Washington, DC, September 20, 2011 ( – The Catholic Health Association (CHA) released a statement last week lauding the effects of Obama’s health care reform program.

“Provisions of the Affordable Care Act that became effective last year have helped millions get the coverage they need,” wrote CHA President Carol Keehan.

“At least 500,000 young adults (ages 18-24), for example, obtained health insurance last year, a two percentage point increase that is the result of an ACA provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ plan,” Keehan continued.


She went on to urge lawmakers to “keep our nation’s vulnerable persons in mind” as they deliberate over fiscal policy.

Keehan became famous in 2010 for supporting the Affordable Care Act against the objections of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). She was given one of the pens that President Obama used to sign the bill as a token of thanks for her support.

In a statement released after the law’s passage, she acknowledged that the act was imperfect but called it “a major first step.”

Her support for the legislation was criticized by Cardinal Francis George, president of the USCCB at that time. In a 2010 statement, George said that the bishops were opposing the act because of its lack of conscience protections and its lack of protection against federal abortion funding.

“The bishops … judge that the flaws are so fundamental that they vitiate the good that the bill intends to promote,” George wrote.

Keehan claims that the Cardinal’s concerns are baseless, but has also publicly supported Rep. Joe Pitts’ Protect Life Act, which is designed to ensure that the law would not fund abortions.