Sister Carol Keehan is upset by a report in the New York times that the Catholic Health Association is split with the USCCB in regards to the health care bill passed by the Senate. Fair enough - anything printed in the NYT is worth closer inspection and large rocks of salt.
"There is not a shred of disagreement between CHA and the bishops," she said. "We believe there is a great possibility and probability that in conference committee we can work toward a solution that will prevent federal funding of abortion."[reference]
Though I would have to wonder why the CHA has made no public complaints of the passed Senate bill? This bill without a doubt provides for federally funded abortions along with a host of other problems. Yet their site has made no statements since the 17th of December. That statement said:
The Catholic Health Association is pleased to learn of the work being done to improve the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009. As we understand it, the Senate intends to keep the President's commitment that no federal funds will pay for abortions and in addition, provide significant new support for pregnant women.
While we have yet to see the manager's amendment or Senator Robert Casey's final abortion amendment language, we are encouraged by recent deliberations and the outline Senator Casey is developing. It is our understanding that the language now being written would prohibit federal funding of abortion, ensure provider conscience protection and fund programs to provide supportive care to some of the most vulnerable pregnant women in our society.
Especially now that a public health insurance option is no longer on the table, we are increasingly confident that Senator Casey's language can achieve the objective of no federal funding for abortion. We urge Congress to continue its work toward the goal of health reform that protects life at all stages while expanding coverage to the greatest possible number of people in our country. We look forward to reviewing the final language these improvements contemplate.
Well there was more than just a shred a difference between what the USCCB said about the Casey amendment and what the CHA said. That amendment was horrific and a travesty in every way. To support it without seeing the text is extreme naivety. Sen Casey has been more than just wishey-washey when it comes to abortion. There is no way anyone could just take his description of the amendment without seeing the actual text.
The senate bill that passed included the wording of the Casey amendment. So is this a case of the CHA being for it before they were against it? What has changed to make them now against the bill and with the USCCB? Well nothing. The bill is just as toxic as it was on the 17th of December.
So count me skeptical on the CHA's opposition since they have not even taken the time to write one statement in opposition to it. In fact all of their announcements have been generally supportive with only some "concerns."