Press Releases

 

Saturday
Aug222009

NRCC - Spending, Democracy & Disapproval 

Manchester Union Leader Editorial

Our Spending Twins

Shea-Porter, Hodes Can’t Say No

 

Our two representatives to Congress, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, talk the talk about holding down spending. However, when they get the chance they seem to have no trouble voting “yes” for increased spending.

 

Last month there was a proposed 5 percent cut in fiscal 2010 appropriations to fund agriculture programs. This would have cut only $1.1 billion from the bill’s $20.5 billion spending. Voting not to cut were Hodes and Shea-Porter. Also last month, a proposed 5 percent cut to water and energy spending was proposed and, once again, Hodes and Shea-Porter voted not to cut the spending.

 

With this year’s deficit heading to $2 trillion of borrowed money, a world record, it will take courage to cut budgets in Washington. We don’t see that coming from our delegation in the U.S. House.

 

 

Nashua Telegraph Editorial

Lawmakers Must Stand Up to Critics

 

Key Excerpts

“New Hampshire's representatives in Congress, Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter, need to meet with their constituents in the open town-hall format to discuss health care. They need to do so as soon as possible, and they need to stand up for what they believe in despite the bullying tactics of the opposition.”

“If, as they say, they support the key components of the plan now working its way through the House of Representatives, they need to follow the example of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who went toe-to-toe with the an unruly crowd Tuesday night in Dartmouth, Mass., and gave as good as he got.”

“Only Sen. Judd Gregg has hosted open, public events with a forum Thursday in Salem.”

“Every schoolboy knows you can only avoid the bully for so long. Eventually, he has to be confronted to be defused.”

“Whether Shea-Porter or Hodes are planning open town-hall meetings is a moving target. Shea-Porter earlier in the month issued a statement suggesting that she would not, but that could change any day now. Hodes has alluded to the possibility of open town-hall meetings at some point in the near future but has provided no specifics.”

“Avoiding these meetings only feeds into the hysteria. Our lawmakers need to stand up for their beliefs, no matter how unruly the crowd.”

Read the full editorial: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090821/OPINION01/908219950/-1/opinion

 

 

Faith in Obama Drops As Reform Fears Rise

Health-Care Effort Is Major Factor, Poll Finds

By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen Washington Post August 21, 2009 A1

 

NOTE: Disapproval of Obama's handling of the health-care issue reached 50 percent in the new poll, the highest of his presidency, and 42 percent of those surveyed say they now "strongly disapprove" of the way he is dealing with his main domestic priority. Views of the president's actions on reform have dropped most sharply among seniors and independents...Disapproval of Obama's handling of the reform issue has spiked to 57 percent among independents, a new high, with nearly half giving him strongly negative marks. Nearly six in 10 independents oppose the proposals.

 

Public confidence in President Obama's leadership has declined sharply over the summer, amid intensifying opposition to health-care reform that threatens to undercut his attempt to enact major changes to the system, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

 

Among all Americans, 49 percent now express confidence that Obama will make the right decisions for the country, down from 60 percent at the 100-day mark in his presidency. Forty-nine percent now say they think he will be able to spearhead significant improvements in the system, down nearly 20 percentage points from before he took office.

 

Read the full story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/20/AR2009082004305.html

 

Saturday
Aug222009

NRCC - Divided Party Decisions 

“Given the fact that Carol Shea-Porter votes with her party an astounding 97 percent of the time, it’ll be interesting to see where she falls on government-run health care now that her Washington leadership is divided and can’t tell her what to do. Now she’s left with a divided party and an outraged New Hampshire constituency because she’s doing everything she can to avoid face-to-face town hall meetings. It looks like Shea-Porter has made one decision clear – she doesn’t want to meet with the people who elected her. Her next decision will be whether to support the Democrat Leader or liberals in Congress.” – Tory Mazzola, NRCC Spokesman

 

NOTE:House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Friday left the door open to moving a health reform package without a public insurance option prized by liberals. Hoyer’s remarks were in contrast to statements Thursday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who told a San Francisco audience that a public option must be included to win the votes necessary to pass in the House.

 

Hoyer Not Firm On Public Option

The Hill

Ian Swanson

August 21, 2009

 

http://thehill.com/index2.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=85135&pop=1&page=0&Itemid=70

 

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer on Friday left the door open to moving a health reform package without a public insurance option prized by liberals.

 

Hoyer’s remarks were in contrast to statements Thursday by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who told a San Francisco audience that a public option must be included to win the votes necessary to pass in the House.

