Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Catholic Hospital System Ends Joint Venture with Insurer that Covers Abortion Services
Caritas Christi Health Care, the financially challenged Catholic hospital system founded by the Archdiocese of Boston, is abruptly ending its joint venture with a Missouri-based health insurer at the insistence of Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who has decided that the relationship represented too much of an entanglement between Catholic hospitals and abortion providers.
The change will have no effect on patient care, because Caritas will continue to participate in the state-subsidized program, called Commonwealth Care, but now simply as one of many healthcare providers treating patients, and no longer as a co-owner of an insurance venture.
Caritas’s withdrawal from the insurance venture, just days before it will start providing care to low-income residents as part of the state’s efforts to establish near-universal health coverage here, is a vindication of sorts for a variety of conservative Catholic critics of the cardinal, who have been arguing angrily that it would be “evil’’ for Caritas to collaborate with a health insurer that covers abortion services.