July 26th, 2014
The recent ruling by judges on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals represents a major threat to the entire structure of ObamaCare. It is, by far, the most serious threat yet to Obama’s agenda.
Media outlets have focused on the issue of tax funded subsidies flowing throughout the ObamaCare enterprise to individuals and insurance companies. The fact that the Appeals Court struck down those subsidies in the majority of states who did not create a “state exchange” is certainly a major blow. Among other implications, it would seem obvious that the ruling – if upheld on certain appeal to the Supreme Court – will have the effect of invalidating most of the individual contracts being purchased to date through the federal exchange.
The aspect of the ruling receiving less attention – that federal exchanges cannot impose penalties on individuals and companies – seems to be the most important. Unless the federal government retains the coercive power to impose ObamaCare on people and businesses, there is no possibility that ObamaCare can function. This is the part of ObamaCare which has spread fear and loathing throughout the private sector as business leaders face the prospect of IRS agents swooping down upon small and medium businesses to impose draconian penalties if they failed to comply with the insurance mandates.
Of course the Obama Regime has been fighting madly to deny that their law made any meaningful distinction between a “federal” exchange and a “state” exchange. At most, they have argued, the absence of language to impose penalties or give away tax dollars in the code section creating a federal exchange is a “typo”.
But, of course, laws are laws. They say what they say, regardless of post-hoc constructions. The legislation Nancy Pelosi said we had to pass in order to actually read does not say anything about the federal exchange’s power to impose penalties. All of that language is in the sections dealing with state-based exchanges.
And, it turns out, this is no accident. The intrepid Rush Limbaugh has uncovered public statements by the law’s leading architect, one Jonathan Gruber. The man is an economics professor at MIT. Mr. Limbaugh has two video clips on his website right now in which Professor Gruber clearly explains that the ObamaCare law was written to coerce states into partnering with Obama in remaking America. There were the incentives of subsidies … and the sticks of penalties. Professor Gruber makes it clear that Obama & Company never envisioned that a majority of states would declined their gracious offer. This is a key piece of the backstory over ObamaCare’s disastrous roll-out.
This whole issue was hotly debated when the Idaho Legislature considered creating a state exchange. We were among those telling legislators that the ObamaCare law was badly written and that there was every chance that Idaho’s employers could be protected from serious sanctions if Idaho stood firm against Obama and his agenda. We were scoffed at by proponents.
At the very least, it seems clear that Idaho made a serious mistake in rushing to create a state exchange. On the other hand, the problem may be a more serious one for those who voted to partner with Obama.
The ruling by the DC Circuit demonstrates that our concerns were not only valid, they were very serious.
The matter will not be settled until the Supreme Court considers Obama’s over-reach and sleight of hand in pretending that the ObamaCare law gives the IRS enormous powers to regulate American enterprise. Our bet is that Obama is going to lose this fight, meaning that he will have to wait upon Congress to amend the law or abandon the whole scheme.
Such a ruling will not, tragically enough, bring any relief to the citizens or businesses operating in Idaho since the Legislature has made its pact with the devil. In that event, pressure will be fierce for the Legislature to repeal the state exchange.
July 1st, 2014
Thank You Lord.
Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling in the Hobby Lobby case was of tremendous importance to the pro-Life movement. At stake was the question of whether a president of the United States could force private employers, against their wills and conscience, to pay for the destruction of innocent preborn children.
Thankfully, the Supreme Court upheld the sacred principle that the whims of those holding political power do not trump religious freedom. (Remember that the “Obama Mandate” is not the result of legislation duly enacted by the Congress and signed into law by the President – but a gross abuse by Mr. Obama of his executive authority).
It is chilling, indeed, to consider the consequences for America had the Court failed to recognize and uphold the First Amendment, which is the founding notion of this nation.
Among those joining us in celebrating the victory is Dr. David Stevens, CEO of the Christian Medical Association: “We are very thankful that the Supreme Court acted to protect family businesses from government coercion and fines for simply honoring the tenets of their faith. This is a much-needed victory for faith freedoms, because this Administration continues its assault on the values of the faith community. We are witnessing increasing attempts by the government to coerce the faith community to adopt the government’s viewpoint in matters of conscience.”
