Tag archives: Health Care

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.

The High Costs of the Democratic Health Plan

by Rob Schwarzwalder

March 24, 2010

Congressman Paul Ryan, a respected Wisconsin Republican and self-described “numbers guy,” writes the following in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Premiums in the individual market would rise from 10% to 13% for families. Our debt and deficit crisis —— driven by $76 trillion in unfunded liabilities —— would accelerate from the creation of a brand new entitlement and an increase in the federal deficit by $662 billion, when the true costs are factored in. National health expenditures will increase by an additional $222 billion over the next decade, according the president’s own chief actuary, and $2.4 trillion in the decade after the new entitlement is up and running.

Ryan himself calls these “mind-numbing numbers,” but their vastness only emphasizes how serious they are. To bring it down to family level, what the Obama-Democratic plan means is that you and your loved ones will obtain poorer quality of care at higher cost. Medical innovations generated by private sector research will contract as companies have fewer financial resources with which to make them. Market-driven competition will decline as the number of insurance companies shrinks due to heavy new mandates and regulations. The ripple effect on the broader economy will mean that there will be fewer jobs in the private-sector as companies lay-off employees to pay for both higher taxes and cost of newly imposed health insurance rules.

The world works in a certain way. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. The world turns from east to west. And the more centralized political power becomes and the greater the mandates and costs imposed on those governed, the less freedom and prosperity there will be.

These propositions are axiomatic because they are immutable. And it is difficult to believe that whatever their protestations, President Obama and his allies —- intelligent men and women, all —- did not understand them very well from before the start of their health care “reform” campaign.

Less quality, high cost health care. Fewer jobs. Lost freedom. That’s change I’d rather not believe in, but it’s here. And conservatives will keep fighting it as long as our liberty endures.

The Wave and the Rock

by Robert Morrison

February 2, 2010

Last year, it was as if we had all been inundated by the great Wave. Barack Obama as candidate said he felt a righteous wind at his back. For many of us, though, his support—so broad, so overpowering, so irresistible—was a force of nature.

That great Wave threatened to sweep all before it. The work of decades would be undone. The people had spoken. For many in this democratic republic, the voice of the people is the voice of God. To say no to anything President Obama wanted was to risk being called an obstructionist, a blinkered reactionary, or worse, a racist, a terrorist.

Mr. Obama took the advice of those who specialize in doing things the smart way. If youre going to do something many of the people might not like, do it fast, do it early, and give them time to forget about it.

Its the same cynical advice these smart types gave to John Edwards. Wait until an earthquake happens in Haiti, or a revolution occurs in Massachusetts, before you admit paternity, before you stop your relentless lying. And then hope nobody notices. The roar of the Wave might mask whatever you say.

So, President Obama very quickly cast down the Mexico City Doctrine of Ronald Reagan. That policy was duly reaffirmed by both Presidents Bush. Who cares about this stuff, anyway? Wingers? Thumpers? People who are, in the dismissive words of the Washington Post, poor, uneducated, easy to command?

The Mexico City Doctrine meant that the United States taxpayers would not have to pay for the slaughter of innocents abroad. It was the overseas equivalent of the Hyde Amendment at home. It had the support of people who, though they might differ on whether abortions should be legal or not, at least could agree that pro-choice and pro-life Americans should not be taxed to pay for this.

In that sense, Reagans Mexico City Doctrine is that common ground middling folks say they are always seeking. So where was their outcry when the Wave swept it away? Im still waiting.

But those who caught the Wave forgot about the Rock. The Rock is often out of sight, often submerged. It is that hard conviction that America is indeed a special land, that Americans are, in Lincolns words, an almost Chosen People, that our Declaration of Independence spoke an eternal truth when it said our rights are inalienable. These rights, said President Kennedy, come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God. This great truth is the Rock.

In the past year, we were told by Newsweek that President Obama hovered over the nations, like sort of a god. That was at Normandy. Then, we were told that he had become the Bringer of Peace. That was at Oslo. Finally, he told us he would be the one who would cause the oceans to cease to rise.

The ocean has ceased to rise. His Wave ebbed. And then receded. What the Wave left on the shore is a lot of flotsam and jetsam, the wretched refuse of broken dreams and deflated ideology. Its not just a lowered approval rating. Those measures could not begin to gauge what really happened.

