February 26, 2015

At AP, a Vague Headline and Weak Coverage of the Halbig Contingency Plan Controversy

The Associated Press’s headline at Alan Fram’s coverage of the controversy over the existence of an Obama administration contingency plan if it loses the Halbig v. Burwell case pending at the Supreme Court may be among the most inchoherent ever: “GOP CLAIMS PAPER SHOWS FED AIDES’ PREPS FOR HEALTH LAW LOSS.”

“Paper”? What is in question is an alleged 100-page contingency plan should the Court declare that subsidies paid by HealthCare.gov, the federal health insurance exchange for over three dozen states, are illegal. “Health law loss”? What does that even mean? The AP seems to be hoping that the story’s lousy headline will cause most potential readers to ignore it. Fram’s actual story also has its share of weaknesses, the most important of which is his failure to identify the administration’s declaration that such a a plan doesn’t exist as a de facto admission of a fundanmental and serious management failure (bolds are mine throughout this post; numbered tags are mine):

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February 25, 2015

Positivity: Dr. Jack Willke, Father of the Modern Pro-Life Movement, Passes Away

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Life News:

Feb. 21, 2015

Dr. Jack Willke, who was often considered the father of the modern-day pro-life movement, has passed away.

A medical doctor by trade, Willke, along with his late wife Barbara, crisscrossed the nation in the 1960s and 1970s teaching people about the fight for life and helping set up some of the first state and local Right to Life groups combating abortion before and after the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.

Willke is the past president of National Right to Life, and was president of the Life Issues Institute and president emeritus, International Right to Life Federation.

With Barbara, Dr. Willke co-authored twelve books on human sexuality and abortion. Together they created audio and visual materials that were proven to be basic teaching tools throughout the world. Their materials have been translated into 30 languages on all five continents. They frequently appeared on radio and TV shows and have spoken in 64 different countries.

Brad Mattes, of Life Issues Institute and a longtime close friend of Dr. Willke, said, “It breaks my heart to tell you that our beloved Jack Willke died this afternoon and is now reunited with his wife in heaven.”

“We are deeply saddened to report that Dr. Jack Willke, president of Life Issues Institute, passed away unexpectedly at his home on Friday, February 20. Dr. Willke and his wife Barbara, who proceeded him in death, were considered the parents of the pro-life movement. Their educational materials have been responsible for educating millions on abortion and were translated into 32 languages,” he said.

Mattes added: “Words can’t possibly express how sad we feel. Jack was almost 90 and we new the time was approaching when he’d join his dear Barbara in heaven, but it’s hard to say goodbye. Jack has been my mentor and colleague for over 23 years and was a second father to me.”

Life Issues Institute is dedicated to continuing the pro-life legacy begun by the Willkes that dates back to the sixties. Dr. Willke often expressed that he didn’t expect to see the reversal of abortion in his lifetime. His dream of ending the brutality of abortion will ultimately be realized by those he and Barbara brought into the movement and trained.

Mattes said, “I can only imagine the greeting Jack received in heaven. Millions of babies who he tirelessly worked to saved, joyfully welcoming him home.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

February 16, 2015

TEA Party Leader to Fox News: 11 Reasons to Stop Calling Kasich ‘Conservative’

Because he’s not.

The harsh truth was delivered in an open letter to Fox News’s Bret Baier, who consdiers Kasich a center-right Republican politician, by Mike Snead, Dayton TEA Party President. It reflects his personal views.

Well done, sir.

January 30, 2015

Positivity: Assisted living centers defeat HHS mandate in court

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:53 pm

From Denver:

Jan 29, 2015 / 04:56 pm

A federal court has permanently barred the Obama administration from enforcing the federal contraception mandate against the group of Evangelical-owned senior citizen and assisted living centers.

“All Americans should oppose unjust laws that allow the government to force people to surrender their constitutionally protected freedom to live and work according to their deepest beliefs,” Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel Michael J. Norton said Jan. 27.

