In addition to the pro-abortion elements of the Reid/Senate version of Obamacare, there are significant rationing provisions in the manager’s amendment revealed by Reid. It contains provisions that place significant limits on Americans’ right to spend their own moneyto obtain desired lifesaving treatment. This is accomplished by establishment of the “Independent Payment Advisory Board” which is directed to make recommendations to “slow the growth” in private health expenditures.
A new section empowers the Secretary of Health and Human Services to impose “efficiency measures” as well as “quality measures.” Much of the professional literature advocates the use of “quality of life” standards that devalue the lives of older people and people with disabilities using such “quality” and “efficiency” measures. In the Reid amendment, the quality and efficiency measures are not subject to critically important anti-discrimination protections found elsewhere in the bill.
The severe cuts in Medicare are destined to impact those under the Medicare program negatively.
This analysis is provided by the National Right to Life Committee.
As Senator Ben Nelson addressed the nation at his news conference, you could visualize him “folding” as he claimed he is now satisfied that public funds would not be used for abortions in Obamacare. So much for principle.
Congressman Bart Stupak, our hero, says the Reid/Nelson compromise is unacceptable. On a Relevant radio interview with Drew Mariani last week, Stupak said he remains adamant that the Stupak language will be in the final version of Obamacare or it fails. Stupak says he checks regularly with key Democrats in the House to ensure that they share his steadfast resolve to derail Obamacare unless the Stupak language is included.
Here’s what’ wrong with the “new” abortion language in the Senate bill:
It allows the federal government to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand. Supposedly, enrollees in an abortion-covering plan can make a separate payment into an account that will pay for abortions. But, the amendment also contains language that is apparently intended to prevent or discourage any insurer from explaining what the surcharge is to be used for. There is nothing in the language to suggest that payment of the abortion charge is optional for any enrollee.
This supposed “firewall” that exists between federal funds and private funds is a gimmick made of very thin paper. It exists only as long as Congress enacts the Hyde Amendment in the appropriations process as it does every year. At any future date should Congress or the President block the Hyde Amendment, the firewall evaporates.
In place of the “public option” the Senate bill establishes a new program under which the federal government would administer “multi-state” health plans offered by private insurers. The new program would ensure that there is at least one plan that does not provide coverage of abortions. This seems to envision a system in which the program director would perhaps even possess authority to require such plans to cover elective abortions. Under the current system that administers the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, private plans are prohibited from offering any abortion coverage.
A state may elect to prohibit abortion coverage IF a state enacts a law to provide for such a prohibition. However, it would apply only to laws enacted in the future. Other language could be construed to conflict with some existing state laws.
The House bill contains language to prevent federal Executive Branch officials from requiring private health plans to cover abortions. However, the Senate adopted the Mikulski Amendment on December 3 to mandate that all health plans cover “preventive” services. The Senate bill prevents the Secretary of Health and Human Services from defining elective abortion as an “essential benefit” but does not remove the entirely separate authority granted by the Mikulski Amendment to potentially cover abortion as a “preventive” service.
There is no conscience protection for health care providers.
The entire text of the Indian Health reauthorization bill is inserted into the bill without the Vitter Amendment to prohibit coverage of elective abortions in federally funded Indian health programs.
All analysis is provided by the excellent work of the National Right to Life Committee. Tomorrow — what’s in store for rationed care in this ever-ominous bill.
You’ve got to hand it to the pro-aborts. They always manage to find a weak-kneed self-described pro-lifer as an envoy to attempt to convince our strongest pro-life legislators to cave on abortion coverage in Obamacare. The attempt to try yet another “phony” compromise failed in the House as Congressman Stupak and his colleagues saw through the smokescreen and held firm.
Now, the nation’s eye is on Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska whom Senator Harry Reid desperately needs as his 60th vote to invoke cloture and allow the Senate to vote on Reid’s version of Obamacare (whatever that may be because no one has seen the bill). Enter self-described pro-lifer Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania who is certainly not his father’s son when it comes to abortion. The Obama administration and Senator Barbara Boxer (all adamant pro-aborts) worked with Casey on a so-called compromise so that Casey could gather in Nelson’s vote.
Here’s what Casey thinks would satisfy Nelson and the right-to-life movement. His compromise would allow pro-life advocates to opt out of abortion funding. So, the federal government would continue to subsidize premiums that cover abortions but somehow we would be satisfied to know that if we could figure out how to opt out of this scheme, the issue would be resolved.
Kudos to Nelson — he didn’t hesitate to say no way. “Without further modifications, it isn’t sufficient,” Nelson told a Nebraska radio station. “….the basic question on funding for abortion hasn’t been answered yet. This is not an issue where you can split the difference.”
Nelson is quickly becoming the Stupak of the Senate and deserves our utmost gratitude.
It is disgusting. We know Planned Parenthood (PP) rakes in hundreds of millions each year from abortions. We are sickened by PP rhetoric attempting to convince the public they are only helping a woman to “choose.” We have heard stories from women and former abortion clinic employees about how abortions are “sold.” Now we have an undercover video filmed right in our own backyard at the PP Appleton abortion clinic exposing HOW they sell abortions. Through fear and misinformation.
“You know, women die having babies,” says abortionist Prohaska in the video. If you are already frightened, why would you want to risk your life?
“It’s not a baby at this stage or anything like that.” If you are somewhat confused, perhaps it is plausible that you are pregnant with — something else.
The counselor tells the woman that the fetus has “heart tones.” Hmm, is that like playing an instrument?
In the end, abortion = $$$ + dead baby + scarred woman. That’s the bottom line. PP, for all of its attempts at soothing rhetoric is busy selling its product and counting the money.
