Pro-life Dems and ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

Thanks to Jill Stanek, and a hattip to Father Z,  for putting together this overview of how Democrats calling themselves pro-life voted on the Senate version of ObamaCare:

# The only pro-life Democrat to change his vote from a yes to a no due to the failure to include the Stupak-Pitts amendment was Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL), …. (Lipinski is the congressman for the district in which Christ Hospital, my [Jill Stanek’s] former employer, is located. His father, Congressman Bill Lipinski, was a co-sponsor of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act.)

# Other pro-life Democrats who had previously threatened to change their votes from a yes to a no, agreed to an Executive Order reiterating the Senate bill’s accounting scheme in exchange for their votes at the last minute. 20 of the Members who were urged to change their vote from a “yes” to “no” on pro-life grounds, but failed to do so are: Carney (PA), Costello (IL), Dahlkemper (PA), Donnelly (IN), Doyle (PA), Driehaus (OH), Ellsworth (IN), Hill (IN), Kanjorski (PA), Kaptur (OH), Kildee (MI), Langevin (RI), Mollohan (WV), Oberstar (MN), Ortiz (TX), Perriello (VA), Pomeroy (NC), Rahall (WV), Stupak (MI), and Wilson (OH)….

# 19 pro-life Democrats voted against the Senate bill and for the motion to recommit. They are Altmire* (PA), Barrow* (GA), Berry* (AR), Boren (OK), Bright (AL), Chandler* (KY), Childers (MS), L. Davis (TN), Holden (PA), Lipinski (IL), Marshall (GA), Matheson (UT)*, McIntyre (NC), Melancon (LA)*, Peterson (MN), Ross (AR)*, Shuler (NC), Skelton (MO), and Taylor (MS). (* denotes Members with a limited or mixed pro-life voting record.)

# Representatives Costello (IL) and Donnelly (IN) both voted for the Senate bill, but also vote for the motion to recommit.

# Representatives Artur Davis (AL), Lynch (MA), Space (OH), and Tanner (TN) voted against the Senate bill, but also voted against the motion to recommit despite having voted for a similar amendment offered last fall.

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Twenty Things You May Not Know About ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

Now that ObamaCare has become law rather than just the fevered dream of leftie bloggers, it is time to begin discovering what is in it.  David Hogberg begins the process at Investor’s Business Daily.

1. You are young and don’t want health insurance? You are starting up a small business and need to minimize expenses, and one way to do that is to forego health insurance? Tough. You have to pay $750 annually for the “privilege.” (Section 1501)

2. You are young and healthy and want to pay for insurance that reflects that status? Tough. You’ll have to pay for premiums that cover not only you, but also the guy who smokes three packs a day, drink a gallon of whiskey and eats chicken fat off the floor. That’s because insurance companies will no longer be able to underwrite on the basis of a person’s health status. (Section 2701).

3. You would like to pay less in premiums by buying insurance with lifetime or annual limits on coverage? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer such policies, even if that is what customers prefer. (Section 2711).

4. Think you’d like a policy that is cheaper because it doesn’t cover preventive care or requires cost-sharing for such care? Tough. Health insurers will no longer be able to offer policies that do not cover preventive services or offer them with cost-sharing, even if that’s what the customer wants. (Section 2712).

5. You are an employer and you would like to offer coverage that doesn’t allow your employers’ slacker children to stay on the policy until age 26? Tough. (Section 2714).

6. You must buy a policy that covers ambulatory patient services, emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance use disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices; laboratory services; preventive and wellness services; chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

You’re a single guy without children? Tough, your policy must cover pediatric services. You’re a woman who can’t have children? Tough, your policy must cover maternity services. You’re a teetotaler? Tough, your policy must cover substance abuse treatment. (Add your own violation of personal freedom here.) (Section 1302).

7. Do you want a plan with lots of cost-sharing and low premiums? Well, the best you can do is a “Bronze plan,” which has benefits that provide benefits that are actuarially equivalent to 60% of the full actuarial value of the benefits provided under the plan. Anything lower than that, tough. (Section 1302 (d) (1) (A))

8. You are an employer in the small-group insurance market and you’d like to offer policies with deductibles higher than $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for families? Tough. (Section 1302 (c) (2) (A).

9. If you are a large employer (defined as at least 101 employees) and you do not want to provide health insurance to your employee, then you will pay a $750 fine per employee (It could be $2,000 to $3,000 under the reconciliation changes). Think you know how to better spend that money? Tough. (Section 1513).

10. You are an employer who offers health flexible spending arrangements and your employees want to deduct more than $2,500 from their salaries for it? Sorry, can’t do that. (Section 9005 (i)).

