Nancy Pelosi lines up baby human shields

Gag, puke, gag.
pelosi, human shields, babies, abortion.jpg
Associated Press caption with this photo…

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of CA takes part in a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, March 15, 2010, following a meeting with children’s advocates to discuss health care overhaul legislation.

HT and more on this at Michelle Malkin’s blog.
I’m just posting the photo to make you gag like me – so as to clear your throat to make your call to your rep, telling him/her to vote “NO” on Obamacare, followed by a fax, tweet, and email.
CNN reported this afternoon, “Conservative rallying cries spur phone call frenzy,” with “lines jam[med].”
I can’t find the piece now… and I just read it… that you can’t even get through to Stupak’s office right now. We need that to be the way it is for every rep.

117 thoughts on “Nancy Pelosi lines up baby human shields”

  1. wouldn’t it be funny if one of those babies inadvertently spit up on Pelosi, as if detecting her pro abortion stance? ;)
    Keep calling and those who believe in prayer, keep praying!

  2. Doesn’t Nancy just remind you of the witch fattening up the little babies to gorge herself on? Look how she’s touching that one child like she is thinking “Wonder how much money we’ll be able to squeeze out of this one one day!” UGH. She is a witch!

  3. I don’t think that she is questioning the profits that can be made off of people- Pelosi genuinely believes that universal healthcare is a great and moral thing. Many, many people do.
    Most countries have a public option- it’s not really a power grab. It’s that people get to a doctor when they need it. Countries that have universal healthcare have longer lifespans and better economies (I’ll try and find the article so I can link it).

  4. Hey Vannah,
    Many of us agree with you that we need Health Care Reform. And Pelosi may have good intentions in that regard.
    But what we find so repulsive and utterly detestable is her looking down and smiling at those beautiful healthy babies and using them as a political prop to try to ram tax-payer funded child-killing down the throat of Americans who want no part of it.
    She is despicable.
    And her hands are covered with the blood of innocent children.

  5. In other words, by promoting the agenda of Planned Parenthood, those healthy, chubby babies could just have easily suffered an excruciating death, arms and legs ripped off, torn from their sockets, their precious little heads crushed with forceps.
    And yet she stands there with that sick, twisted, evil grin.

  6. Vannah, the longer lifespans have nothing to do with quality of healthcare. The people of those countries by and large simply have healthier habits than we do on the whole, as a nation.
    If you want to talk about lifespans, look up the lifespans of people with testicular cancer in those countries with socialized medicine vs. such cancer patients in the US. Breast cancer, same deal. Colo-rectal cancer. Our healthcare system is LITERALLY THE BEST IN THE WORLD, and I’m not going to trade it so 10% of the American population, who could get healthcare AND employment by fixing the state of our economy, can get something that MOST Americans already have, and that they STILL have access to if it came down to them needing it.

  7. my email to blue dog Democrats:
    The budget projection on this health care reform bill is filled with gimmicks and voodoo economics. Any business that handled their books this way would be jailed for running a ponzi scheme.
    The 10 years projected deficit cost of anything passed through reconcilliation CANNOT be over a trillion dollars so what kind of shell games do they play?
    1) Steal half a trillion dollars from Medicaid and claim that somehow doesn’t count toward cost for “the plan”.
    2)Start taxing us and cutting Medicare benefits immediately but only paying out health care benefits for six years of their ten years of projected cost.
    They only pay out health benefits benefits for six of the first ten years they tax us, but it still comes out to a trillion dollar deficit over ten years. The Democratic leadership is corrupting the legislative process with backroom deals and adding rules like the infamous “Slaughter” rule that somehow passes the Senate health bill in the House without congress ever needing to vote on it prior to the president signing it. They are using 500 billion dollars from the Medicaid trust fund and using it to make it look like this isn’t creating as big a deficit. A that 500 billion to the actual projected government deficit of one trillion and the cost of this program is 1.5 trillion dollars over six years. Another four years at the same annual deficit rate would project another trillion dollars to the ten year cost projection. So the REAL total deficit of running this program at CBO projected costs would be about 250 billion dollars per year. And you should expect those annual costs to balloon over next ten years.
    Besides the budget financial hardships that this health care reform bill would bring on future generations; I also object to the following four provisions:
    1) The plan steals half a trillion dollars from the people who paid into the Medicaid fund.
    2) Mandates payment of monthly health contract premiums to government or face fines and imprisonment.
    3) Places tax increases on the private plans that are not part of the government exchange.
    4) Government funding of abortion.
    The US health care system is already the best in the world. Even without medical insurance this lady in Ohio with leukemia is getting better care than peoples of Canada or England receive from their nationally subsidized health system. Health care reform needs to be done in a fiscally responsible and an honest way. I hope and I pray that the Blue Dog Democrats vote their creed of fiscal responsibility.
    Paul Usher Sr.

  8. Vannah…everything I’ve ever heard or read says US has higher survival rates than countries with socialized medicine.
    And I believe it. My cousin lives in Vancouver. He is a bio-medical researcher. He hurt his arm and was not able to get into the doc for weeks. He pulled some strings with some doctor friends to get into a surgeon who was horrified and told him if he had waited weeks and weeks he would have lost full use of his arm. Hooray socialized medicine!
    My cousin had contacts in the medical field but what about the average joe who didn’t? That poor guy would have lost use of his arm all thanks to the typical waiting periods associated with government run healthcare.

  9. xalisae — Yes, we have the best healthcare in the world here. But when it comes to delivering that care, and giving every American access to that care, we fail. Did you know that the U.S. infant mortality rate (according to Wikipedia, which lists both UN and CIA World Factbook stats, 33rd according to the UN and 46th according to the CIA — which puts us, in both cases with worse infant mortality than Cuba, and below nearly every developed country in the world? We have the ability to take extremely premature infants and help them survive into adulthood, yet our infant mortality rate shows quite clearly that the state-of-the-art medical care that we have here in the US isn’t available to everyone. If it was, we would be at least in the top 10 — and if I’m not mistaken, most of the top 20 on both lists are countries with universal healthcare of one kind or another. Even much-maligned Canada, with its healthcare system that gets so much flack in the debates here, is 10 spots higher than the US (UN: 23, CIA: 36).
    The bill currently being debated is not so much health care reform as it is insurance reform. The control of day to day care, the decisions about what is covered and what isn’t — that is all still in the hands of the insurance companies. The reform comes with stopping insurance companies from denying people with pre-existing conditions, from jacking up premiums based on health history, and from kicking people off the rolls when they get sick.
    But let me go back to your comment for a second, and see if I’m understanding what you’re saying. I’m assuming here that you have health insurance, probably through your job, which wouldn’t change with this bill. What I hear you saying is that you don’t want to take the risk of some kind of decrease in quality of healthcare for a reason you don’t specify (remember, there’s no socialized medicine in this bill, no single payer and no public option) in order to give coverage to the tens of millions of uninsured Americans (I think it’s about 40 million, last I heard). Besides, if those people were really sick and *really* needed healthcare, they would get it.
    And yes, this is true. If my cancer recurred today, I could go to the hospital and I would be treated. This treatment would be followed by probably $50,000 – $100,000 or more of bills for hospital stay, chemo/immunotherapy, radiation, surgery, medicine, doctors’ time, and everything else under the sun that I can be billed for. Not to mention that as someone without insurance, what I would pay out of pocket for that care would be far more than any insurance company would pay. So, yeah, if you’re *really* that sick and you don’t have insurance, you can get care. Then you lose your house and any other assets, you have to declare bankruptcy, and you have to face all the consequences of those medical bills that you had no choice about except when it came to deciding whether to die of a treatable disease or lose everything because you can’t get insurance because you were sick once.
    It also sounds to me like you’re making the assumption that if you don’t have insurance, you’re probably unemployed (or lazy, or on welfare). That’s not the case. There are many people like me, probably at least half of the people who are uninsured today, who work part- or full-time, but don’t get benefits. And who can’t get individual health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Fixing the economy wouldn’t necessarily change that — some of us might get better jobs, but not everyone will, especially if we are small business owners or self-employed and want to stay that way.
    Your comment is everything that I can’t stand about this country: arrogant, selfish, self-centered, and making assumptions about the facts of this bill that are based on what you hear rather than what’s actually in the bill. It’s not like it’s hard to go and find the bill text. It’ll take you all of 30 seconds on Google. There are even detailed summaries if you don’t feel like reading it word for word. There are so many people right now who are trusting the media and the internet — Fox news, bloggers, people on Twitter or Facebook, etc.etc.etc. — and not going to the source and finding out for themselves what’s in the bill.
    Here’s a clue: there’s NO abortion funding. But there is enough to save the lives of people who are dying every day because they don’t have insurance. People who don’t go to the doctor until they are so sick that they die of treatable illnesses or injuries. People who don’t get preventative care and physicals and don’t get diagnosed with heart problems or diabetes until they are having a deadly heart attack or are in a diabetic coma. And yeah, women who are pregnant who choose abortion simply because without insurance and without enough support and knowledge to work the system, they can’t figure out how they are going to be able to afford to be pregnant, to go through labor and delivery. And there are women who choose to keep their babies but who can’t afford the prenatal care that would identify treatable conditions that otherwise lead to stillbirth or miscarriage. And parents who don’t take their kids to the doctor until they are seriously ill because they can’t handle one more bill on top of just trying to keep the lights on and food in the fridge.
    This isn’t the best bill in the world. It’s not the worst, either. But it’s a start, a start that has the power to save lives, to give every American access to the best healthcare system in the world, so we can diagnose problems before they become life-threatening, so we can reduce overall healthcare costs by investing in preventative care, so we can give every child a chance to grow up healthy. And something I think you might care about, this bill has the power to reduce abortion rates. When women know they have insurance that will cover prenatal care and pregnancy, labor, delivery, and anything their babies need after birth and through childhood, they are more likely to choose to have their babies instead of choosing abortion. It’s a fact.
    Not supporting this bill, fighting against this desperately needed reform, is effectively being complicit in the continued deaths of Americans every single day because they don’t have insurance.
    When I tell people who live in countries with universal health care — Canada, Australia, UK — that I have to decide every month which of my medications I can afford and which ones I have to muddle through without; that I am risking my life because I can’t come up with the $5000 or so for the yearly cancer screening I am already months late for — they are shocked. The idea of having to go without essential care because you can’t afford it is so foreign to them.
    We have the best health care in the world in this country. At least we do if you’re rich, or you have decent insurance. If you don’t have insurance, if you’re underinsured, you’d be better off in Cuba. And that, too, is a fact.

  10. klynn73 — I’m not seeing “demolishing the entire house” in this bill, which does nothing to change the insurance-industry-controlled system we have now, but expands the system to cover more people. What are we demolishing?
    And the video is interesting but not particularly relevant, since this bill does not create either socialized medicine or any type of rationed care system.

  11. Well put, Violet!
    Of course there is no abortion funding in the bill (beyond what is already allowed by the Hyde Amendment), but you’d never know that by listening to the the right-wingers.
    Naturally the bill is not perfect, but it is better than nothing, and it is the best we can do, for now. Congress can make improvements after it is passed.
    Kudos to Pelosi for standing up to the right-wing noise machine!

  12. “Congress can make improvements after it is passed.”
    If you believe this gimmick, try doing the same trick when you buy a new car, a new house or try to get a bank loan and see where that leads you…

  13. Violet,
    I don’t know where to begin in my response to the points you raise in your post:
    Point 1:
    Infant mortality is nebulously defined in some countries. For example, many countries with reported IM rates better than ours do not include the extremely premature babies in their data collection. The U.S. does. Therefore, we include the babies born at 22, 23, 24 weeks who often die even with heroic medical intervention. The U.S. uses all four criteria established by the WHO in reporting infant mortality whereas other developed countries do not. Canada, which you cite, struggles with the fact that tens of thousands of birth records are actually missing and many Canandian moms come to the U.S. for their care.
    Point 2:
    You clearly are not stupid so I can’t believe you are naive enough to believe that abortion will not be funded through this bill. Federal funds in the Senate bill can be used for elective abortions. For example, the bill authorizes and
    appropriates $7 billion over five years for services at Community Health Centers. These funds are not covered by the Hyde amendment (as
    they are not appropriated through the Labor/HHS appropriations bill governed by the Hyde amendment), and not covered by the bill’s own abortion limitation in Sec. 1303 (as that provision relates only to tax credits or
    cost-sharing reductions for qualified health plans, and does not govern all funds in the bill). So the funds can be used directly for elective abortions. Further, The Senate bill uses federal funds to subsidize health plans that cover abortions and the bill mandates that insurance companies deciding to cover elective abortions in a health plan “shall… collect from each enrollee in the plan (without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex, or family status) a separate payment” for such abortions.
    For the record, I am not against reform. But right now, we need to “reform” this particular attempt at reform. Start over. Listen to the people. Prioritize. Focus. And don’t give the abortion industry a bail out with this legislation. I simply refuse to believe that good health care includes killing preborn babies or rationing care to those deemed “a burden” to society. We can do better.

