Democrats introduce amendment to allow taxpayer funding for abortions

Story from the Weekly Standard. (H/T Secondhand Smoke via ECM)

Excerpt:

Instead of the Stupak-Pitts amendment [preventing abortion funding in public option], the committee passed an amendment that is being billed by some Democrats as a “common ground” measure on abortion. The amendment–sponsored by Lois Capps (D-Calif.), whose National Right to Life Committee vote-scorecard is 0 for 74–would allow the “public option” to provide coverage for elective abortions and would allow federally subsidized private plans to provide abortion coverage as well. How exactly could this be construed as “common ground”? Congress isn’t requiring the public option to cover abortion–merely allowing it. And through some nifty bookkeeping, abortions will supposedly be paid for out of private funds rather than tax dollars…

Because money is fungible, it’s difficult to say that tax dollars wouldn’t fund abortions through this plan. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee says, “Federal subsidies would also flow to private plans that cover elective abortions, under meaningless bookkeeping schemes — and the amendment actually creates a federal mandate that there must be at least one private abortion plan in each premium rating areas of the health insurance exchange.”

Wesley J. Smith writes:

A health unwanted pregnancy is not an illness. When a woman decides to terminate that pregnancy,  it should be her (and/or the father’s) responsibility, just like elective cosmetic surgery. This turn of events also illustrates how health care reform isn’t just about expanding medical coverage–but about impacting the culture.

When the government provides subsidies for a behavior, the frequency will increase, because the cost is lowered. Therefore, the Democrats are PRO-ABORTION. They want more abortions. They are in favor of killing innocent people. They are in favor of allowing people to kill unborn babies just because they are female (sex-selection abortions). They don’t care about the consciences of pro-life taxpayers – we have to support this, too.

Previously, I explained how Obama is the most pro-abortion President ever.

Additional pro-life resources

Hugo Chavez shuts down 34 radio and TV stations in Venezuela

Story from Reuters, via Fausta’s blog. Obama’s bosom buddy has been busy.

Excerpt:

CARACAS, Aug 1 (Reuters) – More than a dozen of 34 radio stations ordered shut by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday, part of President Hugo Chavez’s drive to extend his socialist revolution to the media.

The association of radio broadcasters said 13 stations had stopped transmitting, following an announcement Friday night by government broadcasting watchdog Conatel that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.

Critics said the crackdown infringed on freedom of speech and that owners were not given the right to a proper defense.

“They’re closing the space for dissidents in Venezuela,” William Echeverria, head of the National Council of Journalists, told RCTV, a private cable TV station, which did not have its broadcasting license renewed in 2007.

Chavez defended the closures, calling them part of the government’s effort to democratize the airwaves.

“We haven’t closed any radio stations, we’ve applied the law,” Chavez said on state television. “We’ve recovered a bunch of stations that were outside the law, that now belong to the people and not the bourgeoisie.”

Chavez supporters say they are waging a “media war” against private news companies and have denounced in recent days what they say is a renewed offensive by privately owned domestic and international media to discredit Venezuela.

The Road to Serfdom. Venezuela is just a little further along the road than we are. For now.

MUST-SEE: Caught on tape: Obama committed to universal health care in 2007!

Found on Newsbusters via Granite Grok, sent to me by the indomitable ECM. (Lots of comments on Hot Air)

Video:

Newsbusters writes:

As President Obama repeatedly tells America that his plan for healthcare reform will not lead to the elimination of private health insurance, statements he made in 2007 and 2003 tell a different story altogether.

In shocking video uncovered by our good friends at Naked Emperor News, Obama, speaking at the SEIU Health Care Forum on March 24, 2007, said, “My commitment is to make sure that we have universal healthcare for all Americans by the end of my first term as President.”

I would hope that we set up a system that allows those who can go through their employer to access a federal system or a state pool of some sort. But I don’t think we’re going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There’s going to potentially some transition process. I can envision a decade out or fifteen years out or 20 out.

The video also features clips of other Democrats advocating for universal, government-run, single-payer health care.

If only the left-wing media had done its job – instead of talking about Sarah Palin’s clothes for 8 weeks – we would have found out about this before the election.

UPDATE: Over in the left-wing stronghold of Oregon, Stop the ACLU (via ECM) reports that a patient can have funding for an assisted suicide, but no funding for actual medical care!

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the natives are getting restless. (H/T ECM)

MUST-READ: How does health care in the USA compare with other countries?

Story from the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, via ECM.

The article compares American health care to health care in other places like Canada, the UK and Europe.

I am particularly interested in prostate cancer rates, because that is a cancer that will necessarily be neglected by states that have single-payer systems. Why, you ask? Because only men get prostate cancer. And in a welfare state where leftist politicians are always catering to their special interest victim groups, men will definitely be discriminated against.

The full article. I almost never cite the full article, but this is a must read.

MEDICINE AND HEALTH:
Here’s a Second Opinion

By Scott W. Atlas

Ten reasons why America’s health care system is in better condition than you might suppose. By Scott W. Atlas.

Medical care in the United States is derided as miserable compared to health care systems in the rest of the developed world. Economists, government officials, insurers, and academics beat the drum for a far larger government role in health care. Much of the public assumes that their arguments are sound because the calls for change are so ubiquitous and the topic so complex. Before we turn to government as the solution, however, we should consider some unheralded facts about America’s health care system.

1. Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers. Breast cancer mortality is 52 percent higher in Germany than in the United States and 88 percent higher in the United Kingdom. Prostate cancer mortality is 604 percent higher in the United Kingdom and 457 percent higher in Norway. The mortality rate for colorectal cancer among British men and women is about 40 percent higher.

2. Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians. Breast cancer mortality in Canada is 9 percent higher than in the United States, prostate cancer is 184 percent higher, and colon cancer among men is about 10 percent higher.

3. Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries. Some 56 percent of Americans who could benefit from statin drugs, which reduce cholesterol and protect against heart disease, are taking them. By comparison, of those patients who could benefit from these drugs, only 36 percent of the Dutch, 29 percent of the Swiss, 26 percent of Germans, 23 percent of Britons, and 17 percent of Italians receive them.

4. Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians. Take the proportion of the appropriate-age population groups who have received recommended tests for breast, cervical, prostate, and colon cancer:

  • Nine out of ten middle-aged American women (89 percent) have had a mammogram, compared to fewer than three-fourths of Canadians (72 percent).
  • Nearly all American women (96 percent) have had a Pap smear, compared to fewer than 90 percent of Canadians.
  • More than half of American men (54 percent) have had a prostatespecific antigen (PSA) test, compared to fewer than one in six Canadians (16 percent).
  • Nearly one-third of Americans (30 percent) have had a colonoscopy, compared with fewer than one in twenty Canadians (5 percent).

5. Lower-income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians. Twice as many American seniors with below-median incomes self-report “excellent” health (11.7 percent) compared to Canadian seniors (5.8 percent). Conversely, white, young Canadian adults with below-median incomes are 20 percent more likely than lower-income Americans to describe their health as “fair or poor.”

6. Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the United Kingdom. Canadian and British patients wait about twice as long—sometimes more than a year—to see a specialist, have elective surgery such as hip replacements, or get radiation treatment for cancer. All told, 827,429 people are waiting for some type of procedure in Canada. In Britain, nearly 1.8 million people are waiting for a hospital admission or outpatient treatment.

7. People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed. More than 70 percent of German, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and British adults say their health system needs either “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.”

8. Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians. When asked about their own health care instead of the “health care system,” more than half of Americans (51.3 percent) are very satisfied with their health care services, compared with only 41.5 percent of Canadians; a lower proportion of Americans are dissatisfied (6.8 percent) than Canadians (8.5 percent).

9. Americans have better access to important new technologies such as medical imaging than do patients in Canada or Britain. An overwhelming majority of leading American physicians identify computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) as the most important medical innovations for improving patient care during the previous decade—even as economists and policy makers unfamiliar with actual medical practice decry these techniques as wasteful. The United States has thirty-four CT scanners per million Americans, compared to twelve in Canada and eight in Britain. The United States has almost twenty-seven MRI machines per million people compared to about six per million in Canada and Britain.

10. Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations. The top five U.S. hospitals conduct more clinical trials than all the hospitals in any other developed country. Since the mid- 1970s, the Nobel Prize in medicine or physiology has gone to U.S. residents more often than recipients from all other countries combined. In only five of the past thirty-four years did a scientist living in the United States not win or share in the prize. Most important recent medical innovations were developed in the United States.

Despite serious challenges, such as escalating costs and care for the uninsured, the U.S. health care system compares favorably to those in other developed countries.


This essay appeared on the website of the National Center for Policy Analysis on March 24, 2009. An earlier version was published in the Washington Times.

Available from the Hoover Press is Power to the Patient: Selected Health Care Issues and Policy Solutions, edited by Scott W. Atlas. To order, call 800.935.2882 or visit www.hooverpress.org.


Scott W. Atlas is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of radiology and chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical School.

Please forward this article to all of your friends! It’s important!

UK National Health Service refuses to pay for lower-back painkillers

Commenter LCB sent me this very popular article from the UK Telegraph. This article is their most popular article as of Sunday. (ECM also sent it)

The title is “Patients forced to live in agony after NHS refuses to pay for painkilling injections”.

Excerpt:

The Government’s drug rationing watchdog says “therapeutic” injections of steroids, such as cortisone, which are used to reduce inflammation, should no longer be offered to patients suffering from persistent lower back pain when the cause is not known.

Instead the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) is ordering doctors to offer patients remedies like acupuncture and osteopathy.

Specialists fear tens of thousands of people, mainly the elderly and frail, will be left to suffer excruciating levels of pain or pay as much as £500 each for private treatment.

The NHS currently issues more than 60,000 treatments of steroid injections every year. NICE said in its guidance it wants to cut this to just 3,000 treatments a year, a move which would save the NHS £33 million.

Why did the government decide that accupuncture and osteopathy were more effective than painkillers? Was it because of research findings? Or was it due to the influence of  alternative medicine lobbyists?

The NICE guidelines admit that evidence was limited for many back pain treatments, including those it recommended. Where scientific proof was lacking, advice was instead taken from its expert group. But specialists are furious that while the group included practitioners of alternative therapies, there was no one with expertise in conventional pain relief medicine to argue against a decision to significantly restrict its use.

Doctors don’t like it at all, but government-run health care means government-run health care.

Dr Jonathan Richardson, a consultant pain specialist from Bradford Hospitals Trust, is among more than 50 medics who have written to NICE urging the body to reconsider its decision, which was taken in May.

He said: “The consequences of the NICE decision will be devastating for thousands of patients. It will mean more people on opiates, which are addictive, and kill 2,000 a year. It will mean more people having spinal surgery, which is incredibly risky, and has a 50 per cent failure rate.”

…Anger among medics has reached such levels that Dr Paul Watson, a physiotherapist who helped draft the guidelines, was last week forced to resign as President of the British Pain Society.

So much for the “public” option. It should be called the “rationing” option.

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

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