Letter to Members of Congress

July 22, 2009

PDFJuly 22, 2009

Dear Member of Congress:

I am writing today on behalf of Americans United for Life Action to express our deep concern over the major health-care reform proposals moving through the United States Congress. Abortion is not health care and does not belong in health-care reform. We will oppose any bill that (1) fails to explicitly exclude both abortion funding and mandatory abortion coverage, and (2) fails to protect the rights of conscience for all Americans.

Both H.R. 3200 and the Senate HELP Committee “Affordable Health Choices Act” would delegate to bureaucratic committees the role of determining the minimum benefits that any private or public healthcare plan must offer. Courts have broadly interpreted the “mandatory categories of care” within Medicaid – such as “family planning,” “outpatient services,” “inpatient services,” and “physician services” — to include abortion. Therefore, there is little doubt that courts will also include abortion within such categories in any healthcare reform bill unless abortion is expressly excluded. In fact, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag stated on July 19, 2009 that he was “not prepared to rule [taxpayer-funded abortion] out.” Furthermore, amendments that would have ensured that abortion was not included have been defeated in Congressional committees in the past week, buttressing our belief that the bills are intended to include abortion.

Additionally, any health-care reform bill that moves forward must expressly protect the rights of conscience for all Americans, whether or not they are health-care providers. No health-care provider should under any circumstances be forced to participate in abortion or subjected to discrimination for choosing not to perform abortions. Furthermore, no private insurer should under any circumstances be forced to pay for abortion. Nor should the American taxpayer who is conscientiously opposed to the killing of unborn life be forced to fund abortions.

The majority of Americans are pro-life, and over 70% oppose taxpayer-funded abortion. While Americans face economic uncertainty on a daily basis, it is unconscionable to force them to pay for abortion under the guise of health care. We respectfully ask that you ensure that these changes are made to any health-care proposal before it receives your support.

Sincerely,

Charmaine Yoest, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Americans United for Life Action

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Jack and Joyce Riggs July 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Those of us who believe that abortion is wrong, except in extreme clinical cases of life endangerment to the mother, should not be subjected indirectly to approving abortion for any reason why paying for it in a universal health program.

Deanna Berchtold July 27, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Please know that a Divine Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ are very saddened when commandments such as, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’, are violated. Those who do not obey will be held accountable and suffer their eternal damnation. I oppose any form of taxpayer-funded abortion and want my representatives from Nevada, 89021 to oppose it also.

Joseph M. Burke July 27, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Thank you for your consideration of this immense issue.

Rita Barker July 28, 2009 at 9:16 am

In addition to this, this is what we got from the health care initiative. Please tell me that this is not true:

I started reading the healthcare initiative last night. Some very important facts started jumping out at me. Number one, I believe it should be renamed the “Big Brother healthcare act of 2009”. Its very first statement is that this is to reduce the growth in healthcare spending. This takeover starts with the lead person, a Commissioner. He will be required to give information to the President, and the Senate. However, it doesn’t say that they will have any legal influence over this division. It is very loose wording. The commissioner and the person under him will be given authority to carry a gun. I am not sure how this became part of the healthcare act, but it is in there. Their power is great, as they will take control over 16% of our economy, and spend much of it in the different departments, before it reaches the people in the form of healthcare. The commissioner will lead many different departments. Each of these departments will dictate how money is to be spent or not spent.

The costs that are stated in this healthcare act are listed at a current cap of $5000 per year for an individual. The costs for a family will be capped at $10,000 per year. Yearly increases will be based on the Consumer Price Index (City Average)

If you wish to pay additional money to obtain greater coverage, it is allowed by paying for a premium account with the government. They do not list the amount of that coverage. Or, you can pay a separate amount to a private insurance company to cover the items that the government will no longer have listed in this streamlined national coverage.

This new agency will now have the ultimate power over Insurance Companies, Insurance coverage, Hospitals, Doctors, nurses, and the patient. The wording is such that they can now determine what kind of care your doctor will be able to give you in each and every circumstance. They will also tell them which prescriptions they are allowed to prescribe for illnesses, or diseases. It will tell hospitals what kind of care, or how much care they will be allowed to give patients, in addition to the types of prescriptions dispensed. This new agency says they do not intend to increase healthcare expenditures, so they are going to have to take the ultimate step to make sure that doesn’t happen. It is called limiting, or rationing healthcare.

This healthcare division is going to require the most amount of paperwork ever imagined. All records will be part of a national computerized system. Every doctor visit, and hospital visit will not only be added to your record, but it will be sent to the national agency to be part of records kept based on individuals, and groups. Groups will be tracked as follows; race, gender, financial status, and location in the country. Costs will be determined for each group. If there is something they can pressure a group to do to lower costs, it will be demanded. I can give you an example; if you eat too much of a type of food that has been connected to health risks, you can be asked to cut back on this food. If you don’t partake in an exercise program, you will be tagged as adding to the costs of maintaining the system based on your lifestyle. It is loose wording right now, but these groups could be taxed at a higher rate, based on behavior.

If you have a plan currently, before Y1 (year one) of implementation of this policy, it can be grandfathered. But what does grandfathered mean? It means you can temporarily keep it, but will not be able to change it. After 5 years (Y5) you will be required to enter into the market pool. The market pool, whether public or private has the exact same requirements to qualify.

