Category archives: Health Care

Representative John Fleming (R-La.) Calling for Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ Resignation

by Bethany Brock

October 24, 2013

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) appeared on Wednesday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” and shared more about a potential delay for the individual mandate of Obamacare as well as Secretary Sebelius’s failures as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the rollout of Obamacare:

I called for her resignation and am calling on the President to ask her to resign if she doesn’t do it voluntarily. The Department of HHS, now with Obamacare, fully has under its control 1/6 of the largest economy in the world- the health care of the United States of America,” Fleming said.

Leading up to the rollout of Obamacare, Fleming said Secretary Sebelius was reassuring that it would be launched smoothly. Just days before the rollout of Obamacare , Sebelius said customers would have a wonderful experience going online to purchase their insurance.

She made it sound like it would be like going to the fair or riding on the ferris wheel. Then it was launched on October 1 and it’s been an absolute disaster. Secretary Sebelius is CEO of HHS, so she alone should be held accountable for that. The firing or resignation should begin with her.”

Fleming has been insisting that the individual mandate in Obamacare be delayed stating, “Americans have to sign up, meanwhile hundreds of thousands are being canceled off of their current insurance. So we have millions of Americans caught between a rock and a hard place where they are going to be forced through mandate and taxation to sign up for this but aren’t capable of doing so and they won’t have an alternative insurance because they were canceled off their current insurance.  I think it’s just inevitable that the individual mandate will be delayed for some months or at least a year.”

Click here to listen to the entire radio interview

Three Cheers for the Santa Clara Broncos (and not for a sports victory)!

by Rob Schwarzwalder

October 16, 2013

Santa Clara University, a Jesuit school located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, “is dropping coverage for elective abortions under health insurance for its faculty and staff members.”

According to the Los Angeles Times,Santa Clara president Michael Engh, himself a Jesuit, wrote the school’s 1600 employees that “Our core commitments as a Jesuit, Catholic university are not compatible with the inclusion of elective abortion coverage in the university’s health plans.”  Reporter Larry Gordon notes that “as required by state law, the school still will cover contraception and so-called therapeutic abortions, those deemed medically necessary to save the mother’s life or health, among other factors. Santa Clara, which enrolls about 8,500 students, is not offering the possibility of the unsubsidized plan for elective procedures, according to campus spokeswoman Deepa Arora.”

SCU follows the lead of Loyola Marymount University, whose faculty and students last week were informed in a letter signed by university president David W. Burcham and Board of Trustees Chair Kathleen H. Aikenhead that “Catholic heritage and faithfulness to the Catholic Church’s core teaching on dignity of every human being at all stages of life” mandates that it drop coverage of abortion on demand.  Instead, the school will “offer employees a separate, unsubsidized plan to cover those procedures.”

The academic natives are more than restless over these changes: “This really makes Santa Clara University’s express commitment to openness, diversity and inclusiveness ring hollow,” said one SCU history professor.  And Loyola Marymount economics professor Jennifer Pate says the decision demonstrates that LMU “values diversity less than our Catholic affiliation.” 

Diversity, properly understood, simply means that opposing points of view concerning important issues are allowed to flourish.  For example, there are a host of opinions about how best to alleviate poverty and they are welcome as part of the atmosphere of inquiry and debate intrinsic to a college campus.  Diversity does not mean that all preferential practices (you abort a baby, I mainline heroin - hey, everybody’s different!) should be permitted. 

Why?  Because, in the case of abortion, the unborn child is not merely a collection of blood, tissue and DNA.  From the moment of fertilization, the tiny embryo is a person who should enjoy the most fundamental right of a person - the right to life.

Santa Clara and Loyola Marymount have taken modest steps to distance themselves from abortion.  It would be hoped that they would soon join with schools like The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.), Ave Maria University (Florida), and Belmont Abbey (South Carolina), and other Catholic and Evangelical Protestant colleges in suing the Obama Administration because it requires them “to violate (their)s deeply held religious beliefs or pay crippling fines of up to $15,000 dollars per day, or more than $5 million per year.” 

For now, let’s applaud the SCU Broncos and the Loyola Marymount Lions for bending the arc of political correctness in the direction of life.

What Would and Wouldn’t Shut Down

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 30, 2013

A “government shutdown” is a misnomer of gigantic proportion. In July, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) released a Congressional Research Service study that makes clear “a ‘government shutdown’ does not cause all government functions to cease.”

Our military will remain vigilant, our ships at sea and our planes ready to fly, and our service members will be paid. According to a study by the Congressional Research Service published last week, “Historically, individuals responsible for supporting the nation’s global security activities, public safety efforts, and foreign relations pursuits have been excepted from furloughs that accompany a government shutdown.”

