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Action Items for your consideration

Please use the resources mentioned on this blog to

-- educate yourself,

-- inform your legislators of how to act upon the proposed health care legislation, and

-- motivate others (especially those in states with legislators who might be able to be persuaded to vote appropriately).

and be sure to PRAY - first, last, and throughout the process! Especially now as the various health care bills make their way to the floor of the Senate and the floor of the House.

Keep the Mandate Out

August 20, 2009

Spread this one around to as many people as you can . . .

 

See also the Web site of the makers of that video: http://www.StopTheAbortionMandate.com

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Multiple Meanings

August 19, 2009

Here’s a link  http://woman.catholicexchange.com/2009/08/17/1989/ to an article that I thought was going to be about a completely different topic than what it is. The title (“Why August Matters“) seemed to refer to the August recess that legislators have, and the need to talk with them about health care legislation before they reconvene on September 8th.

I was pleasantly surprised by the topic that the article actually discusses, and think that maybe there are some of you who know someone whom you can invite to take a closer look at what the Catholic Church offers. Is Jesus calling you to speak to someone whom He is calling?

Every Life Matters!

August 19, 2009

For now, am just putting the link. Hope to put excerpt in the future.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081705.html

Health Care Notes 090819

August 19, 2009

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by all the information out there about the health care legislation. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t possibly keep track of all of it for you, but can now-and-then show you some of what you might not have run into on your own.

Thanks to two emails that a friend forwarded to me, I found several points of interest to share with you:

 

First is a video of a Congressman at one of the hearings:

 

The second email included the following article (with a reference for the original posting of the article at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/08/12/disagreement-distraction-dishonesty/):

Ken Blackwell,   FOXNews.com,   August 12, 2009

Disagreement, Distraction, and Dishonesty

Americans with serious and well-thought out objections to the health care takeover proposed by our representative government should not be demonized by national leaders as Nazis or sneered at as being too well dressed.

 

The late Richard John Neuhaus used to say that disagreement is an achievement. He was speaking about the basis for democracy, for the fact that when we disagree, we are at least speaking to one another and engaging in a civil discourse -not in a violent clash.

That kind of disagreement is the hallmark of a free society. It’s what enables us all to cheer when the 101-gun salute that signals a peaceful change of administration is fired near the Capitol on Inauguration Day. In all too many countries, the 101 guns are fired at the Capitol.

We are in danger of not achieving Rev. Neuhaus’ kind of disagreement about health care. Nobody should mob Members of Congress or shout them down. By the same token, Americans with serious and well-thought out objections to the health care takeover proposed by our representative government should not be demonized by national leaders as Nazis or sneered at as being too well dressed.

 

It does not help to have President Obama dismiss legitimate concerns about taxpayers being forced to pay for abortion-on-demand through his health care plan. Asked by Katie Couric about federally-funded abortion in his health proposal, Mr. Obama indicated he didn’t want to “get distracted by the abortion debate…” The 3,000 unborn children aborted daily are a “distraction?”

Family Research Council has offered abundant evidence that unless abortion is specifically ruled out, it’s ruled in. The argument that the word “abortion” does not appear in the bill, and is therefore not part of Obama’s plan, is specious and absurd. As FRC’s Tom McClusky points out, you won’t find “tonsillectomy” in there, either, but no one doubts that it is a covered procedure. You can read powerful proof that abortion is in there in Tony Perkins’ Washington Update here: http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=WA09H17#WA09H17

Members of religious groups who deny abortion is in the Obama proposal are risking their credibility. What would become of them if their supporters, believing their denials, were confronted with the hard reality of taxpayer-funded abortions should Obama’s plan become law?

President Obama has a habit of downplaying the importance of this question. When asked by Pastor Rick Warren last summer when an unborn child is entitled to human rights, Obama airily dismissed the question saying the answer was “above my pay grade.” It was as if the fate of 1,200,000 human beings killed each year was not a matter worthy of serious moral consideration. Now, he is making decisions that affect the very existence of those lives directly – whatever he thinks his pay grade is.

Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius was the most pro-abortion governor in U.S. history. Today she is President Obama’s choice to lead the agency that would supervise the health care takeover. She is now below the President’s pay grade. Yet she would be empowered to mandate abortion coverage under versions of the health care bill making their way through Congress. Can anyone seriously doubt which way she or her aides would come down on abortion?

Planned Parenthood -or, as I prefer to call them, Planned Anti-Parenthood — is tying itself in knots trying to deny that abortion is in the health care bills, while still keeping the support of pro-abortion zealots who won’t back the plan unless it provides for abortion funding.

