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Posts Tagged ‘ObamaCare’

Many conservatives have been deeply disappointed by House Speaker John Boehner’s spending compromise late in the night of April 8 with Sen. Harry Reid and Pres. Obama. But, as Michael Barone points out in his piece for the Washington Examiner, the deal ain’t all bad:

Speaker John Boehner was criticized by some on the right for not pressing for deeper and more permanent cuts in spending than the $38 billion he claimed. But the deal nonetheless passed both houses by wide margins, and it contains some details that threaten to undermine the policies of the Obama Democrats in the future.

Most important, it requires the General Accountability Office to conduct an audit of the waivers from the Democrats’ health care bill that are being issued in large numbers by the secretary of Health and Human Services Department.

This will raise an uncomfortable question. If Obamacare is so great, why are so many trying to get out from under it? And, more specifically, why are so many Democratic groups trying to get out from under it?

The fact is that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has granted more than 1,000 waivers from Obamacare. Many have been granted to labor unions. Some have been granted to giant corporations like McDonald’s. One was granted to the entire state of Maine.

By what criteria is this relief being granted? That’s unclear, and the GAO audit should produce some answers. But what it looks like to an outsider is that waivers are being granted to constituencies that have coughed up money (or in the case of Maine, four electoral votes) to the Democrats.

Rep. Michele Bachmann was the first to call the Obama regime "gangster government" -- and has led the way in exposing and fighting against Obamacare.

If so, what we’re looking at is another example of gangster government in this administration. The law in its majesty applies to everyone except those who get special favors.

The GAO has also been ordered to produce audits on the effect of Obamacare on health insurance premiums. This is likely to reveal that the president did not keep his promise that you could keep your current health insurance if you want to.

And there will be an audit of the comparative effectiveness bureaucracy established in the 2009 stimulus package. Comparative effectiveness is supposedly an objective study of which medical techniques are most effective. But anyone who looks closely finds that the experts are constantly changing their minds, which suggests that this is more alchemy than science — and maybe political favoritism as well.

Not to mention that those “experts” — unelected Obama/Sebelius appointees unconfirmed by Congress and unaccountable to us citizens — will be tasked with cutting half a trillion dollars out of Medicare expenditures. Meaning: Bye-bye, grandma, take two Tylenols and shove off.

The audits that are mandated in the Boehner compromise could prove to be a very powerful weapon for us in the battle to take down Obamacare.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

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…and death panels are ghoulish. I have always said Barack Obama is a monster. If you can think of a more charitable term, go ahead and post it in the comments. For me, “monster” is cutting him a lot of slack.

From Erick Erickson at RedState:

While everyone else was focused on Barack Obama bashing Paul Ryan, I noticed that he took full ownership of death panels yesterday [in his speech on the budget]. Naturally, Obama did not call them death panels. He called them “an independent commission of doctors, nurses, medical experts and consumers.” But his description hits dead on with what his death panels will do.

According to Barack Obama yesterday, the death panels “will look at all the evidence and recommend the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending while protecting access to the services seniors need.”

We already know what they’ll recommend as “the best ways to reduce unnecessary spending”. Barack Obama’s own advisers have told us. They will prioritize giving health care to healthier people and let sicker people die. At end of life, they will deny people life sustaining treatment because, after all, they’re going to die anyway. Note his phrasing: “protecting access to the services seniors need.” Dying people, according to Obama’s advisers, need hospice not hope. They certainly do not need expensive treatments that may buy them time to see the birth of a new grandchild or other reasons.

“We will change the way we pay for health care – not by procedure or the number of days spent in a hospital, but with new incentives for doctors and hospitals to prevent injuries and improve results. . . . If we’re wrong, and Medicare costs rise faster than we expect, this approach will give the independent commission the authority to make additional savings by further improving Medicare,” Obama said. At a time Democrats are saying Republicans want to starve old people to death, Democrats are intent on embracing a cost savings model for Medicare that incentivizes doctors to encourage people to die and, when all else fails, gives a death panel “the authority to make additional savings by” ensuring the dying elderly die quickly.

