Southern Religion

Bart Stupak: Health reform + executive order = fewer abortions

Pro-life Democratic former Rep. Bart Stupak told Chris Good of The Atlantic that there have been fewer abortions with health reform than there would have been without it.

Stupak, the leading pro-life House legislator during health reform’s enactment, made that statement in explaining whether the executive order had worked as intended:

Yes, because the president has had three opportunities to throw us under the us, if you will, and he has not. Number one, in the high-risk pools. Remember how New Mexico send theirs in and had abortion in there, and Right to Life and all of them jumped right on it, and [Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and all of them said, ‘Wait a minute, you can’t do that. We had an executive order.’ They changed their law. So did Pennsylvania. So in order to apply for the high-risk pool, their law had to be reflective of the executive order, which says no public funding for abortions. They held firm to it.

Secondly, the community health centers, which the law was silent on. The executive order says you cannot perform abortions or advocate for them in public health centers. That has been upheld.

And, last but not least, there’s a number of grants you can apply for right now, especially for developing health care professionals–that’s going on right now in the bill–and if you go online and look at the application form, it says you must comply with the Hyde language, even in your application for the use of these federal funds. So there have been three opportunities for Secretary Sebelius or President Obama to just sorta look the other way, and they haven’t. They’ve upheld it. So there have actually been less abortions now because of that executive order and the health care bill than there would have been if we’d never had it.

Expert analysis showed that health reform was abortion-reduction legislation, all along. Arguments to the contrary were, as “ardent pro-lifer” and Robert L. Willett Family Professor of Law at the Washington and Lee University School of Law Timothy Stoltzfus Jost put it, “erroneous information.” Still is.

[H/T: Bold Faith Type]

March 26, 2011 Posted by | Health | , , , | Comments Off on Bart Stupak: Health reform + executive order = fewer abortions

Richard Land lazily repeats his slanders of health reform

Richard Land’s Nazi libels and “death panels” prevarications failed to stop health reform, but he continues his lazy slanders.

The Florida Baptist Witness reported that. speaking last week to the Jacksonville Baptist Association’s Leadership Institute, the Southern Baptist Convention ethics czar repeated thoroughly discredited claims he made before health reform was approved by Congress. To wit, he said:

Recent healthcare legislation also threatens the sanctity of human life, Land said. If so-called “Obamacare” is not repealed, elderly Americans will be denied life-saving medical procedures because of the cost involved, he said.

“I personally think that the greatest threat to the sanctity of human life right now is Obamacare,” he said, adding, “I have no compunction about telling you that everybody in this room will live a shorter life, and it will be more filled with pain and suffering—if Obamacare is not rescinded—than you would otherwise. They are going to ration care.”

  1. Regarding sanctity of life, “none” is the amount of “federal funding for abortion” found in an expert assessment by Washington and Lee law professor Timothy Stoltzfus Jost, whom Mark Silk describes as “an ardent pro-lifer who’s an expert on abortion and health care.”
  2. Regarding care for elderly Americans, “senior scare is what calls the alleged “half trillion dollar cut to medicare” with which this slander was launched. Pulitzer Prize winning is no more complimentary.
  3. His reference to rationed care is more scare words and the opposite is what helped inspired Catholic Health Association President Sr. Carol Keehan, DC to say “it is time for health reform.” No, as Jost explained more than a year ago, health reform provides more care for those who need it worst. Not less.

[H/T Right Wing Watch]

March 24, 2011 Posted by | Health, SBC | , , , | Comments Off on Richard Land lazily repeats his slanders of health reform

No majority for repeal of health reform

His boss, Richard Land, misled the way. So it’s understandable that Doug Carlson of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Commission tried to extract a referendum on health reform from last week’s mid-term elections:

Aspects of health care reform faced a referendum as well. Citizens in three states—Arizona, Oklahoma and Colorado—had opportunity to express their feelings on the health care law rammed through Congress. Arizona and Oklahoma each supported an exemption from the mandate that almost everyone purchase health insurance or else face a fine. A similar initiative lost in a divided vote in Colorado. Nationwide, the number of people upset over Obamacare has not budged. Exit polling by Rasmussen shows that 59 percent of voters favor its repeal.