Norton’s legal group filed the challenge to the federal rule on behalf of Stephen W. Brisco, who owns several Colorado companies that operate senior citizen residences, assisted living centers, and skilled nursing facilities and related businesses that mange them.

Brisco, an Evangelical Christian, objected to federal mandates that he provide employees with insurance coverage for contraceptive drugs that can cause abortions.

Refusal to provide the coverage would have resulted in heavy fines.

Norton said that Americans have a “clearly protected right” to be “free from this type of government coercion at home, in their family businesses, and in non-profit endeavors that benefit everyone.”

On Jan. 27 a U.S. District Court for Colorado issued a permanent injunction against the federal government from enforcing the mandate. It cited the Supreme Court’s June 2014 ruling that the mandate’s application to closely-held private companies like Hobby Lobby violated the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The Supreme Court had said the government had not shown that the mandate was the least restrictive means of achieving its goal of providing free contraceptives to employees.

The Obama administration announced the controversial mandate in 2012. It requires employers to cover sterilization, contraception and some drugs that can cause abortions. Its narrow exemption for those with religious and moral objections to the coverage drew much criticism and prompted many legal challenges.

Norton said the Obama administration should give up what he described as “its blind and indefensible efforts to punish people of faith.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.

January 28, 2015

Positivity: Why She Marched — A Mom’s Story of Raising Her Daughter With Down Syndrome

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington (video at link):

January 23, 2015

For Eileen and Sadie Haupt, this year’s March for Life, centered around the theme “Every Life is a Gift,” held special meaning.

During her pregnancy with Sadie, her second daughter, doctors asked Eileen if she wanted to undergo prenatal testing to see if her child had any health issues. Just as she had done with her first child, Eileen, who was then 39, opted out.

But when Eileen held Sadie in her arms for the first time after giving birth, she noticed something slightly different about her child when looking into her eyes. Sadie’s eyes were puffy, and in her head, Eileen told herself that her newborn had Down Syndrome.

“It’s not to say that it wasn’t emotional—it was emotional at times. But we just adapted pretty well, I think,” Eileen told The Daily Signal.

When Sadie was an infant, Eileen stumbled upon a statistic that said 90 percent of babies with Down Syndrome are aborted.

That moved her to action.

She and another mother of a child with Down Syndrome, Leticia Velasquez, started the group Keeping Infants with Down Syndrome in 2008 to raise awareness about the abortion rate of babies with the disorder. They come to Washington, D.C., every year to participate in the March for Life.

“We really felt there needed to be a presence in the march for families who have children with special needs, and in our case Down Syndrome,” Eileen said.

And this year was no different.

More than 15 parents and their children traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to March with KIDS and the hundreds of thousands of other attendees.

Though they, too, came from across the country, the families bonded with one another over their experiences with Down Syndrome. At the March, blue and yellow balloons traveled with the group as a symbol of their efforts to raise awareness about the disorder. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

January 17, 2015

Positivity: Trapped In His Body For 12 Years, A Man Breaks Free

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News — Tom @ 6:00 am

The story comes from South Africa. Audio is at the link.

It should cause all of those who think that those in a “vegetative state” should just be allowed to die — or should be starved to death to make sure they die — think again.

 

 

December 30, 2014

Press Barely Notices Obama Admin’s Computerized Health Records Fiasco

The old saying — “To err is human, but to really screw things up, you need a computer” — needs an update. In this case, it’s “To err is human, but to wreck an entire industry, you need to have the federal government try to force it to computerize.”

I’m referring to the government’s attempt to coerce doctors into using its mandated, “clunky, time-sucking” electronic health records system. Somehow, it’s barely news, with a story by Politico Magazine’s Arthur Allen constituting a rare exception, that over a quarter-million doctors, i.e., half of all who are eligible, face fines next year for “failing to use the systems in the way the government required.”