The federal judiciary will be funded through mid-October. Veterans and recipients of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue receiving their benefits. You’ll still get your mail from the U.S. Postal Service.

There will be massive inconvenience to hundreds of thousands of civilian government employees who will be furloughed until a budget deal is reached. Mortgage loans will halt, although “the Office of Single Family Housing will ‘endorse new loans under current multi-year appropriation authority in order to support the health and stability of the U.S. mortgage market’.” Federal parks and zoos will close, but “Smithsonian and National Park employees responsible for protecting property and providing emergency care, including animal caretakers at the National Zoo, are exempt from the furlough.” And TSA employees and air traffic controllers will remain on the job.

National Institutes of Health employees would continue to treat current Clinical Center patients and provide animal care services, though new patients will be locked out of clinical research,” and federal disaster assistance will remain fully available. More than 40 million Americans would continue to get food stamps unabated.

As to the IRS, why should it be no surprise that “all payments would be processed?”

Perhaps the most serious problem will be “A lack of appropriations (that) will severely limit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ability to respond to outbreak investigations.”

The Food Safety and Inspection Service would continue all safety-related activities” and “the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration would continue inspections to the extent they’re paid by user fees.” However, the “inability to investigate alleged violations could hamper corrective action in the long term and could have an immediate impact on members of industry.” The FDA “would limit its activities but continue to monitor recalls and conduct investigations.”

Of perhaps particular note is that funding for the Patient’s Protection and Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) will continue. “It’s looking more and more like Tuesday will be a split-screen day … Obamacare will open for business.”

The above is not an exhaustive explanation, and it is not intended to suggest that limiting government services is trivial. However, if Congress and the President fail to strike a deal, the sky will not fall, Mt. Rushmore will not crumble, and our union will retain all 50 of its states.

Concern is justified. Panic isn’t.

Sources:

The Battle for Life Continues, Regardless of Outcomes

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 23, 2013

This past Friday, the Obama Administration asked the Supreme Court “to decide that for-profit corporations cannot deny their employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation’s owners”. According to Religion News Service’s Sarah Pulliam Bailey:

In June, the Obama administration issued final rules for the mandate that requires most employers to provide contraception at no cost. While there are exemptions for religious groups and affiliated institutions, there are no carve-outs for private businesses with religious owners. Opponents of the mandate say that they will be forced to provide coverage they find morally abhorrent. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed a federal lawsuit against the Obama administration Friday (Sept. 20) on behalf of four Christian universities in Oklahoma, where Hobby Lobby is also based. Now that two different federal courts have issued contradictory opinions on the mandate, the issue is near certain to be decided by the Supreme Court.

This is welcome news, and it is hoped that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty. The owners of Hobby Lobby, the Green family, and others like them did not leave their Christian convictions in the pew on Sunday morning. As attorney Kyle Duncan of The Becket Fund argues:

The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living … We’re confident that the Supreme Court will reject the government’s extreme position and hold that religious liberty is for everyone—including people who run a business.

Let us hope Kyle is right, for the sake of every citizen of a nation in which religious liberty historically has been the foundation of every other right (our rights come from God, not from the state, and thus our primary duty is to Him, not it – this is the essential premise of the U.S. Constitution).

Yet even if this battle is won, the battle for life in the U.S. will be far from over. For example, attorney Clarke Forsythe of Americans United for Life has just published a new book, Abuse of Discretion: The Inside Story of Roe. V. Wade in which he explains that

The United States is an outlier when it comes to the scope of the abortion “right.” The United States is one of approximately ten nations (of 195) that allow abortion after fourteen weeks of gestation. The others are: Canada, China, Great Britain, North Korea, the Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Western Australia, and Vietnam. When it comes to allowing abortion for any reason after viability, however, the United States is joined only by Canada, North Korea, and China (p. 126).

I am always glad for the United States to stand alone when it comes to our defending our national security, the well-being of our citizens or the protection of our other vital interests, but in this case, I wish the land of the free was in league with the majority of the world’s countries in imposing restrictions on post-viability abortions. Of course, all who cherish life know it is immaterial whether the U.S. is in the majority or minority of nations when it comes to the imperative of correcting Roe altogether and affirming the sanctity of every life, from conception to natural death.

Regardless of laws, legislation, or litigation, the movement to protect the unborn and prevent their mothers from being preyed-upon and commoditized will not quit. We’ve achieved some great victories in recent years, and we can be grateful for the growing public judgment that elective abortion is a moral evil.