  14. Nerina,
    Regardless of differences in record-keeping, I would expect the U.S. and its best-in-the-world medical care to rate higher than it does today. And I find it hard to believe than tens of thousands of birth records in Canada would make a significant difference in their infant mortality statistics, since it’s statistically extremely unlikely that every missing record is for an infant that died.
    Secondly, even the community health center money will not go to abortions. One of many good explanations of why:
    Here’s another:
    The bottom line: community health centers don’t provide abortion services. They never have. So when you hear people talking about “expanding abortion services and facilities”, well, that’s not going to happen because THERE ARE NONE TO EXPAND.
    And if that’s not enough to show that such concerns are just plain wrong, here’s another: Community Health Centers are administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, and for 30 years regulations have existed that prevent any HHS-administered programs from funding abortion. From an HHS memo:
    “Regardless of whether the Senate bill would do so, there have existed for over 30 years regulations that prohibit federal funds from being used for abortion services in programs administered by HRSA and other PHS agencies, except in cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered. 42 C.F.R. §§ 50.301, et seq.
    “These regulations on their face would apply to these new funds. 42 C.F.R. § 50.301 provides that the prohibition on abortion funding applies to “programs or projects for health services which are supported in whole or in part by Federal financial assistance, whether by grant or contract, appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services and administered by the Public Health Service.” Accordingly, these regulations apply to the CHC grants program administered by HRSA. See 56 Fed. Reg. 11,453 (1991); 56 Fed. Reg. 8356 (1991); 46 Fed. Reg. 10016 (1981) (delegating the administration of the CHC grants program to HRSA, a PHS agency). Notably, these regulations apply to the $2 billion that were appropriated for community health centers in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act last year.
    42 C.F.R. § 50.303 unequivocally mandates that “Federal financial participation is not available for the performance of an abortion in programs or projects to which this subpart applies” except under specified circumstances. These specified circumstances are limited to those in which the life of the woman would be endangered, 42 C.F.R. § 50.304, or in cases of rape or incest, 42 C.F.R. § 50.306.
    “Accordingly, regardless of concerns that the Senate bill might not subject these new funds to the abortion-related restrictions under the Hyde Amendment, these new funds would in fact be subject to such restrictions by virtue of these regulations.” (
    Feel free to look up those laws yourself. Whatever you might have heard from alarmists who want to use abortion polarity to stop health reform that is badly needed, there is NO ABORTION FUNDING IN THIS BILL.
    End of story.

  15. Just one question then Violet:
    If there is no tax-payer funding of abortion in this bill, why won’t BO and Pelosi simply incorporate the Stupak Amendment or any of the other 7 or 8 language excerpts from other bills that specifically prohibit federal funding of abortion?
    It would be so easy, no more arm twisting, take the vote and be done with it.
    (hint: because they want taxpayers to underwrite abortions just like the bill they passed for DC late last year)

  16. I understand that the Hyde Amendment must be renewed (voted on) every year. If this is the case, the Dems could easily revoke it – federally funded abortion would be allowed unless Stupak language were included in the bill.
    Someone PLEASE correct me if I am wrong.

  17. “Kudos to Pelosi for standing up to the right-wing noise machine!
    Posted by: Arium at March 16, 2010 12:20 PM”
    Better a noise-machine than a left-wing, baby-killing machine.

  18. Ed — I’m for sure not the most knowledgeable on this, but my understanding is that the only issues up for discussion in reconciliation are those that are germane to the budget, and since the abortion language has a $0 budgetary effect, it can’t be incorporated at this stage. As far as why it wasn’t incorporated earlier, my guess based on the bits and pieces I’ve heard is that Pelosi and others feel it’s unnecessary because the bill already prohibits abortion funding, and that the Stupak language effectively prevents insurance plans from offering abortion coverage, and the end result would be that the poorest Americans who are dependent on Exchange health plans and affordability credits have no access to abortion coverage.
    I also think that we’re highly unlikely to see the Hyde Amendment removed any time soon. There are too many antiabortion Democrats — or at very least those who do not want to be seen (especially if they are up for reelection) as undercutting the prohibition on federal funding for abortion. It would be such a politically disastrous move that it’s virtually guaranteed to be retained indefinitely.

  19. Better a noise-machine than a left-wing, baby-killing machine.
    Posted by: RSD at March 16, 2010 2:59 PM
    Don’t you mean, better a right-wing, uninsured-American-killing noise-machine?

  20. Violet @ 3:10 PM,
    “…the poorest Americans who are dependent on Exchange health plans and affordability credits have no access to abortion coverage.”
    Sheesh, let them pay cash for their abortions. Killing babies is not healthcare.

  21. Vannah, don’t feel badly about supporting universal healthcare.
    Many young people are “for” socialized medicine. It *sounds* wonderful. Why *wouldn’t* people want everyone to get all the healthcare they need whenever they need regardless of cost?
    The problem is that the world doesn’t work that way. Those countries that have socialized medicine do NOT give all of the people all of the healthcare they need whenever they need regardless of cost, either.
    The difference is that over there, a government official makes your decisions and if you don’t like their decision, you can’t go out of pocket to get it on your own and there are limited appeals prospects, if any.
    In the U.S., an insurance rep doesn’t decide whether or not you *get* treatment… only whether or not they will *pay* for it. If you and your doctor feel that a certain treatment is of benefit, you can decide to make other payment arrangements (something that I see happening all of the time here as the amazing people of Arizona hold car washes, chili cook-offs, pancake breakfasts and on a regular basis open their wallets to send money to specific funds set up at local banks for the care and treatment of those being denied by the insurance companies or without insurance altogether.

  22. Elisabeth — Yes, you’re right. They decide whether or not they will pay for it. The hospital then decides whether they are willing to take on huge financial costs knowing you may never be able to pay them back. Often, especially when treatments are complex or experimental, and when there are cheaper (even if far less effective) options available they decide they can’t treat you unless you can come up with some percentage of the cost up front
    And at that point, especially if you’re sick with aggressive cancer or in organ failure, it could take weeks or months to get those donations. We should NEVER have to hold a car wash, or a bake sale, to get health care. Are you really, seriously proposing that the uninsured should be forced to beg for donations in order to get the coverage they need to survive?
    You are still not seeing that the current reform bill is not socialized medicine. It sets up some laws that will force insurance companies to cover people they currently deny. But the decisions are still in the hands of insurance companies. It’s not the reform I wanted — a public option — but insuring (just about) everyone is far better than where we are now. 30-40 million people are currently uninsured in this country, and that number counts some of the Americans most in need because of pre-existing condition exclusions.
    This reform would not stop anyone from paying for care out-of-pocket if they chose, or from appealing decisions as we do now. It would not establish rationing of care. It does not contain any of the scare scenarios of socialized medicine that people (like you) are spinning.

  23. Violet, I was discussing the socialized healthcare that presently exists in other countries. I don’t recall stating ANYTHING about this precise bill.
    Ah, but then reading what is ACTUALLY posted isn’t really your strong suit, is it?

  24. Elisabeth: My mistake. I thought since you brought it up in the middle of a discussion of the health care bill, you were making some kind of implicit correlation. Thanks for the correction.

  25. Oh, and in addition, Violet, I spent three years working at an inner-city county hospital where care was provided FIRST and payment arrangements were managed LATER… our social workers worked their arses off getting people registered for Medicaid and other programs and hooking people up with groups that assist with medical bills.
    As for the chili cook-offs and so on that I referenced, none were held to GET the healthcare… they were held to PAY for the healthcare AFTER it had been delivered.
    In fact, if you want to discuss expensive medical treatments, our hospital housed the Arizona Burn Center… I worked the pediatric area there many nights. Care provided FIRST, payment arranged LATER and no matter the difficulties in payment, follow-up care was NOT denied.
    And one of our pediatricians (the man is truly a saint and I consider it one of the great honors of my life to have worked with him) paid OUT OF HIS OWN POCKET for a young boy’s chemotherapy treatments.
    I work in the field. I see what is happening on a daily basis. This ridiculous piece of crap legislation doesn’t help. We need to fix it piece by piece starting with tort reform and the ability to cross state lines by insurance companies. Not one gigantic piece of legislation that hasn’t been read by hardly any member of congress and is so broad-reaching that it’s eventual consequences are completely unpredictable.

  26. Elisabeth: Tort Reform and allowing insurance companies to cross state lines won’t stop them from denying people who have pre-existing conditions, from dropping people when they get sick, and from raising premiums by as much as 40% every year even when they are making record profits.
    This reform bill does those things.
    No, it’s not the best bill. It doesn’t have everything we need. But we need reform so badly that we can’t afford to start over now. We need to enact this legislation and then start adding or changing it to fill the holes and fix what needs fixing. Some of the reforms won’t take effect for four years, and starting over would mean six or more years before we saw real changes.
    Every day we wait for reform, people are dying because of the effects of being uninsured. It needs to stop, and this bill will start to do that.

  27. Violet,
    I just wanted to say I feel sorry for the health issues you’ve had to face:(
    I’m hoping and praying for better days ahead for you :)

  28. Violet, I’m not saying that is not an issue that needs addressing. By listing two, initial, everybody-agrees-on-these issues I in no way was limiting the potential legislation to those two issues alone. How disingenuous to attempt to make that claim.
    However, that issue would best be addressed as a piece of stand-alone legislation that could be discussed on its own merits without the rest of the crap involved in this bill.
    In the amount of time wasted on this monstrosity, we could have easily passed bills on a dozen or more points where there is agreement and people could actually being receiving benefit TODAY rather than ramrodding this shoddy piece through.

  29. Elisabeth: so what, specifically, do you see as “crap” in this bill? This is a serious, honest question — you work in the field and probably have a very different perspective (as provider) than I have (as patient). I’d really like to hear which of the reforms in this bill you feel are unnecessary or don’t belong.
    I didn’t mean to imply that you were limiting potential legislation to those two issues — what I was trying to say is that I don’t see how starting with those two offers many immediate benefits to people who can’t get insurance, and it seems to me like providing the uninsured with insurance should be the first reforms we make.

  30. Rationing, forced paying for abortions, no conscience protection………the “death panels” that basically decide if Grandma should get her pacemaker or just a pain pill (deciding who lives and who dies…….that reeks of NAZI GERMANY!)

  31. LizFromNebraska: There are no death panels. It was made up to scare people, and came from a misreading or misinterpretation (we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and say it was unintentional, at least initially) of language that provides for coverage of consultations with your doctor to create a living will and discuss what you want to happen should you be in a situation where you can’t advocate for yourself or make your wishes known.
    In short — there are no “death panels”. There’s also no abortion funding, and if you don’t want to pay for abortion coverage, insurance companies are required to make plans with the same benefits without abortion coverage, and if you select one of those, you won’t have to write a check for abortion coverage. It’s not “forced”. It’s by choice.
    And there’s no rationing, either. This bill simply expands our existing system where private insurance companies make decisions about what gets paid for, so that tens of millions of uninsured Americans can get insurance. It will be no different from your current experience, if you have insurance. With the exception that your premiums will probably go down, and you may be eligible for federal assistance to pay your premiums. This bill doesn’t put government in charge of your health care. That control stays in the hands of private insurance companies, just like today.