 

Hoyer (D-Md.) emphasized his support for a public option in a teleconference call with reporters, but also said he wants to ensure Congress sends a bill to the president.

 

“I’m for a public option, but I’m also for passing a bill,” he said. Democrats believe the public option is necessary, he said, “be we’ll have to see.”

 

He added that there are many other important parts of healthcare legislation approved by three committees in the House.

 

President Barack Obama already has signaled he won’t insist that a public option be included in a final healthcare legislation, and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday opened a firestorm with the political left by saying that a public option was “not essential” to a healthcare bill.

 

In the Senate, it appears unlikely that a bill with a public option could win the 60 votes necessary to win procedural votes. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) has said the votes in the Senate aren’t there and that pursuing a public option is a “wasted effort.”

 

But not including the option could provide problems for Democratic leaders in the House. Sixty members of the party’s liberal wing have signed a letter stating that they won’t support a bill that does not include a public option, and some Democrats have said that underestimates opposition from the left.

 

“There’s no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option,” Pelosi said during a press conference Thursday in San Francisco, according to Bloomberg News. Liberals say including a public option is the best way to introduce increase competition in the insurance sector and force private companies to lower their costs. Opponents argue a public option could drive private insurance companies out of business and lead to runaway costs.

 

Saturday
Aug222009

Healthcarehorserace.com - An Amazing Twitter Story 

Saturday
Aug222009

CHQ - Republicans Missing From Their Road to Recovery 

GOP Could Use Some John Mackeys
ConservativeHQ.com - In an editorial published in the Wall Street Journal on August 11, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey outlined a seven-point plan for healthcare reform that sought to marginalize the role of government. Conservatives asked themselves: 'Why didn't Republicans think of that?' [read the blog here]

 

Daily Lickskillet: Read today's Lickskillet here!

News From The Front:

I Am Finally Scared of a White House Administration

Barney Frank's Wacky Town Hall Circus (VIDEO)

Town hall meetings stir more conservatives to action

Democrats Mislead, Republicans Fail to Lead


Find these articles and more at News From The Front

Saturday
Aug222009

FactCheck.org: Obama wrong, NRLC right on abortion coverage 

FactCheck.org

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/abortion-which-side-is-fabricating/

 

Abortion: Which Side Is Fabricating?

 

Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.

 

August 21, 2009

Summary

 

Will health care legislation mean "government funding of abortion"?

 

President Obama said Wednesday that’s "not true" and among several "fabrications" being spread by "people who are bearing false witness." But abortion foes say it’s the president who’s making a false claim. "President Obama today brazenly misrepresented the abortion-related component" of health care legislation, said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee. So which side is right?

 

The truth is that bills now before Congress don’t require federal money to be used for supporting abortion coverage. So the president is right to that limited extent. But it’s equally true that House and Senate legislation would allow a new "public" insurance plan to cover abortions, despite language added to the House bill that technically forbids using public funds to pay for them. Obama has said in the past that "reproductive services" would be covered by his public plan, so it’s likely that any new federal insurance plan would cover abortion unless Congress expressly prohibits that. Low- and moderate-income persons who would choose the "public plan" would qualify for federal subsidies to purchase it. Private plans that cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of federal subsidies. Therefore, we judge that the president goes too far when he calls the statements that government would be funding abortions "fabrications."

 

Analysis

 

Obama’s "Fabrications" Remark

 

Obama’s remarks Wednesday came during a telephone conference call to thousands of listeners, organized by religious organizations supporting his health care proposals. He said that "there has been a lot of misinformation in this debate, and there are some folks out there who are frankly bearing false witness." And then he lumped in abortion coverage at the end of a list of claims that he branded as untrue:

 

Obama, Aug. 19: We are closer to achieving that reform than we have ever been. And that’s why we’re seeing some of the divisive and deceptive attacks. You’ve heard some of them. Ludicrous ideas. Let me just give you one example, this notion that we are somehow setting up "death panels" that would decide on whether elderly people get to live or die. That is just an extraordinary lie. This is based on a provision in the House legislation that would allow Medicare to reimburse you if you wanted counseling on how to set up a living will or other end of life decisions. Entirely voluntary, it gives you an option that people who can afford fancy lawyers already exercise. That’s the kind of distortion that we’ve been hearing too much of out here.

 

We’ve heard that this is all designed to provide health insurance to illegal aliens. That’s not true. There’s a specific provision in the bill that does not provide health insurance for those individuals. You’ve heard that there’s a government takeover of health care. That’s not true. You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true. This is all, these are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation, and that is that we look out for one another, that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper. And in the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.

