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Archive for December, 2013

KFL logoAbortion-supporting groups continue to complain about the increasing life-protective laws passed in the states, particularly Kansas. The pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute places Kansas as number four in the nation (see map) among pro-life states– even as three of our bills from 2011 are not in effect yet due to delayed court action.

The achievement of strengthening Kansas as a pro-life state is due to the efforts of many, with Kansans for Life taking a leadership role.  For highlights of Kansans for Life 2013 activities, including educational and political action, see here. To donate, go here.

2013 PRO-LIFE LAWS
Gov. Sam Brownback signed three pro-life bills into law in 2013.

Senate Bill 142 [“Civil Rights for the Unborn”] allows lawsuits to be filed in civil court on behalf of the wrongful death of an unborn child at any time in gestation and  prohibits the filing of civil “wrongful birth” or “wrongful life” lawsuits seeking jackpot awards for parents who claim they would have aborted their disabled child had they known the of the condition prenatally. Recently, a jury in the state of Washington awarded $50 million dollars to parents because a laboratory did not detect a genetic defect. Such a lawsuit cannot be filed now in Kansas.

Senate Bill 199 establishes the exciting and first-of-its-kind Midwest Stem Cell Therapy Center at the University of Kansas, to increase the number of clinical grade stem cells available for use in patient treatments. The Center will create education modules for the public and medical personnel and create a global database resource for physicians and patients. Currently the only successful medical stem cell treatments are those using tissue sources such as blood, bone marrow and umbilical cords. The Center bars the use of any fetal or embryonic tissue cells, which are obtained through the destruction of unborn children.

House Bill 2253 [2013 Pro-Life Protections Act] was two years in the making, with extremist liberal media whining all along the way. HB 2253

  • strengthens medically accurate information made available prior to abortion from the state health department website;
  • bans all tax-funded payment for abortion,  tax breaks for abortion businesses;
  • forbids abortions for reason of sex-selection; and
  • declares that state public policy and budget priorities will reflect the fact that human life begins at conception, subject to U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Planned Parenthood and the abortion clinic of Herb Hodes and Traci Nauser (both in Overland Park) have sued to block HB 2253’s new requirement that abortion clinics feature a link to state abortion information on the clinic’s website homepage. In addition, after failing to secure a legal injunction against the entire HB 2253, Hodes/Nauser attorneys did secure a block on one small provision in HB 2253 defining medical emergencies.

As usual, unable to win in the realm of public opinion, abortion interests run to the courts, hoping they will land activist judges to freeze laws from going into effect. That strategy did not work well for them this year.

The office of Attorney General Derek Schmidt is managing the defense teams for all challenged pro-life laws. We expect resolution in our favor, although the pace has been especially slow on the three lawsuits filed in 2011.

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TopSecretPaperclipThe Internal Revenue Service has proposed new rules for political activity by nonprofits —overturning more than 50 years of settled law– in order to conceal the true political record of pro-abortion politicians.

The IRS proposal will undermine the ability of certain (“C-4”) tax-exempt nonprofits to conduct

  • nonpartisan voter registration and
  • voter education.

Such organizations advocating for the unborn, like Kansans for Life and the National Right to Life Committee, would be

forbidden to leave records of officeholder votes and public statements on their websites in the two months before an election.

In other words, during the small, premiere window of time that the general populace is paying attention to elections, pro-abortion politicians’ records would be locked away!  Read details by former Federal Elections Commission Chair Bradley Smith here.

NRLC, and affiliates like KFL, are invaluable for informing the public about the positions of candidates, including those nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court! The Obama team sees pro-life organizations as a threat and want to muzzle those views.  It’s that simple.

NRLC has issued a nationwide alert to raise a storm of public protest against these regulations, to make it as hard as possible for the IRS to give final approval. 

We need to educate the American people that it seems every group that opposes Obama’s policies is now under threat of having their most fundamental rights taken away. The use of the IRS as a political weapon has to stop!

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Obamacare grants HHS head, Kathleen Sebelius, powers

Obamacare grants HHS head, Kathleen Sebelius, unprecedented powers

We strongly urge you to read– in full– this excellent analysis of the built-in rationing in Obamacare, from Carol Tobias, president of our national affiliate. Learn the facts and help spread the word!
(Note, the Sebelius graphic is KFL’s addition.)

                  Yes, It Is Rationing
Dec. 2, 2013, Washington, D.C. —  “It’s four years overdue, but America is finally beginning to have the debate about Obamacare we were promised. Barack Obama had assured us – another in his long series of broken promises – that the meetings held to devise the plan would be televised on C-SPAN.  Americans would have every opportunity to know what the law is, and how it would affect them.

That never happened.  The law was put together behind closed doors.  Nancy Pelosi later arrogantly told us “we have to pass the law so you can know what’s in it.” Now we’re finding out.

