"Call it the stupidity of the American voter," MIT economist Jonathan Gruber said in explaining how "Obamacare" got passed. Rather than being a "glib" and "thoughtless" remark, as Gruber testified to Congress Tuesday, his supposed "gaffes" are actually a clearly articulated explanation of the philosophy upon which the new healthcare law is based.
Generally speaking, liberal healthcare reforms, like the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," attempt to control the growth of healthcare costs through greater government control over the healthcare industry; alternatively, conservative healthcare reforms, like two bills that were introduced (but never passed) in the U.S. House, attempt to control the growth of healthcare costs through greater empowerment of healthcare consumers.
Most conservative reform proposals, for instance, suggest providing Americans with the means to purchase their own health insurance, such as through a voucher or tax credit. These reforms also often include allowing consumers to purchase health insurance across state lines, tort reform to lower the costs of malpractice insurance for doctors and high-risk pools for the special cases when healthcare costs are way above average. more >>
Although a federal funding bill the House passed on Thursday includes language urging the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure Obamacare's federal health exchange provides consumers with transparency on which plans include a separate elective abortion surcharge, pro-life advocates are skeptical that HHS will actually listen to Congress.
Pro-lifers in the House sought to include in the CRomnibus appropriations bill, which would keep the federal government funded through next September if it passes the Senate, two concrete amendments that would have forced greater abortion transparency on the exchanges and created a legal course of action for those individuals and institutions discriminated against because they do not cover abortions for their employees.
But to the ire of pro-life advocates, neither the No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act nor the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act were included in the base bill. Instead, pro-lifers had to settle for non-binding language, which is seen as just a slap on the wrist to HHS for not providing consumers with enough detail about which plans on the exchange cover elective abortions. more >>
Samaritan's Purse doctor Kent Brantly, who contracted Ebola while fighting the deadly outbreak in Liberia over the summer, is one of the medical workers honored as TIME magazine's 2014 "Person of the Year."
"From the community health care volunteers in Liberia, to the dedicated staff of organizations like Samaritan's Purse and MSF, to the doctors and nurses at Emory University Hospital, Ebola Fighters are mostly anonymous heroes whose diverse faces are largely unknown even to their patients as they wage this war in head-to-toe protective gear," Dr. Brantly said. "It is these nameless champions that TIME has recognized today."
The Ebola outbreak, which is still not contained and has killed over 6,000 people in West Africa, has proven especially dangerous to medical personnel and anyone working in close quarters with the disease. Brantly survived and recovered from Ebola after successful treatment back in America, and received the experimental drug ZMapp at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. more >>
MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who authored a paper on the economic benefits of aborting the children of poor parents, helped craft "Obamacare" and said passage of the healthcare law benefited from the "stupidity of the American voter," testified before a congressional committee Tuesday that he has no philosophy of abortion or end-of-life care.
Gruber co-authored a paper in 1997 that found that the legalization of abortion saved the government $14 billion in welfare payments through 1994 by ending the lives of many "marginal" children, by which he meant the children of poor people.
In Gruber's testimony before a U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Affordable Care Act, Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., sought to understand if there is a connection between Gruber's views on abortion, that society benefits from the death of those deemed costly, and the ACA's Independent Payment Advisory Board, a board of experts tasked with reducing healthcare costs which some critics have called a "death panel." more >>
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday on behalf of the Little Sisters of the Poor who've challenged the Department of Health and Human Services' mandate that they cover birth control and abortifacients for their employees.
After arguments were heard by the Denver, Colorado-based 10th Circuit on Monday, Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire, Mother Provincial of the Little Sisters of the Poor, said she and her order "are not seeking special privileges."
"The government exempts huge corporations, small businesses, and other religious ministries from what they are imposing on us — we are simply asking to carry on our mission to serve the elderly poor as we have always done for 175 years," Maguire said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. more >>
Maybe the country that claims to have the "best healthcare system in the world" can get away with ignoring basic public health strategies that have worked for centuries. Perhaps we can say, "It can't happen here." After all, Ebola seems to have gone away, as epidemics do—sooner or later.
Some apparently even think that we can save the rest of the world by providing a safety valve for hot zones, right into American airports and schools.
Yet we may not be all powerful. Here is the word from top public health officials about some 400,000 cases of chikungunya, which is sweeping through the Caribbean and Latin America: "We can only keep our fingers crossed—painful as that might be for many people infected with chikungunya—that the Caribbean epidemic will decline and the virus will depart from the Western Hemisphere." So write David M. Morens, M.D., and Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., of the Arboviral Diseases Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the Sept 14, 2014, issue of The New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Fauci's name is familiar from his pronouncements on Ebola. more >>