Thursday, March 18, 2010

19 Reasons to Oppose the Current Health Care Bill

President Obama and members of congress including our North Dakota delegation know what you and I know--the health care legislation under consideration funds abortion It also contains other provisions detrimental to the family. Take a look at 19 reasons pointing toward opposing the current bill, and ask the question, "how can our ND delegation vote for this?"

Eight Reasons Abortion Is in the Health Care Overhaul

1. The legislation specifically includes it. The President's bill to amend the Senate bill leaves several abortion provisions in place. In Section 1303 it allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves the abortion surcharge in place. It maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Even worse, it would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion funding restrictions. (H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.)

2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said it is. “And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women. . .That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund.” (Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund.)

3. Senate Democrats refused to ban it. Instead of allowing for an up or down vote on a Senate amendment similar to the Stupak Amendment in the House which bans federal funding of abortion, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) “tabled” the amendment, effectively killing it. This was the only amendment dealt with in this way. (Vote No. 369 S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590)

4. House pro-life Democrats, who support a government takeover, say it is. “The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable.” (House Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), February 23, 2010, CBS News)… “I think abortion’s wrong. The problem is that I’ve lived too long. When they say they can keep this money separate, I just don’t believe it.” (House Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.), March 6, 2010, Arkansas News.)

5. House pro-abortion Democrats say it is. “The good news is that the Senate bill does allow [abortion coverage],” (Chairwoman of the House pro-abortion caucus, Dianne DeGette (D-Colo.),
March 5, 2010, Washington Post.

6. The abortion industry has sent out alerts in favor of it. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood sent out alerts on March 6, 2010: “President Obama's health care reform proposal would make a real difference for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood. . . . and [the bill] significantly increase access to reproductive health care.” (Planned Parenthood alert, March 6, 2010.)

7. Candidate Obama said it would be included, and the Obama administration includes it in its definition of reproductive health care. Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated he “believes that reproductive health care is basic health care.” ( questionnaire, 2008.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up on this in 2009: “Reproductive health care includes access to abortion.” (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing)

8. House Democratic Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has indicated he wants to fix the abortion coverage problem in the Senate bill. “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation.” (March 4, 2010, The Hill)

Good Reasons to Oppose the Health Care Overhaul
Abortion. The Senate bill would lead to government funded abortions. There are numerous reasons why that is true, including the bill text itself. Additionally just listen to pro-life Members like Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and organizations such as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops both of whom support a government run health care system – but oppose the Senate bill strongly.

Rationing. Call it “Comparative Effectiveness Research,” or a “Medicare Advisory board” or even call them “death panels” the Senate bill creates a Medicare Advisory Board required to make binding recommendations for cost savings within the Medicare program and requires this new board to do whatever is necessary to stop Medicare spending from growing to fast. The Board would also be able to redefine what a “qualified health plan” is and allow the Health and Human Services Secretary to force private health plans to adopt such rationing measures as well.

The Federal Government Can’t Afford It. Amazingly the fallacy that The Senate health care bill now in front of the House would reduce the deficit continues. This was disproved by the Congressional Budget Office when it released a report that the Democrats were double counting and in fact the Senate bill, as the Examiner first reported, would create a $170 billion budget deficit.

State Governments can’t afford it. The Senate health care bill would require states to expand Medicaid eligibility anywhere from 133 percent to 150 percent above the federal poverty limit. By 2011 the federal government would look to the states to pick up the costs for this expansion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this mandate to the states would drain state coffers by $25 billion.

People can’t afford it. The President campaigned on saving the average American family about $2,500 on health care premiums. The CBO has recently said that the Senate health care bill will actually raise the average family's health care premiums by $2,300. The costs to families do not stop there. If you have a flexible spending account or health savings account then over the counter drugs, like antihistamines, Tylenol, Pedialyte or even prenatal vitamins all will be subject to a tax increase of up to 40 percent if either bill passes. Also under the Senate bill payroll taxes would impose an additional 0.5 percent payroll tax on married couples with more than $250,000 in wages and individuals with more than $200,000 in wages. That’s a huge marriage penalty. Two people cohabitating could make $200k each before getting taxed. As a married couple you would get taxed at $250,000. If all that isn’t enough – also expect more taxes if you tan!

The bill does little to cut costs but in actuality increases spending. Dean of the Harvard Medical School, Dr. Jeffrey Flier has stated, “There are no provisions to substantively control the growth of costs or raise the quality of care. So the overall effort will fail to qualify as reform. . . In discussions with dozens of health care leaders and economists, I find near unanimity of opinion that, whatever its shape, the final legislation that will emerge from Congress will markedly accelerate national health care spending rather than restrain it.”

People don’t want it. Since December polls have consistently shown that the American people are opposed to the health care bill currently in Congress. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 42% favor the plan while 53% are opposed.

These figures include just 20% who Strongly Favor the plan and 41% who are Strongly Opposed. Additionally, a recent poll by Susan B. Anthony List in select Democrat’s districts shows that a majority of people believe that “abortion and abortion funding have no place in healthcare legislation.” The Senate bill represents an expansion of government funding of abortion.

The process has made a mockery of the system. Reconciliation and the “Slaughter Rule,” are just some of the examples of how the Democrats are trying to twist any rule to get their legislation passed. From the very beginning President Obama and the rest of the Democratic leadership have behaved as if the rules meant for the rest of us were beneath them. From deals cut with the prescription drug industry to the drafting of at least 11 different versions of Obamacare just about everything has been done in backrooms, with occasional dog and pony shows such as hearings or summits that get broadcast on television but had little effect on the Democrats’ plans.

The bills are likely unconstitutional. A number of Constitutional scholars, and the state of Virginia, are claiming that the bills violate the Constitution. Three such scholars; Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Family Research Council Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski of the American Civil Rights Union pointed this out in the Wall Street Journal. The three scholars point out that first, the Constitution does not give Congress the power to require that Americans purchase health insurance. Secondly the Senate passed bill involves numerous deals Senator Reid cut to secure the votes of individual senators. This selective spending targeted at certain states runs afoul of the general welfare clause. Lastly, the legislation commands that states establish such things as benefit exchanges, which will require state legislation and regulations, rendering states little more than subdivisions of the federal government.

The bill pays for itself by cutting Medicare. The Congressional Budget Office has found that the Senate bill would result in “reduce access to care or diminish the quality of care” of those in the Medicare Advantage plan. It is not just the attack on Medicare Advantage that has doctors worried. The dean of John Hopkins Medicine, Dr. Edward Miller, writes in the Wall Street Journal, that the expansion of Medicaid under the Senate bill would bankrupt states and overwhelm the current health care system.

Our health care system deserves true reform, not further government control. Yes, the federal government already controls a lot of the current health care system – however few would argue that Medicare, Medicaid or the health care provided to veterans are exemplary and deserve to be expanded as is, let alone further burdened by new bureaucracy. Affordability, portability, accessibility, transparency and conscience protections for both patients and for health care professionals are what we should be focusing on – not how much more power can we give to the federal government

Thanks to the Family Research Council for furnishing these 21 valid points.

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