Catch-22 for Catholic Hospitals under Obamacare

You are a homeless person.  You are sick and you know it is bad.  You stagger into the ER of St. Ipsidipsy Catholic Hospital in Tall Tree Circle.  You have no insurance, health coverage, or money.  You are seen by a doctor and treated.

The Obama Administration then punishes the hospital for treating you, a person without government-approved obligatory Obamacare.

From the Daily Caller:

Obamacare installs new scrutiny, fines for charitable hospitals that treat uninsured people

Charitable hospitals that treat uninsured Americans will be subjected to new levels of scrutiny of their nonprofit status and could face sizable new fines under Obamacare.

A new provision in Section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code, which takes effect under Obamacare, sets new standards of review and installs new financial penalties for tax-exempt charitable hospitals, which devote a minimum amount of their expenses to treat uninsured poor people. Approximately 60 percent of American hospitals are currently nonprofit.

Charity for the uninsured is one of the factors that could discourage enrollment in Obamacare, which requires all Americans to purchase health insurance or else face new taxes themselves from the IRS. [You all get that, right?]

“It requires tax-exempt hospitals to do a community needs survey and file additional paperwork with the IRS every three years. This is to prove that the charitable hospital is still needed in their geographical area — ‘needed’ as defined by Obamacare and overseen by IRS bureaucrats,” said John Kartch, spokesman for Americans for Tax Reform.

Failure to comply, or to prove this continuing need, could result in the loss of the hospital’s tax-exempt status. The hospital would then become a for-profit venture, paying income tax — hence the positive revenue score” for the federal government, Kartch said. “Obamacare advocates turned over every rock to find as much tax money as possible.” [Sly, no?]

Additionally, the rise in the number of insured Americans under Obamacare will make it more difficult for tax-exempt hospitals to continue meeting required thresholds for treating the uninsured, driving more hospitals into the for-profit category and yielding more taxable money for the federal government.

“The requirements generally apply to any section 501(c)(3) organization that operates at least one hospital facility,” according to a “Technical Explanation” report of new Obamacare provisions prepared by the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) on March 21, 2010, the day Obamacare passed.

Obamacare’s new requirements could slam hospitals with massive $50,000 fines if they fail to meet bureaucrats’ standards.


Read the rest there.

So, the Obama Administration forces everyone to get health coverage, but for a non-profit hospital to maintain its non-profit status, it has to treat a minimum number of those without coverage.  But that pool of people will shrink dramatically, thus driving hospitals into the taxable category.

Good grief.

“Good morning, ma’am!  We’re from the government and we’re here to help!”



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. And so many Republicans in Congress won’t get behind the effort to de-fund Obamacare — really the last hope we have now of killing it before it kills us. How little there is to choose between Democrats and Republicans.

    This is indeed the time for a state constitutional amendment convention per Article V of the Constitution, as Mark Levin says. We have a duty to try everything short of civil war to bring down the federal leviathan.

  2. Jim Dorchak says:

    I find it almost humorous if it was not so sad to see the destruction of the USA as good people watch it dissolve around them and act like everything is peachy. I am happy to have been able to leave to a safer, more free, country. As a veteran you all have my prayers. Life is more simple here. Abortion is illegal as well as homosexuality. They have problems here, some are big, but the new USA has it beat by a continent. What will happen? It matters not any more. The ship is too big to turn. So sad. God save us all.

  3. Johnno says:

    We only treat true citizens here comrade.

    There is no place for the poor. No place for those of impure genetical defect. And no place for the aged and unproductive laborers.

    Together this world will be utopia for those of quality physique and class. Care is only for those who are healthy and can pay.

    In Soviet America, health care needs you!

  4. Dennis Martin says:

    You left out a third option, the one really intended by the law: the non-profit hospital throws up it’s “hands” in despair, at the paperwork required to maintain non-profit status, at the catch-22, at being caught with insufficient charity cases


    The non-profit gives up. The now suffering and blighted neighborhood, abandoned by the eeeeeeeevvvvvvvvviiiiiiiiiiiilllllllll religious-based hospital, is saved as Savior Government rides in on it’s white horse. The non-profit private “religious-based” hospital, granted, yields no revenue for the Government, but even better, it is now run by the Government.

    Which only shows that only the Government can bring us life or death health care. Private insurance, private hospitals (whether non- or for-profit), private doctors: bad.

    Government “insurance” (medicare for all at all ages everywhere always), Government hospital, Government Doctors: good.

