Health Insurance: A Benefit Not a Right

This week’s radio commentary:

Health insurance is not a right. If that statement jars you, then, quite frankly, you, like millions of other American citizens, need a reality check.

In the midst of the firestorm of public and private talk about health care right now, it’s possible, indeed likely, that we’ve lost our perspective. From church aisles to grocery aisles, from tea parties to backyard parties, I’m hearing health insurance talked about as if we as Americans are somehow entitled to it—simply because we are Americans. Somewhere along the line benefits and rights have become badly confused.

Read/listen to the rest of this week’s radio commentary here.

To defend DOMA or not to defend DOMA

This morning the Department of Justice finds itself in a rather embarrassing dilemma.  One month ago, the DOJ filed a brief in federal court defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA–the federal statute protecting the definition of marriage on the federal level) against a legal challenge from a homosexual couple demanding federal benefits.  Click here for more on that lawsuit (2nd story down).

After receiving a considerable amount of heat from enraged homosexual activists for defending the constitutionality of DOMA in court (it is the DOJ’s job to defend federal law), the White House capitulated today by filing court papers claiming that DOMA is, in fact, discriminatory and should be repealed.

During his campaign, Obama promised to support a complete repeal of DOMA, so this move comes as no real surprise.  For the moment, Obama hopes to placate homosexual activists with his legal challenge to DOMA, but that’s not the only challenge DOMA faces right now. We know the Human Rights Campaign is currently lobbying Feingold to take the lead on the legislative front to overturn DOMA.

As it stands right now, however, the Obama Administration is on record as claiming DOMA is both constitutional and discriminatory.  So which one is it? As Tevya sagaciously pointed out in Fiddler on the Roof, they (or in this case–two sides of the same DOJ) “cannot both be right.”

Wisconsin Medical Society’s Council on Health Care Ethics rejects PAS/euthanasia resolution

Yesterday, Friday, Aug. 14, the Wisconsin Medical Society’s (WMS) Council  on Health Care Ethics rejected Resolution 14.  The resolution, had it been adopted by the WMS Council on Health Care and ultimately adopted by the entire body,  would have changed the WMS’s current policy regarding physician assisted suicide.   Currently, WMS has clear policies rejecting physician assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Read  Wisconsin Right To Life press release… 

Wisconsin Family Council joins other pro-life organizations around the state commending the action of the WMS Council on Health Care Ethics.  By rejecting Resolution 14 they affirmed the healing tradition of the medical profession and showed appropriate regard for safeguarding human life.

Reject more government involvement in health care

We should resoundingly reject any more government involvement in health care.  We should reject it for no other reason than the inability of government to successfully run ANY significant program for a significant length of time.  I would measure success as quality of service, fiscal efficiency, and most importantly–righteousness before God.

The President and others have claimed that the government has run a program successfully and the customers are happy.  The program they point to is Medicare, which they claim most people are satisfied with.  Unfortunately, it is not a fiscally sustainable program.  It alone will surpass all other federal spending within as few as 6 years from now!  On its current pace it will bankrupt the country.  You can’t claim success in a service when you give your product away for free.

Additionally, study what happened after the Clintons failed to force national health care on us.  You will find that what they did was force the health care industry to hold costs to the levels of 1995 for all government covered patients.  Then since they held the power, they made it law that Medicare patients must receive care.  In essence they decided how much they were going to pay and then bullied the health care folks to accept it.

Now that’s history.  Right?  And President Obama is a man of hope and change.  He says the government will be able to run a program successfully.  Well let’s take a look at how he is already doing in just one area, real estate.

In April, Jim Saccacio, chairman and CEO at RealtyTrac.com said,  “With $75 billion set aside to help individual homeowners, the Obama Administration’s Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan is designed to slow or even reverse the foreclosure tide by helping three to four million borrowers who are now in danger of losing their homes.”

