doctors

Alarming Gallup Study: Federal Government, Despite Debt, Is Adding Jobs Faster Than Private Sector!

Apparently, the liberal regime in Washington, D.C. — the one waging war on the American economy — is not getting the message, either from the public nor from common sense economics: You can't balance the budget when the government unconsciously borrows and prints money with no end in sight. It's not how healthy economies are created. It's how economic turmoil and chaos are created. Still, despite the misrepresentation by the administration about an "economic recovery" and job growth, the fact is, most new job creation over the last few months comes from new hiring by the federal government! The source is none other than Gallup's Job Creation Index:

Gallup's Job Creation Index clearly indicates that state and local governments are in the midst of significant downsizing, no doubt reflecting budgetary issues resulting from recessionary pressures on the tax (and other) revenue that funds these governments.

Hiring at the federal level has apparently to date escaped these same fiscal pressures. Indeed, the federal government appears to be significantly outpacing the private sector in terms of the relative number of jobs created.

This when the federal government is running annual deficit the size of many countries' entire economic output, estimated at an inconceivable $1.3 trillion this year (Wall Street Journal). For a president whose supporters claim is the smartest man alive, not spending more than you take in doesn't seem to be a hard concept to comprehend. The states are doing so. But, in the Age of Obama, we'll all end up working for the government — doctors, automobile manufacturers, insurance agents, bankers. If you don't have a government job yet, be patient. Your time is coming.

Virginia News Stand: March 22, 2010

Annotations & Elucidations Day One Of Amerika? Or The First Day Of Revolution Two?

The News Stand has returned. Forgive us for its absence, but a little thing called General Assembly session kind of got in the way. Our Communications Department was kind of preoccupied. Today, of course, is quite the time to return. There's not much to add to the major news story of our time — the federal government's takeover of our health care system. We have some excellent commentary below. But I do want to add one ironic historical note, a reminder from our friend Norman Leahy at Tertium Quids: Today is the day in 1765 that the British Parliament passed The Stamp Act. We all know what that precipitated. Started here in Virginia, too. Parallels?

News

McDonnell to soon name panels on jobs, government reform, higher education (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Danville debate draws 7 who hope to challenge Perriello (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Democrats to gather in Richmond for low-key Jefferson-Jackson dinner (Washington Post Virginia Politics Blog)

Cuccinelli says Va. will sue over health-care bill (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

National News

Abortion compromise doesn't satisfy critics (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Insurers, doctor-owned hospitals get late help (AP/GOPUSA.com)

Commentary

American People Say 'No' While Democrats Say 'Yes We Can' (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Health Plan Means Bigger Deficits and Higher Taxes (Michael Barrone/GOPUSA.com)

The Goal is Control (Henry Lamb/GOPUSA.com)

Doctors and Health Care Reform (Harris Sherline/GOPUSA.com)

'Don't Tread On Me' Was More Than A Slogan (Thomas D. Segel/GOPUSA.com)

The 'Historic' Health Care Bill that Americans Don't Want (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Ok . . . Let's Get Serious About Cutting Spending (Bobby Eberle/GOPUSA.com)

Unions, Public Schools and Minority Kids (Star Parker/GOPUSA.com)

Before Visiting Your Doctor, Consult Your Government Run Health Care Chart

Health care charts have come a long way since just last week, when doctors had to go to all the trouble of flipping open a clip board to take a look at your status. The Obama-Reid-Pelosi proposed government run health care scheme gives a radically different meaning to "your chart" (as made famous in a Seinfeld episode, see script dialogue here). Instead, your chart would look more like the one below: It is the chart that Speaker Pelosi is censoring House Republicans from mailing to constituents via Congressional mail. It describes the colossal maze Americans would need to navigate to understand what doctors we see, what type and how much (or how little) insurance we want, how much interference government bureaucrats in Washington will provide, what fines we pay, and how much treatment and medicines we are allowed to get from the rationed supplies. (Why does the president talk about the elderly needing to make "other choices" if medical care isn't going to be rationed?)

health-chart

Your medical freedom is at stake with ObamaCare, and all this time we thought liberals were for "choice."

Your chart: Not just for doctors anymore under ObamaCare. What will the government know about you that it won't let you know?

Tea Parties Continued: Make Your Voice Heard On Government Takeover Of Your Health Care!

