From the News & Observer, Raleigh, NC (click on link to read the entire article):
Catholic hospitals are a very large component of the nation’s health care delivery system. They provide approximately 15 percent of U.S. hospital beds. North Carolina is one of the few states not served by a Catholic hospital, but in 21 states and the District of Columbia, they account for at least 20 percent of admissions, according to the American Hospital Association.
But there’s more to this issue than numbers. Catholic medical facilities often specialize in services and specialties more beneficial to the public good than to the bottom line. Among them are key services such as social workers, nutrition programs and inner-city emergency rooms. And, of course, there’s old-fashioned charity. For tens of thousands of poor U.S. citizens, their medical safety net is strung up at a Catholic health care facility.
This is the chip some Catholic bishops have threatened to pull off the table if FOCA is signed into law. They act not out of spite, but as a matter of belief. Should FOCA prevail, or if legislation passes that would invalidate the conscience rule or similar state laws, some bishops have said they would close their hospitals rather than be forced to perform abortions. (Catholic hospitals are under federal jurisdiction because they accept Medicare and Medicaid patients and could not survive without those reimbursements.)
Some think the bishops are bluffing. They aren’t, because they can’t. A Catholic hospital could no more perform an abortion than it could carry out an execution. Count on the bishops’ ensuring that parishioners understand that a vote for FOCA is a vote to close Catholic, community-based health care.
Emphasis mine. Many thanks to Rob and to Fr. Ken for forwarding this article to me.