What weve seen is a great iconoclasm—the breaking up of an image or images. The images broken in this year represented the idea that we could bring material prosperity through profligate waste, that we could become healthier while massively dealing in death, that we could heal the planet through human effort alone with no regard for the One who made the earth and loved it.

So now, as the low moan of the receding tide is heard, as Mr. Obamas fellow party members are surging and seething and sounding on each other, the Rock has re-emerged.

Americans have not given up their convictions. When candidate Obama said he wanted to reduce the number of abortions, no one in the press, no one in the debates challenged him. How can you make them fewer by making them free? If abortion is a fundamental right, as your campaign and your party say it is, why should we have fewer of them? If abortion is just a tonsillectomy, as leading members of your congressional wing say it is, why shouldnt it be covered in your health care plan? If you think not paying for abortions is part of a tradition in Washington, then what has become of your promise of change? And if federal funds dont pay for abortion-on-demand, what about your pledges to Planned Parenthood? If youre really not in favor of forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions, why wont you accept the Stupak Amendment, which makes that ban explicit?

If it were not for the pro-life movement in this country, ObamaCare would already have been signed. The pro-lifers are not the Rock. Truth is the Rock. The Wave broke on the Rock but the Rock remains.

FRC Statement on the Christmas Eve Passage of the Health Care ‘Reform’ Bill

by JP Duffy

December 24, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 24, 2009

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy, (202) 679-6800

Washington D.C.- This morning the United State Senate voted 60-39 in favor of final passage of HR 3590, the so-called “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

Today’s Christmas Eve vote may signal the end of the debate in the Senate, but it’s far from the end of the debate at large. Since Senator Reid’s bad bill is substantially different from the House’s bad bill, the lower chamber will have to vote on the plan again. The Senate bill’s massive funding for elective abortions and the construction of abortion facilities are among the most radical differences. On Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted in an interview that the Senate health care bill will force ‘everybody’ in the exchange to pay an abortion premium. The so-called Nelson ‘compromise’ ensures that everyone will pay for abortion—no matter how the funds are divided up.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, Americans—by a huge three to one margin—are overwhelmingly opposed to using taxpayer dollars to fund abortion. Seventy-two percent of the country is now firmly on the side of Congressman Bart Stupak’s (D-Mich.) solution to ban the government’s financial involvement in the deadly procedure. House and Senate conferees would do well to heed that warning when they come together to iron out their differences with the final bill, else this bill could collapse because of it.

Disagreement over abortion funding is one of the many reasons this fight is far from over. Both House and Senate versions of the bill are seriously flawed. Both bills still allow rationing of health care for seniors, raise health costs for families, mandate that families purchase under threat of fines and penalties, offer counsel about assisted suicide in some states, do not offer broad conscience protections for health care workers and seek to insert the federal government into all aspects of citizen’s lives. Additionally, the bills would place a crushing debt on both current and future generations.”

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Senate Votes to Proceed with Abortion Funding Debacle

by JP Duffy

November 22, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 21, 2009

CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Maria Donovan, (866) FRC-NEWS

Washington, D.C.- Tonight, in a partisan vote, the U.S. Senate voted to proceed to Senator Reid’s version of the government takeover of health care. Among the several objectionable items included in this bill; like the public option, employer and individual mandates, is the government funding for elective abortion, which is the most onerous and morally objectionable. Additionally the bill provides subsidies for private plans that cover elective abortion. The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services to include elective abortion in the public option and subsidize health plans in the government run exchange that cover elective abortion.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded with the following comments:

Forcing Americans to buy government approved health care insurance is arguably unconstitutional. Forcing Americans to fund abortion within the government plan is without question unconscionable. Disregarding the conscience concerns of the vast majority of Americans, the U.S. Senate, voted to proceed to Senator Reid’s new health care takeover bill. Recent polls including a CNN poll released last week shows more than 60% of Americans are opposed to the bill’s provisions that would create the largest expansion of abortion since the 1970s.

Instead of including the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts amendment passed in the House to prevent this government expansion of abortion, Senator Reid included a watered down version of the Capps provision which would flood the coffers of the abortion industry. The Senate should instead adopt the Stupak-Pitts language which would maintain the status quo first established over 30 years ago. Additionally, the Reid bill undermines conscience protections for pro-life health plans and doctors.