    Government Good. People bad. Bad people need to be controlled. Everyone’s a criminal when the regulations stretch into the millions of pages. No one can understand or satisfy them all. Everyone is a criminal but not everyone is labeled and prosecuted as a criminal. After all, Savior Government needs something to hold over the heads of the subditi, of the ruled, of the peons. Uppity peons get prosecuted. Nice, dutiful, heads-bowed in submission subditi, get a pass.

    Which helps them keep their heads bowed in subjection.

    Keep your head down, you’ll be okay.

    It’s really not that hard to grasp.

    NSA: be sure to put a red star on this one when you put it into my file. Which Sensitivity Training Center to I report to for re-education???

  5. Kathleen10 says:

    Evil. Only evil all day long.
    How long did the Hebrews have to cry to God before things changed for them? And we haven’t even begun to wail and moan, but I am afraid we will.
    Something has to change. If the GOP does not defund this monstrosity I will always hold it against them. Weaklings!

  6. Giuseppe says:

    If this is so bad, which Roman Catholic hospital, group of hospitals, or hospital association is arguing to repeal Obamacare or to repeal these provisions?

    The article cited, essentially a press release from the Americans for Tax Reform (Grover Norquist), misses the main point. Even prior to Obamacare*, to maintain not-for-profit tax-exempt status, hospitals had to provide some degree of charity care (at least 3% of operating revenue). This is known as a ‘community benefit’.** Some not-for-profit hospitals have aggressively pursued payment from the uninsured, including charging them at an inflated ‘market value’, which no insurance company would ever pay. Some not-for-profits thus abuse their not-for-profit status and have been fined for doing so.

    With expanded health insurance in Obamacare, the need to provide greater amounts of charity care will lessen. This article catastrophizes this outcome, declaring that it will result in loss of not-for-profit status for hospitals. Indeed, with many Southern states are opting out of expanded Medicaid, the numbers of uninsured requiring emergency room charity care will still be high — the poor will always be with us! In states with fewer uninsured patients, not-for-profit hospitals will probably be expected to eat up some of their ‘community benefit’ costs in subsidizing outpatient care programs instead of inpatient care.

    *Incidentally, the requirement that all hospitals which receive federal money (regardless of profit status) provide emergency room charity care was in the EMTALA provision of the COBRA 1985/6 bill signed by Reagan. BTW, was there any bill which Reagan signed which did not result from negotiations with congressional Democrats? And could Reagan survive a Tea Party/Americans for Tax Reform challenge after raising gasoline, alcohol, tobacco, capital gains, and corporate taxes in various bills?

    ** A better, less hysterical, and more reasonable critique of Obamacare’s provisions on ‘community benefit’ is in this article in Forbes.

  7. Gratias says:

    Do not blame the GOP. The Obamunistas passed this monstrosity with only Democrat votes. Every single one. Remember the smiling picture of Cardinal Dolan with Obama? The Church is supporting Death Panels by staying silent on Euthanasia and Abortion.

  8. Del says:

    The persecution has only just begun.

    We need to get creative with our black-market charity and healthcare.

  9. Cafea Fruor says:

    And if we just grant amnesty to all the illegal aliens, they’ll all become part of the Obamacare system, so there won’t even be uninsured illegals to take care of.

  10. Sword40 says:

    I’m done being nice to the Commie and his GOP and DEM sympathizers.

  11. Dennis Martin says:

    Yep, Sepp,

    Nothing to see here, said the frog as he settled into the comfortably warm pot on the stove chattering away with Democrat talking points. Nothing to see here, move along folks, you poor little twits, getting so excited over nothing.

    Try looking for the forest rather than a half dozen trees. The pages of regulations to implement Obamacare are in hundreds of of thousands and they are supposedly way behind on the implementing.

    It’s never ever been about expanding, improving health care, Giuseppe. It’s about single-payer and total control. Harry Reid admitted it today. Obama admitted it years ago. Perhaps you don’t mind that, Giuseppe. You may sincerely believe single-payer is better anyway. If so, you are right, nothing to see here. But some of us are not convinced that single-payer is best, given the particular character of our bureaucracy. It may be that in some nations of the world honest, professional bureaucrats directed by honest, professional, upright administrators run some truly wonderful single-payer systems. But what I have seen of our bureaucracy and they way it is right now being used to intimidate, destroy, delay, harrass, destroy private citizens and citizen groups, I think it quite reasonable and not at all twit-like to be afraid of it.

    Making it onerous if not impossible for private health-care providers to comply with this regime is part of the process of forcing them out in order to turn to Savior Single.

    Congress no longer writes legislation. They write huge blank checks to the bureaucrats. The bureaucrats now control all real power in this country. Perhaps you don’t mind, Giuseppe.

