Sticking to the Obama/Planned Parenthood agenda like glue, the Senate Finance Committee today smacked down two amendments to prevent the “America’s Healthy Future Act” from providing massive abortions subsidies. Senator Hatch offered an amendment that would have prohibited federal funds from subsidizing plans that cover elective abortions, but would have allowed insurers to sell abortion coverage through separate supplemental policies not subsidized by federal funds. The amendment failed 13-10. The only Democrat who supported the amendment was Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota. The only Republican who opposed the amendment was Senator Olympia Snowe of Maine.
Another Hatch amendment would have protected conscience rights of those who do not wish to participate in providing abortions. This amendment also lost on a 13-10 vote.
In the House, Reps. Bart Stupak (D-Mi), and Joe Pitts (R-Pa) continue to push their amendment to exclude abortion coverage from the House health care reform bill. Stupak, Pitts and 181 additional House members (25 Democrats and 158 Republicans) sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi urging her to allow a vote on the Stupak/Pitts amendment.
Doug Johnson of National Right to Life noted that the almost unanimous Democratic opposition to measures to get abortion out of health care reform measures “support our theory that President Obama is misleading the public when he says he does not want federal dollars used for abortion….the President is trying to smuggle sweeping pro-abortion policies into law behind smokescreens of contrived language, verbal misdirection, and outright misrepresentation.”
Expected tomorrow are votes in the U.S. Senate Finance Committee to fix abortion and rationing components of the Baucus health care reform bill. Authoring the abortion amendments are Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah and Mike Enzi of Wyoming.
According to Doug Johnson of National Right to Life, the bill as it stands “contains provisions that would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion…the Baucus bill provides $6 billion in federal funds for the establishment of health insurance cooperatives, without any limitation on the use of these funds to pay for abortions or to subsidize plans that pay for elective abortions.”
Senators Jon Kyl of Arizona and Pat Roberts of Kansas will offer important amendments to remove provisions that would result in rationing of care for older Americans.
Stay tuned for what happens on these critical votes.
The next time you hear there are no pro-life Democrats, remember Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer of Manitowoc. Ziegelbauer was stripped of his chairmanship of the prestigious Assembly Ways and Means Committee by Speaker Mike Sheridan. Why? Because Ziegelbauer voted against a procedural maneuver by the Assembly Democratic leadership to kill a vote on an amendment to the state budget which would have prohibited the performance of late-term abortions at UW Hospital and Clinics and its affiliated entities.
Bravo Bob! He is proud to have stood up for what is right — prohibiting the dismemberment of fully-formed babies rather than retaining his chairmanship. A true hero for life!
Rep. Peggy Krusick also voted as Ziegelbauer did. One wonders what the pro-abortion lobby will ask Sheridan to do about her.
Perhaps stung by the charge that health care reform measures will create government “death panels” to determine who gets what care, the Baucus U.S. Senate bill cleverly shifts that onerous task to physicians. This is how it would work:
For at least five years, Medicare physicians who wind up in the top 10% of physicians who spend the most per person for health care will lose 5% of their total Medicare reimbursements for that year.
Not knowing where he/she stands in comparison to other physicians, doctors treating older people will be financially driven to order the least expensive tests and treatments so that they will not wind up in the 10% the government believes is spending too much money. There are no considerations of quality, efficiency or waste.
The top 10% will be a moving figure. As Medicare spending is lowered, the top 10% will be a lower dollar amount.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this provision will take $1 billion from Medicare payments over a period of six years.
As David O’Steen of National Right to Life stated in a news release: “This is the cruelest and most effective way to ensure that doctors are forced to ration care for their senior citizen patients. It takes the telltale fingerprints from the government: Instead of bureaucrats directly specifying the treatment denials that will mean death and poorer health for older people, it compels individual doctors to do the dirty work. It is an outrageous way to provide coverage for the uninsured — by taking it away from America’s senior citizens.”
And that is why I continue to write articles telling older people they have every reason to be afraid.
Support systems for women suffering from post-abortion problems got its worldwide start right here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1976, a group of Milwaukee women reasoned that legalized abortion would lead to significant problems for women who have abortions as abortion is a rejection of a natural motherly instinct. Little did they know how accurate they were.
In 1984, Vicki Thorn took the post-abortion ministry to a new level by founding Project Rachael for the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Thorn was haunted by the agony experienced by a high school friend who had an abortion. “That from what I saw of my friend, it was both a spiritual and a human wound that needed to be addressed, and as a church, with sacraments and the people who populate the church, we can take care of this,” Thorn told the Catholic News Service. Thorn and her colleagues recognize that women who have abortions need to go through a normal grieving process as they have truly lost their children.
