Tag archives: ObamaCare

Who would want to get married today?

by Robert Morrison

November 25, 2013

With the mounting concerns over the “debacle” of ObamaCare, with Iran given permission to retain their nuclear program provided they “freeze” just certain portions of it, the world looks like a threatening place. So, who would want to marry and bring children into such a world, beset by economic worries, dogged by environmental concerns and living as we do under what President Kennedy called “a nuclear sword of Damocles”?

Well, things didn’t seem a whole lot brighter in 1978. Thirty-five years ago, my fiancee and I prepared for our wedding in San Francisco. The weather that entire week was gray and menacing. So somber was the mood. Hundreds of bodies were being returned to the Bay Area from Jonestown where people had been forced to drink poison Kool-Aid. The aftermath of that suicide cult hung over the city like a pall. Then, too the day after we exchanged our vows in dear old St. Paulus Evangelical Lutheran Church, we began our honeymoon in an Alpine village in Southern California’s San Bernardino Mountains. It was there we saw the news. San Francisco’s Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk had been assassinated.

The first good news we had from the outside world came on the third day of our getaway. We sat at a picnic table surrounded by snow-covered mountains and saw the newspaper headlines: “Pope on a Slope.” Pope John Paul II had been elected just six weeks earlier. There was great excitement around the world for this dynamic new leader on the world stage. Even as non-Catholics, we shared in the enthusiasm for the Polish Pope. Whoever heard of a Pope who skiied?

In the thirty-five years since that wedding day, we have had the usual portion of joys and sorrows. We have endured the loss of beloved parents and the death of a 16-year old cousin. We have had to cope with financial gains and losses. Was there something in those vows about for “not-so-richer or poorer”?

I had always been taught that a man should lay down his life for his wife. And I was prepared to do just that.

So imagine my surprise when I found my wife saving my life. I had just turned forty when I was stricken with a violent headache. It felt as if there were nine-inch nails being driven into my skull.

Rushed to the Emergency Room at Bethesda Naval Hospital, my wife, an officer in the Medical Service Corps, waited in the ER with our two small children for long hours for a diagnosis. Despite the lateness and the children crying in the summer’s heat, my wife pressed them to give me a spinal tap. The test results confirmed that I had viral meningitis.

Told there were no beds available for me at the hospital, my wife stubbornly refused to let me be taken to a local civilian hospital. She has often said that she wasn’t sure we had insurance for such treatment, but I know she did not want me taken to a place where she did not know the medical staff and their reputations. Emphatically, she told them she was a staff officer and knew there had to be a bed somewhere in the giant facility.

I awoke several days later in the Neuro Step-Down Unit. I was surrounded by dying patients. Naturally, I assumed I was one of them. It’s an experience you tend to remember.

Some time later, when I was out immediate danger, the navy doctors and my wife crowded around my hospital bed in their crisp, starched whites.

He’ll have short-term memory lapses. He’ll be emotional. And irritable,” they told her. Not skipping a beat, my beloved shot back: “And the difference I am supposed to notice in him is what?” One of the best ways to cross that threshold back from death’s door, I submit, is a good laugh.

Throughout our marriage — when children and grandchildren came and when we were earnestly praying for their safety — we remembered the words of that Polish Pope when he was first brought out onto the balcony of St. Peter’s in Rome. I had not heard the words, but read them from the clickety-clack of a teletype machine as it printed its message on a roll of yellow paper. I was on board our Coast Guard cutter, in the middle of the Bering Sea, about as far away from Rome as you can get.

The Pope spoke to the City and to the World and said:

Be Not Afraid!

Those words sustained us in our marriage. After four hundred twenty months of marriage, those are words I would still share with today’s young people: Trust in God and trust in your love for each other. Go ahead boldly and be not afraid.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) on Washington Watch with Tony Perkins: ‘This President is Losing Credibility Day by Day’

by Bethany Brock

November 14, 2013

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins” to give an update on Obamacare:

We didn’t believe that this law was going to be helpful or that promises would be kept.  We knew healthcare was going to get more expensive and people were going to have fewer benefits.”

The Department of Health and Human Services recently released the number of people who have registered for an Obamacare exchange health insurance plan. The current number of those enlisted is far lower than the administration’s projected numbers.

We could easily have a market-based competitive model [of healthcare] that brings in the private sector so that these health insurance  plans could be something that people want to buy and might be able to afford.”

Shimkus said the problem with Obamacare is that people cannot tell what services are provided by the various health care policies, even though policies are required by law to list the services provided. One service people are particularly concerned about is whether plans they buy cover abortion.

