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Health Care Notes

August 14, 2009

There is so much information about this subject! I’m not trying to give a comprehensive view of it all, am just pointing out things here and there.

For example, see this excerpt from

The White House now has a “Reality Check” section on its website that seeks to debunk what it says are myths about the health care bills. Videos on the following subjects are available: rationing, euthanasia, veterans’ care, small business, Medicare and private insurance plans. Noticeably absent is any attempt to say that abortion is not included in these bills. There’s a reason for that—every time an amendment has been introduced to formally exclude abortion, it has been defeated.

If you weren’t already convinced that the intention is to include abortion among the “basic” health care services, maybe that paragraph will give you reason to think again.

Here’s another place to look for information about the apparent goals of the current administration:

The following portion of that timeline provides details supporting the paragraph quoted earlier in this post:

June 17, 2009 — The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (“HELP”) Committee begins a 12- day mark-up of the “Affordable Health Choices Act” (“HELP bill”), which is not formally introduced in the Senate. The HELP bill, along with other health care reform proposals, subsidizes and mandates coverage of abortion.

Over the course of the mark-up, pro-life amendments are defeated, including

(1) Senator Mike Enzi’s (R-WY) amendments that would have prevented taxpayer funding of abortion and would prevent abortion clinics from being eligible for federally qualified health center grants;

(2) Senator Orin Hatch’s (R-UT) amendments that would have prevented tax-funded abortions unless the life of the mother is endangered or unless the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest (making the Hyde Amendment permanent);

(3) Senator Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) amendments that would have ensured no abortion mandates, prevented abortion clinics from being eligible for federally qualified health center grants, prevented the invalidation of state laws that regulate abortion, codified the Hyde/Weldon conscience protection law, and ensured that Americans have professional ethicists informing any Government-funded medical decisions; and

(4) Senator Pat Roberts’ (R-KS) amendment which would have prevented the invalidation of state laws regulating abortion.

Notice that some of those senators submitted multiple amendments, which were all defeated.

In that same timeline, we see an example of what happened in the House of Representatives:

July 30, 2009 — During the House Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up, an amendment offered by Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Bart Stupak (D-MI) to H.R. 3200 is defeated by a vote of 30-29. The Pitts-Stupak amendment would have excluded abortion from the required basic benefits that any government or private plan must offer, with an exception for cases involving a danger to the mother’s life, rape, or incest.

Now let’s look at other places in the timeline for examples of amendments that DID pass:

July 9, 2009 — Senator Barbara Mikulski’s (D-MD) amendment is added to the HELP bill which requires insurers to cover “essential community providers . . . that serve predominantly low-income, medically under-served individuals,” which would include Planned Parenthood.

July 13, 2009 — Senator Edward Kennedy’s (D-MA) amendment is added to the HELP bill which provides that no healthcare provider or entity may be excluded from contracting with an insurance plan participating in “the Gateway” (the HELP bill’s healthcare exchange framework) on the basis that the provider or entity refuses to perform abortions if performing abortions would be contrary to their religious or moral believes. However, the Kennedy amendment does not cover providers who refuse to pay for or refer patients for abortions. It also includes a broad, undefined “cases of emergency” exception.

July 30, 2009 — During the House Energy and Commerce Committee mark-up, an amendment by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) to H.R. 3200 passes by a vote of 30-28. The Capps amendment prohibits the “Health Benefits Advisory Committee,” created by H.R. 3200, from mandating coverage of abortion. However, the Capps amendment permits the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to include abortion in the services offered by public option and requires abortion coverage in the government health plan if the Hyde amendment is ever reversed. Given Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ pro-abortion stance, she would certainly include abortion as a service offered by a public health plan option, allowing for immediate federal funding of elective abortion coverage through the public plan. The Capps amendment also requires that all areas of the country contain one private plan that covers abortion, and permits taxpayer subsidies of private plans that cover elective abortion.

Please be sure to use the resources at There are other sites, too, but that one might be the most helpful.


Remember also to check where there’s an “August Recess Action Toolkit“!  This afternoon I called the U.S. Capital Switchboard to learn for certain what date the legislators are due back in Washington, DC. The operator told me that both the Senate and the House are due back on Tuesday, September 8, the day after Labor Day. (For Catholics, that day is commemorated as the birthday of Mary, the mother of Jesus, so we can ask for her intercession a special way on that day.) That leaves 24 days (including weekends and the holiday) to try reaching your legislators in their home districts. No one knows how quickly the various bills will move when the Congress reconvenes, so please don’t delay in spreading the word before it’s too late to affect the outcome.

At last, the USCCB has a special site about health care! Apparently it debuts today at (as noted in a news release dated today: You can read the newest letter to Congress (from Cardinal Rigali) dated August 11:  See also the newest version of the action alert at

And certainly don’t forget the importance of prayer! See one example of united prayer at Of course, there are plenty of other ways to offer your prayers, too.

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