Category archives: Health Care

Medical Advances Wont End AIDS Without Behavioral Change

by Peter Sprigg

November 23, 2011

It was encouraging to read Michael Gersons column in The Washington Post recently on scientific advances which raise the prospect of Putting AIDS on the road to extinction. He is right to say, Religious conservatives have no objections to treatment and are neither shocked nor alarmed by circumcision.

However, he ignores two huge elephants in the room. The first is the role of behavior change in reducing infections. A Ugandan AIDS prevention official wrote in the Post in 2008 about his countrys success in dramatically reducing AIDS prevalence through use of the ABC messageAbstain from sex until marriage, Be faithful to your spouse, and use Condoms only if you fail at A and B. Gerson celebrates that the cost of treatment is now less than $350 per person; but Sam L. Ruteikara noted, Our successful ABC campaign cost just 29 cents per person each year.

Gerson noted that circumcision has reduced the risk of transmission from women to men, and that early treatment reduced transmission to a heterosexual partner. This may be encouraging for Africa, but is less so at home, where the CDC reports that more than half (53%) of all people living with HIV are men who have sex with men (MSM), the only risk group in which new HIV infections have been increasing steadily. Discouraging anal intercourse and sex with multiple partnerspractices not unique to homosexual men, but more prevalent among themare part of the only morally acceptable strategy to help America share in the end of AIDS.

Obamacare: More Bad News for Families?

by Chris Gacek

November 3, 2011

Diana Furchtgott-Roth, economist and senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, concluded a recent column on Obamacare: Yes, health care will be affordable for low-income Americans but only if theyre unmarried. Her column doesnt appear to have received a great deal of attention, but Furchtgott-Roth was describing one line of analysis from an October 27th hearing conducted by the House Committee on Government Reform. The hearing was entitled Examining Obamacares Hidden Marriage Penalty and Its Impact on the Deficit. The details are a bit complicated, so I recommend reading the Furchtgott-Roth article. (A committee staff report is also available.) Suffice it to say that there is much to learn about Obamacare as Mrs. Pelosi once told us.

Demography Is Economic Destiny

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 28, 2011

The cost for businesses to buy health coverage for workers rose the most this year since 2005 and may reach $32,175 for a family in 2021, according to a survey of private and public employers. So reports Bloomberg News.

This is not news any family wants to read. The last thing our recession-bound country needs are rising health care costs, particularly when we know these costs will be augmented dramatically should the Obama health care plan go into effect.

Buried within the Bloomberg article is a story that is underreported but finally seeping-out into the mainstream press: Contributing to the rise in premiums are … fewer young and healthy people in the insurance pool. This assertion is being made by the respected insurance association president Karen Ignagni, but it is verified by cold data. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the following:

… by the end of the 2004 to 2014 period, most of the baby boomers will have turned fifty-five. Consequently, the age fifty-five and older segment of the labor force is expected to grow most rapidly, increasing by 11.3 million, or 49.1 percent. Because of the aging of the American population, this segment of the labor force will increase at almost five times the rate of the overall labor force (10 percent). The numbers of those twenty-five to fifty-four years of age in the labor force will grow by only 3.4 percent, a significantly lower growth than in the previous decade (8.8 percent). The growth rate of the youth labor force, workers between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four, will actually decrease between 2004 and 2014 by 0.5 percent.

What does this blizzard of mathematical factoids mean? Simply that we have a shrinking number of people entering the laborforce, one that cannot sustain our so-called entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid) and that is too small to infuse the insurance pool with enough youth and health to keep it fiscally viable.

My colleagues Pat Fagan, Henry Potrykus and I have explained this in detail in Our Fiscal Crisis: We Cannot Tax, Spend, and Borrow Enough to Substitute for Marriage. We argue that our current economic slowdown, coupled with the increased numbers of dependent citizens, makes closing the deficit impossible for President Obama or anyone else who uses the present welfare state as the economic model to be sustained. It cannot be. This reality arises from two facts: 1) We have proportionately fewer children … (and) up to 20 percent of these children are unequipped to compete in the modern economy because of a lack of essential skills formed within the intact married family.

Whats the bottom line? Husbands and wives need to have more children and truly parent those children if our economy is going to thrive. However substantial our technology-driven productivity gains, they will not compensate for a steadily declining supply of capable, teachable young men and women.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the rate of population growth, referred to as the average annual percent change, is projected to decrease during the next six decades by about 50 percent, from 1.10 between 1990 and 1995 to 0.54 between 2040 and 2050. The decrease in the rate of growth is predominantly due to the aging of the population and, consequently, a dramatic increase in the number of deaths. In other words, we will have a larger population, but the rate of growth will slow to the point that existing citizens will live longer, not because of the size of our families.

For more on the crisis of Americas population and how it is grounded in the erosion of the family unit, visit the Marriage and Religion Research Institute at http://www.marri.frc.org/. Families are more critical to our nations economy, more than education or technology. As families fail, so fails our country.

The President’s Unconstitutional Two-for-One

by Rob Schwarzwalder

February 25, 2011

President Obama’s decision this week not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court demonstrates both contempt for the law itself and a disturbing arrogance concerning his own authority.

This action is not unique. As today’s Wall Street Journal notes, “The White House has apparently decided that it won’t enforce the unpopular parts of its health-care plan until after the 2012 election. The latest evidence is its decision not to slash Medicare Advantage, the program that Democrats hate because it lets seniors choose private insurance options.”

