June 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – President Barack Obama told to a Catholic health care gathering yesterday that maintaining his unpopular health care overhaul, which funds abortions, is the right and moral thing to do.
“Five years in, what we’re talking about is no longer just a law,” Obama said before the Catholic Health Association. “This isn’t about the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t about ObamaCare. This isn’t about myths or rumors that won’t go away. This is reality. This is health care in America.”
“We would not have gotten the #ACA done without Sr. Carol…I want to thank the Catholic Health Association,” Obama said. “Without your moral force, we would not have succeeded.”
The CHA tweeted excitedly about Obama’s appearance as he spoke.
Obama’s speech to the Catholic Health Association (CHA), the first in eight months, came as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hand down a decision later this month on a contested segment of ObamaCare. King v. Burwell challenges the IRS subsidies that are at the heart of ObamaCare.
The CHA, and in particular its leader, Sister Carol Keehan, were instrumental in helping Obama pass his signature health care law.
The CHA's stance set it at odds with the U.S. Catholic bishops, who opposed the measure in court for its funding of abortion through a $1 abortion surcharge, its requirement that business owners provide abortion-inducing drugs and contraception to all female employees with no co-pay, and provisions that the USCCB worried would trample religious freedom.
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But Obama has had some key dissenting Catholic individuals and organizations in his corner on the law in advance of Pope Francis’ coming U.S. visit.
The defiance continues; as the U.S. Bishops Conference ramps up for its fourth Fortnight for Freedom campaign to raise awareness of religious liberty in the face of threats like ObamaCare, Sister Keehan said the CHA was “delighted and honored” to have the president speak to the organization about health care at its annual meeting and in celebration of the association’s 100th year.
Obama has personally thanked Sister Keehan for her role in getting the controversial law passed, even giving her one of the ceremonial signing pens.
The president taking his promotion of ObamaCare before the largest group of nonprofit health care providers in the nation, a Catholic organization, is part of a current campaign to win support for the contentious law.
The White House said it will release data after Obama speaks to the CHA showing how ObamaCare “is working in every state across the country,” an administration official said.
The Administration is also launching an ObamaCare-dedicated website which will include a tribute to late Democrat Senator Ted Kennedy. A page on the site will include a letter to Obama from Kennedy, who died from brain cancer just before passage of the law.
The King v. Burwell Supreme Court challenge is a key issue for ObamaCare.
The case contends the IRS has imposed “billions of dollars of illegal taxes, borrowing, and spending imposed by the IRS at the behest of the president’s political appointees,” a Forbes report said, citing the findings of two federal courts.
While media coverage on King v. Burwell has focused only on potential subsidy loss for a tiny percentage of Americans, an American Spectator report said, a Supreme Court ruling against the Obama administration in the case would “emancipate 11.1 million people from the individual mandate,” and an estimated “262,000 businesses would be freed from the law’s employer mandate.”
Obama’s appearance today before the CHA to tout ObamaCare was also not a surprise, since the CHA filed an amicus brief for King v. Burwell in defense of ObamaCare.
“Our nation took a giant step forward” with ObamaCare, Sister Keehan stated at the time. “And now if this case is decided wrongly, we’ll take a giant step back.”
A Washington Post-ABC poll released Monday showed 54 percent of people still oppose ObamaCare.