Obama Continues Saying Pro-Life Advocates Lying About Health Care, Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
August 23, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama continues saying he thinks pro-life advocates are lying about the abortion funding, coverage, and rationing components of the health care bills Congress is considering.
Obama said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address that pro-life advocates are making "phony claims" about the legislation.
He said the discussion of the government-run health care plans should be an honest debate, not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions, spread by the very folks who would benefit the most by keeping things exactly as they are."
Obama said: "Some are also saying that coverage for abortions would be mandated under reform. Also false. When it comes to the current ban on using tax dollars for abortions, nothing will change under reform."
Obama also attacked pro-life advocates and others who are concerned about the rationing components found in the health care bills.
"And as every credible person who has looked into it has said, there are no so-called ‘death panels’ an offensive notion to me and to the American people. These are phony claims meant to divide us," he said.
However, Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee, has repeatedly explained how the Capps amendment the House Energy and Commerce Committee adopted in its version of the health care plan made it so HR 3200 "explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions."
"Obama apparently seeks to hide behind a technical distinction between tax funds and government-collected premiums. But these are merely two types of public funds, collected and spent by government agencies," he explained.
"The Obama-backed legislation makes it explicitly clear that no citizen would be allowed to enroll in the government plan unless he or she is willing to give the federal agency an extra amount calculated to cover the cost of all elective abortions — this would not be optional," Johnson told LifeNews.com. "The abortionists would bill the federal government and would be paid by the federal government. These are public funds, and this is government funding of abortion."
The Senate, as have the House committee’s considering the bill, have all rejected every amendment offered by pro-life advocates to stop any abortion funding or insurance mandates for abortions in the bill.
When it comes to rationing concerns, Charles Lane, a member of the editorial board of the liberal Washington Post newspaper, has explained how the House bill does give doctors financial incentive to push assisted suicide or rationing.
"Section 1233, however, lets doctors initiate the chat and gives them an incentive — money — to do so. Indeed, that’s an incentive to insist," he has written.
"Patients may refuse without penalty, but many will bow to white-coated authority. Once they’re in the meeting, the bill does permit ‘formulation’ of a plug-pulling order right then and there," Lane explains.
"What’s more, Section 1233 dictates, at some length, the content of the consultation," Lane continues.
Also, the Senate HELP Committee this summer defeated a pro-life amendment that would help stop the rationing of health care in the Kennedy restructuring bill. The amendment concerned the section on comparative effectiveness research, which pro-life advocates say prompt euthanasia concerns.
Critics say the section would allow the government to create an arbitrary means to determining when medical treatments are allowed or could receive government funding.
Sen. Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, sponsored a pair of amendments to curb the problem but they were defeated during the HELP Committee markup of the Kennedy bill by a party-line vote.
"President Obama promised that under his health reform proposal, every American who had coverage that they liked could keep it. This bill fails to deliver on that promise," Enzi said.
Enzi said the provisions in the bill "provide the government with an unprecedented role in the doctor-patient relationship. Government bureaucracy will end up dictating the treatment that we can and cannot have, and the result will be a delay and a denial of health care services."
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