Press Releases

 

Thursday
Sep172009

NRLC: Baucus bill has abortion subsidies, dangerous Medicare provisions 

Baucus bill contains "an array of pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for elective abortion," and provisions that "will gravely endanger the lives of America's senior citizens."

 

WASHINGTON -- The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation's largest pro-life group comprised of 50 state right-to-life organizations and about 3,000 local chapters, today reacted to the new bill issued by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mt.).

 

ABORTION MANDATES AND FEDERAL SUBSIDIES

 

The following statement may be attributed to Douglas Johnson, NRLC legislative director:

The "America's Healthy Future Act," proposed today by Senator Max Baucus (D-Mt.), contains an array of pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for elective abortion.  National Right to Life strongly opposes the legislation in its current form.  We will work in support of amendments to eliminate the abortion mandates and federal abortion subsidies.

The bill contains provisions that would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion.  This would be a drastic break from longstanding federal policy, under which federal funds do not pay for elective abortions or subsidize health plans that cover elective abortions.  For example, current law prohibits any of the over 250 private health plans that participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program from paying for elective abortions, because these plans receive federal subsidies.  These private plans cover over 8 million federal employees and dependents, including members of Congress.

Thus, under the Baucus bill, like the House Democratic leadership bill (H.R. 3200), federal funds would subsidize coverage of elective abortions.  In addition, the Baucus bill requires that a specific charge must be included in the premiums paid by those who enroll in such subsidized plans, of at least "$1 per enrollee, per month," which amounts to a surcharge specifically for elective abortions.

These bills are not consistent with President Obama's September 9 claim that "no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions," or with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius's September 13 affirmation that "no public funds would go to fund abortions."  Funds spent by federal agencies are, by law, federal funds.  The claim that under these bills, a federal agency would use "private funds" to subsidize abortions is absurd on its face -- a political hoax.

In addition, the Baucus bill provides $6 billion in federal funds for the establishment of health insurance cooperatives, without any limitation on the use of these funds to pay for abortions or to subsidize plans that pay for elective abortions.

In addition, the Baucus bill contains language that would allow the federal government to declare abortion to be a "mandated benefit as part of a minimum benefits package" in any circumstances in which the federal Medicaid program could pay for an abortion.  Currently, the federal Medicaid program pays for abortion only in three limited circumstances:  to save the life of the mother, or in cases of rape or incest.  But that limitation depends on language, the Hyde Amendment, that expires every September 30, and that must be renewed annually as part of the Health and Human Services appropriations bill.  Under the Baucus language, if one house of Congress, and/or the President, blocked renewal of the Hyde Amendment, many private insurance plans could be forced to include abortion on demand as a mandatory benefit in the minimum benefits package.  This would be another major departure from the status quo.  (Currently, only 13 percent of all abortions are billed directly to private insurance, according to the Guttmacher Institute.)

 

HEALTH CARE RATIONING

 

In addition to the abortion funding provisions described above, the bill also contains important elements that would greatly impact the ability of patients to receive unrationed medical care.  The following statement may be attributed to David N. O'Steen, Ph.D., NRLC executive director:

With respect to rationing, the proposal contains a Medicare provision that, beginning in 2015, would severely financially penalize physicians who are in the top 10% of medical resource use.  This provision does not link funding to outcomes or quality; instead, it will force a "race to the bottom" with relentless pressure on doctors to limit health care for their older patients.  On top of the significant Medicare cuts in the bill, this will gravely endanger the lives of America's senior citizens.

The bill does contain language to prevent the use of comparative effectiveness analysis in a manner that would discriminatorily deny treatment because of age, disability, or terminal illness; however, this language would not affect the financial incentive to ration care as described above.

There are other places in the bill where the Secretary of Health and Human Services is given discretion to regulate the treatment that healthcare providers can give to their patients.  NRLC will continue to review the bill and provide further analysis.  

 

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The National Right to Life Committee is the nation’s largest pro-life group with affiliates in all 50 states and over 3,000 local chapters nationwide.  National Right to Life works through legislation and education to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and assisted suicide.

 

 

Thursday
Sep172009

WNO - Video: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Calls For A New Health Care Bill 

*** WNO SOUNDBITE ADVISORY ***

Video: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) Calls For A New Health Care Bill

 

"The American people don't want to hear another speech. They want to see another plan. A plan that builds on the strength of our private health insurance economy, not that sets us on a pathway to government takeover."

 

Who: Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN)

What: Exclusive interview regarding health care and the 9-12 March On Washington.

 

Pence Soundbite #1: The American People Want Limited Government.

"I think there is a gathering wave of public opinion that is saying enough is enough. We need to have a government that lives within our means again, that practices the limited government principles that have been enshrined in the constitution of the United States."