 

The White House did not post any transcript of the president’s words, but sponsors of the conference call, a coalition of faith-based groups supporting an overhaul of the health insurance system, posted the full audio of the president’s call on its Web site. His words come near the very end of the recording, and we transcribed them from the recording.

 

Abortion foes quickly denounced Obama’s statement as untrue. The NRLC’s Johnson said "the bill backed by the White House (H.R. 3200) explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions." And our analysis shows that Johnson’s statement is correct. Though we of course take no position on whether the legislation should allow or not allow coverage for abortions, the House bill does just that.

 

The House leadership’s bill (H.R. 3200) actually made no mention of abortion when it was introduced. Johnson refers to an amendment to the bill adopted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee July 30. Abortion rights proponents characterize it as a compromise, but it hasn’t satisfied the anti-abortion side. Offered by Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of California, the amendment was approved narrowly by the committee, 30 - 28, with most but not all Democrats voting in favor and no Republicans backing it. The Capps amendment states that some abortions "shall" be covered by the "public option" plan, specifically those types of abortions that Congress allows to be covered under Medicaid, under the so-called "Hyde Amendment," which has been attached regularly to appropriations bills for many years. These are abortions performed in cases or rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.

 

As for other types of abortions, the Capps amendment leaves it to the secretary of Health and Human Services to decide whether or not they will be covered. It says, "Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing" abortion services that would not be legal for Medicaid coverage. Says the NRLC’s Johnson: "The Capps Amendment MANDATES that the public plan cover any Medicaid-fundable abortions, and AUTHORIZES the secretary to cover all other abortions. ... [F]rom day one, she [Secretary Kathleen Sebelius] is authorized to pay for them all. And, she will."

 

We can’t say what anyone will do in the future. But Obama himself said on July 17, 2007, that "[i]n my mind, reproductive care is essential care" and would be covered by his public insurance plan. He was addressing Planned Parenthood:

 

Obama, July 17, 2007: We’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services, as well as mental health services and disease management services, because part of our interest is to make sure that we’re putting more money into preventive care.

 

Obama did not use the word "abortion," but a spokesman for the campaign said later that abortion would be included, according to the Chicago Tribune. The NRLC has posted an unedited video of Obama’s response on YouTube (along with some comments which are the group’s opinions and not necessarily those of anyone at FactCheck.org).

 

Public Funds

The Capps amendment does contain a statement – as we noted in an earlier article – that prohibits the use of public money to pay for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. That would still allow the public plan to cover all abortions, so long as the plans took in enough private money in the form of premiums paid by individuals or their employers. The Capps language also would allow private plans purchased with federal subsidies ("affordability credits" for low-income families and workers) to cover abortion.

 

Broader language was contained in an amendment offered by Democratic Rep. Bart Stupak of Michigan the day after the Capps amendment was approved. The Stupak amendment would have overruled Capps and prohibited government funding of "any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion," except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The Stupak amendment was rejected by the committee 27 - 31.

 

Supporters of abortion rights argue that this would cause some women who now have abortion coverage to lose it, by forcing private insurance companies to drop abortion coverage from plans so that they can be purchased with the help of federal subsidies. For example, NARAL Pro-Choice America states:

 

NARAL: Anti-choice members of Congress aren’t satisfied with the Capps compromise. They want to impose a new nationwide abortion ban in the private health-insurance market by prohibiting such coverage in the new health-care system – thus taking away coverage from women who already have it.

 

We can’t predict how many insurance plans might be affected by the Stupak language. And we take no stand on whether all abortions should or should not be covered.

 

As for the House bill as it stands now, it’s a matter of fact that it would allow both a "public plan" and newly subsidized private plans to cover all abortions.

 

•– by Brooks Jackson

•–

Sources

 

U.S. House. "H.R. 3200." (as introduced 14 Jul 2009.)

 

National Right to Life. "Obama Says ‘Government Funding of Abortion’ is ‘Fabrication,’But the White House-Backed House Bill Explicitly Authorizes It." press release. 19 Aug 2009.

 

Capps amendment to H.R. 3200. House Energy and Commerce Committee. 30 Jul 2009.

 

Stupak amendment to H.R. 3200. House Energy and Commerce Committee. 31 Jul 2009.

 

NARAL Pro-Choice America. "The Truth About Abortion and Health Reform." Blog for Choice. 14 Aug 2009.

 

Posted by Brooks Jackson on Friday, August 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm

 

Filed under Articles · Tagged with abortion, Barack Obama, health care