  32. And there’s no rationing, either.
    Posted by: Violet at March 16, 2010 6:27 PM
    Really? On what basis do you stake that claim? The version of the bill that has already passed the House gave the secretary of HHS authority to reduce benefits, increase premiums, and establish waiting lists for individuals in the high risk (eg preexisting conditions) pool. Don’t believe me, refer to page 26 of the House version that passed. You may say there’s no rationing, but the House bill spoke otherwise.
    It will be no different from your current experience, if you have insurance.
    Really? According to the bill, anyone who currently has a plan that doesn’t cover what the feds say must be covered has to switch plans after the grace period is up. Another difference is the cost to employers, which will rise substantially, making many of them drop coverage altogether.
    It will be different in other ways too. Physicians will be monitored for compliance with federally established protocols for care. That’s different. So is disincentivizing them to care for high risk persons, such as those with preexisting conditions. Gone will be the days that a physician can offer you a range of treatment choices for you to consider and decide. Under the new plan, he can be penalized if you happen to choose more costly procedures.
    Under this proposed government take over of health care, you may be able to purchase coverage, but nothing says you are entitled to all types of treatment for which you are covered. That’s another big difference. Nothing limits the feds from prioritizing types of treatment based on nearly any factor they desire. I call that a big difference.

  33. So, Violet, have you read all TWO THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED pages of the health care bill?
    Death Panels: there is something about visiting with elderly persons and helping them with their “end of life” decisions. I’d call that a “Death panel”!

  34. LizFromNebraska:
    No, I haven’t had a chance to read the whole bill yet — I have a full time job and do consulting evenings and weekends. But what you are referring to — “something about visiting with elderly persons and helping them with their “end of life” decisions” — is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you are thinking it is.
    When I was diagnosed with cancer and knew there was a pretty significant chance of death within 5 years (up to 50% depending on which study you look at), probably the most important thing that I did was spend a weekend with my mom going over forms that described my wishes: how I wanted to be cared for if I could no longer decide for myself or advocate for my care; where I wanted to spend my last days; what kind of memorial/funeral I wanted; where I wanted to be buried. The forms I filled out and the conversations with my mom that went into them made sure that if the worst case came to pass, I could rest assured that all of my wishes were known and would be adhered to.
    These are the “end of life” decisions that the bill refers to — putting your wishes in writing in case the worst happens. What you seem to think it is — some kind of negotiation or evaluation of whether someone is to old to be worth keeping alive — is completely wrong.
    if you don’t have a living will, you should make one. Today. Talk to your family and your loved ones about what you want to happen if tomorrow you are in a serious car accident and end up on ventilator or in a coma. There is no way to know that any of us will be here tomorrow, and creating a living will and having these conversations with your family is the only way to make sure that your wishes are honored.
    Turning those conversations into some kind of “death panels” that determine who lives and who dies — is the worst of the lies that have been perpetuated about this health care reform. Please, please think about this and abandon the idea that this is some kind of scenario out of 1984.

  35. Liz, visiting with medically fragile kids and high risk pregnant women too. And women pregnant for the first time or with kids under age 2. One focus of the latter is to “reduce dependence on on public assistance.” Encouraging abortion would accomplish that, eh?
    Page 1899 says of eligible expenditures, that they will “adhere to clear evidence-based models of home visitation that have demonstrated positive effects on important program-determined child and parenting outcomes”. And further on we read, the feds will “monitor fidelity of program implementation to ensure that services are delivered according to the specified model“. The feds will be monitoring to see that their goals are accomplished their way. But hey, that’s not a government takeover, right?
    Turning those conversations into some kind of “death panels” that determine who lives and who dies — is the worst of the lies that have been perpetuated about this health care reform.
    Posted by: Violet at March 16, 2010 8:16 PM
    Can you explain why those sections of the bill were authored by proponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide?

  36. Fed Up:
    First of all, if you’re looking at the bill that the House has already passed, you’re looking at the wrong bill. What is being debated now in the House is the bill that passed the Senate. You can read the full text here:
    If you don’t have time for about 2500 pages of reading, you can check out both the Republican summary ( and the much more extensive Democratic summaries (
    That said, a few responses:
    According to the bill, anyone who currently has a plan that doesn’t cover what the feds say must be covered has to switch plans after the grace period is up.
    What you’re saying is that anyone who has really crappy insurance will have to switch plans. I don’t really see that as a bad thing.
    Physicians will be monitored for compliance with federally established protocols for care.
    Doesn’t Medicare already do that? And it seems like that is designed to increase the quality of care, not decrease it, by ensuring that doctors comply with standards. Also, reading the summaries, it looks like this particular measure only applies to Medicare and Medicaid.
    I’m wondering where your information came from on this, and this is an honest, serious question, because it’s not something I’ve heard thus far:
    So is disincentivizing them to care for high risk persons, such as those with preexisting conditions. Gone will be the days that a physician can offer you a range of treatment choices for you to consider and decide. Under the new plan, he can be penalized if you happen to choose more costly procedures.
    I’m very interested in hearing more about this.
    you may be able to purchase coverage, but nothing says you are entitled to all types of treatment for which you are covered
    In my experience, this is how the system works now. You may have insurance, but it doesn’t guarantee that treatment that seems to be covered or is covered on paper will actually be covered. Insurance companies are experts at finding all kinds of reasons not to pay for treatments or medications. Every insurance I’ve ever had has required multiple appeals to get some treatments and medications, and in some cases I’ve had to appeal every month to get the same medication or to get coverage limits (like “we will only cover enough Imitrex for three migraines a month unless you try three different migraine prophylactic medications first” when I was having 3-5 migraines a WEEK).
    You are correct that there will be some differences, and some changes. But the lion’s share of the control over what gets covered and what treatment you get will STILL be in the hands of the insurance companies, just like it is today. So far, I haven’t heard anything about this bill that makes me even consider that it shouldn’t be passed.(But I am open to information and what other people know, because I don’t have time to read the whole bill, and I know there are probably plenty of things in there that I haven’t heard about yet.)

  37. Fed Up:
    Can you explain why those sections of the bill were authored by proponents of euthanasia and assisted suicide?
    Yes, I can. Because those people are not just advocates for assisted suicide, but advocates for ensuring that how your life ends — what kind of treatment you do or don’t receive, where you spend your last days, whether you should be resuscitated, etcetera — which is exactly what the part of the bill that people have mistaken for “death panels” is about, making sure that those conversations are covered by insurance and medicare if they involve your doctor or medical professionals. According to the quotes on the blog post you cited:
    Compassion & Choices… improves care and expands choice at the end of life…Our team of litigators and legislative experts fights bills that would force patients to endure futile, invasive treatment….
    That’s why.

  38. Fed Up: Are you still quoting the house bill? Because, again, that’s the wrong bill. The one being debated now, which will become the final bill and then go through reconciliation, is the Senate bill. See my previous comment to you on this point for links to the Senate bill and summaries.

  39. Fed Up:
    Searching for key words in the bill, I believe the comparable clause in the Senate bill is the following:
    (e) Advice and Assistance Counseling- An agreement entered into under subsection (a)(2)(A)(iii) shall require the entity to assign, as requested by an eligible beneficiary that is covered by such agreement, an advice and assistance counselor who shall provide an eligible beneficiary with information regarding–

    (5) available assistance with decision making concerning medical care, including the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and the right to formulate advance directives or other written instructions recognized under State law, such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care, in the case that an injury or illness causes the individual to be unable to make health care decisions;

    That seems pretty clear and straightforward to me. No “death panels” here.

  40. Posted by: Janet at March 16, 2010 2:55 PM
    You’re not wrong, but you’re not entirely right, either.
    Hyde applies specifically to the Health and Human Services budget, which is mostly Medicare money. Every year, a new appropriations budget for HHS must be passed by Congress, and ever year that budget includes Hyde. So in that sense, yeah, it does have to come up every year for a vote.
    However, Hyde doesn’t cover any other budgets or programs. There are other provisions and stipulations that do, since Hyde inspired a lot of copy-cat legislation, but by itself, it only covers the HHS money. Since the budget for the current health care bill would come from sources other than the HHS, abortion funding can be in there without contravening Hyde. Even if Hyde continues to be approved every single year like clockwork, without the Stupak amendment or something like it, Obamacare is free to fund abortions as much as the administration can push it.

  41. Why can’t I buy out of state insurance plan? Why do I have to get insurance through an employer to get a group rate???? Why don’t insurance companies compete for our business?
    You can thank many different laws on the books for that. The fact that our hands our tied and insurance companies get away with murder is thanks to dear old politics as usual. If insurance companies truly had to compete for our business you would see things done the right way and quick. The bad companies would go out of business and the remaining companies would lower prices to compete for our customers.
    Here in PA I cannot get eye insurance on my own. I have to go through a group plan. Now is that dumb or what? Why can’t I pay for a plan if I want? Thanks to politics as usual I won’t have eye insurance soon and my eyes are SEVERELY nearsighted.
    Oh and I have my coverage continues through COBRA which let me tell you about wonderful COBRA. A bunch of idiots work there! I went to the doctor last month and COBRA informed my insurance I was dropped so now I have to sort through the mess to make sure the doctor gets paid. And it was COBRA’s fault…THIRD time they have done this even though we paid on time etc…
    Government run healthcare will be just as bad as this. It will be one big headache. And you think its FREE? You’re an idiot then. Its not free. Nothing in life is free. You will be paying for you healthcare. And since the government will be involved it will take triple the amount of dollars the private sector would have taken to run it.
    And as to infant mortality…yeah, we abort 1.2 million children a year. I’d say our infant mortality is out of control. And Pelosi is gonna ensure we stay number one in that category.

  42. So is disincentivizing them to care for high risk persons, such as those with preexisting conditions. Gone will be the days that a physician can offer you a range of treatment choices for you to consider and decide. Under the new plan, he can be penalized if you happen to choose more costly procedures.
    I’m very interested in hearing more about this.
    That’s easy… it’s going on already with all Medicaid patients.
    Medicare finalized a list of types of conditions for which, starting Oct. 1, it will no longer reimburse hospitals at the higher diagnosis-related group rate.
    * Fall or trauma resulting in serious injury
    * Vascular catheter-associated infection
    * Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
    * Foreign object retained after surgery
    * Certain surgical site infections
    * Air embolism
    * Blood incompatibility
    * Certain manifestations of poor blood sugar control
    * Certain deep vein thromboses or pulmonary embolisms
    * Pressure ulcers
    * Vascular catheter-associated infection
    * Mediastinitis after coronary artery bypass graft surgery
    * Surgical-site infections after total knee replacement, laparoscopic gastric bypass and gastroenterostomy, or ligation and stripping of varicose veins
    * Legionnaires’ disease
    * Diabetic ketoacidosis, nonketotic hyperosmolar coma, diabetic coma or hypoglycemic coma
    * Iatrogenic pneumothorax
    * Delirium
    * Ventilator-associated pneumonia
    * Deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism
    * Staphylococcus aureus septicemia
    * Clostridium difficile-associated disease
    Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
    Now, I think we can all agree that foreign objects shouldn’t be left inside patients and that the doctors/hospitals should bear the responsibility of those costs.
    However, even the finest of physician and nursing care cannot prevent all DVTs or emboli, surgical site infections, or line associated infections. And this list gets longer every year… doctors are somehow responsible if their patient refuses to manage their diabetes appropriately?
    In order to avoid these situations, many doctors will simply not care for those whose conditions predispose them to these issues, if they are Medicaid patients. And Mayo Clinic refused to treat Medicaid patients at all when I was doing clinical rotations there (not sure if that is still the case).

  43. Why would those who LOVE assisted suicide and euthanasia need to be helping to write the health care bill anyway?
    The elderly are vulnerable and they could be pushed into choosing to “not be a burden to their family” AKA assisted suicide…..
    This health care bill is a total mess and is NOT good for the country.
    Also, why would they need to visit expectant mothers? Maybe to get them to accept sterilization after birth perhaps? Or abortion?

  44. As for the “assistance” with living wills, etc., the problem is if there are those who do not value human life doing the “assisting”, then there is potential for abuses of coercion.
    Along the lines of telling someone already worried about how their family will handle a lengthy illness leading towards a possible demise that they have a “duty” to consider what they are “costing” the American people and their family in particular and that they “need” to decline further life-saving measures.
    Now, the bare legislation itself cannot address how these people will or will not be trained. However, given the fact that when you expand coverage to all people at the cost of the government (and via them the American people) will result in a scarcity of funds (just look at what is currently going on with Medicare/Medicaid if you don’t believe it), thereby “encouraging” federal bean-counters to push end of life decisions that may or may not be in the best interests of any individual person.

