CatholicVote is mounting a campaign to bring attention to 3 Catholic Hospitals that are closing. The CEO said that ObamaCare “absolutely” factored into the decision.
This is certainly a troubling concern, made more so by the allegations that the White House, the local media, and Sr. Keehan have tried their best to quiet the story.
However, one has to be cautious. The report that CV apparently relies on is based on a doctor’s opinion-a doctor that does not appear to have any knowledge of the actual discussions at the hospitals in question. This unnamed doctor alleges that it is due to Obamacare restricting the ability of the hospital to collect Medicare reimbursements and thereby making its debt unbearable.
Presuming this is the case, the hospital is closing not b/c it cannot carry out healthcare in a Catholic way but because Obamacare has diminished hospital returns to make the hospital not profitable enough. While hospitals having trouble paying off their debts due in part Obamacare is an important concern, all it is really pointing out is that Obamacare was an imprudent measure as it actually hurt healthcare. It is not showing that Obamacare has made it impossible to remain a truly Catholic hospital.
To me, a hospital heavily in debt that can now no longer support those debts is not that troubling. If it could be shown that this is a widespread situation, and that this hospital’s debts were usual in the industry, then there would be great concern regarding whether it was prudent to pass obamacare.
It is puzzling therefore to see CV arguing that this requires “pro-life alternatives” in November as “it is becoming more and more difficult for Catholics to have access to ethical health care.” It seems the proper response based on that criticism is that we need more fiscally conservative alternatives in November, as it is more and more difficult for anyone to have access to healthcare as it has become economically unfeasible for many hospitals.
Pro-lifers and Catholics in the medical field have enough to be worried about from Obamacare. The funding for abortion and lack of conscience protection are extremely troubling as the bishops pointed out seemingly ad nauseum to Catholics bent on passing healthcare reform regardless of costs. While Obamacare has its prudential/fiscal issues as well, it’s important to keep the two separate. A bill can be bad for many reasons, but it diminishes the strength of the pro-life cause if pro-life is casually equated with fiscally conservative. Obamacare could lead to twenty more hospitals and still be a bad law; let’s not choose the lesser objections over the greater.