It isn’t that simple, as this week’s Kaiser Family Foundation poll made clear. There is a majority for repeal or alteration of one aspect of the health reform legislation — the requirement that all Americans have health insurance or pay a fine — but overwhelming support for the remainder of the legislation.

Kaiser Health poll answers regarding whether to keep or repeal specific provisions

Only 24% of those polled supported outright repeal of the law. The conundrum, more specifically:

Looking ahead, Americans remain divided about what lawmakers should do, with 21 percent of the public favoring expansion of the health reform law, 19 percent wanting to leave it as is, a quarter wanting to repeal parts of the law, and 24 percent wanting the entire law repealed.

Given the rising number of Americans, middle class and poor, who are without health insurance, the absence of a majority for outright repeal of the reform legislation is no surprise.

November 11, 2010 Posted by | Law, Medical Care, Politics, Religion, SBC | , , , , , | Comments Off on No majority for repeal of health reform

The cost in lives of Richard Land’s health reform repeal

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land stumbled over the heels of the exit polls to argue without foundation that in the mid-term elections, “American voters” demanded the Republicans “repeal ObamaCare.”

Land is wrong, as Dan at Bold Faith Type explained:

Edison Research’s exit polls – which are used by the Associated Press, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox News – show that a minority of midterm voters (48%) wanted to repeal health care reform, with 31% wanting it to do more and 16% wanting to leave it as is. Furthermore, voters who turned out on Tuesday were more conservative than the country at large. Taking a wider view, a Gallup poll that was in the field last weekend showed that less than ¼ of Americans (23%) think repealing health care should be Congress’s top priority after the election.

Inattentive to the polling data, Land appeared to be instead parroting the message of right-wing strategist Richard Viguerie. Both said the voters had decided “to give the Republicans one more chance” to cut the size of government, although the polling data shows that Americans’ overarching concern is the economy.

Centers for Disease Control analysis suggests that any further health reform action should take the form of an expansion of benefits. Not repeal. As Reuters reported:

Nearly 59 million Americans went without health insurance coverage for at least part of 2010, many of them with conditions or diseases that needed treatment, federal health officials said on Tuesday.

hey said 4 million more Americans went without insurance in the first part of 2010 than during the same time in 2008.

“Both adults and kids lost private coverage over the past decade,” Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a news briefing.

The findings have implications for U.S. healthcare reform efforts. A bill passed in March promises to get health insurance coverage to 32 million Americans who currently lack coverage.

Lack of health insurance kills at a rate of about one American every 12 minutes, Harvard Medical School researchers found.

How many would Southern Baptists like to see sacrificed on the altar of the Land/Viguerie political goals?

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Health, Medical Care, SBC | , , , | 1 Comment

In honor of Sister Carol

Sr. Carol Keehan, Daughter of Charity and leader of the Catholic Health Association, earned in many ways her place among those named in the 2010 Time 100.

Her vow to serve the poor brought her to the support of health reform at a critical juncture, writing, “The time is now for health reform.” And answering the tide of false claims that health reform was a path to publicly funded abortion:

The insurance reforms will make the lives of millions more secure, and their coverage more affordable. The reforms will eventually make affordable health insurance available to 31 million of the 47 million Americans currently without coverage.

CHA has a major concern on life issues. We said there could not be any federal funding for abortions and there had to be strong funding for maternity care, especially for vulnerable women. The bill now being considered allows people buying insurance through an exchange to use federal dollars in the form of tax credits and their own dollars to buy a policy that covers their health care. If they choose a policy with abortion coverage, then they must write a separate personal check for the cost of that coverage.

Among the true things Time proclaimed:

Undeterred by her critics, she refused to back down as she fought for reforms that would include prenatal and maternity care and coverage for uninsured children. She fought for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.

We turn to the Jesuit magazine America for a practical glimpse of the modesty with which she lives her vows of poverty. Michael Sean Winters writes of the president of the nation’s largest not-for-profit network of health care facilities:

Sister Carol then showed me the sisters’ living quarters. She, like all the other nuns, had a small room, like a dorm room, with a small bed, a small desk and one comfortable chair, a devotional book on the table beside it. There was a closet holding half a dozen habits and blouses. This was certainly not how most hospital executives lived. Sister Carol’s supreme confidence in discussing any and all aspects of health care management was matched by a complete absence of pride or protocol. You only had to watch her for five minutes as she interacted with the hospital staff to realize that she was as down-to-earth as she was competent, as solicitous of others as she was unafraid to make a decision on her own.