  45. First of all, if you’re looking at the bill that the House has already passed, you’re looking at the wrong bill. What is being debated now in the House is the bill that passed the Senate.
    Violet, I referenced the bill the House passed to show their intent was rationing. The same party that passed the House bill and voted down all anti-rationing amendments is the same party that will be appointing the bureaucratic overseers of the 100+ new programs administering health care for everyone. Which matters more, rhetoric of the day or the text of what they actually approved?
    The bill I quoted regarding home visits was from the reconciliation markup posted online earlier this week. I think it’s good to know what changes they are advocating even though I doubt the Senate will approve them.
    What you’re saying is that anyone who has really crappy insurance will have to switch plans. I don’t really see that as a bad thing.
    Someone satisfied with their plan will be required to switch. I believe they should be allowed, but not required, to switch. Big difference. For example, someone who has opted for insurance that doesn’t cover substance abuse treatment will now be forced to buy a more expensive policy that covers it. There is no more purchasing of plans tailored to individual needs. The feds will determine one-size-fits-all coverage that will necessarily increase costs for many people who don’t need all the bells and whistles but are forced to purchase them anyway. Who should decide, Violet, if a policy is “crappy?” Should the policy holder or the government decide?
    Doesn’t Medicare already do that? And it seems like that is designed to increase the quality of care, not decrease it, by ensuring that doctors comply with standards. Also, reading the summaries, it looks like this particular measure only applies to Medicare and Medicaid.
    Perhaps you believe that complying with federal standards is preferable to you and your doctor deciding what’s best for you based on your unique history and physical exam. I don’t. Maybe you’re comfortable settling for the opinion of a budget-minded bureaucrat who hasn’t considered your unique circumstances. I’m not. Remember that Medicare and Medicaid have higher denial rates than private insurance. If the Dems are disrespecting dissent over legislation, what makes you think they’ll care a whit about your wishes if you happen to disagree with their protocols for your care?
    The latest markup speaks of “high value” care and per capita variations that take privately insured patients into account. One aspect of the research will be “the extent to which variation can be attributed to physician and practitioner discretion in making treatment decisions.” Does that sound like it encourages your doc to care for you based on his best prudential judgment or based on what the feds think is best for you? “Financial and other incentives” may be used to address discrepancies in per capita spending.
    When it comes to disincentivizing care, it’s all over the bill, especially Medicare reimbursement cuts. Thank you, Elisabeth, for jumping in with a Medicaid example. There is nothing in the bill to prevent CER data from being used to do the same thing with private patients.
    As for the “assistance” with living wills, etc., the problem is if there are those who do not value human life doing the “assisting”, then there is potential for abuses of coercion.
    Posted by: Elisabeth at March 16, 2010 9:37 PM
    Exactly. Same goes for the home visits to pregnant women or “assistance” with medically fragile kids. When you have people like Dr Emanuel advising the prez on policy matters, it’s a legitimate concern.

  46. Disallowing abortion would improve infant mortality rates. Previous abortion can be a major factor in premature birth (the leading cause of infant mortality), ectopic pregnancy, and poorly-placed or poorly attached placentas (conditions like placenta previa or placenta abruptio). Women with previous abortions may also be more likely to have infections like PID.
    Other great ways to reduce infant mortality would be to disallow IVF (much higher chance of disability for the infant) (although created embryos should still be allowed a chance–just no new ones), disallow tubal ligations (carries some of the same risks as previous abortions, in the event conception does occur–especially ectopic pregnancy), disallow elective caesarians and inductions (these procedures have a place and can save lives, but an induction carries a high risk of distress to the infant and thus of caesarian, and caesarians (again) carry many of the same risks as previous abortions, plus the risk of uterine rupture, virtually unheard of unless there has been a previous caesarian or caesarians.
    Doctors should be punished for pushing unnecessary caesarians–the rate of caesarians goes way up right before dinner time, for instance, so that the doctor can finish up and go home.
    Outcomes are better in countries where midwifery and homebirth are the standard of care–there is no reason that most women should give birth in the hospital apart from tradition. It’s a good idea if the baby will be premature or other problems exist, but on average, home or a birth center is better–less invasiveness, less chance of infection, more ability to bond and breastfeed immediately, dramatically reduced incidence of caesarians.
    Speaking of breastfeeding, that’s another great way to reduce infant mortality–encourage EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding, cover lactation consultants, stop giving out formula in the hospital where there’s no indication it’s needed, teach moms how to introduce a bottle properly when the baby’s ready. Letting mom breastfeed immediately is so much more important than weighing the baby and giving him a bath. Why? Breastfed babies are healthier and more resistant to disease. But despite all the lip service given to breastfeeding, very little is actually done to encourage it.
    Give preemies all the oxygen they need and don’t put them under bright fluorescent lights. Give them breastmilk. As much as possible they should be held and touched and have skin-time with their parents. Mommy is a much better warmer than an incubator is.
    Stop treating pregnancy as a disease. If a woman is past puberty and before menopause and having sex and not breastfeeding, pregnancy is normal. Not getting pregnant under those circumstances is far more indicative of pathology.

  47. YCW–your breastfeeding comment really struck a nerve with me but its because I agree! in the hospital they were so busy doing stupid apgar scores with my son that I didn’t get to hold him until he was 45 minutes old! He was a completely full-term healthy baby boy and all I wanted was to hold him and SEE him and they were too busy doing their stupid little tests. I should have spoken up more but didn’t at the time. Although my son peed on the nurse in protest! ha ha
    I wanted to nurse and had some mile success in the hospital. It said on my birth plan that I wanted to nurse and NO FORMULA but then they gave my son a bottle in his second day post-birth because his lips were dry. Then he just never latched on properly after that. I tried to nurse for two weeks and he wouldn’t. It was so frustrating because I really wanted to do it. I felt like a failure as a woman. I tried pumping and could never produce enough milk to sustain my ravenous baby boy. (He was in the 100th percentile for length and weight by one month old)
    It just goes to show once again the medical community thinks they know best…abortionists have that attitude too…

  48. Sydney, that’s awful, I agree. I breastfed Hannah for 11 months and wish it had been longer.
    Peter was able to latch on after birth, but then he wouldn’t and ended up needing supplementation (which probably was necessary). He did get back to breastfeeding but wasn’t gaining weight, and then we went back to supplementing, and then he refused the bottle. I tried to pump and couldn’t keep up because I still had to take care of him and his sister, so he was getting 1/3-2/3 of his diet from formula.
    But I kept trying and eventually–at 7 weeks after about 4 weeks of almost no breastfeeding–he suddenly wanted to nurse all the time! So I let him, supplemented with formula when he was still hungry, and now most days he gets no bottle at all (3 months). By 9 weeks he was only getting a little in the evenings. I had pretty much given up hope even though some people were telling me there still was hope. I never would have held on so long though without the help of a lactation consultant and a successful breastfeeding experience already.
    So next time, be more assertive about what you want during labor-delivery and make sure your husband or someone else will help advocate for you; and if things aren’t going well, don’t give up. :)

  49. Yeah, the nurses at the hospital I go to wouldn’t DARE put a bottle to my baby’s lips (I used to work there as a the breast feeding counselor!) but I know for sure that other moms aren’t as lucky.
    But, I don’t worry about offending, so I put a sign in my baby’s bassinets that says: “My mommy considers bottles assault and battery. Don’t give one without her WRITTEN consent.”
    I’m obnoxious that way. (I wouldn’t necessarily going with that approach for all… but it works for me.)

  50. That should say ADVISE going. That’s what I get for trying to work on 15 things at once. On the plus side, I’m finally updating my blogs… LOL

  51. Violet must think I’m stupid. She’d make an excellent manure salesperson.
    I saw video of the amendment being passed which specifically mandated that abortion cannot be disallowed from any plan and MUST be included in every plan. I can’t remember which rep. it was who passed it, but she called the vote, someone objected, she said “Too bad, so sad.” pretty much, and it passed. I looked up the article, read it for myself, and yes, abortion not only WILL be covered, it MUST be covered without something specifically saying that it cannot and will not be covered.
    Also, Violet, I do not have insurance. I am currently uninsured. I have been since last year. But I’m not so selfish and short-sighted that I think the nation I love and my husband spent more than 2 years of his life away from his family missing the birth of his first and only son to fight for should be forced to pay such a terrible price for MY healthcare. I don’t need healthcare so badly that I would be willing to sell out my country to get it. Unlike you pro-abortion folks, I got the message a long time that the world is not all about ME ME ME.

  52. xalisae: You are incorrect.
    Not only does the Senate bill require the Office of Personnel Management to ensure that at least one of the multi-state plans does not provide abortion coverage, section 1303(a) permits states to totally outlaw abortion coverage in policies issued through the exchange. Whatever you saw or think you saw on TV was either another bill, or did not make it into the final Senate bill. You can read the section yourself at (that link should take you directly to that section of the bill).
    Second, I’m glad that you are apparently in good health and don’t need health care. Unfortunately, a lot of uninsured Americans, including myself, need that coverage desperately. What is it that you consider “selling out the country” in this bill? It sounds like your point of view comes from the fact that you don’t need the coverage, so why should anyone? That sounds pretty “ME ME ME” from where I’m sitting.
    And what is the “terrible price” you’re talking about? Are we back to the abortion funding thing? If you didn’t find the facts in the other links I posted, here are a few more that describe in detail how the Senate bill contains no funding for abortions:

  53. First of all, when the Stupak amendment was first included, there was a scream of bloody murder being heard from every abortion advocate in America. That, to me, is a good thing. Why is there none now? Because even if it’s not included outrightly, you guys are just going to sneak it in under the table later. No thanks. As it stands, it’s not required, but the door is opened for them to be covered later. Hence the squealing being stopped, AND no more cries from you guys of “Abortion MUST be covered in this plan!!!11one” because you guys know it WILL be, eventually.
    My coverage status and state of health have nothing to do with my willingness to sell out America for a 1 trillion$ scam that taxes business owners and other people who are barely able to keep themselves (and by proxy this country, considering they provide most of the jobs…) afloat. You guys always think free stuff just poofs out of nothing. “Raise the minimum wage! I want more money!”, “Free healthcare! I WANT! I NEED!”. That crap comes from SOMEWHERE, and I’d rather myself and every unemployed American like me were able to get a job in the first place than to get their “free” stuff from the government. If you are sick and need healthcare, I’m sorry, but maybe you guys should fix that bloated pig that you guys enjoy putting lipstick on and parading around when it suits you-Medicaid/Medicare-and take the extra money to a.) pay for that failed system, which is what the new system you guys are advocating is going to look like in a few years ONLY WORSE, and b.) help more people who need it to use the systems we already have more efficiently.
    My husband and I are already trying to cut our ties with government systems (which are mismanaged just as badly by the DoD as they will be with any other department head) from his stint in the military. We don’t want anymore from them, because we know they can’t handle it. His first year in, it was great. We were moved to a small base, and things were fine. About half way through, I guess they realized it was a small base and there was so much more they could get out of that puppy, so without thinking about the ramifications, they moved several thousand soldiers and their families up from Ft. Hood. Seeing a doctor went from calling for an appointment then getting one within the next few days to literally MONTHS. The emergency rooms went from normal capacities on average to being constantly filled to bursting. My son was having and they had to take care of it in the waiting room because the wait to see a doctor was so long. (Not to mention the parking space atrocity that soon followed on post…but that’s a different story)
    Now, do you really, seriously think things will be better in a system that encompasses the entire nation? They can’t even manage one army base successfully. I certainly don’t trust them to manage each American’s care in a timely, efficient, and compassionate manner. Not by a longshot. And we can’t even pay for the things we ALREADY do.