Yet our criterion of victory is not found in numbers, polls, bills, or laws. Ultimately, it is found in fidelity to the One Scripture calls “the Prince of Life” (Acts 3:15). He deserves our full and unflagging efforts in defense of those He still is forming in their mothers’ wombs. May we always give it to Him.

Business Closures that are Good for the Economy

by Rob Schwarzwalder

August 26, 2013

The abortion industry recently has suffered a series of legal and legislative setbacks. From mandatory ultrasounds to fetal pain bills to entirely reasonable clinic health and safety regulations, the womb is a bit less unsafe for thousands of unborn children. Here are summaries of some recent wins for life and human dignity:

  • According to one review, “at least 24 Planned Parenthood sites have closed so far in 2013. This number includes 3 surgical abortion clinics, 3 clinics that dispensed abortion pills, and 19 offices that referred for abortions.”
  • The pro-abortion-on-demand Guttmacher Institute reports that during “the first six months of 2013, states enacted 106 provisions related to reproductive health and rights; issues related to abortion, family planning funding and sex education were significant flashpoints in several legislatures”.
  • The North Carolina Department of Health has suspended the license of Femcare, an abortion clinic in Asheville. That marks the 42nd abortion clinic to close so far this year, eclipsing the 24 that closed during all of 2012.”

The closures of dozens of abortion clinics nationwide means that more persons bearing God’s image will enjoy the warmth of a mother’s embrace. The value of the person is not determined by a cost-benefit analysis but by the decision of her eternal Creator to give her the gift of life. Thus, the economic consequences of abortion are of vastly less importance than the evil of abortion itself, both to the unborn and their mothers. Yet it is undeniable that abortion has contributed materially to the weakening of the U.S. economy. It’s not very often that we can rejoice at the growing demise of an industry or the closure of job-producing businesses, but if there were ever reasons - both moral and economic - for such rejoicing, here they are.

Eden Foods Statement to Customers on HHS Mandate Suit

by Cathy Ruse

April 17, 2013

As I mentioned in my last post, this afternoon I emailed a letter of support to Michael Potter of Eden Foods encouraging him in his lawsuit against the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate.

Moments later I received this email in reply. It appears to be the statement sent to any inquiries regarding the suit. 

Again I say:  Rock on, Michael Potter!

Greetings,

Please be discerning consumers. Grotesque mischaracterizations about Eden Foods’ action related to the Health & Human Services (HHS) mandate, Affordable Care Act, are most regrettable.

OnMarch 21st, 2013a press release announced our lawsuit against the unconstitutional government overreach in theHHSmandate. This announcement was made to the media and general public. We apologize for the unintended consternation given rise to by this action.

Eden Foods’ health care provider is required by theHHSto comply with all details of the Affordable Care Act. Parts of the mandate violate the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the Administrative Procedure Act. This overreach of the federal government infringes on religious freedoms.

It is discriminatory that not all employers have to comply with theHHSmandate. Millions of people and thousands of companies are exempt. The exemptions under the Act are illogical, inconsistent, and contributing factors to our lawsuit. For instance, McDonald’s Inc. and 166 unions are exempt. Small employers are exempt. Individuals who practice certain faiths are exempt, while individuals who practice other faiths are not. Federal employees are exempt, and this is hypocritical. There is no exemption for the religious freedoms of employers.

Edenemployee benefits include health, dental, vision, life, and a fifty percent 401k match. The benefits have not funded “lifestyle drugs,” an insurance industry drug classification that includes contraceptives, Viagra, smoking cessation, weight-loss, infertility, impotency, etc. This entire plan is managed with a goal of long-term sustainability.

We believe in a woman’s right to decide, and have access to, all aspects of their health care and reproductive management. This lawsuit does not block, or intend to block, anyone’s access to health care or reproductive management. This lawsuit is about protecting religious freedom and stopping the government from forcing citizens to violate their conscience. We object to theHHSmandate and its government overreach.

This is an important matter that deserves attention from us all.

Our actions have been, and will remain, principled and transparent.Eden’s focus is pure food, ethical business practice, and the nurturing of all people and the planet.

Respectfully,

Michael Potter, President

I’m Not in Your Bedroom. Obama is in Your Bedroom”

by Cathy Ruse

April 17, 2013

I have a new hero: Eden Foods founder and CEO Michael Potter.

Eden Foods is an organic company popular among the “crunchy, liberal crowd” which has filed suit against the Obama administration over the HHS mandate. 