It was disappointing to see pro-life Senators Bill Nelson (D-NE) and Bob Casey (D-PA) vote to advance a bill that will vastly expand abortion in America with federal dollars. The burden to protect taxpayers and the unborn from a massive expansion of abortion, as provided for in this bill, now rest upon the shoulders of Senators Nelson and Casey. It is imperative that they stand on principle. ”

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Stupak-Pitts Amendment Speaks Truth to Power

by Chris Gacek

November 20, 2009

There is much gnashing of teeth by abortion supporters over the inclusion of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment in the Speaker Nancy Pelosi health care bill H.R. 3962. Bart Stupak, Michigan Democrat, and Joe Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican, succeeded in amending H.R. 3962 so that no government funds can be used to pay for abortion. Claims that Stupak-Pitts is out of line with current law or that it is unconstitutional are simply false.

The Stupak-Pitts amendment (Stupak-Pitts) combines two principles. First, it contains the core principle of the Hyde Amendment that the government not encourage abortion through direct funding or subsidization of the cost of plans that cover elective abortion. Second, Stupak-Pitts refuses to accept deceptive schemes in which funds deposited into a common pot are claimed to be separate. Stupak-Pitts recognizes the obvious truth that money is fungible. Hence, Stupak does not swallow the deception that government subsidized insurance policies covering abortion do not involve the government in the promotion or encouragement of abortion through subsidies.

Anyone with an ounce of foresight on the Left should have seen this coming. The current principle in federal law a la Hyde is that the United States government does not pay for abortions (with exceptions of mothers life, rape and incest) or pay for the cost of any plan that covers abortion. This principle even carries over to the private plans purchased by government employees. Now, if, as the Democrats want, the government is going to dominate, micro-regulate, and subsidize the nations health care system both government run and privately insured then the question of how the Hyde principle will apply to these new programs arises immediately.

The answer is that Hydes logic runs the gamut of all the new health care expenditures and programs. Therefore, Stupak-Pitts carries Hyde forward and refuses to buy into the accounting gimmicks that would give the Democrats cover for funding abortions. Speaker Pelosi had a choice. She could either allow a vote on Stupaks amendment, or she could accept the defeat of her health care bill. She chose to allow a vote on Stupak-Pitts, and her side lost. To strip Stupak-Pitts from the bill now would be highly dishonest, and, if Stupak-Pitts can count votes, it will lead to the defeat of Obama-Pelosi health care in the House.

As for the claims that Stupak-Pitts is unconstitutional, they are wrong as well.

The major constitutional point here is that the Congress is given wide discretion in deciding how to spend money and fund or not fund certain activities. This is true even if the activity in question rests on the exercise of a constitutional right. The old saw is that merely because there is freedom of the press, the government doesnt have to buy a writer a printing press, paper, and ink. The abortion-promoting members of Congress need to tell us why the government should buy them their equivalent of a printing press.

The argument that Stupak-Pitts violates Establishment Clause principles is absurd. Stupak-Pitts establishes no church or a favored religious organization. It apparently came as a shock to Lynn Woolsey and Diana DeGette that Catholics are allowed to vote and petition their government. While considering whether to import Guy Fawkes Day to the American calendar, they and their acolytes have issued various threats and slanders against the Papists. Such claims probably wont sway Justice Kennedy. Furthermore, you dont have to be a Christian to be pro-life. Even atheists can read ultra-sounds. Ask Bernard Nathanson, a physician and founder of the modern abortion movement whose viewing of fetal ultrasounds led him to reject abortion.

A series of liberal activist constitutional claims are also made against Stupak-Pitts. Equal Protection Clause. Substantive Due Process. Privacy. All the usual suspects. In other words, the gamut of the Were liberals and we dont like this law, so its unconstitutional arguments. Unfortunately for the Stupak opponents, each of these claims could be made against the Hyde Amendment, and the 1980 decision upholding the Hyde Amendment, Harris v. McRae, has stood for 30 years. Furthermore, the public has held constant in its disapproval of government endorsement and promotion of abortion since Hydes first enactment.

Of course, all these arguments are academic in some sense. What matters these days is the amount of raw judicial power that can be exercised by the Supreme Courts judicial activists and policy makers. Stevens, Breyer, Ginsburg, and Sotomayor will vote to overturn Hyde & Stupak. It boils down to Justice Kennedy - - again. Aint life grand in a judicial oligarchy?