And this week’s decision regarding DOMA is not a new departure from allegiance to the law. As George Will wrote in 2009, “The Obama administration is bold. It also is careless regarding constitutional values and is acquiring a tincture of lawlessness.”

The President of the United States takes an oath when he assumes office, assuring us that he will “defend the Constitution of the United States.” That Constitution makes Congress the legislative body, not the Executive branch. Thus, when Congress passes legislation that is signed into law by the President, it becomes incumbent upon the President — as the chief constitutional law enforcement office in the nation — to defend it.

When this or any President refuses to defend any given law, he is placing himself above it. How, in principle, this distinguishes the United States from any tin-pot autocracy, where law is made by the fiat choices of an unaccountable dictator, escapes me. For that matter, why bother with having legislative (Congress) or judicial (the Supreme and other federal courts) branches if the President can simply choose to ignore defending laws he dislikes?

Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow Chris Gacek (JD, Virginia) notes that DOMA “affirms the power of each state to make its own decision as to whether it will accept or reject same-sex marriages created in other jurisdictions … The Defense of Marriage Act preserves the right of the states to govern themselves with respect to family law and domestic relations. DOMA impedes judicial activism regarding marriage and provides needed uniformity in federal law. It is an essential part of preserving traditional marriage in America.” In other words, as Quinn Hillyer writes in The American Spectator, “Without DOMA, state and local decision-making would be nil. In fact, the decisions of 49 states could be superseded by the decision of one state to allow such ‘marriages’.”

The rule of law is essential to the future of representative self-government in the United States. The future of marriage hinges, in large measure, on DOMA. President Obama has succeeded in undermining both this week.

ObamaCare: The Facts On Abortion

by Krystle Gabele

October 28, 2010

Check out this new video from the Population Research Institute showing a factual explanation of how President Obama’s health care plan will expand abortion coverage in the United States.

Disabled Babies in the Womb Event Supporting Prenatal Disability Diagnosis - October 5th, 2010

by Family Research Council

October 4, 2010

On Tuesday, October 5, Christians here in D.C. and across the country will be focusing on the issue of helping support pregnant women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of a disability. As Christians we believe that every person is willed and loved by God, and has inherent gifts and dignity. However, with new technologies in prenatal testing, this dignity is being called into question. Upon receiving an unexpected prenatal diagnosis and in the absence of comprehensive information and resources that promote the option of carrying to term, up to 90 % of women decide to terminate their pregnancies. We uphold that all human beings have infinite value regardless of any medical conditions or disabilities, and seek to support families during this time.

From 1:00-2:30 p.m., the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) will host a national training for ministers, medical personnel and others in the Washington, D.C. area who are interested. This will be followed by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Affirming Life Symposium starting at 2:45 p.m., also for ministers, pastoral workers and medical staff. Register at www.ncpd.org. For more information, contact Peg Kolm, Department of Special Needs Ministries at 301-853-4560.

Federal Court Allows Challenge to Obamacare

by Jared Bridges

August 2, 2010

My (relatively) new FRC colleague Ken Klukowski has the lowdown over at Townhall.com:

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia denied the Obama administrations motion to dismiss Virginias lawsuit against Obamacare. Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed one of the three major lawsuits against President Obamas healthcare law, focusing on the issue that the individual mandate, requiring every American to purchase health insurance, is unconstitutional.

For the reason my coauthor and I explained in the Wall Street Journal in January and last month, the Obamacare individual mandate is clearly unconstitutional. In researching this issue for our book, The Blueprint: Obamas Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, Ken Blackwell and I found that commanding Americans to buy insurance is not authorized by even the most liberal precedents of the Supreme Court interpreting the Commerce Clause, the Taxing and Spending Clause, or the General Welfare Clause.

Read the whole thing…

Rationed Healthcare and Assisted Suicide

by Family Research Council

July 15, 2010

Last week we learned that President Obama made a recess appointment of Dr. Donald Berwick to be administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Berwick, a man who has been called a one-man death panel, repeatedly has stated his support for rationed healthcare.

What will this appointment mean to those of us who believe that every life has dignity, regardless of its stage or health status? One clear concern, in addition to rationed healthcare, is assisted suicide.

A recent letter to the editor written by an Oregon doctor drove home this critical connection between assisted suicide and rationed healthcare.

…remember the names Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup. Wagner was an Oregon resident who died in 2008. The Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) refused to pay for a cancer drug to possibly prolong her life and offered to pay for her suicide instead. This position saved the plan money. Stroup had a similar experience. The plan would not pay for a drug to prolong his life and ease his pain, but would pay for his suicide. He said: ‘This is my life they’re playing with.’ In both cases, the Oregon Health Plan’s position was only possible because assisted suicide is legal in Oregon. With assisted suicide now at issue in Idaho, will you and your families be the next Randy Stroups? Will you be the next Barbara Wagners?

The decision regarding the legality of assisted suicide in the U.S. currently resides with the states. A number of states have chosen to make it legal, among them Oregon, Washington and Montana. Idaho currently is considering similar legislation.

Advocacy groups have waged strong campaigns in areas that potentially could legalize assisted suicide. In Pennsylvania, a group recently has been posting controversial billboards advocating for the legalization of assisted suicide. Another such advocacy group is Compassion and Choices,” which has been lobbying in Idaho.

Every person, regardless of race, age, health, etc., has an inherent right to life. Sadly, it is becoming more and more obvious as we begin to see the new healthcare law rolled out that the Presidents health care regime is not about respecting a person’s dignity or inherent rights, especially that most basic right to life from conception to natural death.

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