Again, a few words have sparked a firestorm of reactions. The power of words and, in the case, the power of Scripture. Psalms - always known for having short nuggets of wisdom from King David and others - is the focus of media attention because the scripture verse Psalms 109:8 is appearing on shirts and stickers as a prayer for President Obama and considered a veiled death threat.
Congratulations on being in the White House! Few of us can even begin to fathom the emotions, thoughts, and demands the President of the United States experiences on a daily basis. Your time in the White House is even more accomplished by being the first African-American to hold the office after serving eight years as an Illinois state senator and four years as a U.S. senator.
Congratulations, sir, on making history and for inspiring many young people to realize their dreams are possible!
However, Mr. President, I must express my sadness regarding your polices and Administration. It appears to me that you are dumbfounded as to why so many citizens - and yes, sir, there are millions - disagree with you. I share many of their concerns.
Two little words shouted as an emotional outburst from a Republican congressman would never have gained attention if they hadn't been shouted loud enough to hear during a Presidential address to Congress.
Congressman Joe Williams contacted the White House shortly after and expressed his regret for the statement. President Obama told reporters the next morning he accepted the apology and indicated, "We all make mistakes."
President Barack Obama plans to address students of America via a live webcast tomorrow, Tuesday, September 8. The President giving an educational pep talk to children should be a good thing, right? In this case, parents are in an uproar.
White House deputy policy director Heather Higginbottom said the original writing assignment was "inartfully worded" and that "we corrected it."
The address will appear live on the White House website and C-SPAN at noon on Tuesday in classrooms across America except for districts in states including Texas, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Virginia and Wisconsin which have decided not to show the speech to students.
Other examples of banning the speech:
- The district in Houston is leaving the decision up to individual school principals.
- In suburban Houston, the Cypress-Fairbanks district planned to show the address and has had its social studies teachers assemble a curriculum and activities for students.
- In the Dallas suburb of Plano, Texas, the 54,000-student school district is not showing the 15- to 20-minute address but will make the video available later.
- In Texas, calls and e-mail messages flooded into the offices of many local school officials. “I didn’t get a positive call all day,” said Susan Dacus, a spokeswoman for the Wylie Independent School District outside Dallas.
- School officials in Wylie decided to record the speech, review it and then let individual teachers show it, offering students the opportunity to avoid listening if they wished.
- In Houston, teachers have been asked to tell parents if they intend to show the speech and the schools will provide an alternative class for those whose parents object, a spokesman for the district, Lee Vela, said.
- In Wisconsin, the Green Bay school district decided not to show the speech live and to let teachers decide individually whether to show it later.
- The Minnesota Association of School Administrators is recommending against disrupting the first day of school to show the speech, but Minnesota's biggest teachers' union is urging schools to show it.
- Quincy, Ill., schools decided Thursday not to show the speech. Superintendent Lonny Lemon said phone calls "hit like a load of bricks" on Wednesday.
- Many more districts are considering not showing or allowing parents a method of opting out their child.
Many conservative voices say Obama is using the opportunity to promote a political agenda and is overstepping the boundaries of federal involvement in schools.
"As far as I am concerned, this is not civics education — it gives the appearance of creating a cult of personality," said Oklahoma Republican state Sen. Steve Russell. "This is something you'd expect to see in North Korea or in Saddam Hussein's Iraq."
Arizona state schools superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican, said lesson plans for teachers created by Obama's Education Department "call for a worshipful rather than critical approach."
Perhaps you feel that's a bit too extreme.
"I think it's really unfortunate that politics has been brought into this," says Higginbottom. "It's simply a plea to students to really take their learning seriously. Find out what they're good at. Set goals. And take the school year seriously."
Higginbottom noted that the first President George Bush, a Republican, made a similar nationally broadcast speech from a Washington high school in 1991. He urged students to study hard, avoid drugs and to ignore peers "who think it’s not cool to be smart." Democrats in Congress claimed $27,000 in taxpayer money was used to produce "paid political advertising."
In November 1988, President Ronald Reagan delivered more politically charged remarks that were made available to students nationwide. Among other things, Reagan called taxes "such a penalty on people that there's no incentive for them to prosper ... because they have to give so much to the government."
The differences between any previous Presidential effort are two-fold. For one, there were no blogs and social networking. Information was spread via broadcast & cable TV along with newspapers and magazines. Secondly, regardless of their political party, previous Presidents were not viewed so radical so quickly as the Obama Administration.
