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Media Ignoring ObamaCare’s Role in Sale of Catholic Hospitals

Posted on October 14 2010 9:00 am
Lisa Graas has covered politics and religion at her blog since 2008. She has served as a crisis pregnancy counselor, youth speaker, mental health advocate and legislative consultant.

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Obamacare “is absolutely playing a role” in Mercy Health Partners‘ [MHP] decision to sell Catholic hospitals in Scranton, PA. But as this bombshell descended into the public consciousness, a scathing report on the role of Sister Carol Keehan of the Catholic Health Association [CHA], the leftist media has responded with silence.

Now comes news that MHP is putting the squeeze on 7,000 United Healthcare members and MHP itself is up for sale. What exactly is going on? And why is the media failing to report it?

On October 6, the story broke through local media that facilities of MHP in Pennsylvania will be up for sale, and according to MHP CEO Kevin Cook, President Obama’s health care reform law “absolutely” played a role in the decision.

Immediate backlash from Scranton’s medical community prompted a media spin campaign by both Sister Keehan and Cook. Media coverage of the sale has since been mostly limited to reporting through conservative media, local news accounts (clearly slanted in favor of Keehan’s messaging) and a radio ad campaign sponsored by

Sister Keehan’s statement claiming reports that Obamacare is to blame are “alarmist” was released via PR-Newswire, but no one is reporting on her story. Could it be because there is fear in the Obama White House that a story will “get legs”?

Now come related stories through the wires that are failing to “get legs” for the moment. One is the decision by Catholic Health Partners to sell Pennsylvania’s Mercy Health Partners but there is also troubling news that 7,000 United Healthcare policy holders will be feeling the crunch.

United spokeswoman Tracey Lempner said Mercy is asking for double-digit rate increases that would put “a great burden on our members” who would ultimately be asked to pay more.

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