Sister Carol Keehan, widely considered one of the foremost champions for universal access to healthcare, is stepping down as president of the Catholic Health Association (CHA) in June 2019.
In 2010, when President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Keehan was one of the 21 recipients of the pens he used. Her involvement in the process would go on to land her as one of TIME magazine’s top 100 most influential people, along with regular listings in Modern Healthcare’s list of “100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.”
Today, the presidential pen hangs outside her office in Washington, D.C., and as she reflects on her career, the success of pushing through legislation that brought healthcare to an estimated 20 million more individuals is her proudest achievement.
Her role in the effort, however, has not come without criticism – particularly by fellow Catholic leaders.
In fact, Cardinal Francis George, the former archbishop of Chicago and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) at the time, said afterwards, that “Sr. Carol and her colleagues are to blame” for the bill’s passage.
Not only does Keehan now feel vindicated by everyday citizens who were once critical of the legislation but now support it, but particularly by the U.S. bishops, who, when President Donald Trump sought to repeal the ACA in 2017, vocally opposed the move.
“It wasn’t perfect, it is still not perfect, but it was a major step forward in this country in getting a health policy,” Keehan insisted.
“I have been heartened by the fact suddenly people are saying ‘I’m not going to vote for somebody who doesn’t protect what we got from the ACA,’” she told Crux. “Holy cow, did I ever think this would happen?”
As for the U.S. bishops, she says she feels “gratified” that “all the stuff they were fed that the ACA would be the biggest expansion of federally funded abortion the nation has ever had, all of those horrible predictions were proven untrue.”
Full story at Crux News.