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Thursday, March 25, 2010

HPV, cancer and abstinence

A recent USA Today news article, "Poorer girls not getting HPV vaccine for cervical cancer" focuses on access to the vaccine but neglects to mention potentially lifesaving facts about how the virus is contracted and other means of prevention.
According to guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), "HPV is passed on through genital contact, most often during vaginal and anal sex. HPV may also be passed on during oral sex and genital-to-genital contact." Since condoms may not fully protect against HPV, the CDC acknowledges that the only surefire way to prevent HPV is to abstain from sexual activity.  
As USA Today has reported, rigorous, peer-reviewed clinical research has proven abstinence programs to be highly effective—significantly more effective, in fact, than the typical condom-centered or so-called "comprehensive" sex education programs.
Parents want abstinence education for their children. As Zogby polling revealed, when parents learn what abstinence education vs. comprehensive sex education actually teaches, their support for abstinence programs reaches 60%, while support for "comprehensive sex" programs drops to 30%."
The tragic news is that Congress and the administration have bought into propaganda about abstinence programs and pushed to zero out federal funding for abstinence education. If anti-abstinence partisans in Congress and the President can muster the humility to admit their mistake and restore funding for effective abstinence education, our nation's teens can gain a rock-solid wall of defense not only against HPV but also other potentially deadly sexually transmitted diseases.
For more information:
  • Heritage Foundation's blog, "Abstinence Education Effective in Reducing Teen Sex, Comprehensive Sex Ed Not" 
  • National Abstinence Education Association news release, "New Study Validates Effectiveness of Abstinence Education."

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Guerilla warfare in the Senate


What's next on the budget-busting, government-expanding, abortion-funding healthcare legislation passed Sunday by the U.S. House of Representatives?

Procedural guerilla warfare in the Senate.

The House passed two bills on Sunday while defeating a Republican measure to ban government funding of abortion. President Obama today will sign the first bill passed, which is the Senate version of healthcare overhaul.

Once the President signs the original bill, the Senate immediately will take up the second bill passed by the House. That bill is a "reconciliation" bill designed to "fix" numerous aspects of the Senate bill that House Democrats did not like.
"Reconciliation" used to bypass bipartisanship
To pass this second "reconciliation" bill to change the main healthcare bill that will go into law today, Democrats are deploying a rarely used technical legislative process called "reconciliation." Sen. Robert Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, designed the process decades ago to streamline votes solely on deficit-reducing aspects of legislation. Votes not solely on budgetary aspects but on policy aspects of legislation do not qualify for the streamlined 51-vote majority under "reconciliation."
The "reconciliation" process disallows the traditional Senate filibuster, which requires 60 votes to overcome. With the recent election of Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown, Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
Democrats now are trying to use the "reconciliation" technique to bypass the filibuster and pass significant policy changes to the original Senate legislation—the bill signed by President Obama today.
The fighting won't be pretty, and the "reconciliation" bill faces dozens and potentially hundreds of procedural challenges by the GOP. From Roll Call:

Democrats, meanwhile, hope to clear the reconciliation package no later than Sunday, and leadership continues to push for party unity during the amendment process. The majority will attempt to put the Republicans on the defensive politically and make the case for the policy benefits in the legislation while defending the bill against GOP procedural attacks.
The reconciliation package is expected to drop on the Senate floor this afternoon. Senate Democrats expect the legislation's allowable debate time of 20 hours to expire on Thursday, after which the Republicans are likely to unleash a flood of amendments in a "vote-a-rama" session. Under reconciliation rules, there is no cap on amendments, but with no debate time permitted on those amendments, Senators are likely to engage in one roll-call vote after another.
The GOP hopes, at a minimum, to force the House to vote again on the measure.

Republicans plan to raise several points of order, and if [chamber Parliamentarian Alan] Frumin sides with the GOP on any such efforts, Democrats lack the 60 votes required to overcome points of order. Even the smallest change to a reconciliation package requires that it be sent back to the House.
With the narrow margin by which the original healthcare overhaul bill passed in the House, Democrat leaders want desperately to avoid another vote. 
More legal battles coming… 
Meanwhile, a growing number of states are preparing legal challenges to fight the imposition of federal mandates and budget burdens. Those challenges are just an example of the hurdles that healthcare overhaul faces in upcoming months. For an insightful view of key legal issues now surrounding the legislation, see the Georgetown University constitutional law professor Randy Barnett's piece in the Washington Post, "Is health-care reform constitutional?"