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Principle of Subsidiarity Violated by ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, 2010 \PM\.\Mon\.

Rerum Novarum by Pope Leo XIII

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops made a determined effort for universal health coverage, without abortion, in the run-up to the vote on ObamaCare.  In the end, due to the abortion language in this bill, they condemned it in its entirety.

Now I believe that our bishops had the best intentions of wanting universal health coverage, but this violates the principle of subsidiarity.

The Principle of Subsidiarity is the handling of affairs by small-scale, bottommost, or minutest government.

In 1891 Pope Leo XIII wrote an encyclical, Rerum Novarum, which said that government should undertake only those initiatives which exceed the capacity of individuals or private groups acting independently. Functions of government, business, and other secular activities should be as local as possible. If a complex function is carried out at a local level just as effectively as on the national level, the local level should be the one to carry out the specified function.

Private insurance agencies cover over 84% of all Americans, with an overwhelming 93% saying they are satisfied with their coverage.

And those that are uninsured, can get readily available treatment for a serious illness.  Including illegal aliens.

So why the bishops haste and aggressive posturing in pushing for something everybody already has and are satisfied with?


Why Bart Stupak’s Executive Order is Meaningless

Monday, March 22, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

Why the figleaf that Bart Stupak had handed to him by Obama in the form of an executive order  is meaningless is succinctly explained by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

More to the point, though, this EO will never have any effect. As a host of actual Constitutional authorities have already made clear, any court challenge will wind up with the government forced to obey the law Congress passed and the President signed for the same reasons Obama states in this clip. Congress makes law, not the President, and when an EO conflicts with the law, it’s the law that prevails. Otherwise, the President really does become a “monarch”, as Obama states in this clip, and Congress becomes an advisory board.

Obama knows this. The Republicans know this. Hell, even Bart Stupak knows this, but he just needed an excuse to change his vote, and everyone knows it.

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A Tale of Two Votes

Monday, March 22, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

In my law practice, when my clients come to me for some legal help regarding some disaster that has occurred in their life, I often will tell them that no experience is wasted if a person learns from it.  What did we learn last night from the greatest defeated suffered by the pro-life cause since Roe v. Wade?  I think that can be summed up in two votes, both involving the Stupak amendment.

On November 7, 2009,  all but one Republican in the House voted for the Stupak amendment, realizing that by doing so they were probably ensuring that ObamaCare passed in the House.  I wrote about this vote here.  The Republicans voted for the Stupak language because Republicans are an overwhelmingly pro-life party, even though they were criticized by some on the right for paving the way for the passage of ObamaCare in the House.  They were joined by 68 Democrats.

Last night the Republicans voted to recommit the ObamaCare bill with the Stupak language.  They were defeated in that effort, with every Republican voting for it, but only 21 Democrats this time joining them.  Stupak, the author of the original amendment, voted against it and spoke against it, satisfied with the worthless executive order figleaf he was granted by Obama.

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What We Know Now

Monday, March 22, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

As it so happened, I was in Washington DC on that National Mall as congress was voting on the mess which is our “health care reform” bill. I hadn’t been to our capitol city before, and it was a simply beautiful afternoon — one on which it was hard to believe that our elected representatives were bringing us one large step closer to a major budgetary crisis point, and Representative Stupak was busy selling out the principles everyone had imagined to be as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar for a rather paltry executive order which may (or may not) come after the fact. (Call me a cynic, but I could well imagine the EO never coming. Though in a sense, why not issue it: It would have no effect and could be repealed at any time. Still, there would be a great deal of justice and truth in Obama using the old Microsoft line, “Your mistake was in trusting us.”)

Still, though sun, green grass, and stone monuments are fresh in my mind, and the largest looming problems in my mind revolve around children wailing that they need a bathroom right now while traveling on the metro (let’s just say that didn’t end well) I don’t want to seem as if I’m discounting the importance of what we’ve just seen. And there seem to be some fairly clear conclusions we can draw:

1) Stupak had no desire to be to abortion what Joe Lieberman chose to be to foreign policy. Lieberman was hounded out of his party and continues to hold office only because of people who disagree with him on nearly every other issue admired his principled stands on Iraq, Israel, etc. If Stupak had brought down the Health Care Reform bill in defense of the unborn, he would have received similar treatment from his own party to what Lieberman has received, and he clearly didn’t want to be that person. Instead, having talking himself into a corner he really didn’t want to be in, he seized upon a fig leaf when it was offered and did what he’d clearly wanted to do all along:

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November 2009, Stupak Never Intended to Vote No on ObamaCare

Monday, March 22, 2010 \AM\.\Mon\.

