Retired Catholic Bishop Endorses Health Care Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) - A retired Catholic bishop is announcing his support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, despite the church's official opposition.

Retired Bishop John E. McCarthy of Austin told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he is as opposed to abortion as every other bishop and that the bill before Congress would guard against the use of taxpayer funds to pay for it. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, however, says the restrictions don't go far enough.

McCarthy says the church has been pushing to cover the uninsured for 40 years, and Obama's bill is the closest the nation has come to achieving that goal. Lawmakers can improve on the legislation later, he says, "but let's not kill it at this crucial moment."

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