Sunday, November 22, 2009
The Church Shares in Blame for Catholics who Publically Support Abortion
The public argument between Rep. Patrick Kennedy and Bishop Tobin in RI begs the question,…
Why do so many Catholic politicians favor “abortion rights” when the Catholic church itself is clearly in support of the life of the unborn? Many who call themselves Catholic have supported abortion for decades and very publically. Organizations like Catholics for Choice for example, have been around since the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. So why the dichotomy, and how has this odd contradiction survived for so long?
In the early 1970’s, when the court ruled for abortion, Catholic pols often hid behind arguments like “As for me, I am personally opposed to abortion, but I do not favor government coercion of others to follow what I think is a matter of personal faith or conscience.” Or “I do not wish to ‘force my religion’ upon anyone else.”
Other arguments would be aimed at having the freedom to choose (even though a bad choice which brings harm to another human being), or the rights of the mother to control her own body (at the expense of another).
In reality, Catholics who favor abortion are really political liberals who have “libertarian” views about their personal freedoms to the point of it being at the expense of others. Such ideas overstep the bounds of personal liberty and the age old maxim that my right to swing my clench fisted arm in the direction of your nose ends a nanosecond from its surface.
One could apply the vain reasoning of these liberal Catholics to a lot of other bad behaviors, which, when attempted, can be plainly seen as patently absurd arguments. For example, can anyone imagine a leader from the era of the Third Reich saying something like “As for me, I am personally opposed to death camps, but I consider their existence as a moral issue which is a matter of personal faith upon which I refuse to coerce others to follow.” Or an anti-bellum Slave owner: “I am personally an abolitionist in my heart of hearts, but cannot in good conscience force my fellow plantation owners to give up their free help.” Or “I should have the personal freedom of choice to decide what I do on my plantation – whether I have slave labor or not.” These arguments are laughable of course, yet we accept them on the subject of abortion all the time and go on our merry way.
One reason they have survived is that the leaders of the Roman Catholic church have generally acquiesced in them and continue to this day to allow its members who are pro-abortion to remain members or “receive communion.” In 1973, the Catholic church, had it really had the courage of its conviction, would have begun the wholesale expulsion of politicians and non-politicians alike with such beliefs. They would have tossed them out the front doors of their cathedrals, and with great fanfare. The views really cannot coexist.
So why has the Catholic church has been so tolerant? Why has it for the most part turned a blind eye to the masses who continue to support abortion yet continue to fill their pews? It is in my opinion the church’s support on other so-called “social justice issues.” The church opposes capital punishment, and it favors a more tolerant position on illegal immigration and the social justice and welfare of the indigent. Many of these views are charitable at their core, and right for a church to foster, but are often on the very same agenda as the politically liberal social agenda with the only thing missing from that laundry list of social issues being a “woman’s right to choose…”
So what happens? Those in the Church with the energy and momentum in supporting the churches social agenda are themselves caught up in the whole liberal social agenda. For that reason, the church should have long ago clearly and decisively incised the pro-abortionists from their roles.
I have an idea. Do it now. Use the Patrick Kennedy public debate as a moment in time where the Church comes forward with a public pronouncement, confesses its error for being so acquiescent in the past, and now sends a clear warning to other politicians and lay people to discontinue their support for government sanctioned abortion or be handed their walking papers.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
A Tally on the Vote for Obama Care Last Night – The Fight Isn’t Over
Here is the complete tally on the final vote last night in favor of establishing socialized medicine in this country.
RI’s Langevin and Kennedy, of course, both voted with the slim majority.
Below are some other interesting cuts of the voting data.
The first is from Red Elephant who tracked the Democrats that have the most to lose (and we hope so) for supporting Obamacare. The number next to their names is the percent of the vote McCain received in their Congressional District in 2008. The list is also color coded to denote Freshman, 1+ Term and 3+ Term incumbents and includes McCain’s performance in 2008 in that congressional district.
