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Obamacare could drive Little Sisters of the Poor out of the US
The Daily Caller ^ | Dedc 19, 2012 | David Martosko

Posted on 12/19/2012 6:34:52 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o

Obamacare could shut them down

A religious order of nuns is concerned about its future presence in the United States because of Obamacare’s impact on its charitable operations. The Little Sisters of the Poor told The Daily Caller that it may not qualify for a long-term exemption from Obamacare’s healthcare mandate. The law requires the order to provide government-approved health insurance to its 300 sisters who tend to the elderly in 30 U.S. cities.

The exception is needed, said Sister Constance Carolyn Veit, the Little Sisters’ communications director, because Catholic teaching opposes contraception and medical treatments that cause sterility or can cause abortions.

President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul law requires employers to include those services in qualifying health care plans they provide for their employees. Failure to comply will bring hefty fines — even for religious orders whose members have taken vows of poverty.

“[I]t could be a serious threat to our mission in the U.S.,” Constance told TheDC, “because we would never be able to afford to pay the fines involved. We have difficulty making ends meet just on a regular basis; we have no extra funding that would cover these fines.”

The crux of the matter is a religious exemption that the federal government is expected to make available to Catholic churches, but not to other Catholic institutions.

That’s because unlike Catholic parishes and dioceses, the church’s many affiliated schools, charities, religious orders and hospitals don’t discriminate in their hiring or service, often employing staff — and serving people in need — who come from other Christian denominations or from other faiths entirely.

“We are not exempt from the [Obamacare] mandate because we neither serve nor employ a predominantly Catholic population,” Constance added. ”We hire employees and serve/house the elderly regardless of race and religion, so that makes us ineligible for the exemption being granted churches.”

The one concession the Obama administration made to religious groups like hers was a one-year extension of time before they would be expected to provide their staff with health insurance that met with the White House’s approval. That extension will expire at the end of 2013, but the sisters have only a few weeks left to make their case for an exemption beyond the end of next year.

“We just cannot not say what will happen,” Constance told TheDC. “We are continuing to pray that our backs will not be up against the wall in 2014. If we are forced to make a decision, we will seek concrete direction from the U.S. bishops.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor take care of elderly patients in 31 countries, but on Dec. 16 a representative told the congregation of Saint Raymond of Peñafort Church in Springfield, Va., that her order could conceivably be forced to pull out of the United States if paying fines and penalties is the only alternative to compromising on the doctrines of their religion.

Asked about that Sunday Mass message, Constance responded, “Essentially it sounds like what sister said was accurate.”

In a June 2012 essay appearing in The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper in Brooklyn, N.Y., she said leaving the United States entirely wouldn’t be without precedent.

“[A]s Little Sisters of the Poor, we are not strangers to religious intolerance,” she wrote. “Our foundress was born at the height of the French Revolution and established our congregation in its aftermath. Our sisters have been forced to leave numerous countries, including China, Myanmar and Hungary, because of religious intolerance. We pray that the United States will not be added to this list.”

Ultimately, it’s all a matter of numbers. “[I]f we were to stop offering health insurance rather than comply with the mandate,” she told the National Catholic Register in October, “we would have to pay a $2,000 penalty per employee. This penalty aside, it just does not seem right to us to stop providing health insurance to our employees.”

“If we chose to offer insurance without the objectionable services,” she continued, “we would honor our consciences, but we’d have to pay $100 per day per employee. … [F]or an organization with 50 employees, that would mean almost $2 million per year.”

Constance added that Medicaid reimbursements from the government cover only half the cost of caring for elderly sick people “in the way they deserve.”

She also explained to the National Catholic Reporter that although the Catholic Church’s primary objection to Obamacare involves reproductive health care — a subject seldom associated with nuns or their elderly patients — “we are concerned about what could happen later.”

“What we fear is that, if the federal government succeeds in this case, there are other areas where they could exert pressure or enact measures that could endanger our apostolate — particularly in end-of-life care and in the possible rationing of care to the elderly as a cost-saving measure.”

For the moment, however, the Little Sisters are focused more on providing health care than on fighting health-care battles. A contentious and public battle with Washington, D.C. has made some residents of their nursing homes and assisted-living facilities all over the country anxious about whether the organization will be there in years to come.

“We wish to avoid causing them any further anxiety,” Constance said.

“They are always our first concern, our employees as well.”