Some reasons parents are concerned:
- Political content? The speech not been screened for political content.
- Not reviewed. The speech not reviewed by State Boards of Education and local school boards, which, under state law, must approve the curriculum.
- Unknown content. "Nobody seems to know what he's going to be talking about," Perry said. "Why didn't he spend more time talking to the local districts and superintendents, at least give them a heads-up about it?"
- Indoctrination. "It's a form of indoctrination, and I think, really, it's indicative of the culture that the Obama administration is trying to create," Regine Gordon of Tampa, Fla., told FOXNews.com on Thursday. "It's very socialistic."
- Direct access to children. The speech "...seemed like a direct channel from the president of the United States into the classroom, to my child," said Brett Curtis, an engineer from Pearland, Tex.
- Bypassing parents. PTA council president Cara Mendelsohn said Obama is "cutting out the parent" by speaking to kids during school hours. "Why can't a parent be watching this with their kid in the evening?" Mendelsohn said. "Because that's what makes a powerful statement, when a parent is sitting there saying, 'This is what I dream for you. This is what I want you to achieve.'"
Michelle Moore of St. Louis says, "I have to sign permission slips for my kids to watch R-rated movies in school." She felt parents were being blindsided by the president's address. "It was simply presented, 'Hey, we're going to do this, this is when it's going to air and you're going to show it to your kids.'" Moore suggested that the speech be issued as a DVD to students so they can view it with their parents at home, adding that the first day of classes for many students will be a harried affair.
Beth Milledge of Winterset, Iowa plans to go to school with her 8-year-old son to watch the address with him. Obama speaking directly to children without so much as a permission slip being sent home made her "feel a little funny."
"I want to know how it's being presented," she said. "I'm all for my child having respect for the president, but why wouldn't he show us the speech first and then go from there?"
- Other media options available. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, a possible contender for the GOP's 2012 presidential nomination, said Friday the classroom is no place to show a video address from Obama. "At a minimum it's disruptive. Number two, it's uninvited. And number three, if people would like to hear his message they can, on a voluntary basis, go to YouTube or some other source and get it. I don't think he needs to force it upon the nation's school children," he told reporters at the Minnesota State fair.
- President is a stranger. "I wouldn’t let my next-door neighbor talk to my kid alone; I’m sure as hell not letting Barack Obama talk to him alone," said Kansas City talk show host Chris Stigall.
- President isn't trusted. "Thinking about my kids in school having to listen to that just really upsets me," suburban Colorado mother Shanneen Barron told CNN Denver affiliate KMGH. "I'm an American. They are Americans, and I don't feel that's OK. I feel very scared to be in this country with our leadership right now."
- President creating "a cult of personality" according to Mark Steyn, a Canadian author and political commentator.
- Taxpayer dollars footing bill to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology, according to Republican Party chairman in Florida, Jim Greer.
- Send a message. By boycotting this speech, it's likely many are using this as a means to protest the President.
"The president of the United States, regardless of political affiliation, should be able to have a presentation and have a pep talk, if you will, to America's students," he told CNN.
As expected, the White House is dismissive of these concerns. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs showed his disconnect with the American people.
"I think we've reached a little bit of the silly season when the president of the United States can't tell kids in school to study hard and stay in school," presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters. "I think both political parties agree that the dropout rate is something that threatens our long-term economic success."
A White House spokesman said that there was nothing subversive about the upcoming Obama speech.
"The goal of the speech and the lesson plans is to challenge students to work hard in school, to not drop out and to meet short-term goals like behaving in class, doing their homework and goals that parents and teachers alike can agree are noble," spokesman Tommy Vietor told FOXNews.com yesterday. "This isn’t a policy speech. This is a speech designed to encourage kids to stay in school."
The White House released the speech around noon on Monday so parents can read it. Obama will deliver the speech at Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va.
UPDATE: For a very well written article that articulates concerns superbly, click here.
One harmful attribute of banning a Presidential speech is that such action could send the wrong message to children. Not being allowed to hear out the President of the United States, even if parents dislike his policies, may say that one should not listen to someone with whom they disagree.
