Mixed signals on health care reform from Catholic hospitals/lobbyists

The following comes from an article sent out on December 15 on CatholicWorld Report.com by Anne Hendershott, formerly sociology professor at the Universtiy of San Diego.

The battle over health care reform promises to be the most expensive one ever waged in Congress, as armies of lobbyists advance on Washington to demand that new legislation reflect their interests. Recognizing the high stakes involved, hospitals, drug companies, unions, and a host of health care providers ranging from medical device makers to Planned Parenthood have spent nearly $400 million on lobbying. All have a vested interest in “fixing” health care to their advantage.

One of the most visible activists involved in shaping health care reform is Sr. Carol Keehan, president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), an advocacy organization that represents the interests of Catholic hospitals and large Catholic health care organizations throughout the country. Catholic hospitals and health care facilities pay dues to the CHA, whose stated mission is “to promote the Catholic Church’s ministry in health care and to respond to the members’ need to practice quality health care in the communities where they serve.”

In an attempt to fulfill this mission, Sr. Keehan has been out on the front lines advocating for health care reform from the earliest days of the Obama administration. On what side of the debate Sr. Keehan’s CHA falls, however, has been unclear and a source of concern given that all reform proposals before November permitted an expansion of abortion rights.

Read more

Obama “Credibility Gap” on health care getting wider

catholiclglogo

IS OBAMA LYING? OR JUST MISINFORMED?

President Obama went on BlogTalkRadio yesterday to address health care reform. At one point he told the left-wing religious audience, “You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true.”

Catholic League president Bill Donohue replied as follows:

On July 17, the House Committee on Ways and Means approved the America’s Health Choices Act (H.R. 3200). In the course of the debate, it considered the following amendment, sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor:

No funds authorized under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for an abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of forcible rape or incest.

In other words, the amendment barred “government funding of abortion.” It failed: 19 voted for it and 22 voted against it.

Obama said yesterday that there is “a lot of misinformation” about this issue. So which is it? Was he lying when he said there would be no government funding of abortion? Or was he just misinformed? If it’s the latter, then someone needs to get him up to speed real fast. If it’s the former, then we have the makings of an ethical crisis in the White House.

USCCB Catholic Bishops on Health Care

usccbhlth1

Visit the site

Catholic Medical Association Statement on Health Care Reform

nurseB

“While health-care reform is more important than ever, existing legislation in the House and Senate—combined with President Obama’s push for hasty action—could make our current, flawed system even worse,” said Catholic Medical Association representative R. Steven White, M.D., in a statement released on July 29, 2009. “Sound reform must be based on sound ethics and economics; but so far, the House and Senate bills meet neither standard.”

The CMA is particularly concerned about two significant ethical issues (1) respect for the conscience rights of health-care providers; and (2) a mandate to finance and provide abortion.

Read the article