    The beauty of this method of getting to single payer is that the process of getting there will sow so much destruction, destroy so many physicians’ practices, non-profit and for-profit businesses and create such chaos, confusion, expense, and fear that people will hang their heads and WILLINGLY acquiesce to total Gubmint-run healthcare.

    And maybe you don’t mind that, Giuseppe? But some of us do.

    Obama’s intent is to destroy the middle-class and suburban-middle-class life. They are the kulaks, the enemy, the ones who played by the rules, saved, planned for their retirement. Their very existence is racist. Their very existence is to blame for the poverty and injustice of others.

    All the gubmint efforts to “help” the poor and downtrodden over 40 years have only increased poverty and despair and ghettoization. And the political class, though warned by the Moynihan Report, who kept plowing ahead, delayed and assuaged the justified anger of those beaten down and crushed by the welfare state by blaming Whitey and the Man, the Haves.

    They must now be destroyed because festering anger will no longer be fobbed off by blaming Whitey and Suburbia. Surburbia and Whitey must be brought down, put in their place. They have too much. They don’t need all those savings. See Stanley Kurtz regarding Obama’s war on suburbia.

    Now, don’t get us wrong, we from-the-Gubmint-folks-here-to-help you don’t mean just to take your savings away tout court. We’re here to help. We’ll just nationalize them for the common good, take them over in trust, to manage them for you. You have more than you need. You won’t lose a penny. It’ll all be safe. Remember that we promised you could keep your doctor? We’ll, you can keep your savings, it’s just that we’ll manage them for you and you and everyone else will be taken care of ….

    We’re going to manage it for you, put it in a trust fund for you, and, trust us, we’ll take care of you. You’ll have a splendid retirement–everyone will be taken care of. We’ll just put all those trillions into a Community Chest.

    We’re from the Gubmint and we’re here to help. Single-Payer’s for your own good. Community Chest Retirement Fund for All Americans is for everyone’s good.

    Don’t worry, we’ll take care of you. If you like your doctor, you can keep her. Oh, wait . . .

    Incidentally, at the time of the Protestant Reformation, which was the era of the consolidating absolutist State whether kingdom or city state, the Governments (lings, town councils) in Protestant areas said to the monasteries and collegiate endowments (that had served charitable purposes and also as sources of loans for people), “Hey, you aren’t taking care of the poor properly. We can do better. We are confiscating your assets, right now, overnight, to place them all into a Community Chest, “for the children” and “for the poor.” ”

    But, nothing to see here with these new regs. They’re just the old regs, Giuseppe says, perhaps tweaked around a bit. Move along now. Just more of the same regulations we’ve always had, all millions of pages of them.

  12. MrTipsNZ says:

    My commiserations USA, welcome to the English NHS and its cess-pit of smiling administrative Smeagol’s, clinical manager Sauramon’s and over-arching Sauron Exchequer Treasury .

    May God have mercy on your healthcare and national soul.

  13. Cantor says:

    One nice benefit of the delays in implementation of the program is that none of this ‘enforcement’ activity will actually take place on Obama’s watch. These things will be phased in after he’s gone. So it’ll be the administration in office then that will get the blame.

    I should’ve said “One nice benefit for Obama…”

  14. Gratias says: Do not blame the GOP. The Obamunistas passed this monstrosity with only Democrat votes. Every single one.

    I absolutely blame the GOP — with a few outstanding exceptions — for liking big, bloated government just as much as the Democrats, doing nothing substantive whatsoever to get rid of Obamacare, demonizing the few Republicans who are standing up for freedom, and generally declining to push back against this Marxist takeover of our nation.

  15. Supertradmum says:

    When my son was twelve, the one now in the seminary, he contracted a virulent form of pneumonia which could only be treated intravenously. I was working as an adjunct with no health insurance and the state in America where we were living did not have kid-care-insurance at the time. He had to be taken to the hospital daily for two weeks to be on a drip for an hour.

    I tried to pay the enormous hospital and doctor’s fees little by little monthly, but then I was laid off two days before Christmas, with no prospect of being re-hired for months, as college numbers of students were down. In desperate circumstances, I phoned the hospital to see if I could pay nothing for awhile. The woman told me that this hospital has a charitable fund for people in my circumstances.

    The entire bill, which was huge, was wiped away. I was so grateful.

    Now, the doctors in that hospital had created a slush fund from their own wages to cover poor people who could not pay bills.

    This is real charity. To replace big, tyrannical government with quiet, gentle charity is so wrong one can hardly believe our nation will have any freedoms or any chance for people to exhibit charity in the future.

    I want to know to where Mr. Dorchak above re-located.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    Mr. Dorchak, To where did you re-locate?