The late Lawrence Lader, the co-founder of NARAL, said: “Abortion is central to everything in life and how we want to live it.” Such people are not going to be happy that their champion, Barack Obama, is calling their version of reproductive rights “a distraction.”

 

Why can’t we have honesty in this debate? Why can’t those who–like Lader, like Planned Anti-Parenthood — profit from abortion and who think abortion is good and right and necessary stand up and make their case for its being included fully and comprehensively in nationalized health care?

I will disagree with them. My friends and I will oppose coverage for abortion-on-demand. But at least that disagreement-as the late Rev. Neuhaus said -will be an achievement. At least then we could work against dishonesty in this debate.

Then we can have a candid discussion about those whom Mr. Obama considers a distraction, the little ones who nestle in their mothers’ wombs, waiting to be welcomed into life.

Quick List 090817

August 17, 2009

http://www.lifenews.com/nat5350.html

http://www.lifenews.com/nat5359.html

http://www.lifenews.com/bio2921.html

http://www.lifenews.com/int1295.html

http://www.lifenews.com/state4350.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081403.html

excerpts:

As calls for protection against abortion in President Obama’s health care legislation fall on deaf ears, Planned Parenthood (PP) has made no secret of its continued communications with the White House on its interest in ensuring that “reproductive health” plays a central role in the final version of the legislation.

“Just left the White House meeting on women’s health care – they appreciate all the mighty PP supporters speaking up for reform in the states!” wrote Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards on her Facebook and Twitter accounts Wednesday afternoon.

. . .

As Family Research Council president Tony Perkins has pointed out, Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, stands to gain substantially if the legislation includes them as an “essential community provider.” Insurance providers, in order to be certified, would be required to contract with Planned Parenthood under that designation.

During a meeting of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee last month, when pro-life Senator Orrin Hatch expressed concern that Planned Parenthood would be included in the bill, Sen. Barbara Mikulski admitted that Planned Parenthood was slated for “essential community provider” status.

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081404.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/aug/09081406.html

excerpt:

“From a religious freedom standpoint, you don’t have religious freedom,” he said. Thierfelder stressed, however, that the college has “gotten a lot of support from people who are not Catholic, and who may not share our beliefs on abortion, sterilization, contraception…they see the principle and what they’re saying is, ‘Belmont Abbey College is not trying to tell anybody what they have to do, it’s just saying what Belmont Abbey College will do.’ And I think that’s an important distinction.”

“To try to make us change [our beliefs], there’s something very wrong with that,” he continued. “And I think that’s why this has garnered so much attention, and especially with the health care debates that are going on right now, and with all the things that are going on with Catholic hospitals … what they are basically saying is, if you’re Catholic, or if you are of any faith, it doesn’t mean anything. You’re going to do what the government tells you to do.”

Thierfelder acknowledged that the fight could go to the courts, and emphasized that BAC officials were united in maintaining fidelity to Catholic Church teaching against pressure from the government.

All of us need to have moral courage in today’s world,” he said. “We are so resolute in our commitment to the teachings of the Catholic Church that there is no possible way we would ever deviate from it, and if it came down to it … we would close the school rather than give in.

“So it is absolute, unequivocal, impossible for us to go against the teachings of the Catholic Church in any way. There is no form of compromise that is possible.”

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 http://catholicexchange.com/2009/08/12/121137/:

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: http://www.aul.org/FOCAbyStealthTimelin.

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 http://www.keepabortionoutofhealthcare.com/. There are other sites, too, but that one might be the most helpful.

 

Remember also to check  http://stoptheabortionmandate.com/ 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 http://www.usccb.org/healthcare/ (as noted in a news release dated today: http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-170.shtml). You can read the newest letter to Congress (from Cardinal Rigali) dated August 11: http://www.usccb.org/prolife/CardRigaliHealthCareReformLetter-08-11-09.pdf.  See also the newest version of the action alert at www.nchla.org.

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

Read One Proposed Health Care Bill

August 10, 2009

http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=111_cong_bills&docid=f:h3200ih.txt.pdf

That is the “GPO – Government Printing Office” site with a pdf version of  one of the proposed health care bills.

 

Here is a link to some points that you may want to investigate for your own understanding:

http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=14102&AlertID=1015 has link to pdf and html versions of the notes

http://www.lc.org/media/9980/attachments/healthcare_overview_obama_072909.pdf

http://www.lc.org/index.cfm?PID=19319

 

There are other places to find notes about the bill. But for now I’ve located that one spot. Haven’t studied what it says. Please let me know if you find anything in error.

 

Here’s a link to somewhere else with some analysis of the proposed legislation:

http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/articles.cfm?id=337