The Pope Has Some Strong Opinions About Healthcare Inequality

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People may not always agree with Pope Francis' views, but when it comes to health care, his Thursday comments to the European members of the World Medical Association were spot-on.
Although he didn't specifically name any countries, the pope called out health care inequality in the world's wealthiest countries, Reuters reports. He also stated that governments have an obligation to ensure that all citizens have access to quality healthcare, regardless of their economic status.
"Increasingly, sophisticated and costly treatment are available to ever more limited and privileged segments of the population, and this raises questions about the sustainability of health care delivery and about what might be called a systemic tendency toward growing inequality in health care," the pope said, as reported by NBC New York.
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"This tendency is clearly visible at the global level, particularly when different countries are compared," the pope said. "But it is also present within the more wealthy countries, where access to health care risks being more dependent on individuals' economic resources than on their actual need for treatment."
He added that, when passing legislation, it's the duty of lawmakers to put into place laws that include "a broad and comprehensive view of what most effectively promotes the common good."
These comments were delivered on the very same day that the House passed the GOP's tax bill, which would cause an estimated 13 million people to lose their health insurance. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it faces an uphill battle but still has a chance of passing, especially if modifications are made.
Although the pope parts ways with Democrats on key issues such as abortion and gay marriage, this isn't the first time he's expressed views that directly contradict those of many Republicans. In August, Vox reported that the Vatican had released a policy document supporting the protection of refugees and migrants calling on world leaders to outlaw "arbitrary and collective expulsions." He has also called out global deniers and described climate change as "one of the most worrisome phenomena that humanity is facing," as reported by CBS News.
Although plenty of Catholics fall back on their faith's anti-choice tenet as a reason to vote Republican, the pope's recent comments make clear that many of the GOP's stances fly directly in the face of Catholic doctrine.
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