Good news, bad news from Senate Finance Committee on healthcare

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First the good news. From the Associated Press, today...

A Senate committee voted Tuesday night to restore $50 million a year in federal funding for abstinence-only education that President Barack Obama has pushed to eliminate.

The 12-11 vote by the Senate Finance Committee came over objections from its chairman, Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of MT.

Two Democrats - Kent Conrad of ND and Blanche Lincoln of AR - joined all 10 committee Republicans in voting "yes" on the measure by Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch of UT.

This restoration is by no means safe. Lots of legislative minefields lay ahead.

Then the bad news. From Americans United for Life today:

Today, in a vote of 10-13 in the Senate Finance Committee, the Hatch Amendment #C14 was defeated. The amendment would have explicitly prohibited federal funding and coverage of abortions.

The Committee also voted down [also 10-13] an amendment by Senator Hatch that would have prevented discrimination against any individual or entity who refused to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

If abortion isn't in healthcare, why defeat a measure codifying that point? If healthcare workers and entities won't be forced to commit abortions, why defeat a measure codifying that point?


Comments:

"If abortion isn't in healthcare, why defeat a measure codifying that point? If healthcare workers and entities won't be forced to commit abortions, why defeat a measure codifying that point?"

It's a mystery. Perhaps George Stephanopoulos could ask our President that question, dictionary in hand.

Posted by: Janet at September 30, 2009 4:14 PM


Washington D.C. -- Today, in a vote of 10-13 in the Senate Finance Committee, the Hatch Amendment #C14 was defeated. The amendment would have explicitly prohibited federal funding and coverage of abortions. The Committee also voted down an amendment by Senator Hatch that would have prevented discrimination against any individual or entity who refused to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, President and CEO of Americans United for Life, recently met with the White House to discuss conscience protection and the lack of explicit language banning abortion funding and coverage in health care reform.

Dr. Yoest said that the defeat of these important amendments illustrate the gap between rhetoric and reality on the Hill over abortion in health care reform:

“President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid have all told the American people that abortion will not be in health care reform. Nevertheless, the defeat of these amendments demonstrates the gap between rhetoric and reality. These rhetorical assurances are not adding up to action. The pro-life community will continue a vigorous fight to keep abortion out of health care reform.”

Here are the defeated pro-life amendments voted down in the Senate Finance Committee:

Hatch Amendment #C14 Description:
No funds authorized or appropriated under this Mark may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

Nothing in this amendment would preclude an insurance issuer from offering a separate, supplemental policy to cover additional abortions. Such a supplemental policy would be funded solely by supplemental premiums paid for by individuals choosing to purchase the policy.

SENATE VOTE

Republicans

The evil:

OLYMPIA J. SNOWE - no

The good:

CHUCK GRASSLEY - yes
ORRIN G. HATCH - yes
JON KYL - yes
JIM BUNNING - yes
MIKE CRAPO - yes
PAT ROBERTS - yes
JOHN ENSIGN - yes
MIKE ENZI - yes
JOHN CORNYN - yes

Democrats


The evil:

MAX BAUCUS - no
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER - no
JEFF BINGAMAN - no
JOHN F. KERRY - no
BLANCHE L. LINCOLN - no
RON WYDEN - no
CHARLES E. SCHUMER - no
DEBBIE STABENOW - no
MARIA CANTWELL - no
BILL NELSON - no
ROBERT MENENDEZ - no
THOMAS CARPER - no

The good:

KENT CONRAD - yes

Not Agreed to (10-13)

#################################################

Hatch Amendment #C13: Non-discrimination on abortion and respect for right of conscience

Description:
Non-Discrimination on abortion and respect for rights of conscience

(a) NON DISCRIMINATION.-A Federal agency or program, and any State or

local government that receives Federal financial assistance under this Act ( or and amendment made by this Act), may not-

1) subject any individual or institutional health care entity to

discrimination, or

2) require any health plan created or regulated under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act), to subject any individual or institutional health care entity to discrimination, on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

(b) DEFINITON.-In this section, the term "health care entity" includes an individual physician or other health care professional, a hospital, a provider-sponsored organization, a health maintenance organization, a health insurance plan, or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan.

(c) ADMINISTRATION.-The Office for Civil Right of the Department of Heath and Human Services is designated to receive complaints of discrimination based on this section, and coordinate the investigation of such complaints.

SENATE VOTE

Republicans

The evil:

OLYMPIA J. SNOWE - no

The good:
CHUCK GRASSLEY - yes
ORRIN G. HATCH - yes
JON KYL - yes
JIM BUNNING - yes
MIKE CRAPO - yes
PAT ROBERTS - yes
JOHN ENSIGN - yes
MIKE ENZI - yes
JOHN CORNYN - yes

Democrats

The evil:

MAX BAUCUS - no
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER - no
JEFF BINGAMAN - no
JOHN F. KERRY - no
BLANCHE L. LINCOLN - no
RON WYDEN - no
CHARLES E. SCHUMER - no
DEBBIE STABENOW - no
MARIA CANTWELL - no
BILL NELSON - no
ROBERT MENENDEZ - no
THOMAS CARPER - no

The good:
KENT CONRAD - yes

Not Agreed to (10-13)

Posted by: Jasper at September 30, 2009 6:53 PM


More details on what happened in the Senate Finance Committee, some recent developments in the House of Representatives, and what it all tells us about what President Obama is really up to regarding abortion in health care (if you had any doubt), from National Right to Life, here:
http://www.nrlc.org/press_releases_new/Release093009.html

Posted by: Douglas Johnson at September 30, 2009 7:05 PM


At the risk of sounding naive, I have to ask, why doesn't every member of the Senate vote on such an important issue. MY senator ( and therefore I) didn't have a voice on the issue of federal funding and coverage of abortion. How is this representative government?