It was officially announced last night that the public option and the Medicare buy-in for those 55+ are now dead in the U.S. Senate. This is good news but the battle is not over. Remaining in the Senate bill are massive subsidies to buy health insurance with abortion coverage for those who qualify and the inevitable rationing due to the establishment of commissions that will make health care decisions for many and the lack of funds to sustain the massive new health care program.
Senator Ben Nelson (D-Ne) has stated that he will vote against cloture unless his amendment prohibiting abortion coverage is added. This is a powerful position because Nelson’s vote is needed for the Senate to pass the bill. A remaining question is whether Senate leaders will find new “phony” abortion language, as almost happened in the House, to attempt to pacify Nelson and whether or not he will go along with it. Don’t count on either Kohl or Feingold to vote against cloture — they are in the bag for Obamacare.
Whatever the Senate does, the bill still has to go conference committee. The drama continues with so many lives hanging in the balance.
With 60 votes needed to pass the Nelson/Hatch amendment to Obamacare to prohibit huge federal subsidies for abortion, it is not surprising that the amendment failed on a 54 to 45 vote. Seven Democrats voted in favor of Nelson/Hatch and two Republicans opposed the pro-life amendment.
Not at all surprising is that our own Senators, Kohl and Feingold, voted in favor of abortion coverage. This in spite of comments in early September at a Marquette University forum at which Kohl publicly stated that he opposed using health care reform to provide access to abortion. Senator Kohl’s staff has essentially stonewalled anyone who has tried to meet directly with Kohl to follow-up on his comments.
The health care reform battle is not over. Doug Johnson, Legislative Director for National Right to Life states: “Now, the vote on cloture on the bill itself will become the key vote on whether to put the federal government into the abortion business. We will oppose cloture on the bill, which would require 60 affirmative votes. In addition, a number of pro-life democrats in the House, who supported passage of health care legislation on November 7, will not vote for the Senate bill in its current form. So, this is a long way from over.”
What will Senator Nelson and the six colleagues who supported his amendment do on cloture? Stay tuned.
Senator Harry Reid announced yesterday that a vote may take place on the Hatch-Nelson amendment to prohibit federal funds for abortion coverage under Obamacare. The Hatch-Nelson amendment would make the same changes accomplished in the House through passage of the Stupak-Pitts amendment.
The battle will be fierce as 60 votes are needed for the amendment to pass. Only three Democrats (Nelson, Casey and Conrad) are on record as supporting Hatch-Nelson and two Republicans (Snowe and Collins) will vote no. Consequently, the amendment is likely to fail. However, Senator Nelson is on record stating he will filibuster if abortion funding is left in the measure.
Wisconsin Right to Life continues to urge individuals to contact Senators Kohl and Feingold asking them to support Hatch-Nelson.
Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) said yesterday that he is prepared to filibuster the Senate version of health care reform legislation if it contains government funding of abortion. Nelson and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) are drafting an amendment that Nelson says mirrors the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House.
LifeNews.com reported yesterday that Nelson was sending out drafts of his amendment to his Senate colleagues. But just how many of his colleagues will support the amendment is not known. 60 votes will be needed for it to pass.
The Nelson-Hatch Amendment could be voted on as early as today. Stay tuned!
Even before the language of the Senate version of the Stupak Amendment to prevent government funding of abortion in health care was made public, Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards began condemning it.
Democrat Senator Ben Nelson announced yesterday that he was drafting an amendment that would mirror the House-passed Stupak Amendment that insures that government funding of abortion is not included in health care reform legislation. He will be joined by Republican Senator Orrin Hatch in introducing the amendment.
In response, Richards resorted to blatant fabrications as she set about to light a fire under her pro-abortion troops. Richards told them, “…it is entirely possible that the resulting health care reform legislation will eliminate access to private health insurance coverage of abortion for millions of women.”
Of course, this statement is completely false!
The Nelson/Hatch Amendment would make sure there is no government funding for abortion. If a woman wanted to purchase coverage for abortion with her own money, she would be able to.
But since most Americans, even “pro-choice” Americans, oppose government funding of abortion, Richards could not simply argue the amendment on its merits. Instead, she felt compelled to make it sound like women would never again be able to have abortion coverage if the Nelson Amendment passed! Even National Public Radio and various factcheck web sites know such claims are not true and have said so publicly.
Keep your eye on the U.S. Senate this week as Sen. Ben Nelson seeks to protect us all from having our government dollars used to pay for abortions.
Some continue to gloss over Obamacare’s impact on seniors, calling the “death panels” voiced by Sarah Palin ridiculous. Think again. The Wall Street Journal published a compelling editorial on November 15 titled “The Rationing Commission.” The subtitle says it all: “Meet the unelected body that will dictate future medical decisions.”
It’s all about the money. The various bills before the Congress will in differing ways decide how much money will be spent on health care for seniors each year. An unelected board selected by the President, the Medicare Commission, is given enormous powers to decide what coverage seniors will have and who will pay for it with little oversight by Congress.
According to the Journal, the state of Washington already has such a board. “So far, the commission has banned knee arthroscopy for osteoarthritis, discography for chronic back pain, and implantable infusion pumps for pain not related to cancer. This year, it is targeting such frivolous luxuries as knee replacements, spinal cord stimulation, a specialized autism therapy and MRIs of the abdomen, pelvis or breasts for cancer. It will also rule on routine ultrasounds for pregnancy…” The state commission is even dictating what kind of stents can be used for heart patients.
The path being followed is one of Europe’s creations — a so-called “global budget.” One economist has compared the global budget to “bombing from 35,000 feet, where you don’t see the faces of the people you kill.” White House budget director Peter Orszag stated that the Medicare Commission is “critical to our fiscal future” and “one of the most potent reforms.”
Seniors, beware. As stated numerous times before, you have every reason to be afraid.