If you go to the plans and they don’t say that, then you’ve got some adamant pro-life constituents of mine trying to go on an exchange plan, but they don’t know if their money is going to cover abortion or abortion services, which they do not want their money to go to,” Shimkus said.

He added, “According to polling, this president is losing credibility day by day. When you lose credibility or trust of the American people, you are in real trouble. It’s embarrassing for the chief executive of this country to be equivocating and misdirecting and redefining issues.”

Click here to listen to the entire interview.

Bill Clinton, Honor, and Obamacare

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 13, 2013

Even if it takes a change to the law, the president should honor the commitment the federal government made to those people and let them keep what they’ve got.” - Bill Clinton

Honor” is not the first word that comes to mind when one thinks of Bill Clinton. It is thus not wholly without irony that the proclaimer of, “I did not have sex with that woman” talks about public moral obligation.

Substantively, Clinton has a point. The President made, repetitively, two promises: That those who want to keep their current health insurance could do so, and that they could also retain their current physicians.

One of three things happened: (1) The President lied. (2) His advisors misled him and sent him out with incorrect information. (3) The President didn’t take the time to read and grasp what was in his own mammoth proposal.

If the third option is correct, this makes Mr. Obama far from unique. Many Washington politicians don’t know the details of the bills about which they vote. They rely on aides to give them succinct summaries or quickly read “vote justification” sheets handed to them by leadership staff as they enter the House or Senate chambers.

This is troubling, but also understandable: The size and scope of the federal government and its laws and regulations is almost incomprehensible, and massive legislative tomes, many of which are written in technical legal language, frequently are too long and too dense for careful review prior to the time set to vote on them.

Yet this is a different case. The President of the United States put forward two essential un-truths about his signature domestic policy achievement, one that he touted as “a new season for America.” If anyone should have understood his law, he should have.

I take no pleasure in accusing Mr. Obama of either deliberate lying or disturbing inattention. It’s worth noting that such traits cut across party lines, political convictions, and status of office. Mr. Obama would not be unique among politicians or presidents in persistently telling a falsehood or trusting unwisely in the reassurances of unelected advisors. But this makes him no less responsible for his misrepresentations.

Christians should not gloat over Mr. Obama’s failures. We should, instead, pray for our President and for the other national leaders who now must sort through the devastation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is wreaking.

The new season Mr. Obama promised is indeed upon us. The chill is penetrating to the national core.

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md): Obamacare Causing Real Pain for American Families

by Bethany Brock

November 5, 2013

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) appeared on yesterday’s edition of “Washington Watch,” and provided information about the latest developments of Obamacare:

A lot of American middle class families are being hurt by this plan. Even if the [Healthcare.gov] website works perfectly, you still wouldn’t be able to keep your plan. It would still be 41 percent more than the plan you have now, and you probably wouldn’t get to keep your doctor.  Even if the website worked perfectly, this is not about a website. This is about a basic change of the way you get your health care- putting a government bureaucrat in between you and your physician and that is not the way you want your health care delivered.”

The Manhattan Institute has released a current survey of the cost of all new healthcare exchange plans offered around the country. Harris points out that healthcare rates have increased an average of 41 percent. “Families are hard pressed to pay their health insurance bills now, much less 41 percent more,” Harris said.

Harris said Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) filed a bill in the Senate that will allow Americans to keep their current insurance if they want to. The House will be voting on this bill next week.

I hope the President has a change of heart because he’s causing some real pain in American families right now,” Harris concluded. Click here to listen to the entire interview

Obamacare: High Stakes for Liberalism

by Rob Schwarzwalder

November 1, 2013

The Left protects its own:

Obamacare scandal!!!! No. Just Republican talking points

Why Letting Everyone Keep Their Health Care Plan is a Terrible Idea

Don’t Like Obamacare? It Was the Republicans’ Idea, Says Liberal Democrat

And my personal favorite:

Despite Problems, Obamacare Remains Fairly Well Liked

This is sort of like the old joke, “Other than that, how did you like the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” I’m sure knowing that some people still like certain parts of his plan is causing Mr. Obama no end of jubilation.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is a substantive and technical disaster, poorly crafted, invasive, exorbitant, and statist. But it is on that last point – statism – that loyalty to it follows from the Left as night follows day.

That a powerful central government with practical supervisory control of all governments beneath it is a moral good is central to the belief system of modern liberalism. Since no philosophy can exist without authority (as a source of truth and implementation of its program), it is only logical that a political system that jettisons God and transcendent truth must claim an alternative to Him.