Idaho’s Governor Butch Otter also issued a statement yesterday:
“As governor of one of the states weighing in on this case, I’m encouraged to see religious liberty trumping ObamaCare’s headlong rush to impose a contraceptive mandate on the American people. Today’s ruling confirms once against the President Obama’s policies – when left unchecked – are eroding our Constitutional rights. I remain committed to challenging that misguided course at every opportunity, and I’m grateful to courageous individuals and employers willing to stand up and be counted.”
The governor’s acknowledgement of the Green Family is mroe than appropriate. They are patriots who have stood in the breach not only for the Christian community in America – but for that golden idea which inspired a new and great nation.
June 22nd, 2014
The U.S. Supreme Court should release its very consequential ruling in the Hobby Lobby lawsuit very soon. We ask that you commit yourself to serious prayer on behalf of the Court and this nation as we sit at the crossroads.
Will the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom be protected by the highest court in the land? Or will we be compelled to painfully set-aside our religious values and God’s teaching in order to accommodate the political agenda of the latest occupant of the White House? Most people probably don’t understand the huge stakes in this legal fight; in part that is the result of a liberal press committed to protecting Obama and the Left’s sexualized social agenda.
The simple fact is that America’s liberals have virtually declared war on a citizen’s right to “opt-out” of their social agenda. We have even seen Idaho Democrats consistently attack the notion of religious liberty and rights of conscience over the past six years or so – whether that be the right of small businessmen to refuse to participate in the homosexual political agenda , or pharmacists’ right not to dispense abortion-causing drugs.
Liberals have “progressed” well beyond any notion of tolerance. Now they are boldly prepared to use the power of government to squelch dissension and ensure conformity to their social agendas.
One of the important developments in this case – ignored by the media – is that a number of states have taken up the cause of Hobby Lobby. An amicus brief was filed in January by 20 states’ Attorneys General arguing that the Obama Mandate was not simply an attack on religious liberty, but an assault on states’ rights as well.
Since the founding of this nation, corporations have been a matter regulated by the various states. They are the entities which issue articles of corporations, manage tax policy and other areas vital to the nation’s economic vitality. Suddenly the Obama Regime seeks to dictate the terms of their operation and create a federal “common law” which supersedes the powers of the various states.
We are encouraged that Idaho’s Lawerence Wasden was one of those attorneys general going to bat for us before the Supreme Court.
Fervent prayer is in order as this battle is fundamentally spiritual in nature. It will be hard to return to First Principles if the Supreme Court holds that the First Amendment no longer safeguards our right to follow God rather than Caesar.
June 18th, 2014
With all of these Planned Parenthood facilities closing, pro-lifers are being accused of “shutting down places that provide healthcare to women.” But, are we? Are pro-lifers closing these facilities? Last time I checked, it is Planned Parenthood who is making the decision to close down their centers. Let’s take a look at why that is happening.
Several Planned Parenthood clinics in Oregon and Iowa recently closed, citing that they simply didn’t have the clients needed to keep their clinics open. Why the lack of clients? Probably because of the lack of basic services.
The general population seems to think that Planned Parenthood does a whole lot more than they actually do. Does Planned Parenthood provide actual prenatal care? No. They actually phased out their prenatal care program a few years back, stating that the pregnant patients were “too cumbersome.” Some clinics do continue to tout that they provide this service just so they can continue to include it in their annual report. These centers provide prenatal vitamins and then log that under “prenatal care.” Planned Parenthood actually doesn’t provide any service to pregnant women except for abortion, of course. Maybe if they actually started to provide for their advertised services, they would make enough money to stay open.
Planned Parenthood states they provide care for “breast health.” But that is also a stretch. Planned Parenthood is a level-one breast cancer service center. That means they are not allowed to provide any breast health service past a manual breast exam. You know, the same type of breast exam that you do in the shower every month. It’s the same breast exam that you can receive from any nurse or doctor anywhere in the country. Planned Parenthood does not provide breast ultrasounds, breast biopsies, mammograms or anything other than manual breast exams. Maybe if they started providing women with real breast health care, they could keep their doors open.