Last November during a town hall meeting near the Upper Peninsula Representative Bart Stupak of Michigan, an alleged “pro-lifeDemocrat that recently voted for government funding of abortion, made it clear that he was never going to vote “No” on ObamaCare.

Biretta tip to Sydney Carton and Alicia Colon.


The Wonders of Government Medicine

Wednesday, March 10, 2010 \AM\.\Wed\.

As ObamaCare goes through its death throes, my reaction is that the nation has dodged a bullet.  The whole purpose of this exercise was to bring closer the day when the country would have a single payer system.  I believe that if such a system had been achieved the results could well have been nightmarish.  The National Health Service in Great Britain I believe would have been a model of what the US health system would have become if completely controlled by the government.

A recent survey of 900 nurses in Great Britain revealed:

“A woman ‘barely coping’ after a miscarriage being sent to a ward with male patients.

Children left at ‘high security risk’ and a threat of infection when adults were put on their ward.

One overflow ward being so crammed a nurse could not reach the emergency buzzer when someone had a heart attack. She had to run into the corridor to yell for help.

One patient being left in a mop cupboard where there was only room for a chair, not a bed. At another hospital, a kitchen was set aside for two beds.

A hospital discharging elderly patients before they were ready.

Another using a ward which had been ‘condemned’ for patient use.

Up to three patients being crammed into a tiny office cluttered with staff belongings.

Eighteen patients being stuck on trolleys in the corridor of a medical assessment unit. “

“Maintaining single-sex areas was often impossible because of the sheer numbers of extra patients.

Nurses have to take blood samples in corridors and beds are sometimes placed in isolated corners, meaning nurses cannot see if a patient needs help.

Elderly patients are ‘parked’ in day rooms while waiting to be transferred to another hospital, and left ‘soiled and neglected’, and ‘needing fluids’.

Sometimes spare beds run out – and people have to sleep on chairs or mattresses on the floor.

Nearly half the nurses said patients in non-clinical areas did not have proper access to water, oxygen, suction and a call bell.

Four in ten said they did not have the screening to protect their dignity and privacy.

‘If a patient suddenly had a cardiac arrest, we would not be able to get the crash trolley to them,’ said one nurse at a hospital which squeezed extra beds into wards.

Others said cramming patients into wards put them at risk of cross-infection.

One added: ‘Urine bottles are not emptied, meals are missed as staff are not aware of the patient.’

Many nurses had complained to managers but the practice had stopped in only a handful of cases.

Last night, nursing leaders said poor standards meant ‘compassion fatigue’ set in, meaning nurses did not treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserved.”

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What Will ObamaCare Look Like

Friday, March 5, 2010 \AM\.\Fri\.

[4 updates at the bottom of this post as of 8:08am CST]

If ObamaCare somehow passes through Congress and signed by President Obama, what can Americans look forward to?

Well the Republican Party’s very own potential presidential candidate Mitt Romney did just that as governor of Massachusetts, passing universal health coverage for the entire state.

The results are mixed at best, and scary at worst.

Here are some highlights from the op-ed titled Romneycare model a dud in the Boston Herald by Michael Graham where Massachusetts is “already glowing in the radioactive haze of Romneycare, aka “ObamaCare: The Beta Version.” [emphases mine]:

Shouldn’t Obama have been bragging yesterday about bringing the benefits of Bay State reform to all of America?

As we prepare to wander into this coming nuclear winter of hyper-partisan politics – one in which we’re almost certain to see widespread political fatalities among congressional Democrats – I have to ask: If bringing Massachusetts-style “universal coverage” to America is worth this terrible price, why doesn’t Obama at least mention us once in awhile?

Maybe he thinks of us as the Manhattan Project of medical insurance reform. Too top secret to discuss. More likely, it has something to do with the nightmare results of this government-run debacle. Here are a few “highlights” of the current status of the Obamacare experiment in Massachusetts:

It’s exploding the budget: Our “universal” health insurance scheme is already $47 million over budget [imagine it in trillions for American tax-payers] for 2010. Romneycare will cost taxpayers more than $900 million next year alone.

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Ronald Reagan Warns Against ObamaCare

Sunday, February 28, 2010 \PM\.\Sun\.

This is a clip of Ronald Reagan warning us of socialized medicine, the very same bill that President Obama and the Democratic Party are trying to ram through congress.

Reagan warns us of how people such as six-time presidential Socialist Party candidate Norman Thomas, and many others, explained how to move their agenda of achieving a socialist state by a Foot-in-the-Door policy of socialized medicine.  Which is eerily similar to what President Obama and the Democrats are doing, against the will of the people with their European socialized health care bill.


