Catholic Health Association snubs bishops; sides with Obama and HHS mandate

Once again breaking with the US bishops’ conference, the Catholic Health Association (CHA) has announced that it is satisfied with the latest regulations offered by the Obama administration for the implementation of health-care rules that require coverage for contraception.

The CHA—which had strongly backed the Obama health-care reform plans—issued a memorandum to members saying that the latest rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) resolved CHA’s concerns about involvement in providing contraceptive coverage. “We are pleased that our members now have an accommodation that will not require them to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage,” the CHA pronounced.

The US bishops’ conference reacted quite differently to the latest regulations issued by the HHS, saying that the new rules included no significant changes on the critical questions that had prompted the bishops’ opposition to the HHS mandate. Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the president of the US bishops’ conference, said that the Catholic hierarchy would continue court battles to overturn the contraceptive mandate.


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