In article posted today on 24/7 Wall Street, Mr. Saccacio says,  “July marks the third time in the last five months where we’ve seen a new record set for foreclosure activity.”  Mr. Saccacio goes onto say, “It is still hard to pinpoint the exact cause of the problem.  One is certainly that rising unemployment makes fewer and fewer people able to stay in their homes. Another is that the federal government’s programs to lower monthly payments to allow people to keep their houses is an ongoing failure which is hardly putting a dent in the foreclosure trend.”

Wait a minute, “an ongoing failure”?  This is only a $75 billion program.  Now President Obama wants us to agree that he can run a multi-trillion dollar program.  Remember the government has in the last year gone through several trillion dollars of our money.  How did they do with that money?

Luke 16:10 (NKJV): “He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”

La Crosse Common Council will pray

Despite pressure from the Madison-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) (read more on that here), the La Crosse Common Council voted 9-7 on Tuesday to have a prayer and the pledge of allegiance recited after meetings are called to order.

The Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), offered to defend (pro bono) the Council’s right to open their meetings with an invocation and provided the Council with a model, constitutional invocation policy–which the Council adopted in part on Tuesday night.

Kudos to the La Crosse Common Council for having the courage to exercise their constitutional rights in the face of significant pressure from national groups known for their anti-Christian positions and tactics.

Read more here.

Health care town hall…not town brawl

As I was researching various reports and opinions on the recent town hall “uprisings,” I came across this refreshingly honest and insightful commentary from Chuck Colson.  The following quote hits the proverbial nail on the head.

Free expression is essential to a free society. This is what distinguishes us from tyrannies.

Free expression–that’s the basis of town hall “listening” sessions, correct?  Constituents give their input on legislation to their paid employee–the legislator–who listens to their input.   Just because the legislator, the media, the Democratic leadership in Congress or the White House disagree with the constituent does not justify attempts to vilify,  silence and harass disgruntled, concerned citizens.

Americans must be able to have some input on the atrocious health catoon081009re bill–a plan that will radically affect every one of our lives.  But it needs to be a civil discourse; hearty discussion and debate should be the basis of these health care town hall meetings, lest they become town brawls. 

It’s easy to understand the frustration and desperation of Americans who attend town hall meetings to take part in the discussion–it’s their only chance for input, and their legislators and government are not listening to them–kind of like King George back in colonial days.

Not only are they not listening; they’re maligning concerned constituents as un-American, angry mobs.  Angry? Yes. Mob? No!  And what’s a Christian to do in the face of such blatant disregard for the American people?  Speak the truth.  Speak the truth in love with conviction, firmness and perseverance, even in situations where our opinions and concerns are disregarded.

Attend one of the Wisconsin congressional delegation’s upcoming health-care listening sessions and voice your opinion with civility and clarity.  To find one near you, click here.

For more information on how the health care bill, H.R.3200, will effect you and your family, click here.

Endorsing euthanasia

RESOLVED, That the Wisconsin Medical Society supports the principle that terminally ill patients should have the right and ability to (a) exercise, without coercion, the choice to receive life-ending medication for self administration, and (b) to use such medication, via self administration, without the assistance of another, in order to shorten their illnesses through their own actions; and be it further…

That paragraph is part of the euthanasia-endorsing Resolution 14, a resolution currently before the state’s largest association of medical doctors, the Wisconsin Medical Society.

James Allen, MD, authored the provision, which will receive an invitation-only hearing and a vote before the Society’s Ethics Committee this Friday, August 14. The provision would overturn the Society’s current stance against euthanasia:

ETH-020
Euthanasia: The Wisconsin Medical Society believes that the intentional termination of the life of one human being by another—mercy killing or euthanasia—is contrary to public policy, medical tradition, and the most fundamental measures of human value and worth. (HOD, 0404)

Click here to view Resolution 14 and the Society’s current end-of-life policy, which, by the way, agrees with the American Medical Association’s (AMA) end-of-life policy.