Mister, can you spare a copy of the Constitution? [UPDATED 11/18]

by Tony Perkins

November 17, 2009

If so, please send it to Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.). She is the latest example of a Member of Congress who should not be there. I am sure the Founders never envisioned elected Representatives who would not have a grasp of the most basic concepts of the Constitution. It may be time for an amendment requiring members of Congress to take a basic proficiency test on at least the Bill of Rights.

Still lamenting the overwhelming defeat that she and her pro-abortion cohorts suffered in the House when the Stupak-Pitts amendment was attached to the health care bill, Rep. DeGette is now calling for religiously-affiliated groups to be shut out of the public policy process as the bill goes to the Senate.

Last I heard, we had separation of church and state in this country,” she said. “I’ve got to say that I think the Catholic bishops and all of the other groups shouldn’t have input.”

In other words if a group of people who are in association with one another because of their Christian faith, they should not have a collective voice in the crafting of public policy. What she is asserting is that if your ideas and actions are a product of your faith, youre a second class citizen and your voice should not be heard.

This is a far cry from what the Founders believed. Several months after the British surrender at Yorktown, George Washington, in a letter to the Reformed German Congregation of New York, wrote, “The establishment of civil and religious liberty was the motive which induced me to the field (of combat).” Sadly, Diana DeGette seems eager to smother these precious freedoms, neither of which can exist without the other.

Rep. DeGettes comments serve to only further confirm that this takeover is not about healthcare, it is about a radical social policy in which the expansion of abortion, at tax-payer expense, is at the very center of this effort.

If you have a spare Constitution, send it to Congresswoman DeGette.

UPDATE 11/18 (Editor): It now appears that The Hill inaccurately quoted Rep. DeGette. See Tony Perkins’ correction and further statements here.

They Just Can’t Help It

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 16, 2009

This shouldn’t be a debate about abortion,”’ says the President’s Senior Advisor David Axelrod. The President himself argues that he and his allies in Congress are not “in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but on the other hand that we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices.”

This is sort of like saying that when eating a four-scoop sundae, the dessert really isn’t about ice cream. Abortion is essential to the Democratic approach to health care. Why? Because if, as the great majority of national Democrats believe, abortion is a matter of public moral neutrality, a procedure not unlike the removal of a nasty tumor, it should be funded (or, as an interim step, subsidized) as part of any federal health insurance regime.

After the vote on the Stupak pro-life amendment on November 7, pro-abortion Members of Congress and their allies in the so-called “progressive” movement became apoplectic. “Abortion is healthcare. That’s the whole point,” wrote ultra-feminist and the Left-wing magazine Nation writer Katha Pollitt. Pollitt has made a career as a Left-liberal who actually speaks her mind (example: after 9/11, she wrote that the American “flag stands for jingoism and vengeance and war”). Of course, her perspective is warped, but at least she says what she thinks.

And what she thinks seems to be what’s in the heart of the current Administration. Mr. Obama has built a career by stating two opposing views and pretending to find common ground between them. Of course, there is - as he admitted in his speech earlier this year at Notre Dame - no real common ground between the culture of life and the culture of death.

By subsidizing health insurance plans that provide abortion, the US government would be providing funds to companies that would thereby have greater financial freedom to pay for abortion and related services.

Mr. President, we either “restrict women’s choices” by refusing to allow the federal government to subsidize abortion providers, or we subsidize insurance companies that pay for abortion. There is no way around it. Your key allies know it. And, in the integrity of your mind, so do you.

More on Health Care & the Constitution

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 13, 2009

Sen. Daniel Akaka is probably the quietest person in the U.S. Senate. He is known as a kindly man who votes faithfully but is not a vocal or activist member of the “upper body.” But this week, when asked if there is a constitutional basis for the Democratic health care bill, he candidly said, “Im not aware of that, let me put it that way.”

Good way to put it, Senator, because your lack of awareness indicates that at least you know your Constitution well enough to recognize that it contains no basis for this latest exercise in federal elbow-throwing.

Sen. Akaka’s colleague Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) could learn from him. Sen. Reed was asked by a reporter where in the Constitution does Congress get its authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?

Reed responded, I would have to check the specific sections, so Ill have to get back to you on the specific section. But it is not unusual that the Congress has required individuals to do things, like sign up for the draft and do many other things too, which I dont think are explicitly contained (in the Constitution).

