Pope upset that health care is too tied to people’s finances

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience, in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is upset that increasingly only the privileged can afford sophisticated medical treatments and is urging lawmakers to ensure that health care laws protect the “common good.”

In a message Thursday to a medical association meeting at the Vatican, Francis expressed dismay at what he called a “systematic tendency toward growing inequality in health care.”

He said in wealthier countries, health care access risks being more dependent on people’s money than on the actual need for treatment.

Without citing any countries, Francis said health care law needs a “broad and comprehensive view of what most effectively promotes the common good” in each situation, including looking out for society’s most vulnerable people.

U.S. lawmakers in Washington, D.C., have been debating how to overhaul the nation’s health insurance legislation.

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