Thursday, June 11, 2009

Caritas Insurance Deal Faces Changes

A Boston Globe article today is a conduit for the public relations spin from Caritas and the Cardinal on the supposed "modifications" to the diocescan abortion arrangements.

The Cardinal, three months later, is repeating the impossible soundbyte that "under no circumstances" will Caritas provide or refer patients for procedures prohibited by Catholic teaching, which include abortion, contraception, and sterilization" while the entity the Cardinal created to carry the abortions out is, once again, contradicting him in the public square.

And the Archdiocese of Boston said publicly for the first time yesterday that Caritas would not be permitted to profit from the provision of abortion services by others.

This statement is untruthful and deceptive.

The Cardinal and Caritas created a "for-profit" corporation to accept the infusion of cash for providing all of the services required by the contract with the Commonwealth. What the Cardinal means to convey, is that when Caritas pays the abortionists for providing the services - they will not "mark it up" - they will not add any extra profit margin when they pay off the abortionists, like they do when they the Motrin they give you in the hospital is invoiced at 10 dollars each.

The Cardinal's statement means, they are hiring abortionists, paying abortionists, sending the women to the abortionists but they are virtuous enough not to charge the patient's anything extra.

The archdiocese would not specify the changes it is seeking to the joint venture, called CeltiCare, which is 49 percent owned by Caritas Christi.

Why is the Cardinal being secretive about the "modifications"?

We are now three months into this arrangement and all of the parties have refused to permit pro-lifers from examining the arrangement and applying the theology?

If the Cardinal is on the up and up, two weeks prior to this arrangement going into effect,why can't Catholics scrutinize the "modifications"?

But the church sought to clarify its requirements for the deal after a number of conservative bloggers and interest groups had recently criticized the venture, accusing O'Malley, often in quite angry language, of abandoning the church's commitment to protecting the unborn.

This week, many of the activists have seized upon, as evidence of the problematic nature of the venture, the new website of CeltiCare. The website specifies the copayments for abortions (from 0 to $100, depending on the plan), and lists family planning and reproductive service providers, including Planned Parenthood facilities in Boston, Somerville, and Worcester.

From the 3000 emails in my in-box - the Cardinal's statements did not fly.

The companies have said that CeltiCare is 51 percent owned by a subsidiary of Centene and 49 percent owned by Caritas Christi, which is incorporated independently from the archdiocese but has a Catholic identity overseen by the archbishop of Boston.

CeltiCare, 49% owned by the archdiocese has made the statements in this blog post.

Brian Delaney, a spokesman for CeltiCare, said an abortion rights group, NARAL Pro-Choice of Massachusetts, will serve on an advisory group for the health plan but he did not know whether any Catholic groups would be on the panel.


Anonymous said...

This entire issue highlights the plain fact that the Church - at least in Massachusetts and probably the entire USA and Western world - needs to get out of most healthcare operations. It is NOT a charity service anymore. It is a government service, complete with huge amounts of money, anti-catholic requirements, convoluted regulations and incentives to bend all sorts of ethical and legal strictures.

For years I have seen the Daughters of Charity contort themselves into ethical pretzels to maintain the letter of compliance with the Church's teachings while tossing out the spirit of those teachings. I've heard too many Daughters actually say they disagree with the Church teachings and the "pretzelazation" of their corporate structure is done only when they are forced to do so in order to keep the local ordinary happy.

I honestly believe His Eminence wants to do what he says, but has not yet quite figured out how Catholic healthcare systems approach these issues in such confusing and cynical ways - appearing to comport with Catholic teaching but really circumventing it. I applaud you for keeping on this. I truly do think it's starting to dawn on His Eminence what's really happening. If only other Bishops understood what's been going on for the last 30 years.

Sell Caritas. Then do something moral, ethical and charitable with the proceeds.

Roamin' Catholic said...

If the Church gets out of healthcare, there goes the last vestige of sanctuary for pro-life doctors and patients. Better that Church leaders actually stand for Church values and proclaim the gospel along with providing physical and spiritual healing. Remember "Church Militant?" Spiritual battle going on here...

Carol McKinley said...

Selling is just not an option. The Cardinal has a duty to protect Catholic doctors, nurses and families who want to practice or receive healthcare without violating the principles of their faith. He's got to downsize like the rest of us.

What is the principle the Cardinal could possibly rely upon to say that serving the poor by giving them health care runs in a deficit and therefore, it is no longer feasible to keep serving the poor this way?

If this were the case, then he should shut down Catholic Charities - as it is entirely money going out the door instead of in.

Sadly, because of the Cardinal's conduct in this and other things, I do not share the notion that try though he may, he just couldn't understand what was wrong with bidding on a contract that provided abortions, promising to do them, setting up a business to run the money, contracts with abortionists and women who he'll send there and then lying about it in the public square. Consistently lying about it in the public square and castigating people trying to bring the truth of the Capuchin abortions into the public square as people "doing a disservice to the Church".

The pretzel is not of God.