Monday, March 22, 2010

CMA physicians: Without strong conscience protections, bill imperils poor patients


Christian Medical Association news release: Washington, DC, March 22, 2010--The nation's largest association of faith-based physicians, the 17,000-member Christian Medical Association (CMA, www.cmda.org), today lamented the passage of a sweeping healthcare overhaul bill that lacks strong conscience protections, saying the gap could lead to a crisis of health care for poor patients.

"Millions of poor patients and those in medically underserved areas currently depend on care from faith-based hospitals, clinics and physicians who follow life-affirming ethical standards such as those found in the Hippocratic oath and the Judeo-Christian Scriptures," noted CMA CEO Dr. David Stevens.

"National polling reveals that 95 percent of faith-based physicians say they will be forced to leave medicine without conscience protections. Since the bill passed by Congress does not include strong conscience protections, it opens the door to an increase in discrimination against physicians, hospitals and clinics that decline to participate in abortion and other morally controversial procedures."

While several longstanding federal laws passed on a bipartisan basis over the past 35 years have offered strong conscience protections, President Obama has announced plans to rescind the only federal regulation that implements those laws. The Senate bill passed by the House on Sunday does not prohibit discrimination by the government or healthcare facilities against healthcare professionals who attempt to follow their conscience on abortion and other morally controversial procedures. The Senate had declined to pass a strong conscience-protecting amendment offered by one of its two physicians, Oklahoma Republican Tom Coburn.

Dr. Stevens added, "The last-minute deal for an Executive Order relating to abortion and conscience—the deal that changed the 'No' votes of pro-life Democrats to 'Yes'--was like trading a birthright for a mess of pottage. The executive order, which added no additional conscience protections whatsoever, can be changed tomorrow by this President, or later by any subsequent President, with the stroke of a pen. The healthcare bill, meanwhile, becomes permanent law."

CMA summarized its position on other aspects of the healthcare bill, including government funding of abortion, in a recent letter to Congress. CMA also coordinates the Freedom2Care (www.Freedom2Care.org) coalition of 50 organizations supporting conscience rights in health care.

To schedule an interview, please contact Margie Shealy at 423-844-1047 or by e-mail: margie.shealy@cmda.org. The Christian Medical Association is equipped with Ku Band Digital Uplink satellite and ISDN lines.

House passes overhaul bill after last-minute deal turns pro-life Democrats

To understand any new legislation or policy regarding abortion and conscience, bear in mind the political reality that the current Congress and the President are unambiguously pro-abortion. They fully intend to radically advance their abortion ideology domestically and internationally, and last night's vote pushed that agenda far down the road.
Abortion ideology explains why this pro-abortion Congress voted down numerous attempts by pro-life legislators to amend the healthcare overhaul bill by providing strong conscience rights for healthcare professionals and by clearly forbidding government subsidy of abortion. Abortion ideology also explains why President Obama has announced plans to rescind the only federal regulation protecting conscience rights for healthcare professionals.
The weak, cryptic and deceptive language on abortion funding and conscience rights in the just-passed bill was carefully calibrated to advance the abortion agenda while maintaining the appearance of concessions to pro-life concerns. The strategy almost backfired when a dozen pro-life Democrats saw through the deception and balked at voting for the bill.
Excerpted from "Choice, Life Groups Slam Obama Order on Abortion Funding," FOX News, March 21, 2010 -- Pro-choice and pro-life groups on Sunday strongly denounced a deal by pro-life Democrats and President Obama to ensure limits on taxpayer money for abortion services, outlined in a Senate health insurance overhaul now on the verge House approval.
Abortion rights supporters chastised the president, saying he caved on his principles by agreeing to issue an executive order that strengthens limits on abortion. Abortion opponents, on the other hand, said Obama's pending order does nothing to prohibit spending on abortion services as provided in the Senate bill.
The National Organization for Women issued a statement that it is "incensed" Obama agreed to the deal sought by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and other lawmakers who argued that the Senate health care overhaul allowed public funding for abortions. The lawmakers had been the key votes to stopping passage of the massive government plan.
The National Right to Life Committee argued that seven objectionable pro-abortion provisions in the Senate bill are unchanged.
"The executive order promised by President Obama was issued for political effect. It changes nothing. It does not correct any of the serious pro-abortion provisions in the bill. The president cannot amend a bill by issuing an order, and the federal courts will enforce what the law says," the group said.
Opponents say an executive order does not have the force of law that legislation would provide.
"That is not the rule of law. That's the rule of man. One man can sign an executive order and one man can repeal that again, the president of the United States," said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appearing on "Fox News Sunday" before the deal was announced.
House Minority Leader John Boehner said an executive order "can direct members of the executive branch, it cannot direct the private sector."
Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., added that pro-life Democrats should be alarmed by a promise coming from a politician with a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
"This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in history," he said.
In the end, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the White House determined that they had enough votes without all the pro-life Democrats and could pass the bill without making substantive changes in the legislation. The President's last-minute executive order, which changed nothing on conscience rights and changed little or nothing on abortion funding, simply provided a way for the last remaining holdout pro-life Democrats to save face and vote for the bill.
The bill needed 216 votes to pass. A few pro-life Democrats stuck to their guns and voted against the bill. If just four of their pro-life Democrat colleagues had stayed with them against the bill, it could have been defeated.
Discover how your Representative voted and hold them accountable:
The vote on the Senate Bill. This is the main bill, which passed by a vote of 219-212 with all Republicans and 34 Democrats voting no. 219 Democrats voted yes; the bill required 216 votes to pass.
The vote on the Republican Motion to Recommit. This was a good measure that would have added the pro-life Stupak-Pitts amendment to the reconciliation bill). This amendment failed by a vote of 199-232 with all Republicans and 21 Democrats voting yes.  232 Democrats voted no.
The vote on the Democrats' Reconciliation Bill. This contains changes that House Members wanted to make on the Senate bill. It passed by a vote of 220-211 with all Republicans and 33 Democrats voting no. 220 Democrats voted yes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Inside story from Capitol Hill on Obama exec. order on abortion

