Sister Judith Ann Karam, CSA and the Sisters of Charity Health System welcomed Sister Carol Keehan, DC, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Association (CHA), to speak August 17, 2012, at The City Club of Cleveland, as reported by The Plain Dealer and WKSU.
In her remarks, which are available via podcast, Sr. Carol noted that, “Now that the Affordable Care Act is law, and has survived a Supreme Court challenge in a way none of us could have predicted, there is a lot of work still to do.” In an effort to inform, the CHA has shared stories of those Americans who have benefited from the new law.
In today’s hour-long speech and Q&A session, which attracted leaders from across Cleveland’s health care community, Sr. Carol said that Catholic health care has long supported health reform that expands access and coverage to everyone. Sr. Carol urged the nation to move forward with the Affordable Care Act, calling on states, including Ohio, to expand Medicaid and implement state-based health insurance exchanges. She added, “Education and enrollment will also be absolutely crucial as we move forward implementing this law. It is always a big task to ensure that those people who are eligible … are able to enroll in those programs. This will take a massive education and awareness effort that includes advertising, coalition work and participation from schools, churches, community organizations and others... The best laws and benefits we can come up with are no good if people are unaware of them or have trouble accessing them.”
As Catholic health ministry, CHA, and Sr. Carol in particular, has been a strong voice in the public debate, advocating for the protection of human dignity, from conception to natural death. Her speech, which is posted online at the City Club of Cleveland’s website, is comprehensive and holistic, approaching health care as Catholic ministry always has: rooted in Catholic faith and attending to the whole person.
The Sisters of Charity Health System is a member of the Catholic Health Association of the United States, and was the lead sponsor for Sister Carol’s speech at the City Club.