President Obama will tout his healthcare law Tuesday to a Catholic group that has consistently supported the law despite deep divides over its birth control requirement.
In a speech to the Catholic Health Association — which represents hundreds of hospitals and nursing homes across the U.S. — the president will talk about the law’s major tenets and make his case that it has improved health plans for virtually everyone, in addition to expanding coverage to millions.
The address comes just days before the Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling that could halt the healthcare law’s insurance subsidies to millions of Americans.
Like the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Health Association opposes birth control, which employers are now required to provide for workers. But the two groups split when the administration issued a conscience accommodation allowing religious hospitals, schools and charities to ask a third party to provide the benefit.
While the bishops felt the accommodation didn’t go far enough, the health association said it was adequate though not ideal. The health association has strongly supported the healthcare law since its 2010 passage, saying the law’s health coverage expansions are in line with its religious values.
Obama will thank the association Tuesday for its “dedication to helping ensure all Americans have access to health care,” a White House official said.
“He will also describe how the Affordable Care Act has become part of the fabric of an improved American health care system, one where we and our children can rely on health security throughout our lives, and make the most of our opportunities as a result,” the official said.
The White House has also created a web page that features a “Healthcare Timeline” beginning with President Teddy Roosevelt’s speech about a national insurance program in 1912 and ending with the current estimate that 16.4 million Americans have gained insurance since the Affordable Care Act was passed.
The page also features a letter from former Sen. Ted Kennedy before he died of brain cancer, urging Obama to get health reform passed, and stories of individuals who have benefited from the law.