Congresswoman Renee Ellmers — an RN married to an MD — has got a true insiders perspective on American healthcare and government bureaucracy’s effect on it. She recently penned an op-ed on BarryO’s health care voodoo:
When the Constitution and Declaration of Independence were first written, the founding fathers composed a democratic republic that asserted our rights are endowed by God, not man. With determined hopes for the future and heavy hearts for our ability to maintain liberty against government oppression, they set out to construct a society that protected freedom from the passions of change.
For nearly 236 years, these principles have weathered a constant barrage of attacks mounted by groups and individuals seeking to impose their ideology and world views with the misnomers “choice,” “fairness” and “rights.” But today, we are facing a new assault on the very freedom which gave birth to this country – the right to practice your religion without intimidation or fear of reprisal from the government.
Last month, the Obama administration began enforcement of a new rule tied to the president’s health care overhaul. The rule requires religious institutions to provide insurance coverage for employees who wish to use abortifacient drugs, sterilization and all FDA-approved contraceptives. The use and implementation of these drugs and procedures goes against the basic religious beliefs of many faiths, but under these rules, churches will face a moral dilemma that our Constitution has protected against since it was ratified in 1789.
When it was first enacted last month, the Obama administration’s mandate set off an uproar throughout the country with almost unanimous condemnation. The rule placed religious organizations in an impossible Catch-22: obey an unjust civil law that violates their core beliefs or ignore it and face crippling fines and legal penalties. Under its provisions, a religious organization, such as the Catholic Church, must provide its employees with insurance coverage for the very practices it views as immoral and in direct violation of its belief in the sanctity of life.
But then the Obama Administration proposed a new “accommodation” to this rule after an unprecedented backlash from religious organizations. Instead of placing the requirement to provide these services on religiously affiliated organizations, now insurance companies are required to pick up the tab. The White House claims that insurance companies will be happy to do so since “it is more expensive to pay for pregnancies than to pay for contraceptives.” In other words, everyone will be paying more insurance premiums, because everyone knows there is no such thing as a free lunch.
Little has changed. This is just a new gimmick put forth by the administration. As the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops noted, “In cases where the employee and insurer agree to add the objectionable coverage, that coverage is still provided as a part of the objecting employer’s plan, financed in the same way as the rest of the coverage offered by the objecting employer.” Put simply, religious organizations still have no choice in funding practices against their moral beliefs – whether directly or indirectly.
With the enforcement of this new mandate, the ramifications will take effect immediately and threaten thousands of hospitals, schools, charitable organizations and their employees. When religious organizations are threatened to choose between bowing to contemporary trends and upholding their sacred beliefs, they will always choose the latter.
I am constantly disappointed by the fact that each proposal that comes out of the White House has led to a greater consolidation of power and further violations of the Constitution. From mandating private citizens to purchase health insurance to appointing powerful bureaucrats without congressional approval, this administration will stop at nothing to achieve complete control of our liberties.
I am a Catholic and am proud of my religious beliefs. When I was a child, my father sat me down and looked into my eyes, saying, “Renee, someday you will have to fight for your religion.” I didn’t understand what he meant or how that could be possible living in America – but it has always stuck in my head. I am afraid that that day has finally come, and as millions of believers have been tested before, we are being tested now.
Our country, our liberties and our way of life are under attack. We must ask ourselves if this is the world we want to bestow on future generations, or more important, will we have the courage to take action before it’s too late?
In June of last year, Ellmers introduced a bill attacking another mandate in Barry’s STEAMing pile of health care voodoo:
[…] The Stripping The E-prescribe Arbitrary Mandates (STEAM) Act was introduced by Congresswoman Ellmers on Friday. The bill prevents Medicare fees and penalties to hospitals and doctors that cannot yet e-Prescribe, and removes e-Prescribing as a requirement for fulfilling the “meaningful use” definition of the Electronic Health Records (eHR) program.
In addition, this bill prevents those doctors and hospitals that are already receiving miniscule Medicare payments from facing further payment reductions due to the cumbersome regulations in the eHR program. Many doctors and hospitals are being penalized because they either cannot afford the e-Prescribe system, don’t have the technology or internet access to implement e-Prescribe system, or they simply have no need for it and refuse to implement it.
Over the past few years, this has become a major issue because many hospitals had been converting to the eHR software but could not qualify for the incentive due to an arbitrary e-Prescribe mandate. As a result, Doctors and hospitals have been inhibited from gaining full access to the e-Prescribe software due to this inefficient incentive plan. The STEAM Act will still continue to encourage the movement to e-Prescribing and eHR technology by leaving in place the incentives for those doctors and hospitals that want to make the switch.
I disagreed with the House Republican decision to cave in to Barry & his playmates on the payroll tax cut. The only thing it accomplishes is taking away the only funding source for Social Security and adding to our already monstrous pile of federal debt. Ellmers defended the GOP decision as a chance to inflict more damage on ObamaCare:
[…]”Our report does what is necessary to provide a responsible level of certainty to job creators and ensures that millions of hard-working Americans will be protected. In this Obama economy it is important that American taxpayers keep more of their money and use it to make ends meet.”
“Furthermore, this deal strikes the most dramatic blow to Obamacare yet, keeping a promise I made when I first came to Washington. With this agreement – we are cutting spending by more than $50 billion and using a portion of these savings to pay for the doc fix – which eliminates a scheduled 27.4 percent reduction in Medicare physician payment rates, and allows us to work towards a permanent fix. […]