President Obama has gained the votes of some pro-life Democrats through an executive order on abortion and conscience rights.
That means the pro-life Democrats have gained a temporary document stating the personal policy of this President for this moment. An executive order can be changed tomorrow by this President, or later by any subsequent President, with the stroke of a pen. The healthcare bill, however, becomes permanent law.
The executive order also adds little, if anything, to what is already in the healthcare bill.
On conscience rights, the Obama executive order (pasted below) offers absolutely nothing whatsoever beyond what already exists in federal law. Moreover, the administration is loath to enforce existing conscience-protecting law, having announced plans to rescind the only federal regulation enforcing those laws.
The executive order asserts that “new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.” However, that statement only reveals half the reality. The weak Senate bill conscience language prohibits discrimination by health plans but does not prohibit governments from discriminating against pro-life healthcare professionals.
This just received from a trusted colleague inside the House of Representatives:
Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) and an unspecified group of his block of pro-life Democrats have announced their intention to vote for the Senate health care bill despite provisions that allow funding for abortion and abortion coverage.  They have made this decision based on an agreement with the President who has promised to issue the Executive Order pasted below. 
As you can see, the Executive Order does not apply the principles of the Hyde amendment.  Instead it reiterates the Senate language that allows subsidies for insurance policies that cover abortion by collecting a special abortion fee from every person who enrolls in a plan that covers abortion.  This approach is contrary to the clear language of the Hyde amendment which states, no taxpayer funds “shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.” 
By providing abortion coverage to millions of Americans who currently do not have such coverage, the pending legislation will contribute to an increase in the number of abortions.  Even Alan Guttmacher Institute research demonstrates that when abortion funding is made available the number of abortions increase by roughly 25% for the covered population. 
Even if the text of the Executive Order were to effectively apply the Hyde amendment to the Senate health care bill (which it does not), it would still be ineffective because Executive Orders cannot overturn statutory law.  Even pro-abortion Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) speaking on this abortion Executive Order has said that it cannot change the law.
Text of the Executive Order
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
March 21, 2010
Statement from Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer
Today, the President announced that he will be issuing an executive order after the passage of the health insurance reform law that will reaffirm its consistency with longstanding restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion.

While the legislation as written maintains current law, the executive order provides additional safeguards to ensure that the status quo is upheld and enforced, and that the health care legislation’s restrictions against the public funding of abortions cannot be circumvented.

The President has said from the start that this health insurance reform should not be the forum to upset longstanding precedent.  The health care legislation and this executive order are consistent with this principle.

The President is grateful for the tireless efforts of leaders on both sides of this issue to craft a consensus approach that allows the bill to move forward.