Potter is getting slammed over it, thanks in part to a hit piece last week in Salon magazine which publicized the suit and framed Potter as a man with an anti-birth control agenda. 

Don’t waste your time on the original article. Instead, enjoy the refreshing quotes from the no nonsense, plain-speaking Mr. Potter in Salon’s follow-up piece from Monday relating a telephone conversation between Potter and Salon writer Irin Carmen.

I’ve got more interest in good quality long underwear than I have in birth control pills,” Potter told Carmen. Then he elaborated:

I don’t care if the federal government is telling me to buy my employees Jack Daniel’s or birth control. What gives them the right to tell me that I have to do that? That’s my issue, that’s what I object to, and that’s the beginning and end of the story….I’m not trying to get birth control out of Rite Aid or Wal-Mart, but don’t tell me I gotta pay for it.

Rock on, M.P.!

When Carmen pressed Potter using the fallacy that “the mandate doesn’t cover abortion” but “only contraception,” Potter responded this way:

It’s a morass…I’m not an expert in anything. I’m not the pope. I’m in the food business. I’m qualified to have opinions about that and not issues that are purely women’s issues. I am qualified to have an opinion about what health insurance I pay for.

When Carmen said contraceptive coverage is cheaper to pay for than maternity coverage, Potter replied: “One’s got a little more warmth and fuzziness to it than the other, for crying out loud.”

Potter is not backing down:  “I worked my ass off at figuring out what to do on it. I worked hard on it and I made a decision,” he said. “The federal government has no right to do what they’ve done. No constitutional right, no standing.”

Carmen writes that Potter sounded annoyed that he’s receiving emails telling him to stay out of people’s bedrooms. “I’m not in your bedroom,” he said. “Obama’s in your bedroom.”

Michael Potter is doing the right thing, for the right reasons, and he’s getting slammed by left-wing activists who have lots of time on their hands. He needs to hear from the rest of us.

Here’s where to write: websales@edenfoods.com and info@edenfoods.com

I just did, and here’s what I said: 

Dear Mr. Potter:

I know you’re getting heat for your lawsuit from people who like the idea of free birth control and abortion drugs, courtesy of a heavy-handed federal government mandate on employers.

But you should know there are many people who agree with you that it is not the federal government’s place to dictate to employers that they must buy these things for their employees in their health plans. And yes, the mandate does include drugs that can cause an early abortion, not just contraception.

As a woman and a lawyer, my message is this: contraceptives and abortion pills are widely available, they’re legally unrestricted, and they’re cheap. Anyone who wants them can get them. There is no reason for the federal government to force every employer in America to provide them “for free.”

Thanks for standing firm. I can’t wait to buy lots of Eden Foods!

Support Hobby Lobby as they Take a Stand Against the Obamacare Abortion Drug Mandate

by Krystle Gabele

January 9, 2013

Obamacare has been in the news lately, as the new regulations are being enacted in a swift manner.  Now, employers must decide whether or not to abandon their principles and comply with the regulations which include a mandate requiring coverage of the morning after pill, a drug that can cause an early abortion.  One company, however, refuses to surrender its religious freedom and is disobeying the mandate.  The owners of the Hobby Lobby retail chain is facing daily fines of $1.3 million for their refusal to comply with the mandate.  As of today, they have incurred fines totaling $ 11.7 million.  Unless the courts intervene, the company will accumulate a half a billion dollars in fines by the end of this year.

FRC released a video today regarding Hobby Lobby standing for their beliefs, and you can also support them by visiting our Facebook page.

Also, my colleague, Ken Klukowski, has been covering the news regarding Hobby Lobby and the Obamacare mandate’s attack on religious liberty.  You can read his recent op-eds, which were featured on Breitbart.com.

We commend Hobby Lobby, as they take a stand for religious liberty. 

 

Hey Dennys, Please Call it the ObamaCare Surcharge

by Cathy Ruse

November 15, 2012

The Daily Mail Online is reporting that the owner of 40 Dennys restaurants in will add a 5% surcharge to customers bills in order to meet the costs he will be forced to incur under ObamaCare beginning in 2014. To pay $5,000 per employee would cost us $175,000 per restaurant and unfortunately, most of our restaurants dont make $175,000 a year. I can’t afford it.

Were trying to get more restaurant operators rallied around the concept of adding a 5 percent surcharge to their bill to cover the costs of Obamacare as opposed to raising prices, he said.

Heck, why stop at restaurants? Lets see all businesses with full-time employees add an explicit ObamaCare Surcharge to customer bills. Theyre going to have to pass along the costs to consumers anyway. Why not be up-front with us?