MS-04 Taylor 67
TX-17 Edwards 67
OK-02 Boren 66
TN-04 Davis 64
AL-02 Bright 63
ID-01 Minnick 62
MS-01 Childers 62
TN-06 Gordon 62
AL-05 Griffith 61
LA-03 Melancon 61
MO-04 Skelton 61
AR-01 Berry 59
VA-09 Boucher 59
AR-04 Ross 58
MD-01 Kratovil 58
UT-02 Matheson 57
WV-01 Mollohan 57
GA-08 Marshall 56
TN-08 Tanner 56
WV-03 Rahall 56
KY-06 Chandler 55
PA-04 Altmire 55
AR-02 Snyder 54
AZ-01 Kirkpatrick 54
FL-02 Boyd 54
PA-10 Carney 54
ND-AL Pomeroy 53
SC-05 Spratt 53
AZ-05 Mitchell 52
AZ-08 Giffords 52
NC-07 McIntyre 52
NC-11 Shuler 52
OH-18 Space 52
FL-24 Kosmas 51
IN-08 Ellsworth 51
NY-13 McMahon 51
NY-29 Massa 51
PA-17 Holden 51
VA-05 Perriello 51
CO-03 Salazar 50
CO-04 Markey 50
IN-09 Hill 50
MN-07 Peterson 50
NM-02 Teague 50
OH-06 Wilson 50
OH-16 Boccieri 50
PA-12 Murtha 50
And this is from the Weekly Standard: The thirty-nine Democrats voted against it:
1. Rep. John Adler (NJ)
2. Rep. Jason Altmire (PA)
3. Rep. Brian Baird (WA)
4. Rep. John Barrow (GA)
5. Rep. John Boccieri (OH)
6. Rep. Dan Boren (OK)
7. Rep. Rick Boucher (VA)
8. Rep. Allen Boyd (FL)
9. Rep. Bobby Bright (AL)
10. Rep. Ben Chandler (KT)
11. Rep. Travis Childers (MS)
12. Rep. Artur Davis (AL)
13. Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN)
14. Rep. Chet Edwards (TX)
15. Rep. Bart Gordon (TN)
16. Rep. Parker Griffith (AL)
17. Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD)
18. Rep. Tim Holden (PA)
19. Rep. Larry Kissell (NC)
20. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (FL)
21. Rep. Frank Kratovil (MD)
22. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH)
23. Rep. Jim Marshall (GA)
24. Rep. Betsy Markey (CO)
25. Rep. Eric Massa (NY)
26. Rep. Jim Matheson(UT)
27. Rep. Mike McIntyre (NC)
28. Rep. Michael McMahon (NY)
29. Rep. Charlie Melancon (LA)
30. Rep. Walt Minnick (ID)
31. Rep. Scott Murphy (NY)
32. Rep. Glenn Nye (VA)
33. Rep. Collin Peterson (MN)
34. Rep. Mike Ross (AR)
35. Rep. Heath Shuler (NC)
36. Rep. Ike Skelton (MO)
37. Rep. John Tanner (TN)
38. Rep. Gene Taylor (MS)
39. Rep. Harry Teague (NM)
So, for Obamacare to become the law of the land, first the Senate needs to pass a bill, and Harry Reid can't afford to lose a single Democrat if the Republicans stick together. And then the House and Senate would need to reconcile the two bills in conference committee and each vote on the conference report before it goes to Obama's desk. This fight isn't over.
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Kill this Bill!
To all my friends: Tell Rep. Langevin and Kennedy what’s really in the Pelosi Health Care Bill. They may vote on it as early as today, Saturday, November 7. Or over this weekend.
Tell them, if they haven’t the four ream bill, just read this excerpted from the WSJ…
Here are some important passages in the 2,000 page legislation.
The health bill that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is bringing to a vote (H.R. 3962) is 1,990 pages. Here are some of the details you need to know.
What the government will require you to do:
• Sec. 202 (p. 91-92) of the bill requires you to enroll in a "qualified plan." If you get your insurance at work, your employer will have a "grace period" to switch you to a "qualified plan," meaning a plan designed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If you buy your own insurance, there's no grace period. You'll have to enroll in a qualified plan as soon as any term in your contract changes, such as the co-pay, deductible or benefit.
• Sec. 224 (p. 118) provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a "qualified plan" covers and how much you'll be legally required to pay for it. That's like a banker telling you to sign the loan agreement now, then filling in the interest rate and repayment terms 18 months later.
Protestors wave signs in front of the Capitol on Thursday.