A text of the pending executive order follows:

EXECUTIVE ORDER

- - - - - - -

ENSURING ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ABORTION RESTRICTIONS IN THE PATIENT PROTECTION AND AFFORDABLE CARE ACT

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (approved March __, 2010), I hereby order as follows:

Section 1.  Policy. Following the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“the Act”), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment.   The purpose of this Executive Order is to establish a comprehensive, government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal and to make certain that all relevant actors—Federal officials, state officials (including insurance regulators) and health care providers—are aware of their responsibilities, new and old.

The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges.  Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. §300a-7, and the Weldon Amendment, Pub. L. No. 111-8, §508(d)(1) (2009)) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

Numerous executive agencies have a role in ensuring that these restrictions are enforced, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). 

Section 2.  Strict Compliance with Prohibitions on Abortion Funding in Health Insurance Exchanges.  The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014.  The Act also imposes strict payment and accounting requirements to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services in exchange plans (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) and requires state health insurance commissioners to ensure that exchange plan funds are segregated by insurance companies in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, OMB funds management circulars, and accounting guidance provided by the Government Accountability Office. 
I hereby direct the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS to develop, within 180 days of the date of this Executive Order, a model set of segregation guidelines for state health insurance commissioners to use when determining whether exchange plans are complying with the Act’s segregation requirements, established in Section 1303 of the Act, for enrollees receiving Federal financial assistance.  The guidelines shall also offer technical information that states should follow to conduct independent regular audits of insurance companies that participate in the health insurance exchanges.  In developing these model guidelines, the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS shall consult with executive agencies and offices that have relevant expertise in accounting principles, including, but not limited to, the Department of the Treasury, and with the Government Accountability Office.  Upon completion of those model guidelines, the Secretary of HHS should promptly initiate a rulemaking to issue regulations, which will have the force of law, to interpret the Act’s segregation requirements, and shall provide guidance to state health insurance commissioners on how to comply with the model guidelines.

Section 3.  Community Health Center Program.  The Act establishes a new Community Health Center (CHC) Fund within HHS, which provides additional Federal funds for the community health center program.  Existing law prohibits these centers from using federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), as a result of both the Hyde Amendment and longstanding regulations containing the Hyde language.  Under the Act, the Hyde language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers under section 10503 and all other relevant provisions.  I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of Federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law.  Such actions should include, but are not limited to, updating Grant Policy Statements that accompany CHC grants and issuing new interpretive rules.

Section 4.  General Provisions.  (a) Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:  (i) authority granted by law or presidential directive to an agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.
(b) This Executive Order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.
(c) This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.

THE WHITE HOUSE,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Surveys show healthcare professionals concerned over bill, ready to quit

Two surveys of healthcare professionals paint an alarming picture of significant discontent and concern about the healthcare bill about to be voted on by Congress.
The take-away message from both surveys: The healthcare bill threatens the careers of physicians and politicians alike.
Medicus Survey
Reported on the New England Journal of Medicine's Recruiting Physicians Today web site is a link to a survey by The Medicus Firm. The article on that survey, entitled, "Health Reform May Lead to Significant Reduction in Physician Workforce," found that...
...health reform could be the proverbial “last straw” for physicians who are already demoralized, overloaded, and discouraged by multiple issues, combining to form the perfect storm of high malpractice insurance costs, decreasing reimbursements, increasing student loan debt, and more.
An overwhelming 63 percent of physicians prefer a more gradual, targeted approach to health reform, as opposed to one sweeping overhaul. Primary care, which is already experiencing significant shortages by many accounts, could stand to be the most affected, based on the survey.
About 25 percent of respondents were primary care physicians (defined as internal medicine and family medicine in this case), and of those, 46 percent indicated that they would leave medicine — or try to leave medicine — as a result of health reform.
Why would physicians want to leave medicine in the wake of health reform? The survey results, as seen in Market Watch, indicate that many physicians worry that reform could result in a significant decline in the overall quality of medical care nationwide
Survey notes: The Medicus Survey was conducted with 1,000 physicians on December 17, 2009. The Medicus Firm is a national physician search firm based in Dallas and Atlanta.
Freedom2Care Survey
Healthcare professionals responding to a new Freedom2Care survey expressed overwhelming concern about abortion and conscience issues in the healthcare overhaul bill before Congress, and they strongly oppose more government involvement in health care.
Participating in an online Freedom2Care survey March 17-19 that drew 2,151 responses, 98 percent of healthcare professionals said they were "very concerned" about government funding of abortion in the legislation. Ninety-six percent noted they were "very concerned" about the lack of conscience protections in the bill. Eighty-three percent of healthcare professional respondents "strongly oppose more government involvement in healthcare," and an additional 11 percent "somewhat oppose more government involvement."
The statement, "Congress should reject this legislation, start over and work on new legislation this year" drew approval from 51 percent of healthcare professionals, and an additional 41 percent agreed that "Congress should reject this legislation and stop working on healthcare legislation this year."
In terms of political implications, 93 percent of healthcare professionals  agreed with the statement, "A 'Yes' vote on this legislation would make me much less likely to vote for my Representative." Besides voting against a pro-bill legislator, healthcare professionals are also going the extra mile politically: over three fourths, or 77 percent, say they have already contacted their U.S. Representative about the bill.
Healthcare professionals represented over a fourth, or 26 percent, of all survey respondents.
Survey notes: The survey is not a random sampling of Americans; many of the survey participants have taken action on conscience rights through the Freedom2Care web site.