On September 18, 2009, 300 people gathered to recognize the initially small Milwaukee project that has flourished for the past 25 years into a worldwide ministry. The profound work involved in helping post-abortion women (and men) to find healing is bittersweet. It wouldn’t be necessary without 1.2 million legal abortions each year in the U.S. alone. But the thousands of women who have been supported know that Project Rachael has changed their lives forever. Kudos and thanks to Vicki Thorn and her colleagues for making this work a reality. I am proud to call Vicki Thorn my friend.
There are not or will not be federal taxpayer funds for abortion in any of the health care reform measures being considered in Congress. Variations on the theme have been uttered by President Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Senator Russ Feingold, Congressman David Obey, and many others.
The latest round in the rhetoric debacle came with Obama and Sebelius stating in the address before Congress and on ABC News, respectively, that there would be no federal funding of abortion in health care reform, leading to widespread speculation that the Baucus bill would contain something new. It was a major disappointment for some that the Baucus bill is more of the same — abortion funding and mandates.
One has to ask why anyone believes this spin? Perhaps it is a sincere desire to want their elected officials to be honest and straight with them. Whatever the reason, it is time for the endless spin to be taken for what it is — a calculated manipulation to achieve what the goal has been all along — the mainstreaming of abortion making everyone complicit by forcing us to pay for it.
It seems that each new health care reform bill is worse than the previous one. Enter the long-awaited Baucus bill. According to Douglas Johnson of National Right to Life:
“The ‘America’s Healthy Future Act’ proposed by Senator Max Baucus contains an array of pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for elective abortion. ”
Provisions in the bill would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion. This is certainly a departure from current law which prohibits any of the insurance plans available to federal employees from paying for elective abortions. The Baucus bill also requires that those who receive subsidized premiums pay at least “$1 per enrollee, per month” as a surcharge to pay for elective abortions. This is the Capps amendment (added to H.R. 3200 by the House Energy and Commerce Committee) revisited. According to Johnson, it is “a political hoax” to pretend that funds spent by a federal agency from the federal Treasury for abortion are no longer federal funds.
So, what happens now to President Obama’s September 9 claim that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions?” The lack of sincerity in that claim is evidenced by the lack of outcry from Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups. If they thought he meant it, they would be screaming.
The Baucus bill is also detrimental to older people and those with disabilities. According to David O’Steen of National Right to Life, “…the proposal contains a Medicare provision that, beginning in 2015, would severely financially penalize physicians who are in the top 10% of medical resource use. This provision does not link funding to outcomes or quality; instead, it will force a ‘race to the bottom’ with relentless pressure on doctors to limit health care for their older patients. On top of the significant Medicare cuts in the bill, this will gravely endanger the lives of America’s senior citizens.”
Baucus was standing alone when he introduced his bill — a fitting symbol to a bill that needs to be buried as soon as possible.
“I’m not a blue dog, a yellow dog, a stray dog, or a hot dog,” says Congressman Bart Stupak, pro-life Democrat from Michigan, in an article by John McCormack of The Weekly Standard. But Stupak is acting like a dog with a bone by confronting President Obama and Speaker Pelosi at every turn when they claim that Obamacare has no abortion funding.
“There certainly is public funding for abortion” in the House bill, Stupak said the day after Obama’s speech in which Obama claimed that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” “She knows better than that” he responds to Pelosi’s claim last week that abortion funding is already “out of the health care bill.”
Stupak holds a very special club over their heads. He is leading a “pack” of almost 40 Democrats who will vote to block a rule which would deny Stupak an up or down vote on his abortion exclusion amendment when H.R. 3200 hits the House floor. Adding 40 Dems to all of the Republicans could just tip the scales in Stupak’s favor. And, the unborn, of course.
There is not much news coverage of Stupak’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering. We are working and rooting for Stupak to succeed.
Last night, President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress on the subject of health care reform. The legislation Obama is promoting would pay for elective abortions with government funds and provide huge government subsidies to purchase private insurance plans that would cover elective abortions.
Of course, Obama didn’t say that last night. Instead he said “One more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.” To call this statement deceitful is an understatement!
