Skip to comments.Proposed rule worries Catholic health workers
Posted on 09/05/2011 12:40:19 PM PDT by RnMomof7
WASHINGTON Although churches have dispensed health care in Europe since the fourth century and in North America for at least 350 years, the Obama administration has just stepped forward with its own definition of what constitutes a rel i g i o u s -o r i e n t ed health institution.
Briefly, the legal definition to be used for the 2010 Affordable Care Act is that a truly religious hospital or clinic hires only those who believe in that faith and admits for treatment only fellow believers.
So-called Obamacare would define a religious hospital or clinic that using an imaginary example hires and treats only those who followed Swedenborgianism, or in another instance, supplicants of the Rosy Cross.
More to the point, the proposed rule poses a massive conscience problem for the more than 630 Catholic hospitals, and for Catholic health professionals, in the United States.
Congress has refused many efforts to pass such a proviso. President Obama himself pledged in the health care fight there would be no more assaults on freedom of conscience for religious institutions and professionals.
Yet this new restriction is in a regulation published by Obamas Department of Health and Human Services that will become law after the completion of a comment period on Sept. 30.
In reality, no such hiring or admission limitations exist in any American hospital, dispensary or health insurance program whether religious, government, voluntary or for-profit. If any hospitals abided by this severely narrow definition, they could in many states and municipalities be denied Medicare or Medicaid money, and federal construction loans.
Religious gerrymandering is what lawyers for the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops called the proposed rule in a detailed comment filed with HHS last week.
The rule, 45CFR Part 147, centers on the mandate that all citizens buy health insurance by 2014. It requires, according to the bishops, all Americans to pay for insurance coverage of contraceptives, sterilization and medicines the bishops believe prompt abortions processes that conflict with traditional Catholic belief. The bishops urged Obama to scrap the regulation.
Asked for a reaction, HHS spokesman Keith Maley said, We welcome comment to ensure that we have struck an appropriate balance between access to preventive services and respect for religious beliefs. Its true that the bishops power is sapped because of ongoing scandals over clerical sex abuse worldwide. But answers to exactly why Obama chose this place in his pock-marked political landscape to open up a brand-new front in the culture wars with traditional Christians may be found only on the analysts couch.
Helen Alvarez, a law professor at George Mason University, thinks she has part of the answer. A circle of secularists that Obama has placed in the top ranks of HHS to draft new regulations, she says, just cant help themselves.
They live in a bubble, said Alvarez, a longtime pro-life advocate. This circle does not rate religion as a positive force. They dont want religious [health care] providers in the public square any more. This administration is trying to function in every place where it can make it difficult for people to act on their deep-seated beliefs.
Proponents would call it tolerance. But if the HHS rule is affirmed as written, the bishops and others will surely take it to the Supreme Court and their litigation will be piled on to the other challenges to Obamacare.
Some traditional Catholics and evangelicals are urging Congress to pass H. R. 1179, which applies freedom of conscience protection to the entire Affordable Care Act. Introduced in March, the bill has only 50 sponsors, none from Western New York. Neither New York Democratic senator supports the Senate companion.
“...and admits for treatment only fellow believers...”
I can detect the evil roots of an Islamic hospital.
This is the “Cretin/Muzlim -in-Chief” at his best level of stupidity.
The USCCB owns the passage of Obamacare...they are reaping what they sowed.
If any hospital did that, it would probably violate all sorts of laws and ethical standards. These Obama goons are pathetic.
When has ANY Religious Hospital, any AT ALL, even in the Middle Ages, “admits for treatment only fellow believers.”
That’s a direct contradiction of the Hippocratic Oath, I believe.
This has only one purpose.. to force Catholic hospitals to do abortions..
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
First, they came for the Catholic Hospitals.
There are two purposes, they also intend to force them to perform euthanasia/assisted suicide.
He’s good at that, particularly where ObamaCare is concerned.
Absolutely. This is a war on religious charity and organizations. Obama wants to regulate them out of existence and replace them with government.
Thank goodness I work at a children’s hospital. I will quit moonlighting in the adult hospitals the day I’m forced to give anesthesia for an abortion.
This automatically excludes the Catholics, who have heard the Good Samaritan lesson.
our children’s hosp does abortions