  54. First of all, the main reason that pro-choice advocates — while still viewing the bill as placing restrictions on abortion coverage that we’d rather not have, and that disproportionately affect low-income women — are supporting the bill now and the initial tide of objection has died down is because:
    — we recognize that not only does expanding access to health care and health insurance reduce abortion rates (and yes, we want to reduce them);
    — but we also understand that improving the overall quality of and access to health care for all Americans is more important, and that trying to stop this very essential reform because of the restrictions on abortion would go against much of what we stand for.
    Given the choice between passing the bill as it is with the restrictions on abortion funding, and not passing it at all (potentially losing any chance to reform the system), most of us would rather get the reforms done and fight for changes later.
    Second, I don’t think anyone expects the bill, if it passes, to result in free health care. I don’t. I fully expect that along with insurance now available to me through the reforms comes paying my own premiums, deductibles, and copays. I didn’t get free healthcare when I was insured before, and don’t expect it now. But I did have access to the cancer treatment that made it possible for me to be alive today, and I’m not sure how I would be able to get similar (or likely more complex and expensive) treatment if my cancer recurred today. Even if I was able to get treatment, I’d end up with such huge bills that would most likely fall on my fiance or my family to pay after I died.
    I’ve heard a lot about the quality of care in the military, and I’m sure your story is a common one. However, we aren’t talking about socialized medicine, or offering free (or even low-cost) healthcare to everyone. We are just talking about giving another 30-40 million people insurance that allows them to access health care they need without ending up in debt. The increase in patients in any given facility, if you average that out over the entire country, is likely to be minimal, especially if you consider that right now most uninsured people wait longer and need more intensive care when they seek treatment (because they are trying to avoid the bills and costs), and when they seek care it’s usually through ERs. With insurance, those people will be able to see primary care physicians in clinics instead of ERs, and will be seen much sooner because they aren’t worried about how they are going to pay for it. National healthcare costs should, over the first several years, decrease as more people get preventative care and more illnesses are detected and treated early.
    One example off the top of my head: stage 1 melanoma has a virtually 100% survival rate, and treatment is usually an office procedure where the lesion and surrounding tissue is removed, which takes about 30-45 minutes. Stage III melanoma requires a much wider excision of tissue under local anaesthetic, usually along with biopsy or removal of lymph nodes, followed by up to a year of high-dose interferon treatment, the first four weeks of which are done in hospital. It’s perhaps 100 times more expensive to treat. If you aren’t at the doctor having a physical and happen to say, “Hey doc, what do you think about this mole?” you’re probably not going to find the cancer at stage 1. If you’re uninsured, you’re not going to go to the ER just to have them look at a mole. If I hadn’t had insurance when I developed melanoma, I wouldn’t have ever had a doctor look at the cancerous mole on my hip, and would almost certainly be dead right now. Especially since I had a less common type, nodular melanoma, that doesn’t look anything like the pictures I remember from health class — because it spreads down into the tissue and not across the skin.
    So yeah, I do think things would be better than the experience you had with health care on the base. Particularly because it’s the insurance companies, not the government, making the basic decisions that affect individuals. They aren’t perfect, but with the reforms keeping them from the worst of their tactics, I think they’ll do an okay job. And right now they are an existing, functioning system that doesn’t need to be created out of whole cloth (as a public option would).

  55. hahaha.
    “We are just talking about giving another 30-40 million people insurance that allows them to access health care they need without ending up in debt…”
    And what you’re NOT saying is that MOST of those 30-40 million people are illegal aliens. The actual number of uninsured AMERICANS is closer to about 10 million (granted, it’s rising daily because of unemployment numbers, but I’m sure taxing the wealthy will certainly help that problem as well, right?!). Immigration reform would help the healthcare “crisis” to be minimalized, and things like tort reform and interstate competition could easily finish filling that gap.

  56. Again, you’re wrong. You can see the real numbers here but I’ll reprise the highlights, in case you don’t feel like clicking and reading.
    — 45.7 million people were uninsured for some part of 2007.
    — 21% of the uninsured are immigrants, both legal and illegal, which comes to about 9.7 million. While exact numbers of undocumented uninsured people don’t exist, estimates place the number around 5.6 million, which is about 25 million less than the number you state.
    Immigration reform would have little significant impact on minimizing the healthcare crisis and the number of uninsured Americans. Tort reform and interstate competition would do nothing for the millions who don’t get benefits through their jobs and can’t get insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Though they *might* result in modest (and probably temporary) decreases in premiums for those who can get insurance. But probably not, since insurance companies have shown year after year that they will jack up premiums as high as they can for no reason at all — by 40% this year, in the case of Anthem Blue Cross, despite the record profits they recorded last year.
    The link above discusses several other commonly heard statements about the number of uninsured and why they are uninsured. By my reading, if you take out undocumented immigrants, those who qualify for Medicaid and other programs (mostly children), and 72% of those who make over $75,000 a year (assuming they can afford coverage, and the 72% number is the percent of applications for private insurance that are approved), my math comes out to 21.6 million people who are uninsured and can’t get insurance. And because insurance companies exclude and deny the sickest people, those 21.6 million people are likely to need health care more than the average American. These are not 21.6 healthy people making good money who choose to not be insured. They are 21.6 million people making under $75,000 a year (household income) who don’t qualify for state or federal programs and who either can’t afford private coverage or can’t get it because of their health history.
    Got any other arguments you want to try? Maybe something based on actual fact?

  57. Numbers in the 40-million range regularly used by proponents of health care “reform” are based on reports from the Census Bureau which show, for example, over 45 million people “not covered” in 2007. However, these numbers are extremely misleading for several reasons, and the difference is critical not simply as a debating point but as a context for appropriate government policy changes.
    * The Census Bureau itself says that “Health insurance coverage is likely to be underreported…” (See Appendix C of THIS report) For example, “16.9 percent of people with an MSIS record indicating Medicaid coverage reported…that they were uninsured.”
    * According to Sally Pipes of the Pacific Research Institute, “as many as 12 million uninsured Americans are eligible for Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program–but they haven’t signed up.”
    * More than half of the uninsured are between 18 and 34 years of age, a group which has relatively few expensive health issues and for whom self-insuring (paying their own medical bills) makes sense. Only 14% of people over the age of 55% are uninsured.
    * Over 9 million of the “uninsured” have household incomes over $75,000.
    * Roughly 30% of the uninsured are without insurance for less than 6 months (though this statistic will likely worsen during the current recession).
    * And finally, estimates are that between 7.5 million to over 10 million of the uninsured (15% of them or more) are illegal immigrants.
    The number of chronically uninsured people who would prefer to have insurance but can’t afford it is likely 10-12 million people, or one quarter of the number often repeated by the media.
    So, you’re STILL being disingenuous. I think cutting the medicare/medicaid fraud out of that budget then adding the 10-12 million people who can’t get insurance in the place of those currently defrauding the government would suffice, while not currently causing any harm to the system already in place at all.

  58. You’re making some significant assumptions there. For example, you assume that everyone between 18 and 34 has “relatively few expensive health issues” and that “self-insuring (paying their own medical bills) makes sense” for this group. Just because you are young(ish) does not mean you are healthy. I was diagnosed with cancer at 23, and had “significant health issues” including epilepsy (which required a week of hospitalization and 24/7 monitoring at one point, which I know was very expensive for my insurance company); Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (requiring doctor visits at least every 7 weeks, up to 9 different medications); and the car-versus-pedestrian accident that gave me CRPS and destroyed my right wrist (I was the pedestrian, and needed two surgeries, one of which was a major reconstruction). I’m not unique.
    The census numbers for this age group actually show they make up only 40% of the uninsured, which unless I really messed up in math class does not qualify as “more than half”. As to why this group is uninsured, the Kaiser Freedom Foundation states, “Many low-income young adults lack access to affordable private coverage since few are full-time students or full-time employees, few have jobs that offer employer coverage, and few have access to coverage through their parents.” This is one reason why the health reform bill extends coverage of children through their parents’ plans to the age of 26. A full report from KFF on this population is available here:
    (And in case you’re wondering, KFF is a nonpartisan organization that does not advocate for or against legislation.)
    Your immigrant numbers are also off. 9.7 million uninsured are immigrants, yes, but only 5.6 million or so (the numbers you find anywhere are only estimates because the hard data doesn’t exist ) are undocumented/illegal.
    You are correct that about 9 million people make over $75,000 per household, but assuming they can all purchase insurance if they want it is false. No matter how much money you make, if you don’t have health coverage through your employer, and you have a history of just about any health problem, you can’t get insurance. Every private insurance company out there will deny you. And because you make so much money, you’re not eligible for programs like Medicaid. Your only hope would be going through the long and irrational process of applying for SSDI, or paying out of pocket for all of your care. Which is fine if you never get in a serious accident, or get cancer, or need a transplant.
    The whole point of “health insurance” is to make sure that when you need those expensive procedures and treatments, you can get them regardless of how expensive they are. You pay into it when you’re well, and get benefits out when you’re sick. Saying that whole groups of people, like the 18-34 group, should be fine and dandy just paying out of pocket since they’re young (and therefore healthy) ignores the fact that any day any one of us could face a serious unexpected health crisis with no warning. If you and your family want to take that risk, it’s up to you. But a lot of people would greatly prefer to have the insurance and know that if they need it someday, it will be there.
    Suppose we do the math taking into account some of your numbers, and taking away the above assumptions. For sake of argument, let’s say that half of the people between 18 and 34, and half of the people making $75k or more, are uninsured and don’t want to be.
    But here’s the thing: suppose reform passes. People who qualify for Medicare and SCHIP get it. Undocumented immigrants get nothing. Everyone else gets insurance. That only adds up to about 18 million people total added to the system — which isn’t that much higher than your numbers. What you are suggesting in your last paragraph is a lot like what will happen if the bill passes.
    Oh, and when the media (as well as myself) refers to 40 million uninsured, it’s not qualified. The figure is correct; that it isn’t broken down to only the people YOU think should deserve/want health insurance doesn’t make it false.
    I’m curious what you’re referring to when you talk about Medicare/Medicaid fraud. Can you explain in more detail?

  59. Xalisae–I hear you loud and clear!!!! Excellent posts!
    I am one of those people whose COBRA extended insurance runs out in August of this year. I have no idea how my husband and I will afford insurance privately. I agree it needs reform BUT NOT THIS WAY!!!! Not a government grab of the whole business…I heard a prediction this plan will literally bankrupt us in four years. They broke down the math and it made a whole lot of sense to me.
    I am one of those poor soon to be uninsured individuals Violet so compassionately wants to help and I am saying loud and clear “NO THANKS!!!!”

  60. Sydney — I was going to write a long answer to your comment but realized there’s nothing I can say that I haven’t already said here, and if you’ve read Xalisae’s comments you’ve probably read mine too, and obviously it didn’t change your mind.
    The only thing I want to say is that I feel really sorry for people — possibly including you — who, despite being among the tens of millions of people that this bill will help in huge ways, have been convinced to argue, vehemently, against their own best interests. We’ve seen the GOP do this over and over again, and they are good at it. I think if they wanted to convince the residents of Death Valley to lobby against water, they probably could do it.
    If this bill fails, and you find yourself, in August, without insurance, I just hope and pray that you and your family stay healthy and don’t get injured in any way. The bitter part of me wants to say that I wish some of the people I have debated about this could suddenly find themselves in my shoes, with cancer and chronic illness and no health insurance, so they could see for themselves just how badly this reform bill is needed. But I wouldn’t wish my life and my poor health on my worst enemy. The only thing I do wish is that the people who have hardened their hearts against this bill could open them just enough to hear my story and the stories of others who are suffering so much without health insurance. The tens of millions of uninsured in this country — let’s not get picky about the numbers, we can agree there’s at least 10-12 million who actually need help — we are not just a number or a statistic. We are real people with families who we support, with husbands and wives and children and mothers and fathers and friends, with lives we worked hard to build, with dreams we want to see come true that are slipping away every day because all the money we can spare goes to pay health care bills. When you talk about health reform, and about what’s in this bill, it often seems like you have forgotten that.

  61. We have the best health care in the world in this country. At least we do if you’re rich, or you have decent insurance. If you don’t have insurance, if you’re underinsured, you’d be better off in Cuba. And that, too, is a fact.
    Posted by: Violet at March 16, 2010 11:22 AM
    Violet, that lady in Ohio who dropped her health insurance and was diagnosed with leukemia would be better in Cuba. How can you call that a “fact”. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can state lies as being fact. Do you really believe that or are you just on an emotional rant cause it is not a “fact”. She is getting the best care in the world and it is being paid for by Medicaid. btw – Medicare is being cut so severely by Obama that doctors are quitting their practice of caring for Medicaid patients. You are misguided and mistakenly saying something is a “fact” does not make it a fact, and in this case it makes you “wrong”.

