Tag Archive for health care

The Healthcare Bill Isnt That Bad…Right?

“The evil that is in the world almost always comes of ignorance, and good intentions may do as much harm as malevolence if they lack understanding.”

– Albert Camus

I’m sure that there are many well-meaning people out there who are asking, “Whats so bad about the government helping poor people have health insurance”? In truth, there is nothing wrong with wanting to help poor people providing the money used to do it is voluntarily given and those receiving it are truly deserving and that it is given in an efficient and responsible manner (which i might add the federal government is incapable of doing). Leaving those concerns aside, the healthcare bill that our President just signed into law uses your tax dollars to fund abortions.

But what about Stupak and the Hyde amendment? Well, you know what they say, Stupak is as Stupak does, or in other words the Stupak show was nothing but that-a show. The wording of this law and the farcical executive order that followed it have done nothing to enforce any genuine prohibition on spending tax dollars for elective abortions. Matthew Anderson at First Things has brilliantly demonstrated this point in a post entitled A Final FAQ on Healthcare and Abortion:

But isn’t this bill covered by the Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions?

If it was, what is all the wrangling about? You could be assured that Stupak wouldn’t have held out for months for redundant language in the bill. But as John McCormack (an invaluable source) points out:

But the Hyde amendment does not say that “none of the funds channeled through HHS” may pay for elective abortions; it says “none of the funds appropriated by this act” may pay for elective abortions. A Hyde-like amendment needs to be included in each different act authorizing public health programs, or the programs will end up paying for abortions, just as Indian Health Services did long after the Hyde amendment was on the books.

In other words, no. The bill isn’t subject to the Hyde amendment.

So Stupak solved this with the Executive Order, right?

If you want to think that, you go ahead. But you’ll be lonely. No one, Left or Right, agrees with you. Including Bart Stupak.

But if you’re still not convinced, there are three problems with it:

1) It’s not clear that the language actually adds anything to the bill itself. Ezra Klein (a lefty commentator) thinks that it essentially promises to enforce the bill…as it’s written. Which is a pretty plausible reading of it.

2) While executive orders may have the force of law, they cannot alter the laws on the books.

3) Again, given Beal v. Doe, the federal government is 0bligated to provide abortions as a part of comprehensive health services in the absence of laws prohibiting it. Given that the Executive Order is not in fact the law, a court challenge will have to nullify the Executive Order in favor of the bill as its written. And if you don’t expect that court challenge to come quickly after the appropriations are received, you’re dreaming.

So is this law bad? Well, if you believe that the blood of the unborn is a fair payment for insurance coverage then you should be tickled pink. For the rest of you like me who see the horror of this law, we have a big fight ahead of us and this is no time for the sunshine patriot. Yes, Mr. Paine said it best when he penned the immortal words, These are the times that try mens souls.”

HT: Justin Taylor

Life And The Healthcare Bill

Does the current health care bill provide for taxpayer funded abortions? The answer to that question changes depending on who you ask. According to the president the bill maintains the status quo and is neutral on the issue. Further scrutiny of the language in the bill, however, reveals that the President isn’t being completely honest.

Charmaine Yoest, President of Americans United for Life, points out that the health care bill represents, “the single greatest expansion of abortion since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.” How can she be right and the President wrong especially if there are no specific provisions in the bill that allow for taxpayer monies to be spent on abortions? Simply put, this bill allows for employees to choose insurance policies that cover abortion procedures. These policies will be paid for by a system of coerced government subsidies funded by taxpayer dollars. It is indirect but the net effect is that under this bill the pool of taxes we will all pay will subsidize insurance policies that include abortion coverage.

There is a law on the books that prevents the government from directly funding abortion procedures with taxpayer dollars. It was passed in 1976 and is called the Hyde Amendment. The house version of the health care bill included an amendment named after Rep. Bart Stupak, a democrat from Michigan, who wanted the health care bill to be under the same restraints covered in the Hyde Amendment. His amendment, known as the Stupak Amendment, would prevent taxpayer funding of abortions directly or indirectly, but the bill currently being debated is not the house bill that includes the Stupak Amendment, but the senate bill that does not.