For weeks, Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders have been falsely claiming that when House Democrats added the Capps Amendment to their legislation (H.R. 3200), it “took care” of the issue of government-funded abortions. They claim that the government-run insurance program would be paying for elective abortions only with “private funds.” This, of course, is a complete fabrication.
The reality is the public plan would be an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), part of the federal Executive Branch. Once the agency collects “premiums” from those enrolled, they would be as much “federal funds” as any funds collected by the IRS. Under the Capps amendment, abortionists would send their bills to DHHS and receive payment checks drawn on a federal Treasury account. It is impossible for a federal agency to expend “private funds.” No matter how Obama spins it, this is government funding of elective abortion.”
H.R. 3200 and the Capps Amendment would also wreak havoc with private insurance plans by explicitly authorizing the proposed government premium subsidies to go to private insurance plans that cover elective abortions. These government subsidies would be federal funds that would flow directly from the federal Treasury to the insurers. Obama’s deceitful claims don’t change the facts.
The White House and Democratic Congressional leaders have come up with yet another fabrication regarding government-funding of abortion. They assert that the pending legislation would not result in government funding of abortion because the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funding of abortion. But the Hyde Amendment applies only to Medicaid funds appropriated through the annual appropriations bill that funds the DHHS. None of the funds that would be expended by the government plan, and none of the funds that will subsidize the purchase of private insurance plans, will ever flow through an DHHS appropriations bill. None of the funds in these health care plans will be covered by the Hyde Amendment.
And remember, as a Illinois state senator, Barack Obama consistently opposed all limitations on government funding of elective abortion.
Obama tried to pull another fast one during an interview with Katie Couric that was broadcast on July 21. He measured his words in such a way that some were convinced he opposed government funding of abortion. What he actually said was, “we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care.” Notice that Obama did not express his support of the “tradition.” In fact, he has always opposed measures to prohibit most government-funding of abortion. The health care reform bills he is promoting would destroy the long-standing tradition of protecting taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions.
Tonight, President Obama will address a joint session of Congress on the subject of health care reform. The legislation he is promoting would pay for elective abortions with government funds and provide huge government subsidies to purchase private insurance plans that would cover elective abortions.
Of course, Obama won’t say that tonight. Instead he and top Congressional Democrats will continue to deny or minimize the devastating abortion-related changes that they, themselves, are promoting.
For weeks, Obama has been manipulating the media into reporting a number of outright falsehoods. For example, many journalists have been convinced by the White House that House Democrats added the Capps Amendment to their legislation (H.R. 3200) so that the proposed government-run insurance program would be paying for elective abortions with “private funds,” a claim that is a complete fabrication.
The reality is the public plan would be an arm of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), part of the federal Executive Branch. Once the agency collects “premiums” from those enrolled, they would be as much “federal funds” as any funds collected by the IRS. Under the Capps amendment, abortionists would send their bills to DHHS and receive payments checks drawn on a federal Treasury account. Explain to me, please, how a federal agency could possibly be expending “private funds!” No, this is direct federal government funding of elective abortion, pure and simple.
H.R. 3200 and the Capps Amendment also wreaks havoc with private insurance plans by explicitly authorizing the proposed government premium subsidies to go to private insurance plans that cover elective abortions. These government subsidies would be federal funds that would flow directly from the federal Treasury to the insurers. No matter how Obama spins it, these are federal taxpayer dollars!
Another deception being perpetuated by Obama and Democratic Congressional leaders is that the pending legislation would not result in government funding of abortion because the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funding of abortion. But the Hyde Amendment is not a government-wide law - it applies only to Medicaid funds appropriated through the annual appropriations bill that funds the DHHS. None of the funds that would be expended by the public plan, and none of the funds that will subsidize the purchase of private insurance plans, will ever flow through an HHS appropriations bill. Thus, none of the funds in these health care plans will be covered by the Hyde Amendment.
It is important to keep in mind that throughout his career as a Illinois state senator, Barack Obama consistently opposed all limitations on government funding of elective abortion. During his presidential campaign, he expressed strong opposition to the Hyde Amendment. Some segments of the media have reported that Obama endorsed the concept that the government should not fund abortion during an interview with Katie Couric that was broadcast on July 21. But Obama said no such thing! Instead, he said, “we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government funded health care.” He did not endorse the “tradition.” While it is true there is such a tradition, it is a tradition that Obama has always opposed and the health care reform bills he is promoting would shatter that tradition!
So if you watch Barack Obama address Congress tonight, understand that you will be listening to the Master of Deception!