Sen. Reed is an undoubted patriot, a former Marine who served honorably in Vietnam. So it is disappointing that someone of his political stature would equate the draft with an individual federal mandate of citizens for non-military purposes. To what many other things is Reed referring?

In the 1918 Arver v. United States case, the Supreme Court ruled that the draft is constitutional because it is essence an implementation of the Constitutions provision for the federal government to create a standing army (Article I, Section 8). Men (and women) are needed to defend the nation, and during times of national crisis conscription might be needed.

The Democratic health plan (H.R. 3962), passed last weekend in the House, goes well beyond any authority conferred on the federal government, through our written Constitution, by “We, the People.” In fact, the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) wrote to the House Ways and Means Committee that “failure to comply with the terms of the law that the Democrats passed last weekend could put people in jail. The JCT told the committee that anyone who decides not to maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” or, absent that, pay the individual health insurance mandate tax of about 2.5 percent of income, would be liable to large fines or prison sentences” (The Washington Times, “Tax Penalties and Prison,” by Donald Lambro, November 12, 2009).

The JCT went on to write that “H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at anytime during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.”

This mandate is unconstitutional in its own right and also poses a serious threat to the fundamental liberty of ordinary Americans: When the federal government requires specific economic activity (in this case, the purchase or acceptance of a health insurance plan) and threatens to impose “fines or prison sentences” for non-compliance, our essential freedom as citizens is eroded and our path into coerced political subjection all the more obvious - and dangerous.

The Fumes of NARAL and Planned Parenthood

by Chris Curry

November 13, 2009

Wednesdays headline in The Hill led with the caption Abortion-rights groups threaten not to fund Rodriquez and Teague. Apparently NARAL and Planned Parenthood are ticked because Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (D-Texas) and Congressman Harry Teague (D-N.M.) voted in support of the Stupak Amendment which removed abortion funding from the health care bill (1).

Very few news organizations are reporting on the divide that is developing within the Democratic Party. Many Congressional Democrats, who firmly believe in the federal funding of abortion, are out for the blood of those who exercised a vote according to their conscience. This shouldnt be terribly surprising since these pro-abortion House Members are also interested in taking away the conscience rights of doctors, but I digress.

Still, there is a huge overlooked question that begs to be asked. Why is a charitable organization which receives federal funds allowed to make financial contributions to candidates who vote for giving federal funds back to the organization? Let alone threaten to remove the base of support when the candidate votes their conscience. Does anyone see anything wrong with this circular problem? Planned Parenthood receives over $350 million annually in federal funds (2). Through this legislation, they were lobbying to up the ante significantly, thus lining their fat pockets even more. And, although the Stupak Amendment passed the House for now, they are not done with that fight!

While NARAL doesnt receive federal funds, their business practices are questionable as they fail to meet the Better Business Standards for Charity Accountability (3). Considering NARALs work got its start through the successful use of enormous lies, this is simply par for the course (4). Every time NARAL comments on issues like these, the public should be reminded of their questionable practices and roots

When will this outrageous behavior end? Who are elected officials representing: the people who vote for them; or the special interests who pay for slick advertising to sway the voters? Okay, so that question is too easy.

Every time Planned Parenthood opens their mouth on an issue like this, why arent reporters calling into question the dog Planned Parenthood has in this hunt?

Why isnt Planned Parenthood being investigated? As previously mentioned, they make campaign contributions to Members of Congress who reciprocate through the funding of Planned Parenthood. Their staff have been recorded numerous times counseling underage girls who admit to being impregnated by adults. Instead of reporting a crime of rape, they provide abortion counseling support and encourage the girls to conceal the age and specifics of their rapists (5).

Reporters need to stop scratching their heads and the surface of these stories. Weve heard it before and Ill shout it again, its time they dig deep, accurately investigate and report on these issues. Weve come a long way from the days of Murrow. Even worse, weve come even further from a time when our elected truly represented the electorate.

(1) Abortion-rights groups threaten not to fund Rodriguez and Teague http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/67473-threat-to-rodriguez-teague-from-abortion-rights-groups-

(2) Planned Parenthood Annual Report: Abortion Totals, Government Funding Increase http://www.lifenews.com/nat4978.html

(3) BBB Wise Giving Report for

NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation http://www.bbb.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/naral-pro-choice-america-foundation-in-washington-dc-507

(4) Lies and Fraud of Roe v. Wade: http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53872

(5) Live Action Films: http://liveaction.org/

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