The general population seems to think that Planned Parenthood does a whole lot more than they actually do. Does Planned Parenthood provide actual prenatal care? No. They actually phased out their prenatal care program a few years back, stating that the pregnant patients were “too cumbersome.”
Planned Parenthood provides no primary care. You can’t visit a Planned Parenthood if you have strep throat, a sinus infection, or the flu. They can’t treat your high blood pressure, your elevated cholesterol or to help regulate your diabetes. They have no national protocol that allows them to provide any of those primary care services. You can be seen at Planned Parenthood for limited STD screening and treatment, birth control, a limited woman’s exam or an abortion. Other than that, you are pretty much out of luck. Maybe if they started to provide these primary care services, they wouldn’t be so hard pressed to find clients.
In Texas, we have seen many Planned Parenthood facilities close shop. The reasoning here is different. Planned Parenthood is choosing to close rather than bring their current centers up to legal safety standards. In San Antonio, an annual inspection report showed that the Planned Parenthood facility had serious sterilization issues. They weren’t separating clean and dirty instruments. They weren’t testing their autoclave machine to ensure that it was still working. Lots of problems. We see this in many facilities. There was an abortion clinic in Beaumont with the same issues. They have also been cited for untrained staff, dirty equipment, expired medications given to patients…the list goes on and on. So, instead of fixing these problems, Planned Parenthood has chosen to close these facilities. They chose to close their filthy centers. Pro-lifers didn’t force them to close. They chose to close them all on their own.
You see, if Planned Parenthood was really concerned about the health and safety of women, they would be bending over backwards to implement these changes. They would be reinventing themselves as true healthcare centers that can treat primary care issues, provide prenatal care, etc. And, my goodness, they would definitely take the money and time needed to clean up their centers! But instead, Planned Parenthood has exercised their right to choose. By doing this, it is them who have let down the women in their community. They have chosen to abandon these poor women.
So, while Planned Parenthood is making their choices, we pro-lifers will step in and actually help women find the services they so desperately need. Don’t worry, Planned Parenthood, we’ll gladly pick up the slack that you have put down
June 12th, 2014
The legendary radio and TV personality made national news several weeks ago as his daughters waged a nation-wide hunt for him, alleging that their step-mother had some sinister plan to harm or even kill him. Media outlets carried their hearty pleas for help in finding their beloved father.
But developments this week sketch an entirely different picture.
Once she obtained legal custody over her father, Kerri Kasem quickly went back to court to obtain a court order allowing her to withhold medical treatment, as well as food and water from her father in a bid to expedite his death.
Standing in the way of her quest was the here-to-fore “evil” step-mother, and Kasem’s wife, Jean. Turns out that it is his wife who has been fighting to sustain his life. And she is worried that the daughters are not interested in what is best for Casey Kasem but in getting their hands on his $2 million life insurance policy.
“Only God knows when to take someone,” Jean Kasem declared.
Tragically, the court in Washington state has granted the daughter’s request to kill her father under the guise of fulfilling Casey Kasem’s last wishes. But the simple facts involved in killing a person by withholding food and water make this claim dubious at best.
Dr. David Stevens, a prominent physician with whom we have been privileged to work on various pro-Life issues, told LifeNews that people simply don’t understand how painful death is when caused by denying human beings food and water.
“Most so-called experts have never seen someone die in this manner,” said Dr. Stevens, who is also president of the Christian Medical Association. Stevens has plenty of experience with this tortuous method from his many years of work in Africa, where the leading cause of death is dehydration produced by gastroenteritis.
“There is extreme thirst, the patient becomes dizy faint and unable to sit or stand,” Stevens said. “People develop severe cramping as the sodium and potassium concentrations in the body goes as fluids go down. The patient tries to cry, but cannot produce tears. They experience severe abdominal cramps, nausea and dry-heaving as the stomach and intestines dry out. Many experience excruciating headaches, hallucinations and seizures.”