National Right to Life was a lone early voice exposing how the law would cause rationing of life-saving care.  But Obamacare supporters have mocked the claim.  Their standard line has been “the ACA is designed to expand coverage, not reduce it.”

But that’s only one part of the law. Central to this overhaul of our healthcare system is a harsh regime of rationing – denial of care.  And it’s finally being admitted.

Americans don’t yet realize the law will prevent you from spending your own money to get treatments deemed “ineffective” in an Orwellian way by the unelected, largely unaccountable IPAB board.

Last summer, former Vermont governor, Democratic presidential candidate, physician and Obamacare supporter Howard Dean made headlines when he spilled the beans.  The Independent Payment Advisory Board set up by Obamacare, Dean said, was “essentially a health care rationing board.”

Further clarification about the role of this board, known as IPAB, came in a series of interviews and tweets last week by Time magazine Senior Political Analyst Mark Halperin.  Coming from an avowed supporter of universal coverage, as Halperin is, the interviews were very instructive, containing insights every American should know.

Halperin first discussed rationing on a November 25th Newsmax TV program.  “It’s built into the plan.  It’s not like a guess or like a judgment.  That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled.”

Later that day, Halperin clarified in a tweet that his comments were not about so-called “death panels,” as the show’s host had termed it, but about rationing.  This is an important distinction for pro-lifers to understand so we (unlike Obama) are completely clear and honest about what the Affordable Care Act does when we discuss it with others.

“Death Panels” vs. broad government-generated rationing in the ACA

The British National Health Service (NHS) has appeals committees to review “individual funding requests.”  They meet to determine whether treatments in a specific case will or won’t be paid for by the government health care system, NHS.  These have sometimes been termed “death panels” because if a patient needs a treatment to save or extend his life and can’t afford to pay for it himself, a verdict of “no” by the committee means the patient could die – hence, the term “death panel.”

Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) will not operate this way.  It won’t review individual cases; in fact, the law is written to preclude this type of direct rationing.  That’s why some Obamacare supporters protest that the law actually bars IPAB from rationing.

But Obamacare actually gives IPAB far more power to ration than if it was acting as judge and jury to individual patients. Broadly speaking, IPAB is given sweeping powers to recommend to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whether and how whole categories of treatments are to be reimbursed — and is required to use these powers to prevent overall health care spending from being allowed even to keep up with medical inflation. Thus, they can (in fact, it is their job to) limit reimbursement and ration care from thousands or millions of people at a time.

For example, IPAB might decide that a new, promising treatment for breast cancer is not “cost-effective,” given the board’s calculation of the number of lives it might save versus the cost to offer the treatment.  HHS might then issue a “quality measure” binding on health care providers that does not authorize use of the treatment.

Effectively, HHS would have the power to drive most doctors out of business if they ignore its directives to ration.  Women who might have been saved by the new treatment would die if the older, cheaper treatments don’t cure them.

Halperin was open about the law’s intention to ration in a follow-up interview on CNBC last Tuesday.

“Those decisions that are made by that board are going to lead to what I think could be described perfectly reasonably as rationing, “ Halperin said.  “Again, as I said, that’s built into the system.”

“The Independent Payment Advisory Board, which is a big part of the Affordable Care Act that is central to cost control, is something that hasn’t been debated in a real way . . . we need to have that debate in this country.”

Currently, if an insurance company, doctor or hospital denies you a treatment or payment for a treatment, you have several options.  States have insurance commissions to which you have a right to appeal payment denials by insurance companies.  You can go to another doctor or hospital to get care.

Under Obamacare, these avenues will be largely closed off to you and your loved ones.  If the government says you can’t get a treatment, your current ability to appeal to a government body will be curtailed.  And Americans don’t yet realize the law will prevent you from spending your own money to get treatments deemed in an Orwellian way “ineffective” by the unelected, largely unaccountable IPAB board.

That makes it absolutely critical that National Right to Life inform Americans, warn Americans, empower Americans to overturn this law that will be so deadly to so many of their loved ones – and ultimately to many of us.  Please take the time to see one way we’re spreading the truth about Obamacare rationing at www.nrlc.org/medethics/healthcarerationing.

And please help National Right to Life fight this life-and-death battle with a generous donation today.  Perhaps you can afford a substantial gift of $1,000 or $500 – such a contribution will help us get the word out to the public and public officials alike about what this law does to innocent human lives and why it must be overturned.

Your gifts of $100, $50 or $35, combined with those of thousands of other concerned Americans, can have the same effect.  Let’s not let it be said that we didn’t fight back with everything we have to overturn those policies and save these lives!

tobiasThank you – you are literally a Lifesaver!”
Carol Tobias, National Right to Life President

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