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: abortion; catholic; contraception; tyranny
One nun noted their order had survived for 151 years, through the Civil War, the Great Depression, epidemics, floods, and social upheaval but now may have to curtail its mission.

“What war and disease could not do to the congregation, the government of the United States will do. It will shut us down."


1 posted on 12/19/2012 6:34:59 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Well... It’s my Captain Obvious day. That’s the idea.


2 posted on 12/19/2012 6:39:01 AM PST by OKSooner ("The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen." - Revelation 22:21)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

In before the first “they deserve it because Obama won the nominal Catholic vote” post.


3 posted on 12/19/2012 6:41:40 AM PST by Shadow44
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To: iowamark; Sun; tpmintx; markomalley; No One Special; NYer; TonyInOhio; GOPJ
I read about this is CNA. There will be many, many more examples of this kind: religious organizations being given the choice of "Do every damned thing Secretary Sebelius says, or cease to exist."

The entire institutional existence of the Catholic Church n America is at stake. And other religious groups as well.

(I'm talking about real Catholics, like real nuns like this who live for Jesus and who have real vows --- poverty, chastity, obedience --- not the other ones, state stooges of the "Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association" sort, who would be only too happy to jump into the arms of Obamacare.

It is tyranny of this sort that sparks revolution.

4 posted on 12/19/2012 6:52:59 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("Christ lui-meme est descendu et m'a prise." -- Simone Weil)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

And yet while staring into that abyss the Bishops could not bring themselves to come right out and say “Catholics cannot vote for Obama”.


5 posted on 12/19/2012 6:57:17 AM PST by Buckeye McFrog
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To: Mrs. Don-o

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.

(That would be Obama and his commie goons)


6 posted on 12/19/2012 7:11:54 AM PST by PLD
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To: Shadow44

I have read twice now that the margin in swing states of Catholic voters for Obama was bested by the number of protestant voters for Obama.


7 posted on 12/19/2012 7:12:52 AM PST by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Oh my God! This can’t happen!
The Little Sisters of the Poor must stay.
If they leave who would the University of Colorado Buffaloes be able to beat?
Oh Geez, back to 0 and 9 again.


8 posted on 12/19/2012 7:16:41 AM PST by Tupelo (Hunkered down & loading up)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
Ultimately, it’s all a matter of numbers. “[I]f we were to stop offering health insurance rather than comply with the mandate,” she told the National Catholic Register in October, “we would have to pay a $2,000 penalty per employee.

Hey, somebody has to pay for all those "free" abortions Obamacare will be handing out like candy.

By the way, do you think that Post-Obamacare abortion clinics are going to cost only a few hundred dollars? Nope, they are going to be $5,000 procedures that we, and the good sisters will be footing.

Let us all thank the Great Sebaceous Cyst.

9 posted on 12/19/2012 7:18:54 AM PST by Slyfox (The key to Marxism is medicine - V. Lenin)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

in every dictatorship or totalitarian state, there is a deliberate effort to extinguish religion, philanthrophy, community service for a sake higher than man.

Lady Liberty must be exhausted from being under constant assault by those who desire our downfall. I believe America is now under His judgement and we will see even bleaker days ahead.

He has not abandoned His followers, but He has lifted His hand of blessing on our country. It is imperative that Christians cling to God even more closely in these times. It is going to be a difficult future for this country under the current administration and the liberals running the country.


10 posted on 12/19/2012 7:21:25 AM PST by sassy steel magnolia
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To: Mrs. Don-o

The LSotP should keep on doing what they are doing and allow Obama to send in armed men to escort them from their homes. Let the world see exactly what Obama is.


11 posted on 12/19/2012 7:24:42 AM PST by pbear8 (the Lord is my light and my salvation)
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To: Buckeye McFrog
Technically, the Church cannot tell the parishioners who to vote for, but in 2008, at least some of our local churches hailed Obama as savior and encouraged their congregations to vote for him. I knew back then voting for obama would be a huge mistake, but a number of Catholics told me I was all wet. More than a few of those Catholics now know I was right, but they won't admit it. And there are still a number of them who are willing to overlook his “faults” because in their minds he is better than Bush or some such.
12 posted on 12/19/2012 7:28:30 AM PST by fatnotlazy
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Another long term problem will be their Eugenic program (hiding in the wings) which Obama et al know the Catholic Church won’t adhere to...The time is coming when we will all worship the state.