On Nov. 2, the Congressional Budget Office estimated what the plans will likely cost. An individual earning $44,000 before taxes who purchases his own insurance will have to pay a $5,300 premium and an estimated $2,000 in out-of-pocket expenses, for a total of $7,300 a year, which is 17% of his pre-tax income. A family earning $102,100 a year before taxes will have to pay a $15,000 premium plus an estimated $5,300 out-of-pocket, for a $20,300 total, or 20% of its pre-tax income. Individuals and families earning less than these amounts will be eligible for subsidies paid directly to their insurer.
• Sec. 303 (pp. 167-168) makes it clear that, although the "qualified plan" is not yet designed, it will be of the "one size fits all" variety. The bill claims to offer choice—basic, enhanced and premium levels—but the benefits are the same. Only the co-pays and deductibles differ. You will have to enroll in the same plan, whether the government is paying for it or you and your employer are footing the bill.
• Sec. 59b (pp. 297-299) says that when you file your taxes, you must include proof that you are in a qualified plan. If not, you will be fined thousands of dollars. Illegal immigrants are exempt from this requirement.
• Sec. 412 (p. 272) says that employers must provide a "qualified plan" for their employees and pay 72.5% of the cost, and a smaller share of family coverage, or incur an 8% payroll tax. Small businesses, with payrolls from $500,000 to $750,000, are fined less.
In addition to reducing future Medicare funding by an estimated $500 billion, the bill fundamentally changes how Medicare pays doctors and hospitals, permitting the government to dictate treatment decisions.
• Sec. 1302 (pp. 672-692) moves Medicare from a fee-for-service payment system, in which patients choose which doctors to see and doctors are paid for each service they provide, toward what's called a "medical home."
The medical home is this decade's version of HMO-restrictions on care. A primary-care provider manages access to costly specialists and diagnostic tests for a flat monthly fee. The bill specifies that patients may have to settle for a nurse practitioner rather than a physician as the primary-care provider. Medical homes begin with demonstration projects, but the HHS secretary is authorized to "disseminate this approach rapidly on a national basis."
A December 2008 Congressional Budget Office report noted that "medical homes" were likely to resemble the unpopular gatekeepers of 20 years ago if cost control was a priority.
• Sec. 1114 (pp. 391-393) replaces physicians with physician assistants in overseeing care for hospice patients.
• Secs. 1158-1160 (pp. 499-520) initiates programs to reduce payments for patient care to what it costs in the lowest cost regions of the country. This will reduce payments for care (and by implication the standard of care) for hospital patients in higher cost areas such as New York and Florida.
• Sec. 1161 (pp. 520-545) cuts payments to Medicare Advantage plans (used by 20% of seniors). Advantage plans have warned this will result in reductions in optional benefits such as vision and dental care.
• Sec. 1402 (p. 756) says that the results of comparative effectiveness research conducted by the government will be delivered to doctors electronically to guide their use of "medical items and services."
While the bill will slash Medicare funding, it will also direct billions of dollars to numerous inner-city social work and diversity programs with vague standards of accountability.
• Sec. 399V (p. 1422) provides for grants to community "entities" with no required qualifications except having "documented community activity and experience with community healthcare workers" to "educate, guide, and provide experiential learning opportunities" aimed at drug abuse, poor nutrition, smoking and obesity. "Each community health worker program receiving funds under the grant will provide services in the cultural context most appropriate for the individual served by the program."
These programs will "enhance the capacity of individuals to utilize health services and health related social services under Federal, State and local programs by assisting individuals in establishing eligibility . . . and in receiving services and other benefits" including transportation and translation services.
• Sec. 222 (p. 617) provides reimbursement for culturally and linguistically appropriate services. This program will train health-care workers to inform Medicare beneficiaries of their "right" to have an interpreter at all times and with no co-pays for language services.
• Secs. 2521 and 2533 (pp. 1379 and 1437) establishes racial and ethnic preferences in awarding grants for training nurses and creating secondary-school health science programs. For example, grants for nursing schools should "give preference to programs that provide for improving the diversity of new nurse graduates to reflect changes in the demographics of the patient population." And secondary-school grants should go to schools "graduating students from disadvantaged backgrounds including racial and ethnic minorities."
• Sec. 305 (p. 189) Provides for automatic Medicaid enrollment of newborns who do not otherwise have insurance.
For the text of the bill with page numbers, see www.defendyourhealthcare.us.
Ms. McCaughey is chairman of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former Lt. Governor of New York state.
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