There's no such thing as a free operation

My new commentary published in today's Washington Examiner:
There's no such thing as a free operation
Byron York ("The White House's phony case for its health plan," Politics column, Tuesday) challenges the cherry-picking use of positive healthcare poll responses to questions regarding requiring coverage by businesses, by all Americans and for preexisting conditions.
Besides negative public perceptions of the legislation in its entirety, even the positive poll responses are misleading, since the questions only pose a partial reality.
Mandating coverage by businesses, for example, would also force some small businesses to cut jobs or forgo new hires at a time of high unemployment.
Mandating that all Americans purchase insurance raises questions of constitutionality and forces healthy younger Americans to subsidize the health bills of older Americans.
Mandating insurance company coverage of pre-existing conditions would help many patients, but a full disclosure must acknowledge higher premiums to cover the costs.
In healthcare reality, there is no such thing as a free lunch. It's time the President acknowledge that fact and practice the transparency he preaches.
Jonathan Imbody
Vice President for Government Relations, Christian Medical Association Washington

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Take and view results of the Freedom2Care 60-second survey on healthcare

Individuals across America are taking the 60-second Freedom2Care survey on key questions on the upcoming healthcare overhaul bill vote in Congress.

View survey results

Take the survey

Share this link on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. for your friends to take the survey:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AD89NVBZV
 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Last down, three seconds on the clock and you can win this one…


With the House of Representatives poised to vote on the expansive and expensive healthcare overhaul bill, the vote now looks so close that one or two Representatives either way can make the deciding difference.

So call and e-mail your Representative's office now!


It's easy.

Simply identify yourself as a constituent, and simply say that you are urging your Representative to vote "NO" on the Senate healthcare overhaul bill.

Find your Representative here: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml .

To multiply your influence even more, you can:

  • Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper—about 150 words. Check the paper's online site for email contact information. Your Representative and staff read the local newspaper daily.
  • Spread the word with email, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, asking your friends and family to also send a clear message to Congress. Include links to the House contact information above and any of the resources below.
You can now share your opinions on the new Freedom2Care survey on the healthcare bill:
http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22AD89NVBZV

Thank you for taking time to make your views known—and for protecting the lives of the unborn, the conscience rights of healthcare professionals and the freedoms of patients.

To learn more:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Polls for pols to ponder

New polling on government funding of abortion in the pending healthcare overhaul bill should give pause to several vulnerable Democrat Representatives who now hold what may prove to be the deciding votes on the bill.
The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List commissioned a scientific poll by the polling company, inc. / Woman Trend in the districts of Democrat legislators who are considered key swing votes on the legislation.
The survey asked registered voters about abortion funding and healthcare reform in the following members’ districts:  Jason Altmire (PA-04), Paul Kanjorski (PA-11), Brad Ellsworth (IN-08), Baron Hill (IN-09), Steve Dreihaus (OH-01), Charlie Wilson (OH-06), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), and John Boccieri (OH-16).
Survey results and analysis are available online at www.sba-list.org/poll.  Key survey findings include:
  1. At least three-in-five voters in these eight congressional districts agreed that “Abortion and abortion funding have no place in healthcare legislation.”
  2. At least two-thirds of voters in each Congressional District opposed “using tax dollars to pay for abortions” and in all districts majorities “strongly opposed.”
  3.  In each district, voters were more apt to reject, rather than embrace, a candidate who “votes for healthcare legislation that includes federal government funding of abortion.”
Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser noted, “In these districts, voters reflect national pro-life trends, and they expect their values to be translated into public policy."
The Susan B. Anthony List is a nationwide network of Americans, over 280,000 residing in all 50 states, dedicated to mobilizing, advancing, and representing pro-life women in politics.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Your Rep could be the deciding vote on health care


Suddenly the American healthcare debate all comes down to one vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. That vote may come as soon as next week.