Posted by: Janet at September 30, 2009 7:37 PM


Posted by: Jasper at September 30, 2009 6:53 PM

Posted by: Douglas Johnson at September 30, 2009 7:05 PM

Thanks for the updates gentlemen.

Posted by: Chris Arsenault at September 30, 2009 7:43 PM


Janet,

My guess is that if every senator voted and addressed the body to add their two cents on every bill, they would have time to pass very few bills - so they split up and sit on these various committees.

One of my senators was there, Debble Stabenow. She is one of the evil ones.

I would hate to be those senators on Judgment Day, they are in for a very rude awakening that will bring them unimaginable pain, suffering and sorrow.

They think they can scheme and deceive and conspire to murder millions of innocent babies, and God won't notice, or care?

“Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Ro 12.19

Eternity is a very, very, very long time to suffer the torments waiting for satan, his demons and those people he has deceived into doing his work. Make no mistake, unless they repent, God will punish those that are complicit in the horrific dismemberment and slaughter of his innocent children.

"...unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Lu 13.3

Posted by: Ed at September 30, 2009 8:46 PM


I will be calling Blanche Lincoln today and asking her why she voted in such a way. I will also be telling her that I don't care if she's the only name on the ballot, I wouldn't vote for her if she was the last candidate in Arkansas-literally.

Posted by: xalisae at October 1, 2009 2:53 AM


sorry, "His innocent children."

Posted by: Ed at October 1, 2009 2:59 AM


Ed:

If you believe abortionist politicians will go to Hell for all eternity for supporting the killing of unborn children, why don't you start a movement to convince them of that? I have never heard of anyone saying this to any abortionist politician.

I doubt these politicians would listen to you because they are not true Christians. The fact that they support abortion crime confirms that. I don't think they believe they will go to Hell for supporting the killing of these kids. If they did, they would not do it.

Nevertheless, it may be worth a shot to see what happens. If your Senator voted against unborn children the other day, why not call or email and tell them what you think. Their reactions might be interesting.

Posted by: Joe at October 1, 2009 6:13 AM


That's a good idea Joe. I've written my congressmen before and have gotten responses but they were form letters that I figured were sent by their staff.

I'll have to think for a moment and try to figure out how to make sure it gets into Debbie Stabenow's hands.

Hmm, what would James O'keefe do?

I've got an idea, I'll let you know how it works out.

Posted by: Ed at October 1, 2009 7:03 AM


Joe sez: "If you believe abortionist politicians will go to Hell for all eternity for supporting the killing of unborn children, why don't you start a movement to convince them of that?" --Going to heaven, going back home to be with your Father, is a matter of accepting God and from that point working to live your life accordingly, out of gratefulness and respect for what God has given to you and done for you, and out of obedience to your benevolent Father. Nothing in that statement has anything to do with being perfect. You don't go to hell based on some action or actions, and your behaviors don't get you into heaven. However, each of us will be judged. We don't know what that will be like, but it is scary to think about. You can go through an annual job review, and not be fired, but feel bad, feel scared, etc.

So, all of this to say that none of us get to tell someone else what behaviors will or will not get someone into heaven or hell. You may know this already. But I just thought I would throw in a note about this, since one of the ways to discourage people from considering listening to the real God is this fake idea that a behavior or behaviors will make you go to heaven, or to hell.

Posted by: Row1 at October 1, 2009 7:47 AM


One of my "favourite" reasons that such senators, etc., strike down such pro-life, anti-abortion amendments and language because "abortion exclusion is (*snort!*) already in place, and it'd be (wait for it...) REDUNDANT!

Y'know... if I have to point out their normal tolerance for redundancy in the federal and state governments (a bit like pointing out the curious multiplicity of water molecules in the Pacific), then all hope of communication is fading, rapidly. What utter nonsense...

Posted by: Paladin at October 1, 2009 8:20 AM


Row1,

You're right Row, we are saved through our relationship with God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. But true faith has works or corresponding action. Someone can say they believe but the proof of whether they've encountered God or not is the fruit of their life, their works.

"But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Re 21:8

"Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." 1 Jn 3:15

"Therefore by their fruits you will know them." Mt 7.20

We, the Church of Jesus Christ, have a responsibility to tell the world of our Heavenly Father's great love and to warn the wicked of His coming Judgment.

Posted by: Ed at October 1, 2009 8:29 AM