340(b) hospitals, to provide quality, compassionate care

Strengthening Aging and Chronic Care Services: CHA strongly supports excellence in care for older persons, advanced care planning, chronic care management and efforts to coordinate and integrate person-centered and age-friendly health care services along the continuum of care. We support:

  • Improved access to quality palliative care for those suffering the pain and stress of serious illness, as a core component of the health care system
  • Sustainable financing for long-term care facilities and services
  • Improved coordination of care and choices for elders and persons with disabilities to receive long-term care services in the most appropriate care setting, whether at home, in the community (such as PACE) or in a facility

Protecting Life and Ensuring Conscience Protection: Mission and identity are integral and indispensable aspects of Catholic health care. We support measures that allow our providers the freedom to serve, protect and defend human life from conception to natural death. We will work to:

  • Preserve and strengthen existing provider conscience protections that allow us to provide care consistent with our faith
  • Advocate policies that acknowledge our religious, ethical and moral values

Improving the Health and Well-Being of Communities: The Catholic health ministry is committed to working in collaboration with Congress, the Administration and community-based organizations to ensure a comprehensive approach to community health. We support policies to:

  • Strengthen the public health system to enhance, support and protect the health of our communities, particularly during public health emergencies
  • Address social justice issues to eliminate human trafficking, protect immigrants and their access to health care and promote environmental responsibility and sustainability as well as global health and development
  • Further our mission to care for vulnerable persons through community benefit programs, strengthening not-for-profit health care and protecting tax-exempt status