“Contrary to those that try to paint a picture of a gentle process, death by dehydration is a cruel, inhumane and often agonizing death,” Stevens said.
How many people really understand what they are signing when giving end-of-life directives? And how can a court deny the right of a spouse to defend her husband against relatives with clear conflicts of interest? And why has the media been so spectacularly silent about this latest struggle over the American icon? Could it be they are afraid of the public’s reaction to Kasem’s forced execution by denying him food and water? It is one thing for the Culture of Death to destroy a “nobody” like Terri Schiavo … but perhaps the golden voice of Rock n Roll may be another matter.
June 5th, 2014
|Washington, DC—-American Life League and nearly 60 cosponsoring organizations are coordinating a large-scale, nationwide campaign to inform women about the deadly dangers of the pill and similar hormonal contraceptives.
“The mountain of evidence that these drugs are killers cannot just be swept under the rug,” said Judie Brown, president of ALL. “We need to get out there and warn women of the dangers they face. Planned Parenthood and other pill peddlers are deceiving women and causing their deaths.”
For the next three days, organizers are planning to storm social media on Twitter and Facebook to bring light to the dangers of not just the contraceptive pill, but all other contraceptives targeted at women that damage their reproductive health.
On June 5, #ThePillKills hash tag will be posted on Twitter all day as part of ALL’s #ThePillKills Tweetstorm to bring attention to the devastating effects of the pill. “Because of hormonal contraceptives, women are dying and suffering permanent, debilitating injuries from blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes,” said Rita Diller, director of The Pill Kills campaign.
On Saturday, June 7, all across the country The Pill Kills protests and vigils will take place outside abortion clinics and pharmacies that sell contraceptives. Activists will distribute literature provided by ALL to the public, outlining all of the dangers and risks posed by contraception and contraceptive devices.
Opposition to #ThePillKills has already manifested itself on The Pill Kills Facebook page and Twitter activity, and this past Tuesday night there were attempts at sabotaging ALL’s national organizing conference call by pro-abortion and pro-contraception extremists. “Planned Parenthood does not want our message heard,” said Rey Flores, ALL director of outreach. “We will not be silenced, not when lives are at stake.”
The Pill Kills is on the web at http://thepillkills.org.
Media inquiries, please contact Rita Diller at 540.659.4171 or RDiller@ALL.org
June 2nd, 2014
America had a birth rate of 63 per 1,000 women of child-bearing age in 2013, a new record low. This continues a trend building since the Clinton Administration, in which the U.S. is following the lead of other western nations in failing to produce enough children to replace aging citizens.
The fertility rate now stands at 1.87 children for each American woman over her lifetime, well below the replacement rate of 2.1 children per female.
Certainly the explanation for America’s collective decision to demographically destroy itself isn’t for lack of the necessary sexual activity. The nation has never been more obsessed with that particular recreational activity. The enormous rate of abortion offers a ready explanation for the dwindling number of new Americans. One sixth of the population has been killed by abortion since 1973. One-in-four African Americans are killed in the womb. As Law Professor Michael Paulsen of St. Thomas notes in a recent article, abortion is the leading cause of unnatural death in America.
The economic and political implications of this demographic implosion are difficult to gauge in their totality; however, we can assume a weakened economic productivity going forward. An aging population will mean fewer resources available to care for aged and a fierce battle over the allocation of capital for production over consumption.
One wonders where to look for the political and social leadership necessary to help our society confront the practical dangers of our present moral confusion surrounding the value of human life.
May 27th, 2014
Idaho’s recent primary election brought mixed results for the pro-Life community and our hopes of restoring legal protections to preborn babies.
Without going into the details of all the races, we want to take a moment to honor two legislators who lost their seats last week. They have been precious leaders in the fight to safeguard babies and women and we will certainly miss them.
Sen. Monty Pearce has led efforts to pass pro-Life legislation during his stellar career, which goes back to his two terms in the Idaho House in 1999-2002. He is one of those few who has earned our Friend for Life Award.
Rep. Lenore Barrett is a fearless champion of conservative causes, including the sanctity of human life. There is no one who has been more faithful during her 22 years in the Idaho Legislature.