Thus, aggregations of political power are seen as substitutes for the divine. If there is no God, or at least One with any relevance to human affairs, the state becomes the instrument for personal and social transformation.

So, to challenge the premise of “Obamacare” is not just mean, uncompassionate, and unfair (the standard ripostes of the Left), it is political heresy. Asserting that huge, complex, and controlling federal programs are arrogant by definition, dubious in motivation, ineffective in implementation, and disastrous in effect — even if these contentions can be demonstrated logically, mathematically, and in practice — is an intolerable proposition that has to be squashed.

As a result, the liberal critique of Obamacare will never include a realistic appraisal of the plan itself, only of how to make it work better. It is for this reason that a number of commentators are proclaiming that modern political liberalism is in crisis.

Obamacare is the fruition of progressive hopes, a major leap forward to a statist society and one subtly but indelibly marketed as the harbinger of all government can and should do for its subjects — I mean, citizens. An axiological (functional) failure will force people to reconsider liberalism’s ontology (the very nature of its being).

It is for this reason that Obamacare’s defenders are writing just about anything they can, from blaming Republicans for the system’s poor launch to diminishing its inherent unworkability, to defend it. They are playing for high stakes — the very credibility of their comprehensive understanding of the meaning and purpose of the state — and they know it.

Pick a Card, I Mean Health Care Plan

by Emily Minick

November 1, 2013

DC HealthLink is the first Affordable Care Act (ACA) healthcare exchange to begin being transparent about what plans on the Marketplace, including both private plans and Multi-State plans (MSP), cover elective abortion. Other states in charge of operating their own exchange and the federal government should follow their lead and give the American people real choice in health care by disclosing whether their premiums will cover elective abortions.

FRC’s Anna Higgins documented her attempt to find a pro-life plan on DC’s exchange and her repeated assurance from customer service representatives that elective abortion is an “essential benefit” and thus all plans on the exchange covered it. Shortly after her article’s publication, DC Healthlink contacted Anna saying she had been given wrong information and that there are indeed some plans that do not offer abortion coverage because abortion was not considered an, “essential benefit.” To ensure that other customers are not given wrong information and are able to make an informed choice, DC Healthlink updated the FAQ section of the website to list the pro-life plan providers available to consumers, posted information on their social media outlets, and gave new guidance to customer service representatives.

In DC there are 34 healthcare plans available for individuals on the Marketplace and 4 of those plans are MSP plans. The ACA requires that at least one MSP on the exchange must be pro-life (Section 1303) and come to find out all four of the DC MSPs, offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield, are pro-life. A DC resident would never have known this prior to the clarification posted by DC Healthlink.

Picking a healthcare plan on the Marketplace should not be akin to picking a card from a 52 card deck and hoping for the best. However, due to the abortion secrecy clause located in the ACA, this is precisely what people are being forced to do—- picking a healthcare plan from a stack and hoping that they are not violating their conscience in the process.

Although, according to Nancy Pelosi, we had to pass Obamacare to find out exactly what was in it, now that its law consumers should not be forced to purchase a healthcare plan before they are able to find out what it covers, i.e. elective abortion.

The clarification provided by DC Healthlink, and now available to all DC residents shopping for health care, is indeed a victory. But it still doesn’t address the underlying ACA problem that federal healthcare subsidies will assist in paying for healthcare plans that do cover elective abortion.

Anna’s experience and confusion trying to find out what health care plans do or do not cover abortion is not unique. The ACA abortion secrecy clause is putting a brick wall up in front of pro-life Americans who want to know whether they are purchasing a plan that violates their conscience. We know that residents in Rhode Island and Connecticut do not have any pro-life plans available to them on their respective state exchanges, a violation of their health care choice and a violation of Section 1303 of the ACA.

If a grocery store told customers they had to purchase a box of cereal before they could be given a copy of the list of ingredients or if a car dealership required customers to purchase a car first before they could drive it to test the breaks, these business establishments would undoubtedly lose business.

Shopping for health care should be no different than shopping for any other product in a marketplace. Details matter, fine print matters and transparency matters even more.

Representative Smith’s bill, the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” would address the concerns of pro-life Americans by requiring health care plans to clearly state whether they do or do not cover elective abortion and if they do cover abortion, how much of their premium is for that coverage.

Americans searching for a pro-life healthcare plan should not have to resort to the old picking a card trick and hoping for the best. Real choice in healthcare must include transparency in all healthcare plans.

If there is no transparency we all know the slim probability of picking the right card in a deck, and it’s the American people who will ultimately lose.

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