“Our approach lowers the government’s health care bills by reducing the cost of health care itself,” Obama said. Really? The only way that will happen is by rationing. You may not like the use of the phrase “death panel,” but make no mistake about it — at the end of your life, in Barack Obama’s America, his death panel will throw you under the bus in a way much closer to reality than metaphor.

Can anyone say they’re surprised? Obama is, after all, a man who eagerly throws newborn babies under the bus. The man is pitiless. But unbelievably — even for him — he had the damn gall to accuse Republicans of leaving Down syndrome children out in the cold! Barack Obama prefers to leave them in hospital dirty-linen closets to die of exposure, suffocation and dehydration. Obama’s “Science Czar,” John Holdren, would have every one of those babies killed, if he had his way, along with millions of other “surplus” babies who are cluttering up the planet — even if the government has to force women to have abortions against their will, as in China.

But again, who’s surprised? Obama and his closest buddies — Bill Ayers, Van Jones, Anita Dunn — are all admirers of Mao Tse-Tung, who killed 40,000,000 human beings. Life is cheap with this crowd.

Resist, resist, resist.

In the words of the Manhattan Declaration of Christian Conscience (which I have signed, and I hope you have, too), “Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good,… We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”

Obamao, you’ve been put on notice.

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“Public option.” “Individual mandate.” “State insurance exchanges.” Blah, blah, blah. Does anyone seriously doubt that the crazy, unworkable, half-private, half-government system of Obamacare is anything other than a way to put private insurance companies out of business so that eventually we will all be forced into a single-payer government system (i.e., socialized medicine)?

If there are still any doubters out there, they should listen to the socialists’ own words:

 

Britain’s single-payer National Health Service gives us a scary preview of the kind of things we’ll see in America if we don’t repeal Obamacare: everything from less technological innovation to lower cancer survival rates to reduced access to treatment for chronic diseases.

But that’s not all. Wesley Smith, at his Secondhand Smoke blog, writes:

Not only are there terrible waits for care, but less-sick people are often given priority in the daily surgery over those in more immediate need to meet bureaucratically imposed checklists. From the [Telegraph] story:

The most seriously ill patients in the NHS have become the victims of “neglect” as surgeons are forced to focus on hitting waiting-list targets for pre-planned operations, leading emergency doctors warn. In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons, the College of Emergency Medicine and other leading medical associations call on [government] ministers to redress the balance to ensure that such patients receive “the highest levels of supportive care”.

They argue that while the NHS has succeeded in reducing waiting times for pre-planned operations in recent years, this has come “at the cost of relative neglect of the needs of the patients admitted as emergencies”. Often, those in greatest need are having their surgery “squeezed in at the end of the day”, they say. “Surgeons know the service could be much better,” they write. Cutting waiting times became a priority for the NHS after Labour came to power in 1997 with a pledge to take 100,000 patients off the waiting lists..

In today’s letter, the doctors write: “In many surgical departments the on-call team is not freed from other commitments and has elective operating lists and clinics, leaving emergency patients to be squeezed in at the end of the day.” In addition, such patients are often sent to “inappropriate wards” where their needs cannot be properly met.

All of which just goes to prove the adage:
To err is human; to really foul things up requires a bureaucracy.

Obamacare is creating 159 new offices, agencies and programs.

Only one thing to do: REPEAL IT!

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We predicted this would happen. One of the most offensive elements of ObamaCare has been the lack of conscience protections for medical professionals. Those of us who raised the issue all through 2009 were repeatedly told, essentially, not to worry our pretty little heads about it.

Well, we were correct all along. The Obama administration is indeed rolling back medical conscience protections. It’s par for the course in the Obama administration’s strategy of blitzing us with regulations to impose things that Congress would never consent to. Catholic News Agency reports:

President Obama’s Secretary for Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, issued new regulations on Feb. 17, canceling out numerous conscience protections for health care workers who have moral or religious objections to certain procedures. The new rules claim to leave in place the protections for health care providers who oppose abortion and sterilization.