Tomorrow at High Noon, the Tea Party movement in Virginia continues into another phase as people from all walks of life and all political persuasions will gather at the offices of Virginia's two U.S. senators to let them know socialized medicine, nationalized health care or whatever one wants to call it, is not acceptable. The monstrosity under consideration in Washington will destroy the world's greatest health care system through diminished quality, rationed services, exploding government debt, government bureaucrats picking who gets treated for what and when, and an increase in abortion services. It is nothing less than a complete government takeover of health care, which accounts for one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Since this is July, the month when the revolutionary ideals of American freedom from oppressive government were so eloquently and dramatically expressed, it is an appropriate a time to rekindle those ideals and let our senators know in very adamant terms that we want to remain true to our Founders' vision.

We won't be alone in Virginia. Americans in every state will visit senators'  district offices in a coordinated effort to demand that they protect our health care  freedoms to choose our doctors and to keep the government out of our health decisions.

If you are not able to make it, please take the time to call, e-mail or fax Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner so your voice is still heard. You may mail them by simply addressing envelopes with their names and the following: United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510; or you may call the capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for their offices. To e-mail the senators, click on their names below. Also see below for district office locations and contact information.

Senator Jim Webb's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southside 308 Craghead Street Suite 102A Danville, VA 24541 Phone: 434-792-0976 Fax: 434-972-0960

Hampton Roads 222 Central Park Ave. Suite 120 Virginia Beach, VA 23462 Phone: 757-518-1674 Fax: 757-518-1679

Northern Virginia 1501 Lee Highway Suite 130 Arlington, VA 22209 Phone:703-807-0581 Fax:703-807-5198

Southwest 756 Park Avenue, N.W. Norton, VA 24273 Mail to: 756 Park Avenue, N.W. P.O. Box 1300 Norton, VA 24273 Phone: 276-679-4925 Fax: 276-679-4929

Central Virginia 507 East Franklin Street Richmond, VA 23219 Phone: 804-771-2221 Fax: 804-771-8313

Roanoke Valley 3140 Chaparral Drive Building C, Suite 101 Roanoke, VA 24018 Phone: 540-772-4236 Fax: 540-772-6870

Senator Mark Warner's District Offices (click to e-mail him)

Southwest  180 West Main Street Abingdon, VA 24210 Phone Number: 276-628-8158 Fax Number: 276-628-1036

Hampton Roads 101 W. Main Street Suite 4900 Norfolk, VA 23510 Phone Number: 757-441-3079 Fax Number: 757-441-6250

Central Virginia 5309 Commonwealth Centre Parkway Suite 401 Midlothian, VA 23112 Phone Number: 804-739-0247 Fax Number: 804-739-3478

Roanoke Valley 129B Salem Avenue, SW Roanoke, VA 24011 Phone Number: 540-857-2676 Fax Number: 540-857-2800

It's Switzerland, Stupid

In the debate over health care "reform," liberals point to models in England, Canada and other socialist countries as systems we should emulate, despite their abject failures and rationing. The next time a liberal tells you the Euros do it better, agree. Then add, "if you mean Switzerland." Switzerland?

Yes. It just so happens Switzerland has, perhaps, the best consumer driven approach to the health care marketplace. There are spots of consumer driven health care percolating here, such as "doc-in-box" services and clinics at chains such as Wal-Mart and CVS, which drive down prices for non-emergency care. But Switzerland is where it's at, according to Regina Herzlinger, the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard, no less, and author of Who Killed Health Care? (and this Washington Post piece).

She was the featured speaker today at the Tuesday Morning Group monthly meeting in Richmond. Here's how it works there, in a nutshell:

There is a government mandate: All citizens must buy health care coverage, because neither the government nor employers provide any! The result is massive competition and more than 80 insurance companies in that small nation. (What is the U.S. down to? Six, not including the government?) Even nuns in the mountains have formed insurance companies.

The policies have high deductibles so people are not tempted to use their insurance when you have an earache. People are forced to more cost effectively spend on their health care. This creates competition for services, just like any other trade, such as computers, phones, restaurants or clothes: Health care providers line up to provide the best service possible, or a niche service that's needed, at the best cost possible to win customers. Because customers pay out of their own pocket, there's no haggling by insurance companies and government to determine a price in which doctors must settle for their service. Instead, doctors set their own prices and if patients don't like it, they go to someone else. Insurance is used for what it is really intended — serious illness or injury.