However, involved parents make such decisions all the time. How much TV are they watching? What sorts of TV programs are they watching? What movies are they watching? What video games are they playing and for how long? With whom are they speaking and what words/tone/attitude are they using? What and how much food are they consuming? This is called parenting. While some are less or more strict than others, monitoring and controlling a child's input is wise.
Yet, there are those that might say such parenting is ignorant or even racist. True arrogance, ignorance, and racism is spewed from likes of MSNBC's David Schuster who alleges that opposition to this speech may stem from racism.
Then, there's MSNBC's Chris "Thrill-Going-Up-My-Leg" Matthews who cannot help but show his arrogance and bitterness.
This isn't the first time the race card has been played. The immature poster child for of the race-card is Janeane Garofalo who labels anyone disagreeing with the President as "racist rednecks who hate black people." Well, specifically she refers to "teabaggers" (the term is a sexual act) as racist rednecks even though they are peacefully protesting high taxes, massive spending, and endless bailouts. While hundreds of thousands of Americans are protesting, the media mocks them with teabagging jokes on prime time TV because these professionals forgot they were supposed to be journalists.
Whether it's T.E.A. Parties, Town Hall meetings, or "birthers" (who are labeled racist because they want to see the President's long-form birth certificate), one can disagree with another or have a differing opinion without being racist.
How You Can Help
What should you do regarding this speech? Read the text of the speech and use sound discernment. Don't allow the masses to dictate what you should or should not do as a parent. God has blessed you with children, so use careful consideration in how to handle their development. It's your call. It's your business.
Also, pray that the speech is encouraging and inspirational to students but also pray that parents will be more involved with their children. It's not up to schools to shape children and an encouraging speech from the President won't help take bad behavior, guns, and sex out of schools. Involved parents, grandparents, or other guardians can do this.
We should not follow leaders blindly, but “Test everything; hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
In Matthew 7:15-20, Jesus offers some critical advice in discerning who is a false prophet: “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruits you will recognize them.”
It is of utmost importance that Christians are well-grounded in the Scriptures so that they are able to discern which teachers speak from God and which are false in their proclamation. Only then can we reject what is false and “hold on to the good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
Pray is the answer...and God answers prayers of His children with yes, no, and wait.
"Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans."
But wait, there's more.
"DOMA reflects a cautiously limited response to society's still-evolving understanding of the institution of marriage," according to the filing by Assistant Attorney General Tony West. The administration also disavowed past arguments made by conservatives that DOMA protects children by defining marriage as between a man and a woman.
"The United States does not believe that DOMA is rationally related to any legitimate government interests in procreation and child-rearing and is therefore not relying upon any such interests to defend DOMA's constitutionality," lawyers argued in the filing.
Obama has pledged to work to repeal the law.
One could debate "born gay" at great lengths, however, one still makes the choice to love someone of the same sex. Just as one chooses to love someone of the opposite sex or different race, chooses to be single, or has sex with animals and corpses. These are all choices.
Jackson is joined in indignation by Brian Raum of the Alliance Defense Fund, who is disappointed the Justice Department is challenging the law which was passed in 1996.
"It's really troubling that the federal government has taken a position that federal policy is bad policy," says the attorney. "Federal DOMA was passed overwhelmingly and represents the prevailing view of the people of the United States that marriage is between a man and a woman and that's the optimal environment for raising kids," Raum contends.
Again, when one sees homosexuality as "how I am" and "who I am" anything and everything goes. If conditions are made to allow gay marriage, why not allow marrying one's horse or monkey? Why not being married to a corpse? Sound ludicrous? When the journey begins to accommodate the desires of the few, the slope becomes increasingly slippery into allowing other possibilities.
Also, another political sign is President Obama's appointment of Harry Knox, a leading homosexual activist, to his faith-based council. Knox is on the White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and he believes scientific evidence supports certain people are born homosexuals. "What's clear from our experience and from science is that being gay or lesbian is an immutable, unchangeable gift from God -- one for which I'm very grateful," he said.
The Pittsburgh Seminary professor views the bill as "the Trojan horse of an aggressive gay/transgender lobby."
He argues that it offers "to the public the 'sexual orientation' and 'gender identity' law least likely to meet with massive public resistance." And once the horse is within the city walls, then passing other laws on sexual orientation and gender identity will be relatively easy.
The more laws, bills, and politicians that are introduced on the platform of sexual preference, the more commonplace and accepted this agenda will become. To be clear, a politician or other leader should be qualified for a job based on their skills, abilities, or works and not on their sexual preferences.