However, they remove many other protections for caregivers, including those who are morally opposed to providing services such as in vitro fertilization, contraception – including chemical contraceptives that can cause an abortion – and facilitating sexual practices they consider wrong.

Another problem area could be assisted suicide, in the states that have legalized it. Christian and other pro-life nurses, pharmacists and other health workers could be forced to make a choice between abetting the killing or being fired from their jobs.

From Down on the Pharm:

Obama has returned the situation to its previous state:  toothless conscience legislation, nearly unenforceable because unemployed health care professionals usually lack funds to bring civil redress when incidents of discrimination occur. Also, what remains of “protection” will only apply to what is obviously recognized as abortion to a layman, and sterilization.  Objection to chemical abortions at the early stages of human development, and use of various biotech medical devices, unethically derived drugs, vaccines, transplants, implants (from killed humans) will not be covered.

Actually the situation is worse than it was previously, as the department of Health and Human Services [under Kathleen Sebelius] has utterly no interest in hearing or cataloging incidents of discrimination.

Among the hardest hit by the new regulations may be pharmacists, many of whom have been fired for their refusal to fill prescriptions for abortifacient forms of birth control. CNA continues:

For this reason, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops had praised the previous [2008] rule… saying it clarified many “undefined terms” that [had] allowed state and local governments to  “attack conscience rights as though they do not exist.”

With those “much-needed” rules and clarifications gone, Catholic [and other pro-life] hospitals and health care workers may find themselves facing difficult situations without explicit protections.

Sebelius pointed out that her department would still be willing to receive and consider their complaints.

The portion of the 2008 rule that enables the Office for Civil Rights to investigate complaints from conscientious medical objectors is “being retained,” she said.

“Under this Final Rule,” she offered, “health care providers who believe their rights were violated will now be able to file a complaint with the Department’s Office for Civil Rights in order to seek enforcement of those rights.”

In other words, after you’ve been fired from your job, then you can file a complaint. Much good may it do you!

The Catholic Medical Association had this to say about the new regulation:

HHS’s promises to review complaints submitted to the Office of Civil Rights and to provide education on respect for conscience rights ring hollow in light of their decision to cut out the very definitions and tools to achieve these ends contained in the original [Bush-era] Rule.

Since the action of HHS does not provide the strong and clear protection that health care providers need, the CMA calls upon Congress and all people of good will to work to provide meaningful protections of this most fundamental human and civil right.

The CMA said that it will be issuing additional statements on the HHS Final Rule following further legal analysis.

Dr. J. Scott Ries of the 16,000-member Christian Medical and Dental Association said the rule change touched on areas of “critical concern for pro-life patients, healthcare professionals and institutions.”

“The administration has made changes in a vital civil rights regulation without evidence or justification,” Dr. Ries said. He criticized the regulatory action as a move that “diminishes the civil rights that protect conscientious physicians and other healthcare professionals against discrimination.

[boldface mine — because we really do need to get across to people that this is a civil rights issue!]

The Heritage Foundation’s blog, The Foundry, has the most thorough analysis of the new regulations and what they will mean for everyone in the medical field.

This is precisely the kind of issue the drafters of the Manhattan Declaration of Christian Conscience had in mind. Have you signed it yet? Go here if you haven’t.

Remember those three core values in the declaration?  This latest attack by the Obama Administration violates two of the three — the same two, actually, that were ranked highest by America’s Founders and Framers. The Declaration of Independence affirms as inalienable the rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Note which one comes first — for obvious reasons.

And in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, the very first of the five freedoms that are held to be sacred is the freedom of religion — again, for obvious reasons; freedom of conscience is basic to all other freedoms. If the government has the power even to force a person to violate their own conscience, what power does it not have?

Looks like this could be where the rubber meets the road.

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