  62. With insurance, those people will be able to see primary care physicians in clinics instead of ERs, and will be seen much sooner because they aren’t worried about how they are going to pay for it.
    You have your talking points down, Violet, I’ll give you that much. Too bad they aren’t accurate. Use of the ER is anticipated to RISE not fall if Obamacare passes. One reason is that more primary care physicians will refuse to assume the financial losses that come with caring for Medicare and Medicaid patients. So more and more government-funded patients will seek their care from ERs.
    Second, as you noted, more people in the system won’t be “worried how they are going to pay for it.” Won’t matter to them if they seek the most expensive form of care because the cost isn’t coming out of their pockets. As it is, many patients with private insurance or government funded care use the ER for complaints more appropriately treated elsewhere because it’s more convenient than waiting several days to see their primary care physician. They aren’t paying a dime for their care and have no concern about seeking the most expensive form of care for the mildest of complaints.
    If you’re uninsured, you’re not going to go to the ER just to have them look at a mole.
    I guess the folks in my neighborhood didn’t get your memo. Our patients come in for moles, hangnails, lice, zits, and anything–I MEAN ANYTHING–else you can imagine.
    National healthcare costs should, over the first several years, decrease as more people get preventative care and more illnesses are detected and treated early.
    That talking point has also been defeated. The CBO has explained that “the evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.” Preventive services may be a worthwhile expenditure, but they do not lower overall spending.

  63. But here’s the thing: suppose reform passes. People who qualify for Medicare and SCHIP get it. Undocumented immigrants get nothing. Everyone else gets insurance.
    Everyone else gets insurance, Violet? The CBO projects that, should the bill pass, in nine years there will still be 20+ million uninsured legal citizens. They also, I think, would dispute your claim that “everyone else gets insurance,” assuming you mean private insurance. Medicaid is projected to absorb 10+ million, including a sizeable chunk of those projected to lose the private insurance they presently have.
    The only thing I want to say is that I feel really sorry for people — possibly including you — who, despite being among the tens of millions of people that this bill will help in huge ways, have been convinced to argue, vehemently, against their own best interests.
    Are you a progressive or merely presumptuous when you claim to know better than others what is in their “best interests?”
    We’ve seen the GOP do this over and over again, and they are good at it.
    Where have “we” seen this? On MSNBC? CNN? PBS? Yes, GOP spin is everywhere! That must be why opposition to the bill is becoming increasingly bipartisan. Come to think of it, unless there had been bipartisan opposition from the very beginning, wouldn’t the Dems have passed it months ago before the GOP spin machine had a chance to gear up?

  64. Thank you, Fed Up. I don’t have the time or energy to combat someone who chooses to outrightly lie with the same ease they draw a breath.
    It’s sad that Violet doesn’t seem to understand the pro-life mindset in any facet whatsoever. The thinking of putting others first seems to be entirely foreign to her. Would it be in my best interest to make other people pay for something I need for me? On the face of things, it would appear so. But I’m not going to put my interests ahead of those of thousands of medical field and insurance industry employees, and millions of Americans who will all be footing the bill for it.

  65. Violet…look. I agree with you that we need healthcare REFORM. But that does not mean we need socialized medicine. That we need an all out government healthcare GRAB. Do you have any idea how we will pay for this bill? 940 BILLION dollars this tab is gonna be. Are you freaking kidding me? These democrats must have failed first grade math…they think 2 + 2= 0.
    I think most of the reason that health insurance is so darn high is that these companies don’t have to COMPETE for our business. If they did you would see a lot of our costs as consumers go down.
    I have family that lives in countries with socialized medicine. They think we’re nuts here in the US for wanting it too. I don’t want anyone to not be able to get medicine when sick or not be able to afford to go to the doctor. I don’t want anyone to suffer from lack of care. That is why I oppose government healthcare. You equate “free” healthcare (and it AIN’T free btw, you WILL be paying for it) with GOOD healthcare and that just isn’t so.
    The solution to the problem is not government. Thats all I’m saying. God bless you with health Violet. I truly pray that. I don’t want anyone to be sick.

  66. Violet: The thing that I wish is that the people who have hardened their hearts against unborn children could open them just enough to consider the problem from the perspective of the innocent baby. The tens of millions each year who will never be born because they are killed in elective abortion–less than 5 percent (5,000) are killed for medical reasons or rape–are not just a number or statistic. They are real people with families they will never enrich, mothers and fathers and siblings they will never play with, lives they will never be able to continue, who would one day have dreams and husbands and wives were they not killed first. When you talk about abortion rights, about women’s choices, you seem to not consider that.

  67. “We’ve seen the GOP do this over and over again, and they are good at it.”
    Ah, yes. The Republican party is made up entirely of evil masterminds and dimwitted dupes.
    Actually, I’m not a Republican, I make $0 a year (DH makes around $75,000, but we’re not exactly filthy rich), and I still don’t want this bill to pass. I want the right to pay extra if I need something the insurance (government or private) won’t cover–something I’ve done before, am doing now, and plan to do again.
    Obviously this makes me stupid. Let me tell you, Violet, treating me like I’m stupid is the second fastest way to get on my bad side. Don’t worry, though, you’ve done the first too, and that’s advocating that unborn children have no rights.
    Did it ever occur to you that the pro-lifers here all have lives and stories and think the way we do for reasons other than being stupid, brainwashed serfs of the GOP? (Not that the GOP usually does more than pay lip service to the pro-life cause anyway–hence the reason I’m not a member of the Republican party.)

  68. Fed up:
    Everyone else gets insurance, Violet? The CBO projects that, should the bill pass, in nine years there will still be 20+ million uninsured legal citizens.
    Apparently you weren’t following the conversation and Xalisae’s math, which indeed leaves out around 20 million people who (at least according to her) don’t want or need insurance. Look, I never said this bill was perfect. The point is to get started, not to enact the be-all and end-all of reforms. I’m basically with Kucinich, who said yesterday he was changing his vote because “something is better than nothing.” We need something, and we can improve and amend it over time. But if we don’t start now it could be ten years or more before we see real reforms. It’s taken so long to get this bill where it is, near the finish line, and starting over would mean another 1-2 years at least of debate and wrangling. Of course, you all would probably see that as a good thing, since in that time the power could shift back to the GOP side and Obama could even be out of office — which would probably tank reforms for good.
    I understand the theory behind the idea that if people knew what their care cost, they would choose less expensive care options rather than asking for expensive tests and treatments that perhaps are unnecessary. When you’re talking about minor complaints and preventative care — the kind of health care we can make real choices about because we can live without it if we need or want to — that may be true. Where that theory fails is when you need expensive care and treatments to stay alive. Do you expect cancer patients to say, “Well, I need three months of chemo and radiation, but gee, it’s so expensive, I better just not do it and say my goodbyes”? Or the victim of a car accident with an open leg fracture requiring complicated orthopedic surgery to say, “Hey, you know, surgery is too expensive, just splint it up and I’ll go home”? The most expensive health care is the care we need that we can’t turn down or choose to not have.
    I don’t know everything about this bill, and maybe it will end up adding to the deficit and maybe it will end up saving us money. It seems to really depend on who you ask and whether they are democrat or republican. But all this screaming about adding to the deficit makes me wonder whether you were screaming at this volume when Bush was adding $5 trillion to the deficit, the largest increase under any president in history. That’s an honest question, and I realize not all the people I’ve talked to here are republicans, and don’t know how any of you felt about Bush.
    truthseeker: As far as Natoma Canfield, I’ve looked but I can’t find a single source stating Medicaid is paying for her care — just some talk about how she might be eligible. Right now, no one is paying for her care. Eventually, probably, if she doesn’t get into Medicaid, the clinic treating her will most likely write off some or all of the charges as “charity care”. Which is nice, but we can’t expect doctors, clinics and hospitals to write off every bill for people who can’t pay and aren’t insured.
    Also, the healthcare in Cuba is actually pretty good, and most statistics put Cuba virtually equal to the United States — measures like life expectancy, common causes of death (years), and doctor to patient ratio (second only to Italy in the world). Whatever else can be said about life in Cuba and the choices of Cuban government, they provide quality healthcare to their citizens. Natoma may well have received the same treatment she is getting now if she were in Cuba, only it would be free.
    Sydney: This bill is not socialized medicine. It is an expansion of the current system which is based on private insurance companies. Socialized medicine would be a national single payer system that accepted everyone — which obviously isn’t happening. This isn’t even universal healthcare, though it would be a lot closer to it than we are today. And yes, the 10 year cost is high. But what, if anything, is more important than ensuring that the people who make up this country have access to the health care we all need to live healthy lives? (I have a feeling you probably have an answer to that, of course.)
    Not all socialized medicine/universal healthcare systems are created equal. Some of them are better than others. When I talk to friends in countries with universal healthcare, they are happy with the care they get and are flabbergasted that anyone should have to decide which treatments and medications they are going to take based not on what they need but what they can afford and how much money they can scrape out of the grocery budget.
    I don’t have any illusions the care under these reforms would be free. It’s health insurance, not free care. But it would be affordable, where right now only the most basic care is affordable if you are uninsured. I find it very hard to see how the reforms in this bill would decrease the quality of care. Someone here mentioned doctors no longer treating Medicare and Medicaid patients — which already happens — but most people helped through this bill are going to be under private insurance, not Medicare or Medicaid. And even if some doctors leave those programs, there will still be hospitals and clinics that treat large numbers of Medicare and Medicaid patients. I don’t see it being very likely that doctors are going to stop treating patients with insurance, because they would lose nearly all their patients.
    The big solution here, at least at the start, is to increase the number of people that can get private insurance. That’s not exactly a government takeover — the companies are still private, and they end up with more subscribers and most likely even higher profits.
    ycw: I don’t think anyone who’s posted here is stupid. I don’t think you are stupid. If I did, I wouldn’t even bother posting. I’m glad you’re fine without health insurance and paying out of pocket for healthcare. You’re lucky.
    Look, as far as abortion is concerned, we’re not going to agree. You may not believe me, but I’d like to see the number of elective abortions reduced to zero, just as much as you would. I just don’t believe that banning abortion is going to make that happen — what will are measures like increasing access to contraception, making sure pregnant women know they can get prenatal, labor, deliver, and neonatal health care covered (and add that coverage if it doesn’t exist), creating and publicizing programs that assist women who keep their babies, supporting and publicizing adoption programs, adding more childcare credits, funding, and facilities so working women can have children without worrying about how to keep their careers, and many other measures that either reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies or increase the support and services that address common concerns of women who consider abortion. I believe there is a lot of common ground between pro-life and pro-choice and that if we could figure out how to work together we could accomplish a lot more. I may come at it from a different perspective and see abortion differently than you do, but please don’t assume that I am without compassion or that I think abortion is without consequence. I’ve spent a lot of time this year arguing with people on the issue of abortion, and have come to realize that nothing I say and no amount of time I could spend trying to explain my views and opinions will make a difference, and I’m not going to try to do that here. The only place I see worth putting my energies is towards finding people on both sides willing to work together and find the common goals that we share.

  69. Violet at 12:16 pm 3/18 “I may come at it from a different perspective and see abortion differently than you do…” [Emphasis added]
    I see it like this:
    Violet, you talk about “common ground” and “common goals”. Dead and alive are two very black and white categories, sorry. All the semantic engineering in the world does not change the fact that abortion ends the life of a human being.

  70. “Do you expect cancer patients to say, “Well, I need three months of chemo and radiation, but gee, it’s so expensive, I better just not do it and say my goodbyes”? Or the victim of a car accident with an open leg fracture requiring complicated orthopedic surgery to say, “Hey, you know, surgery is too expensive, just splint it up and I’ll go home”? ”
    No. I expect that some people from the IRS and various other entities within the government will do that FOR me under this plan. Which they will. I know you’ll just say “Deth panuls ain’t reel, liers!!11one” Whatever.
    You can’t tell me that quality of care isn’t going to go down. 1/3 of American doctors said that they’d leave their practices if this were passed? LOL, WUT? In a place like Cuba, the doctor to patient ratio is great, because you might as well be a doctor, you’ll get the same pay doing anything else. Here, it pays to be a doctor and that’s why many people become doctors. How long until the government passes more laws to “help” do something about “the lack of doctors” crisis? The only thing government is good for is manufacturing crisis.

  71. Xalisae — the “survey” you cite has been debunked: — it wasn’t a real survey. If it was, it would have been published somewhere other than “a free advertiser newsletter published by the Worldwide Advertising Sales and Marketing Department in the publishing division of the Massachusetts Medical Society”.
    And here you go again with the “death panels”. Won’t bother to refute it again, you can just scroll up and read what I said before, not that it will get through your skull.

