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Friday, August 30, 2013

Obamacare set to fund abortions with your tax dollars

Your tax dollars soon will begin funding abortions. Take action at end* of this posting.
All the obfuscation deliberately built into Obamacare by abortion advocates can't hide the fact that the law puts the government--and our tax dollars--into the abortion business. The American people have long opposed such policy.
Expert analysis by a Congressional insider explains how it works:
Under the Hyde amendment and other abortion funding bans the longstanding policy was that no taxpayer funds will go to pay for abortion or for insurance plans that include elective abortion. Individuals could always go out and buy a separate policy rider if they wanted to, but the government funded basket of covered services did not include abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
  • Obamacare was a major departure in that it allows insurance companies selling taxpayer subsidized plans to decide "whether or not the plan provides coverage of services described in subparagraph (B)(i) or (B)(ii) [abortion] as part of such benefits for the plans year."
  • If the insurance company decides to include elective abortion, then the insurance company is required to collect an abortion surcharge to pay for abortions covered under the plan. Insurance companies cannot include abortion in Obamacare plans in the 23 states that have "opted out" of abortion coverage for their state.
  • There will not be abortion coverage in plans in 23 states, but the taxpayers-- through their federal taxes--in those 23 states will still be subsidizing plans that include elective abortion in the other 27 states.
  • Plans are not required by the federal government to include elective abortion, but they may choose to cover it and it is likely most insurance companies will chose to cover abortion. It is possible that some states may be coercing plans to include elective abortion.
  • The federal government will sponsor at least one "multi-state" plan in each state that does not include elective abortion. So there will always be a "pro-life" plan in each state. Although it is possible that that some pro-life purchasers will not want to select this plan because it does not meet other health care preferences (like having their doctor in-network, etc).
  • Plans that include abortion will charge an abortion surcharge of at least $1, but under the secrecy clause, that charge will only be made known to the purchaser as part of the summary of benefits, so some purchasers may end up with an abortion-funding plan and be forced to pay the surcharge without even knowing it.
  • Even if a pro-life purchaser can find a plan that meets his/her health care needs and does not include abortion, he or she will still be contributing to plans that include abortion by paying taxes that in turn flow as subsidies to plans that include abortion. That is where the deviation from longstanding precedent comes into play.
Abortion advocates will claim that there is no taxpayer funding for abortion because the taxpayer subsidies only go to the non-abortion part of the premium, and the individual will pay the abortion surcharge separately. However, abortion is still included in the basket of services covered by the taxpayer-subsidized plan -- something that was not allowed before Obamacare. In this case, taxpayer subsidizes will flow to plans that include elective abortion--something prohibited in the Hyde amendment, which has two parts - 1) no funding for abortion and 2) no funding for plans that include abortion. The Obamacare scheme would violate the second part of Hyde, but the Hyde amendment does not apply to Obamacare.
*Take action
Rep. Smith
The solution: Congress needs to pass the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (HR 7, S 946), sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Let your legislators know it's time to pass this bill and get the government out of the abortion business.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

USA Today's Gannett Company is not the only for-profit with First Amendment freedoms

USA Today' editorial, "Contraception mandate applies to business," condescendingly casts conscientious objectors as foot-stomping outliers who "demand exemptions" to the Obama administration's mandate to supply the "morning-after pill, which they say cause the equivalent of abortions."
"They say" implies imagined evidence, yet the FDA has pronounced that Plan B--the morning-after pill--can end the life of a developing human embryo by "inhibiting implantation." The drug label concedes it may "prevent attachment" to the womb of an oocyte--the early developmental stage of an already genetically complete human being. So those who decline to participate in the distribution of such potentially life-ending pills do so on the basis of a conscience informed by both moral principle and science.
The issue is not, as the editorial suggests, the arguable promise or peril of contraception, but rather whether providing already universally accessible drugs justifies the federal government compelling virtually every conscientious objector outside a church sanctuary to bow to the government's edict.
The First Amendment, which protects our freedom of speech and free exercise of religion from government suppression, applies not only to news corporations such as the Gannett Company, Inc. These inalienable rights apply also to those who run corporations by ethical principles and to the millions of other Americans who refuse to surrender their free speech and faith rights to a conscience-trampling government.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Memo to senators: Charity is not a loophole; it's a lifeline

George Will, photo by Washington Post

Columnist George Will applauds the Senate Finance Committee for aiming to simplify the tax code but neglects to note that when Committee leaders put every tax deduction on the table, they opened the door to misdirected assaults on charity.
Targeting the charitable gift tax deduction became alarmingly clear in meetings I participated in recently with four senators and staff of the Senate Finance Committee. One of the most insidious cuts under consideration would eliminate deductions for gifts to charities such as universities, the arts and churches that do not provide sufficient tangible services to be deemed a "public benefit."
The 100-year-old tax deduction for gifts given "exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, or educational purposes" enforces the First Amendment's proscription against government infringement of the free exercise of religion. Imagine the IRS determining which churches and faith-based charities merit approval for tax deductions.
Cutting the charitable gift tax deduction would decrease giving and cut an estimated $140 billion in charitable services to needy Americans.
Congress should take aim at real tax reform while protecting charity and those who depend on it. Charity is not a loophole; it's a lifeline.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Now Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is not radical enough to work at Rite Aid

Tolerance. Diversity. Broad-mindedness. Those are the words.
Bullying. Discriminating. Compelling. Those are the deeds.
The contradictory words and deeds often come from one and the same individuals--and in a case I learned about today, companies. Turns out the words of tolerance, diversity and broad-mindedness only apply to those who comply with the dogma and submit to the will of the speakers.
Here's an email I received this morning from a pharmacist member of the Christian Medical Association:
"Subject: Forced to resign over mandate to sell the morning after pill.
"Just to let you know that Rite-Aid corporation came out with a stricter policy on July 5, 2013 that requires all employees to accommodate the sale of the morning-after pill to all comers, of either gender and of any age.  I tendered my resignation within the hour, it was accepted, and my last work day is July 20th.  I realize that I am an 'at will' employee and I do not expect any recourse. Just for your information to add me to the list of those quitting pharmacy solely because of the policy change.  Keep up the good work. The battle rages.  The Lord is able to supply our needs."
Remember that even the Obama administration health department opposed the unlimited sale of the morning-after pill, citing health concerns. So presumably, even the radically pro-abortion Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, is not radical enough to work at Rite Aid.
Unfortunately, Secretary Sebelius and President Obama trashed the only federal regulation protecting health care professionals from discrimination and firings for reasons of conscience. They and other abortion advocates also can't seem to muster enough liberality to support the tolerant, diversity-respecting and broad-minded principles of the Healthcare Conscience Rights Act (S 1204 and HR 940). 
While the regulation and the law apply specifically to government-funded programs, each can help establish an environment of true respect for conscience, tolerance and diversity that will protect health care professionals nationwide. Until then, pharmacists, obstetricians and family docs who still adhere to the Hippocratic oath and faith tenets remain subject to job loss, discrimination and ostracism for their life-affirming views.