Dr. Benjamin Carson, Gifted Hands author and director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Md., brought an audience of dignitaries, including President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle, to their feet last Thursday after dishing a speech packed with parables, wit, biblical scriptures and punch at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. Now, it's resounding with everyday Americans, too.
The doctor's 25-minute speech displayed a "logical" and "common-sense" approach to issues like freedom of speech, education, taxation, the national debt and spirituality, and has already captured more than a million hits on YouTube and elicited headlines and calls like the Wall Street Journal's "Ben Carson for President."
"Smart man! Put him in the White House," agreed Mary Ledet on Monday in her comments posted on the video of Carson's speech, which was uploaded to YouTube on Thursday. more >>
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops responded to the proposed accommodations for religious groups in the Affordable Care Act, declaring that it "falls short" of expectations and does not address the bishops' concerns.
"Throughout the past year, we have been assured by the Administration that we will not have to refer, pay for, or negotiate for the mandated coverage. We remain eager for the Administration to fulfill that pledge and to find acceptable solutions – we will affirm any genuine progress that is made, and we will redouble our efforts to overcome obstacles or setbacks," Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the USCCB, said in a Thursday statement.
Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services sought to broaden the list of groups that can claim a religious status and thus apply for an exemption to the contraceptive mandate. The controversial provision forces employers to provide insurance coverage to their employees that includes access to birth control, which is against official Roman Catholic Church doctrine. more >>
New York City public schools handed out nearly 13,000 doses of the morning-after pill to high school students during the last school year and no one had to tell their parents about it.
The pills and other contraceptives were distributed to the students through the nurses' office under a new program called CATCH - Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Health. The program was made public in a New York Post report last September and was billed as part of a citywide solution to stem teen pregnancy. The morning-after pill can block pregnancy to up to 72 hours after sex.
At the time of the announcement, city officials said they had started giving out Plan B, another name for the morning-after pill, and other birth control through the nurses' office at only 13 city high schools and some 567 girls were reportedly given the drug, according to the New York Post. Another report from The New York Times also noted that while the pills would be available to students without parental permission, parents could opt their children out of the health program (and the provision of any contraceptives) at the start of the school year. Minors don't need parental permission to get contraceptives in New York State. more >>
About 7 million people are expected to lose their employer provided health insurance when the Affordable Care Act, better known as "Obamacare," becomes fully operational, according to a Congressional Budget Office report.
The CBO's previous estimate, in August 2012, was that only 4 million people would lose their employer provided health insurance. The higher estimate is due to the "fiscal cliff" bill that kept taxes low for many. More businesses are now expected to see a greater financial benefit from paying the tax penalty than providing their workers with health insurance.
"If you like your health insurance, you can keep it," President Barack Obama claimed in many stump speeches as he was selling the ACA to voters. more >>
A bill that would further restrict abortion access in Arkansas was overwhelmingly passed by elected officials in the lower house of the Legislature this week.
Members of the Arkansas House of Representatives voted 75 to 20 in favor of House Bill 1037, a measure that bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with an exemption given for serious health issues.
Introduced by Republican Rep. Andy Mayberry, (R-27), HB 1037 focused its ban on the time in which a fetus is said to begin feeling pain. more >>
Federal lawsuits continue to pile up against the Obama administration's birth control mandate even after additional proposed rules were offered last week.
A suit was filed Monday on behalf of the owner of several small businesses that run senior living centers and skilled nursing facilities in Colorado. Meanwhile, two recent preliminary injunctions by appeals courts blocking enforcement of the mandate in separate cases solidify the case against the rule, says religious freedom law group Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The owner of the senior facilities, Stephen W. Briscoe, is an evangelical Christian who specifically objects to being forced to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the company's healthcare plan, according to ADF. There are now 45 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). more >>