  72. klynn —
    Violet, you talk about “common ground” and “common goals”. Dead and alive are two very black and white categories, sorry. All the semantic engineering in the world does not change the fact that abortion ends the life of a human being.
    I’m not going to debate you on the finer points of this because there’s no point in doing it, but let’s agree that abortion ends the potential for a new human life to come into the world. That’s why we need to work together to reduce the number of abortions and prevent unwanted pregnancies that lead to them. Banning elective abortion won’t do that. If we want to do something substantive about abortion and reduce the number of abortions, we’d get a lot more done if both sides could work together instead of using so much of our energy fighting each other.

  73. “…potential for a new human life to come into the world…”
    No. That’s where you’re wrong. It TAKES a human life that is ALREADY in the world. That’s why they should be ILLEGAL, which WILL reduce the number of abortions. Period.

  74. I’m basically with Kucinich, who said yesterday he was changing his vote because “something is better than nothing.” We need something, and we can improve and amend it over time
    Why does that not surprise me? Kucinich is a single payer advocate. He opposed the bill because it didn’t get us to single payer quickly enough. But he knows this bill is a vehicle to get us there progressively.
    As for those improvements he’ll be recommending, I wonder whose ideas they’ll be? A guy who “heard directions in his mind” while he was being observed by a UFO isn’t someone I view as particularly credible when it comes to recommending national health care policy.

  75. Violet:
    1. Making abortion illegal would do exactly that.
    2. How much of an increase in contraception would it take? Giving condoms away free and having 97% of women on hormonal birth control at some point doesn’t sound like a dark mysterious secret.
    Why do you want there to be less abortions? Aren’t they essential reproductive choice or whatever?

  76. Making abortion illegal will not stop abortion. In countries where abortion is illegal, their abortion rates are higher than countries where it is legal.
    Just because something is illegal doesn’t mean people won’t do it. Lots of things are illegal that people do anyway — from crossing the double yellow line to pass someone to committing robbery to murder to using illegal drugs. Making abortion illegal won’t reduce unwanted pregnancies or change the circumstances that lead women to choose abortion. It will make it harder and less safe for those women to find abortion providers, and make them more likely to try and do the abortion on their own using one of the classic and horrific methods. According to the World Health Organization, 20 million women choose unsafe abortion every year. 98% of them live in areas with restrictive abortion laws. You can read the entire report here:
    You can go on believing that making abortion illegal will fix everything. Go on putting all your energy into that cause. In the meantime, we’ll be acting to reduce unwanted pregnancies and help women who wouldn’t choose abortion if they had the right kind of support. If you ever change your mind and decide that reducing the number of abortions with methods that actually work are worth your time, we will be grateful for your help.

  77. Why do you want there to be less abortions? Aren’t they essential reproductive choice or whatever?
    I believe abortion should be the last resort, an available choice but one that should be used only if there are no other options that work for any individual woman. Before a woman decides on abortion she should have access to information on adoption, as well as help finding and securing services that help with health care and expenses during pregnancy, labor, and after birth. My idea world is one where there are only abortions in cases where it is necessary to save the mother’s life — not because there is a ban, but because we have reduced unwanted pregnancies so that nearly all pregnancies are wanted and/or planned; and where women have all the support they need to overcome factors that current make it difficult or impossible — or make it seem that way — for them to keep their babies. Until we get there, abortion is a choice that needs to be available, if for no other reason than the fact that we know banning it would not stop women from having abortions. By keeping it legal we keep it safe (yes, I know the stories of the occasional bad doctor or clinic, but the vast majority of abortions are safe in this country and conducted by qualified medical professionals). And that gives us time to put measures in place to support women and give them other realistic options.
    If the pro-life and pro-choice people could find a way to work together, I believe we could make that ideal a reality. Until we stop putting all our energy into fighting each other, though, we’re losing chances to change the way things are.

  78. Why should abortion be a last resort Violet? It doesn’t kill a baby so who cares???? Let it be the first resort! IT DOESN’T KILL A BABY REMEMBER????

  79. Syndney,
    Please don’t put words in my mouth. Just because I think abortion should be legal doesn’t mean I think it’s no big deal.
    I believe that every woman needs the right to decide herself whether to have an abortion, without pressure in any direction from anyone. I think abortion, if it could have been prevented with some of what I’ve said in other comments, is a tragedy. I also believe that the only person my views on abortion apply to is myself. I don’t have the right to decide for another woman whether she should or shouldn’t have an abortion, and especially to decide that she can’t have one even if that’s what she wants.
    If you don’t like abortion, don’t have one. None of us have the right to make that decision for anyone else.

  80. WHY isn’t it no big deal Violet? Because deep inside whether you would ever admit it or not you KNOW abortion is the taking of an innocent child’s life. THATS why you think it should be a “last resort’.
    If it makes you so uncomfortable you think it should be a “last resort” then why should it be legal in the first place? If you think abortion IS a big deal then WHY is it a big deal? If its a big deal because it takes a life, how should a JUST society accept that?

  81. Is there ANYTHING in the Health Care bill about PRE NATAL care? How many women would not abort if
    pre-natal care was covered? I’d rather pay for PRENATAL care than for the murder of innocent babies.

  82. Violet: How many of these pro-choice-to-kill-babies people work at crisis pregnancy centers?
    You will probably point out that pro-lifers run them.
    Why is that?
    Why aren’t there pro-choice crisis pregnancy centers that give women all of the facts and help them choose what’s right for them? Why is it that the only “pro-choice” organizations that “help” pregnant women are those that sell abortion or contraception?
    Just out of curiosity, do you support informed choice on contraception and abortion? I was pushed into using hormonal contraception without being given all my options or being informed that it could work by killing a developing embryo. Is it okay that no one gave me the information I needed to make the right choice for me?

  83. YCW–I also was pushed into using hormonal contraceptives after the birth of my son. I asked the doctor if it could kill a developing baby and he blubbered that that was a “lie” and he didn’t know how these urban myths got started.
    Imagine my anger when I read the find print and found out I’d been lied to!
    Where was MY right to make an informed choice?

  84. ycw — I absolutely support informed choice on all aspects of contraception and abortion. No woman should be given incorrect information or not given information on any choice or option, or pushed in any direction by anyone for any reason. Just as clinics that provide abortion should never push clients to choose abortion who are unsure or don’t know enough about their other options, CPC staff should not push women towards adoption or keeping their babies who aren’t sure or who come in looking for accurate information on all of their options. I’ve read about documented cases where women were pushed to have abortions by clinic staff. I don’t support that IN ANY WAY. I’ve also read many accounts by women who went to CPCs believing they provided abortion services — in some cases being told that by staff — only to be subjected to a variety of cruel and misleading tactics designed to prevent women from having abortions at any cost. I don’t support that either.
    You can read many stories of women who had bad experiences or who were given misinformation or subjected to various tactics at CPCs at's-Stories.php, but I wanted to share two of those accounts here:
    “When my period was late, I went to a place called “Problem Pregnancy Center” that advertised free pregnancy tests. When I was waiting I was in a small room watching bloody and disgusting videos about abortion. After the video they told me I was pregnant. I got an ultrasound there too. They said I was 12 weeks along. They said I was too far along to have a legal abortion in my state. I knew this was wrong and realized I wasn’t in the right place. I screamed at the staff and left in a huff, saying I was going to have an abortion somewhere else. Whoops. I didn’t mean to do that, it was definitely a mistake. But I was so angry that they were lying! A few days later, my mom got an anonymous phone call that said I’d killed her grandbaby. I was infuriated and humiliated. Fortunately my mom was understanding and said she would have done the same thing but wishes I had talked to her first because she knew of a good clinic and I wouldn’t have ended up in this terrible place. I felt so happy and relieved. Seven months later, I got a card in the mail. It said, “Congratulations on Your New Baby!” but it was splattered with red paint or ink. Every year after that, I’d get a Happy Birthday card made for children, except they’re all splattered with red paint. We couldn’t get them to stop legally because there was no proof the Crisis Center was sending them. I finally stopped receiving the cards when I moved out of the state and didn’t leave behind a forwarding address.
    “This place was awful. I knew instantly that they didn’t want to help me but to torment me. And after I had the abortion, I was really fine. But once I started getting those cards, I wasn’t. All that guilt they said I would have if I had an abortion came true, but only because they created it. I would have been fine, honestly. I had no moral opposition to abortion, but they put that into my head and it still to this day haunts me. It’s like they create guilt and unhappiness in order to prove that you’ll be guilty and depressed.”
    And on the issue of using tactics to prevent women from having access to services (services CPCs don’t provide, though they frequently give women the impression or tell them outright that they do):
    “The Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center in Greensboro, NC routinely schedules clients five to seven days after they first call, claiming that’s their “first available” appointment. This week in delay could be the difference between an easy, relatively inexpensive abortion procedure and a more expensive, more invasive one. One of our volunteers called the CPC for a visit to learn more about the “morning after pill” or emergency contraception, a backup method of birth control that is effective if taken 1-3 days after unprotected intercourse. The CPC staff told her they had no available appointments for another four days, conveniently delaying her past the time frame where it would be effective. The staffer never said they did not carry the medication.”
    Every pregnant woman considering her options should have access to accurate information on all her choices. In answer to your question, “Why aren’t there pro-choice crisis pregnancy centers that give women all of the facts and help them choose what’s right for them?” — what you describe is what happens in many, if not most, clinics that provide abortion services, especially if they also provide prenatal care and assistance to pregnant women. This also often happens in doctors offices, when women discuss their options with a gynecologist or primary care provider. But your question does point out that there is a missing piece, which is the creation of centers similar to CPCs that provide no services, just counseling and referrals, and that do it without an agenda. Personally, I don’t think anyone with a political or religious agenda should be counseling women on their choices, because it can be difficult if you feel strongly about one of the choices to stay impartial and keep from pushing women toward the choice you think is best for them.
    Neither you or Sydney should have been pushed into using hormonal contraceptives — as I’m sure you know, while most of the time women taking birth control pills don’t ovulate, it is sometimes possible, and therefore possible that an egg could be fertilized which would not be able to implant because of the effects of the birth control pills. This should have been explained, especially in answer to a direct question, as Sydney describes.
    When it comes to reproductive options and abortion, the “choice” that I support is *informed choice*. A choice made without accurate information, or without all the information, is not really a choice, especially if the information you do have is designed to push you in a specific direction.

  85. we’ve REDUCED? Then why are there STILL over 1 MILLION abortions a YEAR? And don’t tell me they are all for “Health of the mother” or “Rape” or “Incest”. They are NOT. Less than 1% are “hard cases” and many are because the woman is being coerced. And many more are for socio-economical issues. There are agencies that help women during these difficult times. But they are led to believe abortion is their ONLY option. They are led to believe the lies about fetal development as told to them by Planned Parenthood.
    We don’t reduce abortion by giving the tools that will cause MORE abortions to be procured. We also should NEVER treat pregnancy as if it was a fatal STD!

  86. Liz: The reasons you cite that women commonly choose abortion is why I believe that we need a network of counselors and advocates who can work with women and agencies that provide help and services to overcome those difficulties and assure those women they will have the help they need — before they choose abortion. As I’ve said, a real choice must be an informed choice, and if a woman choose abortion because she believes there is no help for her financially if she keeps her baby, or that there is no access to prenatal care if she is uninsured, or that there are no programs to help with any health care the baby might need after birth, etcetera — and thus chooses abortion — that is not an informed choice. We need better support networks that can help women make these choices from an informed point of view, with a full understanding of the services available to them. I don’t support anyone pushing women to make a specific choice — whether they are working in a clinic or a CPC.
    I’m not sure what you mean by “giving the tools that will cause MORE abortions to be procured” — can you explain in more detail?

  87. Violet,
    As for having to wait a week for an appointment… if a pregnant woman called a Women’s Pregnancy Center and told them that she was seriously contemplating abortion but wanted to know her other options, they would probably get her in for an appointment in a day, not make her wait a week…..
    * * *
    “The staffer never said they did not carry the medication.”
    It was your friend’s responsibility to ask, don’t you think?

  88. Violet,
    Sorry….I read too quickly and didn’t realize you were quoting stories from a website, not your own personal experience with a “friend” -as I suggested in my answer.