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Positivity: How the Church has helped fight AIDS in Uganda, Malawi

Filed under: Health Care,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Kampala, Uganda:

Dec 23, 2014 / 09:35 am

Catholic leaders in Uganda and Malawi have issued largely positive informal progress reports on local Church efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in the African nations.

A report from the Uganda Episcopal Conference that was provided to CANAA (Catholic News Agency for Africa) stressed “the contributions that the Catholic Church has made through one of its currently running projects to the Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.”

It explained that the Ugandan bishops’ AIDS Care and Treatment project has provided care to more than 54,700 clients from September to the beginning of December. Seven percent of those clients were children under the age of 15.

Catholic Health facilities in Uganda have reported providing care for 90,646 clients, though Ugandan bishops said the actual numbers may be much larger since some Catholic Health facilities have not yet switched over to a new reporting software program.

The Uganda Episcopal Conference also restructured its secretariat to bring both the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau and the HIV/AIDS department under the umbrella of the bishops’ health commission.

The report stated Catholic bishops in Uganda were involved “from the very outbreak of the epidemic in the country” in 1982. Today, all 19 dioceses in Uganda have established HIV/AIDS offices to work alongside local health coordinators. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 29, 2014

Positivity: A new era for women’s health care? This Catholic clinic hopes so

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Denver:

Dec 20, 2014 / 08:19 am

While the phrase “women’s health” often conjures up images of artificial hormones, devices, and pills, one natural health care center in the Denver area is hoping to transform the way women receive care – one patient at a time.

“Women’s dignity is the forefront and center of what we do,” said nurse practitioner Abby Sinnett, co-founder of Bella Natural Women’s Care.

“A woman is beautiful and strong and can do amazing things, which is exhibited when they have a baby – it is beautiful what women can do,” she told CNA Dec. 8, the day before Bella’s grand opening.

Bella is a new non-profit medical practice located in Denver, Colo., which provides health care for all women, from adolescence through menopause and beyond. Their hope is to create a holistic approach to caring for women in mind, body, and spirit, dealing with a full range of issues from infertility to weight loss.

The practice will be run in full alignment with Church teaching, although Sinnett explained that they hope to attract non-Catholics as well, particularly those drawn to the truth and beauty of a natural, dignified approach to women’s health care.

“The hallmark of what we are doing here is remembering how beautifully and wonderfully we were created, and how women deserve to be cared for very well,” Sinnett explained.

“Our hearts of seeking that. We are seeking that in all ways, a created soul will seek its Creator. Our lost souls are seeking the reverence we were made to have,” said Bella co-founder Dede Chism.

Also a nurse practitioner, Chism is Sinnett’s mother. The two founded the health care practice together after the idea arose on a mission trip to Peru. Chism and Sinnett were struck by their freedom to treat patients in accordance with their dignity, without pressure to offer contraception or abortion as a “solution” to health problems.

Inspired to bring their mission home to Colorado, they decided to start a natural women’s health clinic that would uphold the dignity of women and give them the care they deserve, respecting life at all stages. …

Go here for the rest of the story.

December 26, 2014

Gruber at October Harvard Panel, Before Vermont’s Fail: Single-Payer Won’t Happen Unless It Succeeds in Some States

Earlier this morning, I posted on Vermont’s abandonment of its attempt to impose and implement a “single-payer” (i.e., government-controlled) healthcare system, and how muted the press coverage has been.

It’s difficult to overstate how devastating the Green Mountain State’s blowup is to the left’s oft-stated long-term goal of imposing single-payer, occasionally referred to a “Medicare for all,” on the entire nation. This goes a long way towards explaining the light press coverage. President Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi are among those who are on record asserting that they want — and expect — that nationwide single-payer will happen. Another such person is the now familiar and infamous Jonathan Gruber, an admitted architect (when it was convenient) of the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

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Vermont Abandons Single-Payer Health Care; Press Coverage Muted

President Barack Obama, soon to be former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former Congressman Barney Frank, and many other prominent Democrats and leftists have over the past several years declared that their ultimate goal is turn the U.S. healthcare system into a “single-payer,” i.e., completely government-controlled, enterprise.

