Category Archives: Health Care
NETWORK, a DC Catholic lobbying organization, has been little known outside the Beltway since its founding by Catholic sisters in 1971. Within the Beltway and in the media, NETWORK is known as a Catholic organization whose representatives often visit members of Congress but never to advocate on behalf of the unborn or the true meaning of marriage.
When President Clinton presented the Presidential Citizen’s Medal in 2001 to one of NETWORK’s founders, he praised the “national Catholic lobby that has mobilized thousands of nuns and lay people to fight for social progress in South Africa, for women’s rights and for economic justice.”
Yet, it was during the debate over Obamacare when NETWORK attracted national attention. As NETWORK describes proudly on its web site: “….during the 2010 health care reform struggle, NETWORK Executive Director Simone Campbell, SSS, wrote the “nuns’ letter” supporting the bill and got 59 signers on the letter, including LCWR. She was thanked by President Obama and invited to the ceremony celebrating its being signed into law.” (more…)
One of the most tragic results of the new health law is that it will make it harder for many of the most vulnerable in our country to get the medical care they need. This is especially true for patients covered by Medicaid, the government program that pays medical bills for the poor.
For many, Medicaid is a paper promise. It covers an almost unlimited list of medical services, but in reality, Medicaid patients find it hard to find a private doctor who can afford to provide actual medical care. That’s because Medicaid pays doctors and hospitals only about half as much as private payers do — far below their costs of providing the care.
The problem is particularly acute with specialists. One Florida doctor reported that, after a long battle with the state over payment for treating a patient with complex lung disease, he received a check from Medicaid for one penny.
About 16 million people — half of the 32 million who are expected to get health coverage under the new health law — will be enrolled in Medicaid in January of 2014, with almost no changes to improve or modernize the cumbersome, complex, and wasteful program.
This large Medicaid expansion could have catastrophic effects on those who provide society’s health care safety net. (more…)
It was long in coming: An August 26 open letter signed by many of the Catholics who have cheered on President Obama and his administration have asked that the health care policy be changed to allow conscience protection for religious institutions.
Among the signatories are Professors Fr. Thomas Reese of Georgetown, Lisa Sowie Cahill of Boston College, Margaret Steinfels of Fordham, and Nicholas Cafardi of Duquesne. All are Obama supporters, and all signed a 2009 letter circulated by Professor Stephen Schneck of the Catholic University of America in defense of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius when, because of her support for abortion, she was not to receive communion.
Now, ironically, these same Catholic, Obama supporters are asking Secretary Sebelius to change a policy that would force Catholic institutions to offer contraception and abortion in the name of “health care.” Their 2009 letter described Sebelius as “a woman of deep faith” but obviously not deep enough to care about using the power of the government to close down Catholic hospitals that would not abide by HHS policy. (more…)
Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, rightly observes a “Catch-22” in the Obama administration’s decision to mandate that all health care plans offer free contraceptive and sterilization services to women.
Donohue points out that the exception made for religious institutions, such as Catholic hospitals, is a sham. That exception applies only to religious institutions “that primarily employs, and serves, persons who share its religious tenets.” (more…)
On Tuesday, July 19, 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a report they are marketing as “Greater use of preventive care could have a profound impact on the nation’s health. The IOM identifies which services are important to women’s health and well-being and should be covered under the Affordable Care Act.”
The pro-abortion/pro-birth control community is toasting this report and it will likely be used repeatedly as justification for their cause.
We at Catholic Advocate thought it was important to share the thoughts of the Catholic Medical Association on the report. At the end of their articulate assessment of the report, they call on the Secretary of Health and Human Services to reject this report. Unfortunately, past decisions by Kathleen Sabelius, the former Governor of Kansas and a Catholic, lead us to believe she will embrace this report. (more…)
“Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance” (CCC 2288).
The issue of health care dominated the debate during the 2010 election. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), passed by Congress and signed by President Obama, attempts to provide universal care for American citizens long supported by the bishops.
Some people falsely assume that for health care to be universal it must be managed by the federal government. In fact, the bishops have never stipulated how universal health care – reasonable access for everyone to adequate health care – should be achieved. It could have been achieved by a combination of personal and corporate insurance coverage, supplemented by philanthropic and governmental programs. (more…)
“Ruling affirms Catholic Church’s Teaching on Subsidiarity”
WASHINGTON – Catholic Advocate applauds today’s ruling by District Judge Roger Vinson, finding the individual mandate in “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” unconstitutional and, therefore, the entire law unconstitutional.