Eligibility? Yes, we are all eligible. So eligible that when you file your income tax for the year, if you cannot prove that you are adequately insured, you will be fined. At this point, the fine will be $1000.

What is an eligible group? That is a group that meets every requirement that is imposed by this new agency.

There will be a Health Benefits Advisory Committee appointed. In addition to the Surgeon General acting in this capacity, there will be 9 appointees that are not Federal employees or officers. They will be appointed by the President. Hmmm. There will be 9 members, not Federal employees or officers appointed by the comptroller general. Hmmm. There will be an additional even number of members, not to exceed 8, who are Federal Employees and officers, also appointed by the President. This will make the group add up to an even amount. This group will be deemed to be experts in healthcare financing and delivery. They will also contain experts in racial and ethnic disparities. I am not sure which races they will represent, as it doesn’t qualify the remark. There will be experts in care for those with disabilities. These disabilities are not explained. There must be a representative of relevant government agencies (I suppose Medicare would be one of those). And the last group mentioned is an expert on children’s health. With the children’s health representative, I would hope we are dealing with a citizen of the United States, since the children’s health organizations worldwide have widely different actions that they take in the name of children’s freedoms.

Another thing that the new Insurance “mafia” will be determining is quality of care for determined groups. These are groups that include race, gender, income levels, and location in the U.S. If level of care is not distributed in a fairly equitable manner, hospitals and doctors will be required to give what they feel is the reason for this tiered healthcare. What they are suggesting that it is possible that higher income groups may receive better care. That will no longer be allowed. What this could actually mean is that if someone desires care, and will possibly negatively impact the numbers that must be given to the government, they may be denied, or delayed in receiving their care.

Hospitals will no longer have autonomy in hiring and firing staff. Hospitals and doctors must be able to provide the type of care demanded by this agency. So, this could possibly lead to more testing required for doctors, and other healthcare providers. Hospitals and doctors must agree take what payment is offered to them by the government.

Associated costs are going to dictate the length of time that a pregnant woman may remain in the hospital after a natural birth. Like epidurals? Think natural. If you have a c-section, you will be limited to the hospital stay the government decides is appropriate. The government is also going to be involved in making sure that women take the appropriate personal steps to carry their baby to the most viable stage before delivery. Again, loose wording. If a woman is carrying multiple births, the government could determine that carrying only one would give the other the best chance at a later termed delivery. That would possibly give the government control over the woman’s uterus, in the name of nationalized healthcare.

States no longer have the final say on Medicaid recipients. If they do not handle their Medicaid to meet federal demands, the federal government will take control.

This group will have control over scientific research. If someone needs a grant to study a possible route to a cure, they will be asking for money from this entity. That will put into question who owns the information gathered from the work of these scientists. What will that mean to a group such as Amgen?

Another bit of wording that I found concerning is that this is currently a national system. They are keeping in mind that in the future, it will most likely be part of a worldwide system. If you can think that through a bit, you will understand that we could be put into a worldwide pool that has us responsible to bring everyone to the same level of coverage. What could that cost, and how do you collect money from a country that has yearly personal income of $100.

Dump this legislation. Work on getting rid of the double digit fraud in Medicaid and Medicare, and get people on these plans that already are set up to cover uninsured. Demand that competition for health insurance needs to be interstate. This will immediately increase competition. If someone gets fired, or laid off from a job, allow them to continue with their health insurance. You can put a cap on the amount it can increase yearly, so that it doesn’t devastate the people put into this group.

Don’t force another payment like Social Security on the American People. Government has been a complete failure with Social Security, and has turned our seniors that are dependent on this money to just above poverty level. I believe the payments for healthcare will be comparable with those of Social Security. We are too smart to sit idly by while this takeover is planned and possibly implemented. Please listen to the people you represent.

Elizabeth J. Hakel July 28, 2009 at 12:04 pm

J.M.J.

Honorable Congress and especially those from Nebraska, Senators, Nelson & Johanns,
Representative Terry,

Please uphold the recommendations noted above. Do not accept any Mandated Abortion Coverage. I would say, ” Start Over”.
Thank you,

Elizabeth J. Hakel

Rebecca Royal July 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm

As the parent of an autistic child (a pre-existing condition) and another child about to graduate from college and lose her health coverage, I want to see Congress pass health care reform.

However, If it includes funding for abortion and ignores the conscience rights of health care providers and the American taxpayers, I would rather see it fail. It will cost my family large sums of money if it fails, but I consider that a small price to pay to save the life of innocent children.

tim smith July 28, 2009 at 5:05 pm

End The INSANITY!!! A Baby is a baby Born or UNBORN!!!

Anita Schulkers July 29, 2009 at 10:13 am

I concur with the above statements. Abortion is not a health issue and should not be added into the Health care reform package. Especially those of us that do not want our tax dollars going to fund the procedure of abortion. This is totally against the will of God and the majority of the American people.

Paulette Goodnight September 17, 2009 at 6:47 am

Please do not vote for abortion to be funded by the government. Life is precious and God will not put up with murdering the unborn. America needs to return to God like our fore fathers intended for us when they fought for our freedoms.

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