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Cardinal George: If forced to make a choice, we will.

Francis Cardinal George has stated that if the the Obama Administration tries to force Catholic organizations into paying for medicines and procedures that offend the Catholic conscience, it will "force our  hand" into closing the many charities and organizations the Church runs.

What will that look like?  Ask Ed Morrissey at The Fiscal Times.  He ran the numbers:

  • The Catholic Church has perhaps the most extensive private health-care delivery system in the nation. It operates 12.6 percent of hospitals in the U.S., according to the Catholic Health Association of the U.S., accounting for 15.6 percent of all admissions and 14.5 percent of all hospital expenses, a total for Catholic hospitals in 2010 of $98.6 billion.
  •  Compared to their competition, Catholic hospitals take a leading role in providing less-profitable services to patients. They lead the sector in breast cancer screenings, nutrition programs, trauma, geriatric services, and social work. In most of these areas, other non-profits come close, but hospitals run by state and local governments fall significantly off the pace. Where patients have trouble paying for care, Catholic hospitals cover more of the costs. For instance, Catholic Health Services in Florida provides free care to families below 200 percent of federal poverty line, accepting Medicaid reimbursements as payment in full, and caps costs at 20 percent of household income for families that fall between 200 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty line.
  •  The Catholic Church runs over 7500 primary and secondary education schools in the US (where over a third of students are non-Catholics), educating more than 2.5 million students.
  •  Catholic Charities would also have to close its doors if the bishops refuse to comply with the HHS mandate.  In 2003, the latest data available, they provided emergency food services to 6.5 million people, temporary shelter to over 200,000 people, and a range of other assistance to another 1.5 million people, including assistance in clothing, finances, utilities, and even medication. 
Is this how Obama really wants things to play out?  Is this how YOU really want things to play out?  You may think this is an issue about birth control, but it is much, much bigger than that.  

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