765,894 Hospital Jobs Hang In The Balance With Obamacare Decision

Craig Bannister
By Craig Bannister | June 25, 2012 | 4:31 PM EDT

The 765,894 jobs at the nation’s Catholic hospitals hang in the balance pending the Supreme Court’s ruling on the constitutionality of the Obamacare coverage mandate.

The 629 Catholic hospitals account for 12.6% of the nation’s total and provide 765,894 jobs (530,673 full-time and 235,221 part-time - the equivalent of 640,894 full-time jobs).

But, all of those hospitals – and their jobs – will be gone “two Lents from now” unless the Obama administration’s mandate that all health insurers offer abortifacient drugs and sterilization is rescinded, Cardinal Francis George warns.

Catholic bishops around the country asked their priests to read a letter from the pulpit at Sunday masses that said: "We cannot--we will not--comply with this unjust law." In their “Statement on Religious Liberty,” the bishops declared that “an unjust law cannot be obeyed” – and that Catholics should not obey them:

“It is a sobering thing to contemplate our government enacting an unjust law,” the bishops said. “An unjust law cannot be obeyed. In the face of an unjust law, an accommodation is not to be sought, especially by resorting to equivocal words and deceptive practices. If we face today the prospect of unjust laws, then Catholics in America, in solidarity with our fellow citizens, must have the courage not to obey them.”

The societal cost of losing these hospitals goes far beyond the jobs lost, however. The country would also lose 120,311 hospital beds. And, Catholic hospitals now treat one out of six (16.6%) Medicare and one of seven (13.6%) Medicaid patients.

The sterilization-contraception-abortifacient mandate is set to go into effect for most health-care plans on Aug. 1 – unless the Supreme Court strikes it down.

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