1 Corinthians 6:12 "Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. "Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body."
Matthew 19:4–6 "Haven’t you read," he replied, that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one.
Colossians 4:6 "Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone."
2 Chronicles 7:14 "Then if my people, who are called by my name, are sorry for what they have done, if they pray and obey me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land."
1 Peter 3:15 "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..."
Most of the time, it's easier to pray for someone we care about such as our spouse, family or friends. But what about our leaders? Our boss, pastor, mayor, governor, and the President are some people we should remember in prayer.
1 Timothy 2:1–3 says "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior..."
Romans 13 states, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God...This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
Ok, fine, I'll pray for my leaders...but not Barack Obama. Nope, not gonna do it.
Luke 6: 27-31 says “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
We don't have the luxury of praying only for people we like or only people who think like us. Loving our enemies is praying for them and interceding for them. Perhaps "enemy" is a strong word but it fits the bill on someone you dislike.
So, how can you pray for President Obama? Feel free to choose any of the prayer suggestions below and add them to a calendar or other means of devotional recording.
- Pray President Obama will seek God's Will for himself, his family, his administration, and America.
- Pray President Obama is open to the Holy Spirit's teaching and guidance.
- Pray for ever-increasing knowledge of God.
- Pray for President Obama's work to be the best.
- Pray President Obama is sensitive to God’s voice, has spiritual ears, and a willing heart.
- Pray President Obama stays far from gossip, deceit, or unbelief.
- Pray God gives President Obama a spirit of wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, strength, and obedient and reverent fear of the Lord (Isaiah 11:2).
- Pray for keen discernment between God’s wisdom and human wisdom.
- Pray for pure motives, purged by God through the Word and President Obama's personal prayer time.
- Pray for discernment against impure motives.
- Pray God leads and directs President Obama's paths.
- Pray for divine health—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually.
- Pray for all effects of tiredness and discouragement to be loosed from President Obama's mind and body.
- Pray for fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
- Pray for total submission to the Lord in every aspect of life.
- Pray for a spirit of unity, not competition; humility, not superiority; cooperation, not defensiveness.
- Pray President Obama pursues righteousness, faith, love, and peace.
- Pray President Obama feeds daily on the Word of God and maintains a faithful prayer life.
- Pray God sends angels to guard President Obama, his family, and property, puts a hedge of protection around all that's going in, coming out, the air above, and the ground below.
- Pray the angels go before President Obama and do battle in his behalf.
- Pray God foils all attacks and traps of the enemy.
- Pray against all occult activity—curses, witchcraft divination, sorcery.
- Pray the Lord causes President Obama to abound in prosperity—body, soul, and spirit.
- Thank God for providing all the needs—personal, family, ministry.
- Pray President Obama will be a wise steward of time and be disciplined.
- Pray President Obama's relationship with God is the top priority.
- Pray for unity and understanding among the family members.
- Pray there's no resentment when sacrifice is required.
- Pray God meets President Obama's emotional needs.
- Pray President Obama spends quality time with his family—both leisure time and spiritual time.
- Pray the family discerns each other’s needs—emotional, physical, material, and spiritual.
- Pray President Obama overcomes pressures and stress.
To worsen matters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opens her gaping maw to insult grassroots efforts by labeling them "AstroTurf," claims that protesters are "carrying swastikas," and stereotypes those who shout over their Representatives at town halls "un-American." Nancy, please refrain from flapping your gums in public and just be Speaker of the House, because every time you speak elsewhere you are an embarrassment. People are confused and angry and therefore have a right to express themselves. However, shouting over speakers at town hall meetings...tisk, tisk. Be vocal, be direct, and be passionate. But be respectful and show some class! I applaud how Senator Ben Cardin (Dem.- Maryland) handled a recent town hall meeting in Towson, MD, on August 10. The event is summed up in the email below:
Senator Cardin's Town Hall Meeting - Towson - August 10, 2009
Inside the meeting there were 500 people -- the hall was filled to capacity. Outside, I and others estimated there were between 2000 and 3000 (thousand) people. The entire crowd could have been accommodated in the gymnasium across the street, and I believe this would have been better than having so many left outside in the heat.
