Ask About Health Care, Abortion, Rationing During August Congressional Recess

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 30, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Ask About Health Care, Abortion, Rationing During August Congressional Recess

by Gary Bauer
July 30, 2009

LifeNews.com Note: Gary Bauer is the president of American Values, a national pro-family organization and is the former president of the Family Research Council. Bauer ran for the Republican nomination for president and appears frequently on radio and television programs. This editorial is adapted from a longer column LifeNews.com received via email.

It’s been a very busy time here in Washington. Fighting socialized healthcare has dominated our work in recent days. In fact, we’ve published more than a dozen items on the topic in this daily report in the past two weeks.

We were able to stop the march of Big Government socialism for a while. But with news that the “moderate” Blue Dog Democrats have cut a deal with liberal House leaders, ObamaCare is on the move once again.

The battlefield now shifts from Capitol Hill to each congressional district, and we’re calling in reinforcements — you.

Yesterday, President Obama conceded that there probably won’t be a vote on healthcare reform until “the end of September or the middle of October.”

That means you have August to attend town hall meetings with your representative and senators, stop by their congressional offices, write letters to the editor and educate your friends and family members about the dangers of socialized medicine.

To help you in that effort, we’ve produced a short list of key concerns and questions, which are copied below. Please share this report with like-minded folks and those who may be undecided and willing to listen. Thank you for everything you do to defend our shared values in your community.

Abortion

Pro-choice groups, like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, are demanding that abortion be covered in any healthcare reform bill.

In a recent interview with Politico, Laurie Rubiner, vice president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood, defends this demand by saying, “the alternative would be slashing benefits for millions of women who currently have [private] coverage for abortions…”

In addition, key administration officials refuse to rule out abortion coverage. When asked on Fox News Sunday whether taxpayer money would go to pay for abortions, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag replied, “I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”

Pro-life senators on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee forced a roll call vote on the issue when Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) attempted to add an amendment to the healthcare bill that would, in her words, “include women’s health clinics that provide comprehensive services … deemed medically necessary or appropriate.”

She admitted that such “health clinics” would include Planned Parenthood. The pro-life amendment to prohibit funding of abortion lost 11-to-12.

Question for your Congressmen: Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that uses my tax dollars to pay for abortions?

Euthanasia

In a recent New York Post column, Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and health care expert, wrote:

“One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’ This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care.”

Question for your Congressmen: Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that in any way promotes euthanasia?

Rationing Care

According to a July 15th report by The Hill, “The House bill would be paid for by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts…” These “cuts” would come as millions of Americans are retiring. Logic suggests that if we are “cutting” hundreds of billions of dollars healthcare would have to be limited or rationed in someway to accommodate more people. And seniors would be most affected by Medicare cuts.

In addition, advisors to President Obama, such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have suggested that healthcare should be rationed to certain individuals.

Dr. Emanuel once wrote that “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens … should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.”

Question for your Congressmen: How can government promise to do more with less? Will you oppose any healthcare reform bill that in any way limits my access to healthcare or medicines recommended by my doctor?

American healthcare is better than that in European countries with socialized medicine.

The German breast cancer mortality rate is 52% higher than in the United States. Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in the United Kingdom and 457% higher in Norway than in the United States.

Canadian healthcare lags behind the United States too. Canadian patients wait twice as long to see a specialist for hip surgery or cancer than we do in the United States. Most Americans say they are satisfied with the U.S. health care system, but more than 70% of Germans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Britons say that their systems need “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.” (Source: National Center for Policy Analysis.)

In an editorial on July 26th, the Washington Post criticized President Obama for not “leveling about the consequences of change” when it comes to healthcare costs versus quality.

Here’s what the Post wrote: “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that new technology accounts for about half the increase in health-care costs over the past several decades. This, for the most part, is a good thing. Adjusted for inflation, health-care spending per person is six times what it was 40 years ago. But no one today would settle for 1960s-style medicine.”

Question for your Congressmen: Why are you trying to force us in the direction of more government involvement in healthcare when everywhere government-run healthcare has been tried, quality declines and care is rationed?

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