 

Pence Soundbite 2: There Is No Bipartisanship On Health Care.

"What we've seen despite the bipartisan rhetoric is really the heavy hand of an administration and Democrat leadership that have been driving for more borrowing, more spending, more bailouts and more takeovers. I think the American people are now registering their strong opposition to that path."

 

Length of Full Interview: 1:57

Click for full video file: http://washingtonnewsobserver.com/?p=162

 

Thursday
Sep172009

WNO - Video: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Calls For Bipartisanship On Health Care 

*** WNO SOUNDBITE ADVISORY ***

 

Video: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Calls For Bipartisanship On Health Care

 

"I would tell the President that it would truly be my hope, that on the issue of health care, that we would come together and work in a bipartisan manner for the good of the country and for the future of our children and precious grandchildren. Let us reduce, actually reduce, what the federal government is spending and begin to get our fiscal house in order."

 

Who: Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)

What: Exclusive interview regarding health care and the 9-12 March On Washington.

 

Blackburn Soundbite #1: 9-12 Crowd Calls For Reduced Spending

 

"I think that this crowd is absolutely fantastic. I mean, a million people that bring a message to Washington that you spend too much, that you need to get your fiscal house in order, that we are tired of government having first right of refusal to our paychecks. I think this is fantastic."

 

Balckburn Soundbite 2: Asks People To Know What Is In The Bills

 

"I like to say that we are the party of know, K.N.O.W. Know what is in all of these bills."

 

Length of Full Interview: 2:23

Click for full video file: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbatjQOFn_c

Thursday
Sep172009

Daily News from the Veterans Today Network 

Special Report

AFGHAN AMBUSH TELLS STORY OF LESSONS NOT LEARNED

by Gordon Duff, Staff Writer

MARINES SUFFER FROM POOR SUPPORT AND PLANNING
MORE LIVES LOST
When confronted with a real problem, not one solved with tea bags or whining, it may be time for real finger pointing.  We lost troops this week because of poor intelligence and lack of support. 
Deja Vu Vietnam all over again. 
With the endless hours of TV telling us about the air campaign in Vietnam, those fighting on the ground might as well be serving with Alexander or Napoleon as far as air power goes. The same thing goes for intelligence. 

 

Read More >

 

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Reduce Combat Deaths by 20% Now! Implement Tactical Combat Causality Care (TCCC)   
President Obama to Award Medal of Honor to Sergeant First Class Jared C. Monti   
Our Government within our Government Wants War to Continue. Bush years Saw NO Growth in Wealth for Average Americans

 

Thursday
Sep172009

Effectivepolicy.org - CONGRESSIONAL INTRODUCTION OF THE CONSTITUTION & CITIZENSHIP DAY ACT OF 2009 

CONGRESSMAN ELIJAH CUMMINGS (MD-7) TO INTRODUCE THE CONSTITUTION AND CITIZENSHIP DAY ACT OF 2009 TO THE 111TH CONGRESS ON SEPTEMBER 17, 2009

 

Washington, DC, September 16, 2009 – Congressman Elijah Cummings' Office with the assistance of the Center for Effective Policy in Government and have been working to draft and introduce 'The Constitution and Citizenship Day Act of 2009'.  On Constitution Day of each year (September 17th), this piece of legislation will provide public and charter high schools with an incentive to expose students to the importance of the Constitution through coordinated assemblies and/or events, as well as to distribute and collect voter registration forms from eligible students of those schools pursuant to state law.

 

This federal legislation will have a generational effect on the civic education of public school students across the country, and it will ultimately lead to a vast overall expansion of our nation's electorate. This bill is patterned after SB 128, a successful piece of state legislation passed and signed into law in Maryland in 2007 under the same name. Since the passage of the state measure, the Maryland Board of Elections, between the 2006 and 2008 electoral cycles cites a 90% increase in voter registration of 17 and 18 year old new voter applicants in the state.

 

Organizations and elected officials such as Common Cause, Democracy Matters, The Washington Metropolitan Council AFL-CIO, Hip Hop Caucus, the Student Association for Voter Empowerment, Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley, co-sponsors Congressmen Kendrick Meek, (FL-17); Charles Rangel, (NY-15); John Conyers,  (MI-14); Eleanor Holmes-Norton, (DC); Maxine Waters, (CA-35); Diane Watson, (CA-33); Donald Payne, (NJ-10); Melvin Watt (NC-12); Andre Carson, (IN-7) all have formally endorsed this important piece of federal legislation that will assist new young voters in becoming fully aware of the document that binds us all in a democratic union and their responsibility within the political process is legislation long overdue.

 

CoSponsor Letter

Bill Details