The "organized" group of anti health care reform bill protesters well outnumbered the supporters. They came disguised as ordinary people. Many made themselves appear old, and many made themselves appear young. They intentionally wore clothing that would make them not seem to be an organized group. Their most ingenious ploy was to carry home-made, rather than professionally made signs.
The "unorganized" pro-Obamacare group, which numbered between 100 and 200, curiously all wore the same shirts, and somehow all managed to accidentally used the same sign shop to have their professionally printed signs made.
Both groups were loud and spirited. I personally witnessed no inappropriate behavior, especially from such a large group of people.
Now for what occurred at the meeting. The first speaker was a young lady who has a young child with medical disorders. While all the attendees respectfully listened to her and her family's plight, it was seen as a ploy by Sen. Cardin to jerk at people's heartstrings and to eat up time before taking questions. The good news about the young lady is that her family's medical problems were fixed -- without health care reform. Mr. Cardin then presented a slide show on the health care bill. For the most part the crowd attempted to pay attention, but as the presentation went on, it seemed clear to the majority that the information was not wholly truthful, and was seen as another attempt to burn up time before the question and answer portion.
While the crowd was spirited and boisterous, their responses were directed not at Mr. Cardin personally, but at the misinformation they believed he was giving. Mr. Cardin constantly talked about things not being in the Senate bill, but my understanding is that there is no official version of a Senate bill at this time. There are at least three House versions, which Mr. Cardin danced around, not having read them, as he admitted.
One question from the audience that got loud applause was "Why not support tort reform [civil lawsuits against doctors] before changing health care as we know it?" Mr. Cardin, a life-long trial lawyer, had absolutely no answer. Is it a coincidence that 80% of the elected officials in Washington are lawyers, including Barack Obama? (I wonder what this bill would look like if 80% of Congress were doctors and nurses.)
Another question was, would Mr. Cardin put in and vote for an amendment requiring Congress to be on the government plan. This yes-or-no question was not answered yes or no. He said, "I'm already on a government plan." But as you and I know, Congress has the best plan anyone could have, but it is available only to Congress and high-ranking government officials.
Mr. Cardin praised Medicaid and Medicare as examples of how efficiently government can run health care programs. He failed to mention that these programs are subsidized by the taxpayers and by those having private insurance, or that the government has done a horrible job of monitoring and prosecuting fraud in those systems. He avoided all questions on specifics in the bill, including questions of death counseling. He said that illegal aliens will not be eligible under this new program, but every attempt to put language in the bill to exclude illegal aliens has been blocked. He said that no additional money will be spent on abortions by the government, whereas sections of the bill clearly state otherwise.
As one gentleman so eloquently stated, "Mr. Cardin, I have never heard so many mistruths and out-and-out lies being told by an elected official," and he proceeded to explain the provisions in the bill concerning pre-existing conditions. Mr. Cardin then asked the gentleman whether he would hear him out. The gentleman replied, "That would be fine, Senator, if you stop lying." Mr. Cardin finally admitted that the gentleman was much more informed on the issue than he was, and asked if the gentleman would agree to sit down with him and help him understand the issues (the very issues that Cardin was at the meeting to explain!).
All in all, I don't believe that Mr. Cardin swayed anyone to his side. Having spoken to some of his supporters afterwards, they came in supporting the idea of free health care for all, not understanding the overall ramifications of Obamacare. But they left feeling that they needed to not merely support the general concept of health care, but to understand what the bill would do before supporting it.
I must hand it to Mr. Cardin. He stood up to the firing squad, and was always polite and respectful to the audience. The attendees, while very spirited, did not indulge in personal attacks on Sen. Cardin or Pres. Obama, but attacked the policies they proposed. It was a wonderful exercise of free speech.
Link to HR 3200 http://energycommerce.house.gov/Press_111/20090714/aahca.pdf
P.S. Also in attendance were Delegates McDonough, Boteler, Frank, Aumann, Lafferty, and Speaker Pro Tem Jones. Delegate Warren Miller was present outside but was unable to get into the meeting room.
Delegate, District 7
So, this isn't about who can shout the loudest, what's more liberal, what's more conservative, or how quickly a bill can be drafted. Why are citizens in an uproar?