  17. Legisperitus says:

    They’re doing to hospitals (which the Church invented) what they’ve already done to schools (which the Church also invented).

  18. mrshopey says:

    So, the charitable hospitals will no longer be needed bc, 1 everyone will be forced to have insurance 2 if they don’t have insurance and you treat them you will receive hefty fine.

    This is what they, dem Catholics, have asked for. They have upped public assistance over private volunteering which is what we used to do. We didn’t need to help people find public assistance at one time but offered it ourselves.

    Well, now I know what will happen if we opt out of this mandatory insurance – no help in the er or probably drs offices too.

  19. mrshopey says:

    I will take a guess at where he went. I guess either a Latin or African country. It couldn’t be Ireland as they now allow abortion. Being a veteran, I doubt he would choose middle eastern countries eg Egypt, Iran, Iraq or UAE. He can’t emigrate to some Muslim countries wo converting first to islam.
    My guess is Latin or African.
    And these countries are making it appealing for those who wish to leave.

  20. Jim Dorchak says:

    Supertradmum if you google me you will see just like the NSA. I generally do not say where i am as i do not want to influence someone’s choice. That being said, if you look you will see there are few countries where abortion is still manslaughter, and homosexuality is illegal and shunned.
    We each make our choices in life and of course Gods will is always present. The people who stay in the USA have accepted the governments choice as their own. After all we see elections no longer matter and the other options are not going to happen as most are happy with the way things are going, or do not think it will get worse, nothing will ever effect you personally so as long as someone else is having their freedom taken away why do you care attitude.
    So you have made your choice and i have made mine. I am happier for where God has led me. It has and is very scarry uprooting my small CATHOLIC family and moving to a foreign country, and risky too, but it is obvious to me (and many more Catholic failies i know who have escaped) that the prospect of staying is more scary. After all we would not be having this discussion if staying were still an option would we? On a side note there are many non catholics here from the USA who have fled: mennonites, evangelicals and the like. Who saw the writing on the wall. Interesting to note is that most here, including the locals, fear the US government more than anything else. NSA, And all. They openly make fun of the lazy north americans that let their goverment do that to them! I have been asked in the grocery store why do the people in the USA let their government, president, do (what ever is in the news today) to them / us?
    It is wonderful being Catholic and having the Governments support. Now if we could just the Church back on track…….

  21. wmeyer says:

    This should quiet (but probably will not) those who claim that Obamacare is about universal access.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    In 1999, my son, who is now healthy and in the seminary, came down with a strange, hardy strain of pneumonia. He had to go daily for two weeks go into the hospital for intravenous antibiotics, as nothing else worked. The bills were enormous.

    At that time, I was only an adjunct and the state I was living in did not have insurance for poor, single mums or children. I was paying 50 dollars a month on the bill, when, two days before Christmas, a phone call informed me that although my classes for the next semester were full, an tenured professor’s were not and by law, the college had to give him my classes. Well, I was desperate and phoned the hospital and doctors to see if I could hold off my small payments until I got work.

    Amazingly, the hospital, the clinics and the doctors involved all erased multiple thousands of dollars of bills, over 10k at the time. They explained to me that the doctors set up a fund out of their own wages for cases like mine. That is charity. This hospital system is not Catholic.

    Believe it or not, this happened one more time in another situation and in a Catholic hospital, where I had horrible bills from a serious operation even with insurance. Most of the bills were forgiven, by the same program for the poor. This time, my doctor told me about the program. One only had to show income, savings, etc.

    This to me is a much better system. And, people who want socialized medicine should try English and Canadian systems, which are both horrible. When I lived in Canada, I actually took my son to private clinics. The health system clinics were so dirty, I was afraid of us picking something else up. Just wait. I have been against Obamacare since day one. I read parts of the horrible bill and watched the entire debate, trying to get my students, who were all seminarians, not to support this.

    Catholics who have and do support this abomination of a bill will reap poor crops for their efforts.

  23. This is all by design. Obama, the swindling millionaire lawyer from Harvard has crafted his words and position so that it doesn’t look like he’s being a ruthless dictator while, in effect, ruling like one.

  24. SKAY says:

    Obamacare is not about the poor–it is about complete control of our lives. We just learned from the IRS scandal what will be happening with our healthcare with this administration. It is Chicago/Democrat politics. Those who do not agree with them will have healthcare problems.