Both legislators have never compromised in the battle for Life.
What makes their defeat so difficult to stomach is the way in which it was achieved. Late last week, the Idaho Conservation League issued a press release crowing about their role in misleading the voters in Districts 9 and 8 about the records of Lenore and Monty. Disguising their role as “sportsmen”, the Environmental Movement, in conjunction with House Democrats, waged a nasty last minute campaign which neither legislator was able to answer.
There is time to prepare for dealing with this kind of politics going forward. But for now, we want to pause and honor these two fine people who have served Idaho so well. They will be missed by many, including those of us who seek to save the lives of babies and their mothers.
May 1st, 2014
The new insurance/health care bureaucracy burrowing its way into the Idaho soil celebrated its claim to signing-up some 76,000 Idahoans to an ObamaCare policy. This is a strange thing to be celebrating. The fact that the State of Idaho is engaged in such self-congratulatory behavior demonstrates one of the most pernicious dynamics at play in the Legislature’s decision to partner with Barack Obama in remaking America’s health care system.
Sen. Russ Fulcher correctly blasted the claimed achievement, pointing out that Idaho is going backwards in the feigned attempt to “cover the uninsured”: While there may be 76,000 Idahoans now bound to an ObamaCare policy – some 105,000 Idahoans have lost their insurance. Only people in government could celebrate the apparent net loss of some 30,000 Idahoans’ access to affordable health care as a “good” thing, particularly when the ostensible goal of the whole enterprise is to help people get insurance.
Fulcher also points out that premiums are beginning to rise, and businesses are facing more perilous operating costs at a time of economic stagnation.
But Fulcher missed one of the darkest aspects of the Idaho ObamaCare Exchange: abortion access is easier and likely expanding because of the Obama Mandate now being peddled by Idahoans for Idahoans.
The policies being sold the “Idaho” Exchange require the purchase of insurance coverage for abortion causing drugs like “Plan B” and Ella.
As we warned during the legislature’s consideration of Governor Otter’s proposal to partner with President Obama, Idaho has become complicit in the evil spewing forth from the Obama Regime. Employers must now provide these drugs, and the state of Idaho is intimately involved.
To make matters worse: We learned late in the last session that you and I – as taxpayers – are being forced to pay for these drugs as part of the group insurance plan covering public employees.
This is the direct result of the Legislature’s failure in 2013 to adopt our Religious Liberty Amendment, which would have protected employers from being forced to pay for abortion-causing drugs.
Granted, Otter is correct when he says that this would be happening anyway through a pure federal insurance exchange. The difference is that Idaho would not be morally compromised by this situation. And sometimes the only choice available to us is to refuse to cooperate with evil.
Which brings us back to the celebrations surrounding the apparent success of the Idaho ObamaCare Exchange: These people are now deeply invested in making this work, in imposing the new federal rules on Idaho families and employers. It is impossible to imagine that they could ever be persuaded to blow the thing up if we ever succeed at freeing ourselves from ObamaCare.
April 24th, 2014
State Treasurer Ron Crane does not have a contested primary this spring, but a word about his fine public service is in order.
Crane has served Idaho for decades, going back to his many days in the Idaho House of Representatives. He was a leader of conservative forces then, and continues so today. Crane was one of the very first legislators to receive our “Friend for Life” Award in 1998 for his leadership in securing a Ban on Partial Abortions in Idaho.
Over the past several years, Crane has endured some rather unseemly sniping from anonymous Republican legislators pursuing an agenda yet to be revealed. They have tried to insinuate that Crane is somehow incompetent or even unethical. After the headlines appear in liberal media outlets, the facts regarding various allegations never seem to garner the same attention.
Be sure of one thing: Crane is a hardworking, highly ethical public official who has done well by the citizens who have seen fit to re-hire several times as State Treasurer. We have no doubt they will do so again this year, as he will face one Democrat or another this fall.
While we certainly endorse Crane’s re-election, this posting is not so much an endorsement as it is a public “thank you” for his many years of conservative leadership.
Subscribe to Idaho Chooses Life commentaries.
2010-2012 Archive by Category