- The bill is over 1000 pages
- Few lawmakers have read it
- People fear change
- Too much guesswork is being shared and not enough facts
- People don't appreciate their voices and opinions being silenced or ridiculed, especially by those they elected to office
- Few officials are willing to say "I don't know" and more often pass blame elsewhere
One of the myths the White House claims to bust:
Reform will stop "rationing" - not increase it: It’s a myth that reform will mean a "government takeover" of health care or lead to "rationing." To the contrary, reform will forbid many forms of rationing that are currently being used by insurance companies.
However, John David Lewis breaks it down:
This is what the bill says, pages 284-288, SEC. 1151. REDUCING POTENTIALLY PREVENTABLE HOSPITAL READMISSIONS:
‘(ii) EXCLUSION OF CERTAIN READMISSIONS.—For purposes of clause (i), with respect to a hospital, excess readmissions shall not include readmissions for an applicable condition for which there are fewer than a minimum number (as determined by the Secretary) of discharges for such applicable condition for the applicable period and such hospital.
and, under “Definitions”:
‘(A) APPLICABLE CONDITION.—The term ‘applicable condition’ means, subject to subparagraph (B), a condition or procedure selected by the Secretary . . .
‘‘(E) READMISSION.—The term ‘readmission’ means, in the case of an individual who is discharged from an applicable hospital, the admission of the individual to the same or another applicable hospital within a time period specified by the Secretary from the date of such discharge.
‘‘(6) LIMITATIONS ON REVIEW.—There shall be no administrative or judicial review under section 1869, section 1878, or otherwise of— . . .
‘‘(C) the measures of readmissions . . .
EVALUATION OF THE PASSAGES:
- This section amends the Social Security Act
- The government has the power to determine what constitutes an “applicable [medical] condition.”
- The government has the power to determine who is allowed readmission into a hospital.
- This determination will be made by statistics: when enough people have been discharged for the same condition, an individual may be readmitted.
- This is government rationing, pure, simple, and straight up.
- There can be no judicial review of decisions made here. The Secretary is above the courts.
- The plan also allows the government to prohibit hospitals from expanding without federal permission: page 317-318.
The Wall Street Journal has this to say:
While claims about euthanasia and "death panels" are over the top, senior fears have exposed a fundamental truth about what Mr. Obama is proposing: Namely, once health care is nationalized, or mostly nationalized, rationing care is inevitable, and those who have lived the longest will find their care the most restricted.
You can keep your own insurance: It’s myth that reform will force you out of your current insurance plan or force you to change doctors. To the contrary, reform will expand your choices, not eliminate them.
Congressman John Sarbanes (3rd District Maryland) echoes this sentiment: "It does not require anyone to enter into a government-run health care plan. If you like your doctor and your current plan, you can absolutely keep them if this proposal becomes law. For those who want to study other plans, it will give you more choices at lower rates than individuals can get in the current market."
The Enlighten Patriot even has it as Lie #2:
Democrats are going to outlaw private insurance and force you into a government plan!!! The truth: With reform, choices will increase, not decrease. Obama's reform plans will create a health insurance exchange, a one-stop shopping marketplace for affordable, high-quality insurance options. Included in the exchange is the public health insurance option—a nationwide plan with a broad network of providers—that will operate alongside private insurance companies, injecting competition into the market to drive quality up and costs down. If you're happy with your coverage and doctors, you can keep them. But the new public plan will expand choices to millions of businesses or individuals who choose to opt into it, including many who simply can't afford health care now.
However CNN Money disagrees on the freedom to keep your existing plan: This is the freedom that the President keeps emphasizing. Yet the bills appear to say otherwise. It's worth diving into the weeds -- the territory where most pundits and politicians don't seem to have ventured.
The legislation divides the insured into two main groups, and those two groups are treated differently with respect to their current plans. The first are employees covered by the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974. ERISA regulates companies that are self-insured, meaning they pay claims out of their cash flow, and don't have real insurance. Those are the GEs (GE, Fortune 500) and Time Warners (TWX, Fortune 500) and most other big companies.
The House bill states that employees covered by ERISA plans are "grandfathered." Under ERISA, the plans can do pretty much what they want -- they're exempt from standard packages and community rating and can reward employees for healthy lifestyles even in restrictive states.
But read on.
The bill gives ERISA employers a five-year grace period when they can keep offering plans free from the restrictions of the "qualified" policies offered on the exchanges. But after five years, they would have to offer only approved plans, with the myriad rules we've already discussed. So for Americans in large corporations, "keeping your own plan" has a strict deadline. In five years, like it or not, you'll get dumped into the exchange. As we'll see, it could happen a lot earlier.
