On June 9 President Barack Obama plans an address to the Catholic Health Association (CHA) that will focus on the future of health care and Obamacare – his signature health reform initiative.
“We are delighted and honored that President Obama will speak to Catholic health care leaders gathered for our 100th anniversary as an association,” said Sister Carol Keehan, CHA’s president and chief executive officer, in a news release. “As long-time supporters of a health care system that works for everyone and pays special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable, we are grateful for the President’s leadership on the ACA [Affordable Care Act].”
“This important law has provided meaningful health coverage to at least 16 million people who needed and deserved it, as well as improved both the benefits and finances of Medicare and Medicaid,” she adds. “We look forward to the President’s comments and insights at our Assembly, and to being a continued partner in preserving and improving the ACA.”
Keehan is a defiant member of the institutional Catholic left, breaking with the U.S. Catholic bishops when it became clear the Obama administration would expand abortion through Obamacare and require free contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs to be provided to employees of many Catholic organizations and schools through health insurance plans. In return for her support and the appearance of “Catholic” endorsement of Obamacare, the president presented Keehan with one of the 21 ceremonial pens he used to sign the health care reform into law.
Later, when the bishops rejected the Obama administration’s “shell games,” aka “accommodations,” that were claimed to solve their ethical dilemmas with the HHS contraception mandate, Keehan once again provided Catholic “cover” for Obama, splitting with the bishops and announcing, “We are pleased that our members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage.”
As Catholic News Agency reported in 2010, the late Cardinal Francis George, former archbishop of Chicago, said of Keehan, “Sister Carol and her colleagues are to blame” for the passage of the health care bill.