The House will vote on the massive, expensive, government-intrusive healthcare overhaul bill already passed by the Senate. Abortion policy land mines in this partisan, ideological bill make this vote the most consequential vote on life issues since Roe v. Wade.

Urge your Representative today to OPPOSE the Senate Health Care bill.

Policy experts now believe this landmark House vote may be decided by as little as one vote—perhaps the vote of your Representative. If your Representative is on either of the (a) or (b) lists below, chances are even greater that he or she could cast the deciding vote.

  1. 37 House Democrats who voted NO
    on the House healthcare overhaul bill last November. (Click here to view that list).
  2. The following
    21 House Democrats who originally voted YES but now may be reconsidering:

  • Michael Arcuri (NY)
  • Marion Berry (AR)
  • Tim Bishop (NY)
  • Dennis Cardoza (CA)
  • Chris Carney (PA)
  • Jim Costa (CA)
  • Joe Donnelly (IN)
  • Steve Driehaus (OH)
  • Brad Ellsworth (IN)
  • Gabrielle Giffords (AZ)
  • Baron Hill (IN)
  • Paul Hodes (NH)
  • Dan Maffei (NY)
  • Harry Mitchell (AZ)
  • Bill Owens (NY)
  • Earl Pomeroy (ND)
  • Mark Schauer (MI)
  • Kurt Schrader (OR)
  • Zach Space (OH)
  • Dina Titus (NV)
  • Charlie Wilson (OH)
Take Action Today!

  • Call and e-mail your Representative's office, identify yourself as a constituent, and simply say that you are urging your Representative to vote "NO" on the Senate healthcare overhaul bill. Contact information: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml .
To multiply your influence even more, you can:

  • Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper—about 150 words. Check the paper's online site for email contact information. Your Representative and staff read the local newspaper daily.
  • Spread the word with email, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, asking your friends and family to also send a clear message to Congress. Include links to the House contact information above and any of the resources below.
Thank you for taking time to make your views known—and for protecting the lives of the unborn, the conscience rights of healthcare professionals and the freedoms of patients.

To learn more:

Scotsman on the key to collapse of democracy


The unpopular partisan legislation the House may vote on within days pits financial fantasy against fiscal prudence, government redistribution of wealth and power against personal responsibility and choice.

The legislation cost estimate incredibly counts ten years of revenue against only six years of costs. The Congressional Budget Office will not even score the President's belated sketch of ideas before Congress votes on including those measures, which will impact a sixth of our economy.

The overbearing and costly legislation creates over 100 new government bureaucracies that will deeply invade the patient-physician relationship and make unilateral decisions on treatments, insurance plans and medical resources. The measure levies new insurance purchasing mandates, penalties and taxes at a time when most Americans can ill afford them.

We should heed the warning uttered two centuries ago by Scotsman Alexander Fraser Tytler: "A democracy … can only exist until the majority discovers it can vote itself largess out of the public treasury. After that, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits with the result the democracy collapses because of the loose fiscal policy ensuing."

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pelosi prescient on self-perpetuation


Persisting in pressuring Members to vote for the unpopular and partisan healthcare overhaul bill, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presciently quipped, "We're not here just to self-perpetuate our service in Congress."

By jamming this expensive and intrusive healthcare legislation through Congress with political bribes and kickbacks crafted in closed-door deals, partisan ideologues have demeaned the democratic process. These political bribes and kickbacks have included special deals for Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, union lobbyists, the American Medical Association, and holdout Senators Mary "Louisiana Purchase" Landrieu and Nebraska's Ben "Cornhusker Kickback" Nelson.

Now they would trample the last vestiges of comity in Congress by using the "reconciliation" maneuver to bypass bipartisanship.