The outlook is worse for the second group. It encompasses employees who aren't under ERISA but get actual insurance either on their own or through small businesses. After the legislation passes, all insurers that offer a wide range of plans to these employees will be forced to offer only "qualified" plans to new customers, via the exchanges.
The employees who got their coverage before the law goes into effect can keep their plans, but once again, there's a catch. If the plan changes in any way -- by altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug -- the employee must drop out and shop through the exchange. Since these plans generally change their policies every year, it's likely that millions of employees will lose their plans in 12 months.
Our health care may be flawed but we have freedoms and options that appear to be in jeopardy. For many of us, we don't understand the rush and the urgency because health care doesn't seem broken. I've had health insurance via my employers since 1997. The plans have worked well, my co-payments have been small, and I've always had options. Granted, this reform isn't about me...but it is. If the effort is to reform health care, it would seem - as mentioned at the Cardin town hall meeting - that tort reform is lower hanging fruit. Stop the ridiculous lawsuits. So, many of us shrug, "What gives?" Ah, but for doing that we're labeled ignorant, racist, right-wing, extremist, redneck, and more just for asking questions. Just for disagreeing. No politician deserves the right to have that free of a pass to put anything into place.
Which brings us here: should people of faith oppose or support health care reform?
Before rushing to one side or the other, pray for discernment and be certain your support aligns with Scripture. Also, educated yourself. Don't be spoon-fed from the media or the White House. Read. Read it, again. Ask questions. Make up you own mind. Lastly, Christians (Southern Baptist) should oppose health care reform if it allows for:
- Abortion on demand or the absence of language which explicitly excludes abortion coverage
- Distribution of contraceptives to minors without parental consent through public schools by the establishment of school-based health clinics
- The rationing of health care on the basis of economic decisions rather than the provision of health care on the basis of medical need
- The violation of the centuries-old, covenantal relationship between physician and patient
- Inadequate conscience clauses which fail to protect religious persons
- Institutions, organizations, and medical facilities from participating in a health care system which would condone and support morally objectionable practices
- The forced inclusion of Southern Baptist institutions and churches in reform plans which may undermine the missions activities of our denomination.
Pray that President Obama is granted wisdom and insight into how best to handle the nation's healthcare reform.
James 1:5 “But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to all people, so he will give you wisdom.”
1 Timothy 2:1-4 "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."
Pray that President Obama seeks Godly counsel and encourages his administration to do the same. 1 Corinthians 3:18-21 "Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” So then, no more boasting about men! "
Pray that President Obama will seek strength in the Lord and allow Him to the correct paths.
1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."
Pray that President Obama always speaks the truth to the American people regardless of the consequences. Psalm 120:2 "Save me, O Lord, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues." Pray that President Obama hears all concerns with wisdom and patience and acts upon that information in bold compassion. Colossians 3:9 "Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices."
Pray President Obama seeks true bi-partisan conversations, denies self and ego in speaking with others with differing opinions, and goes to Scriptures for counsel. Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
Pray that President Obama is granted wisdom and insight into how best to handle the nation's healthcare reform.
James 1:5 “But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys giving to all people, so he will give you wisdom.”Continue Reading»
Pray that President Obama speaks truth and wisdom because he has first sought it from God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 "Then if my people, who are called by my name, are sorry for what they have done, if they pray and obey me and stop their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and I will heal their land."Continue Reading»
White House 'Reality Check’ Web Site Claims Health Care Reform ‘Would Not Add One Penny to Deficit’ Despite CBO Reports to Contrary 0 commentsA new Web site launched Monday by the Obama administration to rebut alleged disinformation about the administration's efforts to reform the health care system claims that reform “would not add one penny to the deficit"--despite the fact that the two health care reform bills that have been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office are predicted by the CBO to increase the national debt by $239 billion and $1.042 trillion respectively. The administration, meanwhile, has not produced any health-care reform legislation that has been independently determined to be deficit-neutral.Read full story
Pray that President Obama is open and honest with the American people and sets honest expectations with health care reform.
Galatians 5:13-15 "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful naturea; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other."Continue Reading»
Pray that President Obama will lead by example and speak with wisdom so that others in his administration might do the same.
James 3:4-6 "Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell."Continue Reading»