  89. Janet,
    Your first comment seems to imply that women who call CPCs saying they want to schedule an abortion (believing from the ad or sign that it is a clinic that provides abortion services) deserve the delay because of the way they asked?
    And the stories I pasted are not from friends of mine but from's-Stories.php — and it seems to me that if someone calls a CPC obviously thinking they provide Plan B and wanting to schedule a visit to talk about it, they should be told that the CPC doesn’t provide the medication. Women shouldn’t have to ask “Do you provide Plan B?” or “Do you provide abortion services?” in those words to get a straight answer.

  90. Violet,
    No, I wasn’t saying that a woman deserves a delay. Just the opposite. You do realize that not all women who call are planning to abort, so a four day wait would be no problem for them. The woman in this instance should have said called a different pregnancy center if they didn’t provide the service she wanted. I disagree with you when you say “a woman shouldn’t have to ask…” If she doesn’t ask the pertinent questions, then she shouldn’t complain that the CPC wasn’t what she thought it was.
    That’s common sense. It’s not trickery on the part of the CPC.

  91. “The Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center in Greensboro, NC”
    How could one possibly think that a center with this name would do abortions??? Seriously. Maybe some people are that stupid, I don’t know. Abortion is not pregnancy care.
    * * *
    “……there is a missing piece, which is the creation of centers similar to CPCs that provide no services, just counseling and referrals, and that do it without an agenda. Personally, I don’t think anyone with a political or religious agenda should be counseling women on their choices, because it can be difficult if you feel strongly about one of the choices to stay impartial and keep from pushing women toward the choice you think is best for them.”
    Seriously, you wouldn’t need a living, breathing person for this job. Just a phone and a recording. Like a pregnancy hotline. These already exist!

  92. “And after I had the abortion, I was really fine. But once I started getting those cards, I wasn’t. All that guilt they said I would have if I had an abortion came true, but only because they created it.”
    That is utter B.S.
    Nobody can MAKE you feel guilty about something. Either you do, or you don’t. This woman is talking about her denial, and how she’s upset that others who have a functioning moral compass were able to break through it and make her feel what she was trying desperately not to feel at all, the realization that she killed her child.
    People TRIED to make me feel guilty when I got pregnant with my daughter because I wasn’t married. I was in a stable, long-term relationship with her father, we loved each other, and I was proud of becoming a mother. Anything anyone else said or did meant nothing, and still to this day means nothing to me. The only way those things could’ve affected me is if I thought I had done something wrong. This woman needs counseling to help deal with her grief, and learn to not shoot the messenger.

  93. Janet,
    CPCs routinely advertise under the heading “Abortion Services” in the phone book. It only took me 15 seconds to find one of the local CPCs in the Yellow Pages — “Birth Choice of Temecula” — one of two listings for this area. If they don’t provide any abortion services and aren’t an abortion clinic, why are they listed there? There is another category, “Abortion Alternatives”, where several other adoption and support centers, as well as one or two other CPCs, are listed, and which allows women who are looking for alternatives to find them. The only reason for a CPC to be listed under “Abortion Services” is to trick women into calling them and coming in believing they do, indeed, provide abortion services. Add to that the fact that CPCs often advertise widely that they do free pregnancy tests, and they attract women who don’t have much money and want a confirmation that they are pregnant (and don’t realize that most CPCs do the same pregnancy tests you can buy and do at home) — and then want to talk about abortion. Often women don’t realize until they’re watching graphic videos of aborted fetuses interspersed with scare tactics that they aren’t where they thought they were. In my area, there are many CPCs and only a few clinics that advertise abortion services, and because it’s a semi-rural area with little public transportation, women may also inadvertently choose a CPC because it’s closer or more accessible.
    And as to your last point, you’re right that pregnancy hotlines do exist — but recordings can’t answer questions or work with social services to find the help women need for their specific situation. If you want to see women make other choices, a hotline with a recorded message isn’t exactly going to help that much.

  94. Nobody can MAKE you feel guilty about something.
    Maybe that’s true for you, and you have a strong personality that isn’t susceptible to that. Or maybe you just never met people like my mother, who could make you feel guilty for the sun being up if she wanted to.
    I’m glad you had the strength to not let other people’s judgement make you feel bad about being pregnant with your daughter. Not everyone has those qualities.
    Children who are sexually abused are frequently made to feel guilty and ashamed for causing or initiating the abuse even though they did nothing of the sort. Would you argue that since they felt the guilt, they much be guilty, and if they didn’t feel guilty, they were in denial?
    This woman needs counseling to help deal with her grief, and learn to not shoot the messenger.
    So you think that CPCs sending “blood”-spattered birthday cards to women who choose abortion for several years afterward is acceptable? Appropriate?

  95. Live Action Films has multiple videos of PP employees protecting pedophiles and statutory rapists by failing to comply with reporting laws, yet proaborts respond to these DOCUMENTED abuses as atypical. So you’ll forgive me if I am highly skeptical of an undocumented anecdote such as this. It would not be the first time I’ve seen outright lies invented about pro-life people, sidewalk counselors, and even prayer vigil participants. It is not logical to expect ethical behavior from people who kill children for money, support the slaughter in any way, shape, or form, or continue to hold to the lie that “choicing” their children was hunky-dory and/or self-affirming.

  96. Violet:
    If these women are poor, and the pregnancy test is free, and the one they could do at home is not, it certainly sounds like they got the service they were looking for.
    If you support informed consent, wouldn’t that include seeing the procedure that would be performed? I don’t know how there could be a non-bloody abortion video. And I am sure providing this information is a service–one might say an abortion service–that abortion providers do not perform.
    No, I don’t think it is acceptable to send someone bloody cards… but you have no proof that the CPC did this. It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing a cpc would do.

  97. “So you think that CPCs sending “blood”-spattered birthday cards to women who choose abortion for several years afterward is acceptable? Appropriate?”
    If the shoe fits…At least that’s one child whose mother might actually mourn him/her instead of being allowed to live their life gleefully in denial. These children deserve better. I think it’s just sad that an outsider has to step in to even start the process of a mother feeling bad about killing her own child.
    I was just noticing how many of the women who actually got to see the act of abortion when they were planning on getting one decided not to have one. I love how, despite these women’s protests, apparently what the CPC’s did worked. I wouldn’t care WHAT I was called after the fact, or how evil these women thought I was. If I was getting them to feel some kind of emotion towards their lost child or even getting them not to kill that child in the first place, I’d say well worth it.

  98. Let’s suppose that informed consent for any medical procedure included having to watch a video of the full procedure from start to finish. How many people would opt out of surgeries if they knew exactly what was going to be done down to the last detail? A year after I had a major reconstruction done on my wrist, I saw a very similar procedure being performed on TLC. It made me physically ill, and I’m not sure I would have chosen the more complex reconstruction that I did (over a much less complex surgery that would have required a second surgery if it didn’t work) if I’d seen that beforehand. If you don’t have to watch a video of open heart surgery before consenting to it, why should abortion be an exception?
    And that’s aside from the fact that the videos shown in CPCs are edited to be as shocking and disturbing as possible when it comes to the abortion procedure — some CPCs even use the now fully debunked as fake “Silent Scream” video — and the “information” in those videos is twisted to the motives of the CPCs, namely scaring women out of choosing abortion.
    What many women go into CPCs looking for is a pregnancy test and either an appointment or referral to get an abortion. What they get is a pregnancy test (the results of which are often reported incorrectly — it’s been widely reported that women are told they aren’t pregnant when they are, in order to keep them from having access to early term abortion procedures like RU486) — followed by a morality lecture and scare presentation. One woman, pregnant after being raped, said she definitely wanted an abortion and was asked why she wasn’t considering the father’s (rapist’s) wishes in her decision.
    If you haven’t bothered to read the stories at, you should. I doubt they will make any difference to you whatsoever, and I’m sure that not all CPCs use the worst of the reported tactics, but just like many here have talked about the reports re: Planned Parenthood, I want to make the point that CPCs have a track record of abuse and misinformation as well.
    It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing a cpc would do.
    I don’t think that some of the allegations regarding PP sound like the kind of thing PP would do, either.

  99. “The Silent Scream” has not been “debunked” violet. you’re a riot.
    Dr. Jay Kelinson learned this the hard way when he
    consented to be filmed in “The Silent Scream” while performing an abortion.
    That was the last time he walked into an abortion facility. He testified to
    the authenticity of the film in another film called “The Answer”: “There
    was no manipulation of that tape; there was no misrepresentation. I was
    horrified at what I had seen.”
    Dr. Barnard Nathanson, former abortionist and founder of NARAL testified to its authenticity also. But since it proves the humanity of the unborn you’re just gonna try to diss it, right Violet? Don’t believe your lying eyes kinda thing, huh?
    Abby Johnson…former Planned Parenthood director also witnessed the EXACT same thing. She saw a baby killed on the ultrasound during an abortion and left the killing center and immediately realized ABORTION TAKES A HUMAN LIFE!!!
    In this day and age with all the technological advances that let us see life in the womb, how can people still try to deny the unborn’s humanity? Its astounding how some choose to be blind.

  100. That it affects people one way or the other doesn’t mean it hasn’t been edited and altered. And that someone says there was no editing doesn’t mean there wasn’t any. Here’s one link that goes over some of the claims made by the video, I don’t have time right now to find more, but this is fairly complete as far as what I’ve read in the past:
    I’m still thinking about how to answer your question from yesterday, Sydney, but it will have to wait until this evening. I’ll try and address your last statement above at that time as well.

  101. Lol, right. ‘Cuz KushieIsMoon is a reliable source. She quit posting here for literally weeks after I caught her in a lie once, and then said that “God doesn’t care if you lie on the internet.” or some crap. Puh-leeze.

  102. “And as to your last point, you’re right that pregnancy hotlines do exist — but recordings can’t answer questions or work with social services to find the help women need for their specific situation. If you want to see women make other choices, a hotline with a recorded message isn’t exactly going to help that much.”
    Posted by: Violet at March 19, 2010 1:51 PM
    “If you want to see women make other choices…”
    You seem to be inserting your personal views.. into the woman’s choice… hmmmm….. being “neutral” is virtually impossible. You can blame pro-lifers for being partial as long as you admit that pro-choicers are partial too.
    Why do you have a problem with women seeing the truth about abortion?
    Because it’s horrible and kills a human life and women shouldn’t have to think about all the ramifications of abortion. How compassionate is that?

  103. “If you want to see women make other choices…”
    You seem to be inserting your personal views.. into the woman’s choice… hmmmm….. being “neutral” is virtually impossible. You can blame pro-lifers for being partial as long as you admit that pro-choicers are partial too.

    The “other choices” I was referring to were adoption or keeping their babies — choices I’d like to see more women making. And yes, most people have strong opinions on this issue and being truly neutral is a challenge for everyone.
    Do you really believe that women have abortions without realizing that the procedure ends the chance at life that the fetus they were carrying could have had? Or that anyone — pro-choice or not — counseling pregnant women on abortion omits that fact? Women who choose abortion need all the facts, even the hard ones, but when that information comes from a pro-life source it is usually skewed to be as shocking and frightening as possible. The worst case scenarios are presented as if they were the norm. To use RU486 as an example, stories of the 8 US women who have died after taking RU486 are used to imply that deaths are common — when the reality is that RU486 is safer than most drugs we take without a second thought, like Penicillin or Aspirin. Women who are considering their options need real, accurate information — not sugarcoated, not exaggerated, just real information on all of the facts and risks involved. Women need the same quality of information on adoption options and on the different kinds of support services available if they decide to keep their babies. They need to hear these things from people who can talk to them without passing judgement, who won’t involve their personal religious views or turn it into an opportunity to proselytize; from someone who won’t push any particular choice but who can help each woman reach her own decision based on her own personal situation, views, and values. And from someone who can accept the decision of each woman whether agreed with or not.
    And if the only way we can do that is with a recorded message on a hotline, both pro-choice and pro-life movements are failing women everywhere.

  104. Violet,
    no matter how much you want it to be true, there is no such thing as neutral counseling. Does an air-conditioning installer recommend that you by lots of fans or does he sell you an air conditioner. When it comes down to it, abortion is business.
    Personally, if I truly loved my fellow woman (we are called to love one another), I could NEVER propose the abortion option. Period.

  105. That you can’t conceive of it or imagine doing it does not mean it is impossible. Does not mean that others, less concerned about imposing their will upon others, are incapable of assisting women and walking them through all of the options without having a personal stake in the outcome.
    It can be done, and I’m sorry we won’t have your help.

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