The result is health care costs are 5 percent lower in Switzerland than here and takes up only 11 percent of GDP, while it accounts for 17 percent here. Not only that, insurance companies rebate you half your money if you stay healthy. They also create reinsurance pools among themselves to minimize risk.

But if the Obama administration doesn't want to look to the one European country that does it right — better, in fact than we do it now — maybe he'll stop apologizing for America long enough to look to a country we supposedly had to apologize to. Dr. Herzlinger pointed to an experiment in South Africa, of all places, where an insurance company paid clients to stay healthy. It motivated them to eat right, live a better lifestyle and exercise. The result is that the percentage of certain illnesses are lower in the RSA than in the USA.

One last observation by Dr. Herzlinger: If you think outsourcing of certain jobs is bad now, wait until socialized medicine is approved by Congress and the Obama administration. She predicts jobs and services will get exported to India, Singapore, Brazil, Costa Rica and Argentina.

Reminder: Ask HHS To Keep Medical Professional Conscience Protections In Place!

A crucial reminder: Thursday, April 9 is the last day the federal Department of Health and Human Services will accept public comment on whether it should maintain, discard or otherwise change the conscience protections for medical professionals put in place only last December! We had a great response from many of you the last time we posted something about this, so for those who haven't e-mailed HHS, please do! Every comment matters, and you know Planned Parenthood and NARAL aren't staying silent. Not only is it unconscionable to make anyone, much less medical professionals, perform actions against their religious beliefs (such as abortion), it would have a disastrous affect as well: It would no doubt force religiously affiliated hospitals, such as Catholic-run hospitals, to close down rather than perform procedures contrary to their faith. Unfortunately, some would rather kow-tow to the extremist abortion-at-all-costs mentality than see this very real decimation to this segment of our health care system, one that provides millions of dollars of charitable health care each year. Pretty ironic — sad, really — coming from an administration so concerned with health care for those who can't afford it.

The amazing thing is that it's even come to this in America, where you supposedly are guaranteed freedom to practice your religion. Instead, a Christian nurse, for example, could be fired for not participating in an abortion if these safeguards are repealed.  

Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, called the current regulations "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God."

Incredibly, the other side claims that repealing these regulations is necessary to increase medical care opportunities for those seeking certain services.

Writing HHS is simple: Click here for the National Committee for a Human Life Amendment and/or here for the U.S. Catholic Bishops, both of which have information to use in your comments as well as the HHS e-mail link; or, simply e-mail HHS from here at proposedrescission@hhs.gov.

Help Maintain Medical Conscience Protections!

Thanks to our friends at The Virginia Catholic Conference — who do fantastic work keeping up with federal issues, especially regulatory matters that don't require Congressional action and therefore aren't in a big a media spotlight — we have an urgent reminder that the Obama Administration is losing no time in trying to force medical workers of faith into providing services they find objectionable. On February 27, it announced its intention to remove current regulations, put in place by the Bush Administration late last year, that protect conscience rights in health care. On March 10, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a formal proposal to rescind these regulations, thereby activating a 30-day period for the public to submit comments. 

The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has devised an Action Alert explaining why the regulations should be retained and providing directions on how to submit comments to HHS (click here). E-mail messages can be sent directly through the NCHLA Action Center. A preset message is provided, to which the sender can add personal comments. 

Please submit your comments before the April 9 deadline! 

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has set up a special Web site with that provides a wealth of information and resources on conscience protection (click here), including a link to the NCHLA Action Center message. We encourage you to visit that site and others to fully arm yourself on the issue.  

Churches are encouraged to display the NCHLA and USCCB links on their Web pages. Highlighting the critical importance of the current conscience regulations, Cardinal Francis George, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said:

They are "one part of the range of legal protections for health care workers — for doctors, nurses and others — who have objections in conscience to being involved in abortion and other killing procedures that are against how they live their faith in God." 

Removing these conscience regulations "would be the first step in moving our country from democracy to despotism."

The Obama HHS promises to be as destructive as ever toward the unborn. Its secretary-designate, Kathleen Sebelius, a Catholic, was the most pro-abortion-on- demand governor in the country before her nomination. He extremist policy positions prompted Archbishop Raymond L. Burk to call her an "embarrassment" (Catholic News Agency). It will take every possible effort to counter the new adminstration's pro-abortion initiatives. Pro-life Virginia activists responded in numbers to impress upon the Bush Administration how important these medical professional conscience protections are (see previous commentary). A redoubled effort is required to convince the Obama Administration to retain them.