13 posted on 12/19/2012 7:30:13 AM PST by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Has somebody explained this to the ash hole “nuns on the bus”?


14 posted on 12/19/2012 7:40:47 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
“What we fear is that, if the federal government succeeds in this case, there are other areas where they could exert pressure or enact measures that could endanger our apostolate — particularly in end-of-life care and in the possible rationing of care to the elderly as a cost-saving measure.”

Sister is a smart cookie. In fact, one doesn't have to be very bright to observe that the Obamanation prioritizes the funding of sexual license over absolutely everything else.

15 posted on 12/19/2012 7:41:21 AM PST by Tax-chick (Do you know why I love reptiles? It's because they don't play guitars.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

If the reason for forcing ObamaCare on everyone, except Muslims of course, is to reduce health care costs. But there is not one shred of interest on the part of government to allow such charities to continue. So the charity makes plans to go out of business and what is government’s reaction? Silence.

I am forced to conclude that what government leaders want has just happened. So, ObamaCare is not about lowering costs after all. It is about control. And thus, people will suffer and die when this control causes people to receive care they would not have chosen for themselves had they had “choice”, something the left is very selective about. A woman who is pregnant must have “choice”, but when she is elderly and gets cancer, choice in treatment must be forbidden for the sake of government budget considerations, like it is in the UK and Canada at this very moment.


16 posted on 12/19/2012 8:44:30 AM PST by theBuckwheat
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To: Mrs. Don-o

“..”Do every damned thing Secretary Sebelius says, or cease to exist.”

I also heard that the Obama administration told Catholic Charities, and the Red Cross, they they could lose funds IF..... I hope they don’t play ball with Obama,and friends.


17 posted on 12/22/2012 12:13:00 AM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
IIRC we are from about the same region of Tennessee. One of the best hospitals in our area was sold due in large part to what is coming. I'll always have a soft place in my heart for The old St Mary's hospital and the Nuns. With the Takeover by Tennova the Nuns are still there or were last month when my wife had surgery. We're not RC but they helped my wife above and beyond the call 27 years ago. Some Sisters are black belts LOL. We were married in that chapel. Nuns were all invited.

It is the Liberals who scream bloody murder separation of church and state. We then what is state & federal doing in churches business? Because they take Medicaid so what? They provided services and deserve payment. Medicaid and Medicare is often the insuring payer. Bills must be paid and as a retired medical facility maintenance mechanic I can vouch that too keep the lights on, the buildings heated and cooled as needed, etc takes an astronomical chunk of change.

What burns me too is our local paper thinks Obamacare is the best thing since sliced bread but it's staff goes on and on about gun control. No mention of the Innocent children killed daily by abortion. No addressing church ran charities being forced to choose GOD or government.

I'll stand by any churches rights to establish their own beleifs, values, policies, and rules, concerning whom they treat, types of services given or refused, whom they hire, and especially the right to refuse to pay for birth control or provide abortions.

Birth Control is not that expensive and all health departments in Tennessee and most other states as well provide it very cheap if not free. This is all about governments quest to control or silence all churches. Government proclaims itself as god. LBJ started it as a senator and Obama is bent on the final take over of church charities as POTUS. It's Tyranny.

18 posted on 12/22/2012 1:48:44 AM PST by cva66snipe (Two Choices left for U.S. One Nation Under GOD or One Nation Under Judgment? Which one say ye?)
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To: Sun
Exactly. The Obamacare/HHS philosoophy is, "You will obey our edicts, or you will cease to exist."

We had a revolution some 236 years ago over issues a lot SMALLER than that.

19 posted on 12/22/2012 9:27:12 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” -1 Timothy 3:15)
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To: cva66snipe
The HHS has the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia (Nashville) in its cross-hairs.

As their pro-bono lawyer-defenders (ACLJ) wrote:

`

"In their 151-year history, the Nashville Dominicans have, with the help of God, survived a Civil War on their doorstep, deadly epidemics, devastating floods, economic depression and tumultuous social upheaval. Today, however, they face a new, more insidious threat — their own government . . . Should HHS persist in implementing the Interim Rule and its contraceptive mandate without major modifications, the Congregation will be forced to curtail its mission. What war and disease could not do to the Congregation, the government of the United States will do. It will shut them down."


20 posted on 12/22/2012 9:34:18 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o ("The Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.” -1 Timothy 3:15)
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