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Has the CHA switched sides on Obamacare? Or just adopted new tactics?

By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jun 18, 2012

The Catholic Health Association (CHA) has finally stopped beating the drums in support of Obamacare . But before you begin celebrating, and welcoming the CHA back into the fold, take a moment to read this sobering analysis from the Cardinal Newman Society. It turns out that the CHA is calling for a compromise on the contraceptive mandate: a compromise that the US bishops’ conference has already dismissed as “inadequate.”

The CHA proposes a different definition of what would constitute a “religious employer.” The compromise language would cover most of the hospitals that provide the CHA with its funding, but it would not cover other Catholic organizations that have no direct formal ties with the hierarchy.

So what would happen if the White House accepted the CHA’s proposed language? The Obama administration would have an opportunity to claim that it had compromised. The CHA would have another opportunity to endorse the Obamacare project. The White House would look more reasonable; the remaining opponents of the contraceptive mandate—with the US bishops in the vanguard—would be portrayed as the extremists who refused to compromise. And most Catholic employers would still be forced to subsidize contraception.

Is the CHA really opposing the contraceptive mandate? Or has the group found a clever new way to advance the Obamacare agenda?

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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  • Posted by: geraldodoire7287 - Jun. 20, 2012 7:11 PM ET USA

    It does look like the CHA is trying to switch horses mid-stream and hope to make it back to the original horse that they were riding at an opportune time. But It may be a genuine conversion on their part to the viewpoint of the Bishop's Conference concerning the Obamacare legislation, but only time will tell. Let us hope that they are not playing a strategic game here to cut slack to the present administration with another sleight-of-hand proposal.