    Once amnesty becomes law the millions of illegals will insure that the Democrats/socialists will
    continue to undermine the Constitution and what freedoms we have left.
    My Republican Senator is continuing to fight this administration and I appreciate that. I call evey so often to let him know that I stand with what he is doing. I can guarantee those on the other side call their Senators and Congressmen no matter what.
    Sadly at least 50% of Catholics voted for Obama in this last election in spite of his pro abortion, ssm stance–among many other outrages. I think a lot stayed home or voted for a third party candidate–so here we are.
    Even if the Republicans vote to defund Obamacare–which I agree they should do–Obama will not sign the bill. I also do not think it will get through the Senate–although there are a few Dems who are up for re-election in red states. Remember also –Obama just changed the law all by himself– the Gov. workers–Senators, Congressmen, staff etc. will now have over 70% of their healthcare insurance payments paid for by all of us because they “just could not afford it”. These people are not “the poor”. When the bill was originally passed the Republicans had managed to get written into the law that all would have to live under it. Obama -for political reasons of course-has changed that without Congressional approval. Those who passed it do not have to live under it — but the rest of us do .Isn’t that interesting? The laws do not apply to the politically elite now.

  25. jhayes says:

    if they don’t have insurance and you treat them you will receive hefty fine.

    The “Daily Caller” article doesn’t say that. It’s actually the other way around. If hospitals can’t find enough uninsured people to treat, they could (at least theoretically) lose their non-proift status.

    So uninsured patients will become very valuable to hospitals.

    As the post above says:

    So, the Obama Administration forces everyone to get health coverage, but for a non-profit hospital to maintain its non-profit status, it has to treat a minimum number of those without coverage. But that pool of people will shrink dramatically, thus driving hospitals into the taxable category.

    In reality, there will always be some uninsured people. Here in Massachusetts where we have had Romneycare for seven years, about two percent of people are still uninsured. That figure will be higher in other states, particularly those that have refused to expand Medicaid eligibility.

  26. AA Cunningham says:

    Carol Keehan and her socialist comrades at the USCCB will have to craft a press release to spin this revelation in yet another attempt to put lipstick on the pig known as Soetorocare.

  27. Magash says:

    I agree that the GOP house should defund Obamacare. But before you agree with me you better understand what this means. It means that the House refuses to pass any bill, budget, continuing resolution which funds any provision of Obamacare. It also means that Obama will not sign the resultant legislation. That will result in a government shutdown come October 1. When that happens the democrats will point to the GOP and blame them for the huge numbers of government workers and contractors (of which I am one) who will not be getting their paychecks. You can bet that the mainstream media will be touting that Democratic position, talking about how the GOP would rather 3 million Americans go unpaid and that millions more will lose government services than allowing 40 million people to get insurance, because they hate the poor. There will be no discussion of the horror of Obamacare. It will all be about how unreasonable the GOP is and how they hate the poor.
    In this high stakes game of chicken I have no real hope that the GOP won’t fold. The last time this happened it took someone with the backbone of Newt Gingrich to stare down Clinton, does anyone really think John Boehner has the backbone of Gingrich? Are his staffers getting their Obamacare exemption? That gives you the answer right there.
    So while I agree the GOP should defund Obamacare I would be less shocked to see the final coming in my lifetime that to see the GOP do the right thing in the face of political expediencey.

  28. Johnno says:

    Magash –

    The only one who could in my mind would be Rand Paul. But as with his father, members of the GOP will do their best to make sure people like him are ‘unelectable.’ This is because there is no difference between the leaders of the GOP and the leaders of the Democrats. The left and right hands take their marching orders from the same head which is the real power of America and one the American people do not elect nor control, nor do they have any accountability to anyone for. The opposition you see between both parties is a sideshow. The elections are a stage & all its men and women really players. The way the GOP has always lined up and let the Democrats get away with many things and likewise vice versa is all the proof you need. See what they all share in common, and what they won’t listen to the voters for and you’ll see what their real goals truly are. The plan of the play is that one side proposes something preposterous. The other side feigns anger. A ‘compromise’ is reached and evil gains ground in incremental steps. The only real action and opposition that happens is at a grassroots level.

  29. kimberley jean says:

    Mr. Dorchak, good luck but you and your family probably stick out like sore thumbs wherever you’ve gone and to the locals you are Americans. If anything major goes wrong the natives will be looking at you.

  30. Jim Dorchak says:

    Kimberley jean …………… if you are white and eastern eruopean looking (and I am and my wife is Italian decent) then where I live you would not stick out!!!!!!!!!!! you fit right in. But in the ole USA I was the white guy with the money. In addition my Spanish, French and a little Russian help in my not standing out so much, but yes they know I am American. However here the crime is one if the lowest you could imagine. I am much safer then I was in the USA. It also helps that I am in the middle of nowhere and there is no one to fit in with.

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