John Adams warned that "rivalries must be controlled, or they will throw all things into confusion; and there is nothing but despotism or a balance of power which can control them (Adams, John, Discourses on Davila, No. 15 (1790)." Despotic politicians who try to ram this bill through Congress will face a voter revolt in November that restores the "balance of power" to the people.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Urgent: Your action on health care needed now

The future of health care in America may be determined within the next few days.
Sources on Capitol Hill reveal that U.S. Representatives are being coerced to vote for the costly, overreaching and morally controversial Senate healthcare overhaul bill.
Pro-abortion House leaders are desperately arranging a vote before Easter recess--before Representatives go to their districts and face constituents in town hall meetings protesting the partisan bill.
The already-passed Senate bill awaiting a House vote includes a controversial scheme for government funding of abortion.
The Senate also voted against strong conscience protections for physicians and nurses who for moral and religious reasons will not participate in abortions and other controversial procedures.
The Senate bill also, as never before, injects the Government into the patient-physician relationship … into regulation of medical procedures and resources … and into personal choices on health insurance.
The House months ago barely passed its own healthcare bill, by just five votes. This time, pro-life Members who object to the Senate bill's funding of abortions may vote No. Those Members especially need our encouragement to stand firm for life.
This landmark vote on the future of American health care may well be determined by as few as one or two Members—maybe your own Representative!
You can help counter pro-abortion pressure by telling your Representative to vote No on the radical Senate healthcare overhaul bill.
Your message to vote No on the healthcare overhaul bill can have a powerful impact. Every politician knows that constituents like you will determine his or her future in Congress.
   Here's what you can do:
  • Call and e-mail your Representative's office, identify yourself as a constituent, and simply say that you are urging your Representative to vote "NO" on the Senate healthcare overhaul bill. For contact information, see https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml .
To multiply your influence even more, you can:
  • Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper—about 150 words. Check the paper's online site for email contact information. Your Representative and staff read the local newspaper daily.
  • Spread the word with email, Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, asking your friends and family to also send a clear message to Congress. Include links to the House contact information above and any of the resources below.
Thank you for taking time to make your views known—and for protecting the lives of the unborn, the conscience rights of healthcare professionals and the freedoms of patients. To learn more:

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prez drafts skyscraper plan, says GOP can decorate elevators

Having already drafted architectural plans for an eyesore skyscraper of overbearing government mandates and regulation, President Obama essentially told his GOP opponents at a televised healthcare summit that he would now entertain their ideas on how to decorate the elevators.
When Republicans insisted instead on working together to build a house the country could approve and afford, the President stuffed his plans under his arm and threatened to bypass the rules in order to erect the monstrosity.
The radical legislation before Congress threatens new government intrusion into the patient-physician relationship, heavy-handed mandates and taxes on individuals and employers and overbearing federal regulation of the marketplace. Despite campaign promises of transparent negotiations and immunity from special-interest influence, these plans have been crafted in secret and riddled with deals cut with Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry … with campaign-funding union bosses … with the marginalized American Medical Association … and with holdout Senators Mary "Louisiana Purchase" Landrieu and Nebraska's Ben "Cornhusker Kickback" Nelson.
The desperate decision to jam the plan through Congress through the misnamed "reconciliation" maneuver may fail, if courageous pro-life House Democrats who oppose government funding of abortion vote "No" on the Senate-passed bill. Maybe then the President and his party will finally scrap their skyscraper scheme and work with the rest of Congress and the country to build a new house on a bipartisan foundation of focused, cost-cutting reform and a renewed respect for the democratic process.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Gambler in Chief


After announcing the previous Friday, "I love Vegas," President Obama on Monday, February 22 risked all of his political capital on a healthcare proposal bet that no oddsmaker would advise.

Despite polls showing that the vast majority of Americans want to scrap the secretly crafted, bribe-laden, radical Senate healthcare overhaul bill, the Obama plan keeps dealing the same cards. His new proposal even ups the ante for pro-life Congressional Democrats, since the plan omits the House-passed Stupak amendment that clearly bans government funding of abortion.

Apparently his preferred poker buddies include the rich and influential trial lawyers' lobby. Mr. Obama's plan glaringly omits national malpractice litigation reform that would lower defensive medicine costs and keep physicians from getting forced out of medicine by "junk lawsuits."

Exchanging free market principles for federal control, Mr. Obama proposes to continue Government takeover of private industry by having his own federal officials in Washington regulate insurance rates for the whole country.

Rather than pursuing a bipartisan approach that focuses on consensus areas of practical healthcare reform, President Obama is betting the House (and the Senate and Presidency) on an already discredited, radical ideological overhaul.

This Gambler in Chief just doesn't know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.