As Crossover Approaches, It's All To Play For

Tuesday is "crossover" day in the General Assembly, the day when work on bills from their respective chambers must be complete. The past two weeks have been long and intense, as you have been able to tell by reading this blog and by the number of e-mail alerts you've received. (If you don't receive our e-mail alerts, you should. They are informative, fun, fast and have received critical acclaim. People tell us that when they read them, they feel as if they were in the committee room. Click here to sign up.)   Several bills in The Family Foundation's bill profile were acted on recently. Here's an update:

SB 1270: Abortion Center Licensing Requirement (Support)

This legislation, introduced by Senator Jill Vogel (R-27, Winchester), would have required abortion centers to become licensed, have life-saving equipment in their facilities and submit to one yearly inspection. It was drafted to make abortion centers safer for the women who visit them. In fact, the original bill had numerous regulations, many of which pro-abortion activists claim are onerous and designed put these centers out of business. Anticipating this argument, Senator Vogel stripped down the bill to the three simple requirements listed above.

The fact is that there are several types of medical facilities that are much less invassive, such as podiatry centers; and altogether different types of facilities, such as puppy mills, that have much tougher regulations. Furthermore, all medical disciplines and specialities have oversight by peer review boards, with the notable exception of abortionists.

Finally, the pro-abortion side traditionally argues that the Board of Medicine regulates Virginia's abortion clinics. Fine. Senator Vogel presented SJ 276, which the Senate passed unanimously last year, that slams the Board of Medicine, citing a 1999 JLARC report, that discovered "the Board of Medicine  took too long to resolve cases, did not adequately protect the public from substandard practice by doctors, and did not handle medical malpractice cases adequately," among other charges. When confronted with its hypocrisy and the truth, the pro-abortion side did the only thing it could do — ignore it.

So, this bill, which seemed like a logical and bipartisan issue, failed in the Senate Education and Health Committee by a party line vote of 10-5. So much for "safe, legal and rare." Instead, in Virginia, abortion centers remain an exempted class, untouchable and protected by their overlords in the Senate. Read more about this issue here and see video of the Ed and Health hearing here.

SB 801: "Choose Life" License Plates (Support)

This legislation, from Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37, Fairfax), not only would have created "Choose Life" license plates, but would have sent part of the proceeds from the plates to pregnancy resource centers around Virginia. The bill was debated in the Senate Transportation Committee. Of course, the opposition denounced the plates, claiming they are political in nature and out of the purview for recognition.

Even more infuriating, a family practitioner unashamedly attacked crisis pregnancy centers in her testimony. The bill died in committee by a vote of 6-6 with Senators Harry Blevins (R-14, Chesapeake) and John Watkins (R-10, Midlothian) abstaining. Senator Blevins was in the room up until just before the vote and then walked out — leaving a "proxy" vote of "abstain" behind.

HB 2579: Informed Consent, Ultrasound Requirement (Support)

Delegate Kathy Bryon's (R-22, Lynchburg) bill would require abortionists to take an ultrasound and allow the woman to view it if she desires before having an abortion. The Family Foundation supports this bill not only because it would give women medically accurate information to aid their decision making, but also with hopes that more women would choose life after clearly seeing that life inside them. The House Courts of Justice Committee reported this bill 15-6. It now goes to the House floor.   

HB 2634: Providing Information on Fetal Pain

Another informed consent bill, patroned by Delegate Ben Cline (R-24, Amherst), would require that a woman be told that her unborn child could feel pain during the abortion process and provide her with information on anesthesia for the child. Again, the House Courts of Justice Committee passed this bill 17-5, and the House will vote on it this week. See some of the sub-committee debate here.  

HB 1624, HB 1625, HB 1726, HB 2385, SB 945, SB 1247:  Legislation on "Sexual Orientation" (Oppose)

With homosexual rights advocates feeling emboldened by recent election victories, every effort has been made this legislative season to make sure that the term "sexual orientation" finds its way into Virginia code. It has been attempted in every form from group life insurance and housing discrimination, to making sure that it becomes a protected class under Virginia's human rights laws. Any incremental step they believe they can take, they will. Thankfully, we can report that all efforts to expand the homosexual agenda have failed thus far, with the exception of SB 945 (life insurance). 

These battles are far from over and other skirmishes over other issues undoubtedly will materialize. If ever it was all to play for, this year's second half is it.