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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Catholic Healthcare Providers Promote Obamacare, Get HHS Grants -- By Judicial Watch

It appears that that the nation’s largest Catholic healthcare providers have sold their collective souls to the devil, negotiating behind the scenes with the administration to support and promote Obamacare—despite its contraceptive mandate—in exchange for money.

Judicial Watch has obtained records from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that show ardent support for Obamacare in propaganda produced by the Catholic Health Association followed by HHS “navigator grants” to affiliated groups—Via Christi Health System and Ascension Health—promoting the president’s disastrous healthcare law.

The discovery of this controversial arrangement comes as major Catholic institutions, such as the University of Notre Dame as well as dozens of Catholic dioceses, sue the administration over the contraceptive mandate. One of the documents obtained by JW is a fawning letter from the president of Via Christi, Kevin Conlin, to then HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius confirming his support for Obamacare.

In the 2009 letter Conlin says Via Christi is an affiliate of Ascension and he mentions an enclosed interactive CD and pamphlet promoting Obamacare. The CD was not provided to JW as part of the records request but the pamphlet (“Realizing Our Vision for U.S. Health Care) was. Put together by the Catholic Health Association of the United States, it’s essentially a propaganda piece for Obamacare, extolling its supposed virtues.

For instance the Catholic pamphlet says: “For millions of people who currently cannot afford insurance, the reform law eases the process of finding meaningful, affordable coverage, including for those who are unemployed or whose employer does not offer a plan.” It also says the Affordable Care Act, the law’s official name, enables individuals and small businesses to more easily compare and purchase health insurance policies and that a voluntary program will assist with the cost of services needed to live at home instead of a longer-term care facility. We now know neither one of those two provisions have worked out.

We also know that both Via Christi and Ascension have benefitted for endorsing the president’s hostile takeover of the nation’s healthcare system. The Catholic healthcare affiliates received HHS grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to enroll people in Obamacare. One of the grants was for $232,406 and the other for $165,683, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The cash is distributed via navigator grants. So far the administration has doled out tens of millions of dollars, mostly to leftist organizations, to help people “navigate” health insurance exchanges.

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