She was also one of some 60 leaders of women religious, representing 59,000 Catholic Sisters, who broke with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to support passage of the Senate health reform bill.

Her clear voice remains an unwavering, truthful answer to those who seek continuously to smear the law as an inroad for immorality, rather than the triumph of Christian charity that it is.

May 1, 2010 Posted by | Catholic, Politics, Publications | , | 1 Comment

Christian health care reform cap for weekend outings

From the Psychology Today essay by Nathan Heflick who [without mentioning Richard Land] wrote:

There are about a zillion verses in the Bible saying we should help the poor, show compassion, be loving (it is the chief virtue right?) etc etc. What I cannot find is a verse where Jesus doesn’t help others, or even argues for that. It seems I live in a parellel universe where somehow this equates to “but people who are poor are lazy and shouldn’t get our help.” Do you really think Jesus would oppose universal healthcare because his taxes would get raised? Really?

Read the rest here.

[H/T: Mainstream Baptist]

March 27, 2010 Posted by | Health, Politics | | 2 Comments

Conservative intellectual honesty’s sometime price

Sometimes, politics is a religion, and heretics are punished, even when they’re right. Former Bush speech writer David Frum laid out in a few words the cause and effect of the Republican health reform loss, and three days afterward, “was forced out of his job at the American Enterprise Institute on Wednesday.”

March 25, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Religion | , , | 1 Comment

Fundamentally, the voters determined health reform’s fate

Nate Silver digs statistically down to the root of it.

He does explore how complex the decision was. Truly complex.

Even so, pull retiring Democratic members of Congress out of the mix. That done, as the chart at right illustrates, and the best predictor of their Sunday votes was “the percentage of the vote that Barack Obama received in each congressional district in 2008.

The voters decided this one, it seems.

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Health, Medical Care, Politics | , , | Comments Off on Fundamentally, the voters determined health reform’s fate

Racism and health reform opposition: Protesters scream ‘n****r’ at black congressman

William Douglas of McClatchy Newspapers reports:

Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “nigger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.

Chad Pergram of reports:

Reps. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Andre Carson, D-Ind., both members of the Congressional Black Caucus, allege that a group of protesters hollered at them and called them the N-word.

Brian Beutler of Talking Points Memo reports:

Tea partiers and other anti-health care activists are known to get rowdy, but today’s protest on Capitol Hill–the day before the House is set to vote on historic health care legislation–went beyond the usual chanting and controversial signs, and veered into ugly bigotry and intimidation.

Civil rights hero Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Andre Carson (D-IN) related a particularly jarring encounter with a large crowd of protesters screaming “kill the bill”… and punctuating their chants with the word “nigger.”

Standing next to Lewis, emerging from a Democratic caucus meeting with President Obama, Carson said people in the crowd yelled, “kill the bill and then the N-word” several times, while he and Lewis were exiting the Canon House office building.

“People have been just downright mean,” Lewis added.

Underlying tensions, unmasked.



March 21, 2010 Posted by | Health, Politics | , , | 1 Comment

Health reform looks optimistic

Pro-life may win and health reform pass, thanks in no small part to the Women Religious (Catholic nuns), the Catholic Health Association and others who broke with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Perhaps their faith should have been prediction enough. Looking back, though, Nate Silver was very optimistic at midweek.

In the first minutes of this day, the Washington Post and others reported House member shifts into the “yes” column. Similarly, Talking Points Memo, which does this sort of thing very well, found a late change in momentum toward passage as votes changed, one after another, to “yes.”

Statements like this by Rep. Dale E. Kildee, an anti-abortion Democrat from Michigan after he decided to support the Senate bill, presaged it all:

I will be 81 years old in September. Certainly at this point in my life, I’m not going to change my mind and support abortion, and I’m not going to risk my eternal salvation.

The nature and strategies of the opposition matter too. Like the Southern Baptist Convention’s chief political operative, Richard Land, who again weighed in against health reform. He sent a variation on his earlier error-ridden proclamation in a letter to Republican leaders, and given his gift for sowing confusion about what he means, gave them nothing like a counterbalance for the emergent support.

March 20, 2010 Posted by | Politics, Religion, SBC | | Comments Off on Health reform looks optimistic