There has been an effort, spearheaded by Rep. Stupak, to add to the current bill the amendment he was able to add to the house bill. Rep. Stupak has met with all sorts of opposition from the President and his allies in the house and senate. Rep. Stupak went on record explaining why the top democrats do not want his amendment to be added to the current bill:

“What are Democratic leaders saying? “If you pass the Stupak amendment, more children will be born, and therefore it will cost us millions more. That’s one of the arguments I’ve been hearing,” Stupak says. “Money is their hang-up. Is this how we now value life in America? If money is the issue — come on, we can find room in the budget. This is life we’re talking about.”

So it comes down not to a question of life but of money. The implications of the logical conclusions of this debate are chilling. What is the monetary value of a life? How can the state protect itself from the financial consequences of allowing unwanted children to be born?

We can debate the merits of a government run health care system ad infinitum. I am perfectly pleased to have that debate. I am, however, very disturbed to see a day where we essentially do a cost to benefits analysis on whether or not to allow someone to live. This may sound like a stretch but I urge you to take this legislation to its logical conclusion. I believe an honest examination will convince you as it has me that we are sailing into dangerous waters where the state, not God, assigns us our rights.

HT: Al Mohler

Abortion and the Proposed Senate Health Care Bill

Special Update For Clapham Community Readers:

Over the weekend the last vote needed to close debate and schedule a final vote for the senate health care bill was secured. Democrat Senator Ben Nelson from Nebraska was the final hold-out that senate majority leader Harry Reid needed to secure the 60 votes needed to avoid a republican filibuster. Sen. Nelson initially withheld his support for the bill because of the weak language concerning the use of federal funds to support abortion. After heavy negotiations and concessions by the majority leader, Sen. Nelson saw his way to vote to close debate.

It is important to understand that the language changes to the abortion provisions of the bill are not complete and still allow for federal funds to go to pay for elective abortions. The actual language of the amendment proposed by Sen. Reid to accommodate Sen. Nelson’s concerns has been analyzed by the legislative staff of the National Right to Life Committee. According to their analysis:

This statement represents NRLC’s initial assessment of changes made in the 2,074-page Reid bill by the 383-page manager’s amendment. NRLC will issue more detailed analysis later that will speak to other objectionable elements of the revised Reid legislation, pertaining to other policy issues of concern to NRLC. Regarding the abortion language, however, we can already say that the Reid language is completely unacceptable for reasons that include the following:

  • The language violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment by requiring the federal government to pay premiums for private health plans that will cover any or all abortions. The federal subsidies would be subject to a convoluted bookkeeping requirement…
  • The so-called “firewall” between federal funds and private funds is merely a bookkeeping gimmick, inconsistent with the long-established principles that govern existing federal health programs, such as the Hyde Amendment. Moreover, the Reid “firewall” is made of rice paper – it exists only so long as the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services continues to contain the Hyde Amendment.
  • At any future date when the congressional appropriators and/or the President decide to block renewal of the Hyde Amendment, the Reid bookkeeping requirements would automatically evaporate, and insurers could pay for elective abortions with the federal subsidies without even bookkeeping requirements.

These are just a few of the objections posted in the NRLC findings. Please do not rely on traditional media outlets that are likely to spin the compromise as a victory for life. Stay informed and continue to put pressure on your senators to vote against the bill.

To contact your senator and to let them know that you dont support this bill click here.

The Value of Life

handinhand“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it… Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it.”

– Mother Teresa

This grand discussion on health care that we are having has been quite revealing. It has shown us where our passions are and where they should be but aren’t. I am speaking specifically of defending the value of life.

I have noticed a couple of headlines that would be worthy of your consideration. This first article deals with the idea of physician assisted suicide. It is troubling to hear what some death merchants are peddling in both Europe and the USA. Have a look at this:

Greying Britain Looks To Assisted Suicide Reform

Another article that caught my attention deals with parents choosing to abort down syndrome diagnosed babies. The development of health care technology has improved to allow for diagnosis of downs syndrome in the womb. It is deplorable to see how this has dramatically increased the number of abortions. Here is the article:

Will Down Syndrome Disappear?

We need to be very careful as we discuss health care reform how it will affect those in our society who have no voice. It is easy for us to talk about what is front of us everyday or at least what shows up on the nightly news. Let’s not forget those who deserve to be protected regardless of their perceived value to society.

HT: Matt Drudge and Dr. Al Mohler