Senator Nelson Sells Out Unborn, Health Care Bill Heads to Vote

Saturday, December 19, 2009 \PM\.\Sat\.

(Updates at the bottom of this article.)

Harry Reid was able to make huge concessions to the state of Nebraska and bought Senator Ben Nelson’s vote a la Mary Landrieu.  The vote seems headed to the floor with all 60 votes secured to impose on American’s draconian laws that would hike insurance rates and begin the downward slope towards European style socialism.

Nelson secured full federal funding for his state to expand Medicaid coverage to all individuals below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Other states must pay a small portion of the additional cost. He won concessions for qualifying nonprofit insurers and for Medigap providers from a new insurance tax. He also was able to roll back cuts to health savings accounts.

What’s in the bill that I’m aware of?  I’ve broken down the Washington Post article almost verbatim below:

Read the rest of this entry »


Republicans: The Champions of Medicare?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 \PM\.\Wed\.

This past week, I began reading the novel 1984. For those who have not read it, it is a futuristic novel describing a society that lives under the rule of a totalitarian government described as “the Party.”  The government controls and monitors every aspect of human life and even practices historical revisionism quite literally—burning books and re-writing history—to have everything reflect whatever it (the government) happens to be saying. The agencies within the government are all a blatant contradiction. The Ministers of Truth re-write history and instigate direct government propaganda through always-on “telescreens” found literally everywhere in society that don’t turn off; the Ministers of Peace advocate war; the Ministers of Plenty plan economic shortages, and the Ministers of Love carries out the government’s “corrective” punishment and torture of its rebellious citizens.

In one scene, there is a Hate rally (which occurs regularly to inspire hatred within the people for the enemies of the Party) and at the rally the Party shifts its diplomatic allegiance, so the nation it has been warring with is suddenly its ally, and the former ally is now the enemy. Despite the obvious contradiction when the speaker changes the nation he refers to as the enemy during his speech, the crowd simply accepts the change without question and even is embarrassed that they brought wrong signs to the event. Just in the same way people accept the ministries conducted by the Party aforementioned even though they blatantly contradict their titles in their action. What is with the collective intellectual schizophrenia? How can people look right passed the most obvious facts? This theme that runs throughout 1984 is about a troublesome little tendency to believe or argue for some truth that obviously and patently contradicts other truths.

In the ongoing health care debate, this same sort of schizophrenia has come about. I almost shouted “yes!” in a public library when finally I saw the political contradiction pointed out in the Washington Post:

After years of trying to cut Medicare spending, Republican lawmakers have emerged as champions of the program, accusing Democrats of trying to steal from the elderly to cover the cost of health reform. Read the rest of this entry »


ObamaCare Update

Tuesday, August 18, 2009 \AM\.\Tue\.

Government Health Care

[Update at the bottom as of 7:39 pm CST for 8-21-2009 AD]

President Obama’s Health Care push has suffered a couple of setbacks.  First they removed the end-of-life provision and Obama Joker Poster Artist Exposed As Liberal-Leaning Palestiniannow the President has removed the public option.

The Democrat and Liberal attempts at demonizing the American people having failed, President Obama could be beginning to understand that we don’t want socialized medicine.

Now come reports that the Obama Joker poster artist is a left-wing extremist, and a Dennis Kucinich supporter to boot.  Not the white, conservative, racist that the mainstream media was accusing the artist of being.

In other news CBS News has reported that the liberal-oriented A.A.R.P. has lost approximately 60,000 members since the video showing an A.A.R.P. representative belittling members at a town hall meeting.  The American Seniors Association has gained 5,000 new members, a rival organization to the A.A.R.P. and significantly less liberal.

CBS News reported that the A.A.R.P. response to the exodus of members as ‘with 40 million members that adds hundreds of thousands each month, losing 60 thousand is just a drop in the bucket.’

Update I:  I forgot to place the American Seniors Association weblink here.

Update II: The 60 Plus Association is experiencing a spike in members following A.A.R.P.’s endorsement of ObamaCare.


We Are Americans, Not Europeans

Friday, August 14, 2009 \AM\.\Fri\.

Isn’t it obvious that most of our American ancestors came over from Europe because they wanted life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  They fled totalitarian regimes, socialist governments, and anti-Christian repression for the freedom that is afforded all Americans.

We have the best health care in the world precisely because it is not operated by the government.  Private industry drives innovation, government regulation or government-run health care eliminates innovation, awards bureaucrats, and ultimately leads to marginal health care in the long run.

We are Americans, not Europeans.  Yet President Obama, Congressional Democrats, and well-meaning liberals and progressives want to emulate European health care programs.  What Europeans have is not necessarily right nor good.

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