Not only does Resolution 14 endorse euthanasia, it also endorses any legislation legalizing euthanasia.  To the best of our knowledge, Sen. Risser has not introduced his usual euthanasia bill this session…yet.  But we have no doubt that he will.  During the past ten years, he’s not been able to get the bill approved but if the state’s largest medical association now officially endorses euthanasia…

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Contact the Wisconsin Medical Society Secretary Merry Earll to express your opposition to the pro-euthanasia Resolution 14.
    Toll-Free:  1- 866-442-3800, 1-800-762-8975
    1-866-442-3810, 1-866-442-3820
    Email:  merry.earll@wismed.org
    Fax:  608-442-3802

A well-administered government

This week’s radio commentary is available for download here.

During the 1787 Constitutional Convention, as the debate over the proposed Constitution came to a close, the venerable Benjamin Franklin offered this advice to the assembly regarding good government.“… [T]here is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people, if well administered; and I believe, farther, that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic government, being incapable of any other.”

Read/listen to the rest of the commentary here.

“Right is whatever I want to do” Huh?

“I know this is right because it’s what I want to do.”  That’s what a young woman who was trying to make a major decision said about how she knew her decision was right. What?

Such declarations show how truly confused people’s thinking is today. In their world, we don’t need truth; we don’t even need objective reason. We just need our feelings and our desires to guide us in our decisions. That is flat-out dangerous, not to mention ungodly, reasoning.  This type of distorted thinking comes from a distorted worldview. How we view the world, how we process and make sense of what we see, hear and experience, what authority we use as a touchstone, makes a profound difference in our decision-making and our actions.  Everyone has a worldview, whether or not they acknowledge it or can articulate it. 

I don’t mean to oversimplify here, but you can make a case that there are really only two worldview possibilities. You either have a worldview based on truth, or one based on lies.  Wisconsin Family Council (WFC) is committed to promoting a biblical worldview—the only worldview that is based on The Truth—Jesus Christ, the Son of God, revealed in the Bible.  A worldview that is not based on God’s truth claims, as given to us in His Word, is a faulty worldview.  It’s a worldview that will result in the kind of reasoning that says, “Right is whatever I want to do,” the updated version of, “If it feels good, do it.”

Christian pollster George Barna claims only 9% of Christians have a Christian worldview. Let’s say Barna’s low, that he’s off by as much as 500%.  That would still mean that only 45% of professing Christians have a worldview consistent with what they claim to believe.  And we wonder why there’s so much disconnect in our thinking and actions? It’s the natural outcome of an unbiblical worldview.

This is precisely why WFC is an ardent proponent of Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project.  It is one of the best systematic, comprehensive Biblical worldview studies we’ve seen. Dr. Del Tackett is a gifted teacher with an excellent command of Scripture.  WFC is honored to be the exclusive statewide coordinator for The Truth Project (TTP) in Wisconsin.

Join us for our first training session in Racine on Saturday, August 29.   Click here for more information and a preview of The Truth Project.  Click here to register.

Feingold pushed to overturn DOMA

This is hardly a suprise–but it’s well worth noting.

The WashingtonBlade.com reported late last week that Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold (D) is being lobbied by representatives from the homosexual advocacy group Human Rights Campaign (HRC).  HRC sees Feingold as the best and most likely candidate to author legislation that will overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).  DOMA prevents the federal government from recognizing marriage as anything other than one man and one woman.

“Right now, I think Sen. Feingold is the senator that has been … liaising most with us and the House people,” she [Allison Herwitt of HRC] said.

Feingold is an attractive ally to introduce a DOMA repeal bill because he chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee, which hold [sic] jurisdiction over DOMA, she said.”  (More…)

Just the distinction Wisconsin needs–having one of our senators lead the charge to pave the way for a national redefinition of marriage.  Feingold is up for election in 2010.

Wisconsin Family Action has a petition urging Feingold to listen to his constituents and not this liberal special interest group.