“Catholics should applaud this ruling since it affirms the Church’s teaching on subsidiarity — based upon a historic concern about centralized governmental power — and individual freedom,” said Catholic Advocate President Deal Hudson. (more…)
By Matt Smith
U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, a federal judge in Richmond, Virginia declared a key section of the Obama administration’s health care reform law unconstitutional. The lawsuit was filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli in defense of Virginia’s own law that prohibited those living in the Commonwealth from being forced to purchase insurance. (more…)
By Matt Smith
As a father of two, I often find myself asking my children to be quiet at times when I do not want them to speak during in opportune times. Now, in the wake of the very unpopular pro-abortion health care reform, TARP, failed stimulus, and extremely low approval ratings for the institution, Congress this week is attempting to silence our voices from being heard in this year’s elections.
H.R. 5175, the DISCLOSE Act, was introduced in April to legislatively overrule the recent Citizens United Supreme Court decision and narrowly passed the House of Representatives on June 24, 2010 by 219 – 206. The primary author of the legislation is Representative Chris Van Hollen (D, MD-08) who also serves as Chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
The Citizens United ruling was a victory on behalf of those who cherish the fundamental freedoms protected by the First Amendment. The proposed legislation will not ensure free, fair, and transparent elections, but rather create a punitive measure for associations of persons who choose to exercise their right to free political speech as guaranteed by the Constitution, and affirmed by the Supreme Court in the Citizens United v. FEC case.
The bill targets corporations and conveniently exempts traditional Democrat campaign supporters, including unions. Disclaimer requirements and limits on foreign corporations and government contractors target only the political speech of corporations, with no effect on unions including foreign-influenced labor unions, public-employee unions, or government grant recipients.
One key casualty will be grassroots organizations such as Catholic Advocate and other pro-life, pro-family organizations.
In May, nine former Federal Election Commission (FEC) members, spanning thirty-five years of service co-signed a letter to the House of Representatives stating:
“Its disclosure provisions are unnecessary – duplicating information that is readily available to the public or providing information of extremely low informational value at a significant cost in terms of complexity and lack of clarity, especially for grassroots political speech.”
On July 22, 2010, Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY) began working feverishly to have the DISCLOSE Act moved through the Senate before Congress leaves for their August recess later this week, signed by President Obama, and implemented before the November 2nd elections.
The DISCLOSE Act is an acronym for Democracy is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act, or in the words of some it should probably be called “Democratic Incumbents Seeking to Contain Losses by Outlawing Speech in Elections”.
The DISCLOSE Act is not about accountability in our elections. This Act is about silencing those who are frustrated with the direction of our country and who want to hold our elected officials accountable for their votes.
Members of the Catholic Advocate community interested in ensuring their voices are not silenced should immediately contact their Senators today.
Matt Smith is Vice President of Catholic Advocate
By Matt Smith
Members of Congress are still trying to hide behind Catholic Health Association CEO Sister Carol Keehan’s pro-life declaration about the health care bill suffered another defeat on July 2, 2010.
One component buried in the health care bill is a minuscule $25 million pregnancy assistance grant program to be administered by states through arrangements between the federal Department of Health and Human Services and partners such as institutions of higher education, high schools, community organizations, and state attorneys-general offices.
HHS states the $25 million will be distributed in amounts between $500,000 and $2 million, if applicants meet certain criteria. This is throw away money considering Planned Parenthood annually receives $350 million in taxpayer funding.
The Catholic Advocate community might remember hearing about a Government Accounting Office (GAO) report released the Friday of Memorial Day weekend this year that proved taxpayers paid $967.1 million to groups that perform or promote abortion between 2002 and 2009.
- $967.1 million (nearly a billion dollars of your money) to support abortion according to the GAO
- $25 million to pregnancy assistance
And now for the real surprise from the Obama administration’s Department of Health and Human Services led by Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic…
Planned Parenthood and its clever grant writers are able to compete for these federal dollars the way grant rules are written and assessed. Applicants have until August 2, 2010 to submit their proposals for funding which, among other things, must include a letter of endorsement from a “state representative.” With stringent criteria such as this, the game is fixed and only the few true pregnancy assistance centers with some form of State government endorsed partnership will be able to apply for these funds.
While Planned Parenthood has received what amounts to an abortion-entitlement program from the federal government for years, crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-family, pro-mother organizations have been succeeding for years without the handouts. Instead of needing to lobby Capitol Hill for funding, the free market and support for life have allowed them to establish a lasting formula for success.
A true pro-life champion of Congress, not one of those who compromised with their vote for the health care bill needing cover, should consider introducing legislation that extends the deadline and clarifies for HHS how the funds can be used to ensure Planned Parenthood or another pro-abortion entity cannot possibly use these funds that are meant to support women and their unborn babies.
Matt Smith is Vice President of Catholic Advocate