Obamacare Puts Freedom in the Balance

by Robert Morrison

November 5, 2012

On July 4, 2010, the National Archives announced that they had just discovered an original draft of Thomas Jeffersons Declaration of Independence. In it, the young member of the Continental Congress struck out the word subjects and penned the word citizens. Archivists were very excited by this discovery: It was the first time Americans had referred to themselves as citizens, they said.

Citizens make their own decisions on vital matters of life and faith. Subjects have to obey an endless series of government mandates.

Obamacare has already revealed its iron fist. The HHS mandate, a key part of Obamacare, would force every American to become complicit in providing or paying for the destruction of innocent human lives. It would also force us to subsidize sterilization procedures. Many of these sterilizations would be done on minors without their parents knowledge or consent.

Religious communities in America have been alarmed by this HHS Mandate. Rev. Billy Graham is nearing his 94th birthday this week. He might easily have avoided controversy by remaining quiet. But this great evangelist has taken out ads in major newspapers all over the country appealing to Christians to vote for biblical values. These include the Sanctity of Human Life, which theHHS Mandate for Obamacare so seriously jeopardizes.

The Catholic Bishops have gone into court to sue against this unprecedented intrusion into the life of the church. Catholic lay groups are carrying the message to grassroots citizens, urging them to stand for life and to oppose abortion. One such prominent group, Catholic Answers, is distributing voter guides that dont tell their brethren for whom to vote, but do plead with them to uphold life, marriage, and religious freedom when they vote. Pope Benedict is alarmed about what is happening inAmerica, they say, and you should be, too.

The Lutheran ChurchMissouri Synod has boldly proclaimed we must obey God rather than men, and has launched a website titled Free to be Faithful The LCMS takes no position on Obamacare, per se, but they do resist being forced to participate in violating the commandment: Thou shalt not kill. It was to escape mandates from the authoritarian rulers of Germany in the 19th Century that these Lutherans left their homes and fled to this home of freedom, Synod leaders say.

Not only churches and religious organizations are threatened. In recent action before a federal district court in Detroit, the Weingartz Supply Company sought and received from Judge Robert Cleland a temporary injunction allowing them not to obey the HHS Mandate. The Catholic owner of this small, 170-employee family firm, argued that demands of Obamacare would violate his First Amendment rights. Judge Cleland agreed, saying: Violation of a First Amendment right in itself constitutes irreparable harm, even for a brief period.

Irreparable harm done under Obamacares HHS Mandate ironically contrasts with the first rule of medicine, thousands of years old, brought to us by the Greek philosopher Hippocrates: Above all, do no harm.

How can it be that a law that has care and protection in its title (The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) can present such a mortal threat to caring and protection? It may be because the Supreme Court in 1973 ruled against justice itself. When the court said innocent human lives may be taken for any reason or no reason, the court pulled that first thread of our national garment and the fabric of society has been unraveling ever since. It can never be just directly to target and kill the innocent.

This is certainly Christian teaching, but it is also Jewish teaching. Orthodox Jewish leader Rabbi Meir V. Soloveichick gave strong testimony in Congress against the HHS Mandate.

That this is direct and intentional slaughter of innocents is wrong was known even by the pagans of ancient Greece. Thucydides, in his classic Peloponnesian War, records the Melian Debate. In that debate, powerful, democratic Athenians demand that the unoffending people of Melos join them in a war against Sparta. The men of Melos, a small beautiful island, wish only to be left alone to live their lives in peace. The Athenians will not permit that, saying to the Melians: The strong do what they will; the weak endure what they must. Thucydides is a patriotic Athenian, but he loves justice first. And he records the killing of the innocent Melians with obvious anguish. His book, a work secular scholars recognize as the first history, was intended to last forever.

The lesson of the Melian Debatethat the shame of killing the innocents is indeliblehas come down to us from ancient times. Pagans, Jews and Christians then recognized an ethical foundation for human existence. Life without such a moral basis is not truly human, they taught us.

The HHS Mandate puts freedom itself on the ballot. If this election affirms Obamacare, then this violation of our consciences is but the first taste of the bitter cup that will be proffered to us. And we will be forced to drink that bitter cup to the dregs.

HHS Mandates will cascade upon us. Will we also be forced to pay for sex changes and violent abortion procedures, as well as abortion drugs and sterilizations? What logic or law would stop these liberal activists who have already trodden our First Amendment rights under foot? They will render the Constitution itself a mere paper barricade.

That is why tomorrow, freedom itself is on the ballot. Let us pray for this great republic; may we remain citizens and not subjects.

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