That likely explains why the reaction to Vermont’s abandonment of its attempt to set up single-payer has been quite muted in the establishment press, as any of its members have ardently supported the idea for decades.

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December 13, 2014

Barely News: Congresswoman Lummis’s ‘Most Moving Moment’ at Gruber Hearing

Dictionary.com defines “glib” as “readily fluent, often thoughtlessly, superficially, or insincerely so.”

Jonathan Gruber’s apology at his Tuesday congressional hearing included that word. The word, especially the “superficial” element of its definition, applies to how the establishment press covered the hearing. With only rare exceptions, it excluded any mention of what has accurately been called “the most moving moment of the Gruber hearing”: Wyoming Republican Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis’s emotional recounting of how her husband died while the status of his coverage under Obamacare was in dispute.

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December 12, 2014

Congresswoman’s Husband Dies While in Obamacare Limbo

I was hoping to do more with this item this morning, but getting ready for this got in the way (I know, it’s late notice for those who don’t go to Facebook, but hopefully a few readers will be able to make it to the musical extravaganza described at the links).

Anyway, Wyoming Republican Congresswomn Cynthia Lummis gave her own form of testimony during the John Gruber hearing on Tuesday (beginnning at the 0:45 mark in the video below). Since the establishment press has decided it’s not newsworthy — and they’re full of crap, as usual — I’m showing it below (HT Western Journalism Center and others):

Money quote:

… the so-called ‘glibness’ that has been referenced today have direct consequences for real American people. So get over your damn glibness.”

This whole administration can take its arrogant glibness and put it where the sun doesn’t shine.

December 11, 2014

Gruber Called a ‘Household Name’ in an LA Times Editorial, While the Paper Had No News Stories

Tuesday afternoon, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters observed that the Big Three networks “Appear Finished With Gruber Coverage,” and that their Tuesday morning shows had no coverage of the de facto Obamacare architect and his congressional appearance.

One factor likely influencing the nets’ posture is how original news sources like the Associated Press and the nation’s largest dailies have managed to shield their readers from almost anything relating to Gruber for weeks. One particularly comical example of that has been the Los Angeles Times.

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December 8, 2014

Positivty: Little Sisters in court — Don’t stop our ministry of serving the dying poor

Filed under: Health Care,Life-Based News,Positivity,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:23 pm

From Denver:

Dec 8, 2014 / 05:30 pm

The Little Sisters of the Poor asked an appeals court Monday to shield them from the federal contraception mandate, saying that it threatens their 175 years of service to the poor and dying.

“As Little Sisters of the Poor, we offer the neediest elderly of every race and religion a home where they will be welcomed as Christ, cared for as family and accompanied with dignity until God calls them to Himself,” Mother Loraine Marie Maguire told members of the press.

“But now the government demands we choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith. We cannot do that and we should not have to.”

Mother Maguire’s comments came after the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals listened to oral arguments in the Little Sisters’ lawsuit against the HHS Mandate in Denver.

The oral arguments fell on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a special day for the religious community.

“Little Sisters around the world renew their vows each year on the feast of the Immaculate. Please be assured of our prayers for you on this beautiful feast day,” a note on their website reads, which also asks for prayers for the success of the lawsuit.

Over a year ago, the Little Sisters of the Poor, aided by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed a lawsuit challenging the federal contraception mandate under the Affordable Care Act, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that may cause early abortions.

Amid religious freedom concerns, the Obama administration revised the initial mandate, allowing religious employers such as the Little Sisters to sign a form that would trigger a separate health benefit provider to offer the coverage instead.

The Little Sisters object that they cannot in good conscience sign the form because it authorizes a third-party insurance company to provide the very products and procedures they believe to be gravely immoral. …

Go here for the rest of the story.