Confronting elements of President Obama’s healthcare legislation that are so restrictive of religious freedom that Jesus “would not qualify as ‘religious,’” the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has taken a stand against the law's implementation in its current form.

The USCCB’s objections to the pervasive program of socialized healthcare commonly known as ObamaCare is based in the administration’s plan to coerce healthcare providers — including those operated by the Roman Catholic Church — into providing birth control, abortifacient drugs, and abortions. According to an article for the Catholic Review:

“The mandate directly conflicts with the religious beliefs of individuals and institutions who have a moral objection to such practices,” the bishops wrote, “and who do not believe that such ‘preventative services’ constitute legitimate health care.”

The bishops said the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had a “laudable goal” of “expanding access to genuine health care for all Americans, especially the poor.” They expressed concern, however, that the mandate “contradicts promises made to the American people that the new federal law would not include coverage for abortion.”

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare appears to be headed for the Supreme Court, which could end up ruling on the case in 2012, just as President Barack Obama is running for reelection.

In August a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Florida judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. (The panel overturned his finding that the entire law is unconstitutional, however.) The Obama administration — the defendant in the case brought by 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Business — had the option of requesting a hearing by the entire 11th Circuit Court; but it chose not to do so by the September 26 deadline, which indicates that it is probably going to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

“If the court accepts the case before January,” observes Politico, “it is likely to be put on the calendar to be heard in the spring. A decision would likely be postponed until June.” That would, of course, put it smack in the middle of an election year in which the prime architect of the law is one of the candidates, raising the question of why the administration chose not to seek a ruling by the full 11th Circuit, which probably would have delayed a Supreme Court ruling until 2013.
 

A Louisiana woman suffering from cystic fibrosis is being hailed throughout the world for her decision to deliver three healthy triplets, rather than abort them as doctors had advised her.  Identical triplets Dakota, Savannah, and Brooklyn recently celebrated their first birthday because their mother, 21-year-old Kandace Smith, refused to “terminate” them as she was counseled by her doctors, who told her “she was too small and weak to bear even one child, much less triplets,” reported Beliefnet.com.

Cystic fibrosis is a serious hereditary disorder that affects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe and often leading to early death. Smith was told that she would likely never be able to have children. “I couldn’t believe that I was actually pregnant,” she recalled to the British newspaper the Daily Mail, “and when the scan showed there were three heartbeats I nearly passed out. I didn’t actually believe it was possible — and there were three babies in my womb.”

Opponents of ObamaCare have long argued that the law poses a grave threat to Americans’ privacy. Although that argument was based on informed speculation, a new rule proposed by the Obama administration provides concrete evidence that privacy concerns were indeed well-founded.

The rule, proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), would require “insurance companies [to] submit detailed health care information about their patients,” according to a Washington Examiner op-ed by Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.). If enacted, the rule would enable the government “to collect and aggregate confidential patient records for every one of us,” declares the Congressman. “This type of data collection is an egregious violation of patient-doctor confidentiality and business privacy,” he maintains, likening it to “J. Edgar Hoover in a lab coat.”

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under mandates established by ObamaCare, awarded $10 million dollars to “129 organizations across the country that would like to become community health centers. These funds, made available by the Affordable Care Act, support organizations’ development as a future health center.”

Nearly 10 percent of the total sum doled out was sent to the state of Florida. The Sunshine State received nearly $880,000.

 This largesse was not surprising given that Florida reportedly has one of the highest rates of people without insurance in the country. According to a story published recently in the Florida Independent:

Recent information released from the U.S. Census Bureau reports that Florida had the third highest percentage of residents without insurance in 2010.
 
According to 2010 Census information (.xls), in a three-year average from 2008 to 2010, Florida’s percentage of uninsured people was 20.7 percent.

With the U.S. debt having surpassed 100 percent of gross domestic product August 3, to $14.58 trillion, it’s crudely entertaining to see how multimillionaire lawmakers in Congress and administrations both past and present find “compassionate” ways to spend ever-more of taxpayers’ money. The following is just the most recent example of a “compassionate” expenditure taxpayers don’t need.

On September 10, one day before the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, a piece was published that set out conditions under which the U.S. should (and should not) provide humanitarian aid at taxpayers’ expense, humanitarian projects being by their nature philanthropic.

Just three days later, the Washington Times (one among several other newspapers), ran a story describing how a compassionate George W. Bush was using his namesake institution to jumpstart an initiative combating women’s cancers (cervical and breast) in developing countries, primarily Africa, Vietnam, and Haiti, where such diseases are more rampant than usual due to the high levels of AIDS/HIV. The project is part of the “Pink Ribbon, Red Ribbon,” program, the goal of which is to “expand the services of clinics created under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR),” while the cancers are presumably still treatable.
 

Is the Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) Act on the ropes? The long-term care provision of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), sneaked into the bill at the last minute, has long been criticized on Capitol Hill as a future budget buster; and recent moves by the Obama administration suggest that the White House, too, is not particularly enthusiastic about implementing the program.

First the administration asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to zero out funding for CLASS for fiscal year 2012 despite having previously requested $120 million for the program. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) applauded the move, calling it a “good first step,” but said Congress should finish the job by repealing the CLASS Act.

Then on Thursday the chief actuary of CLASS, Robert Yee, announced he would be leaving his post because “the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was closing down the office charged with implementing the program and reassigning its staff,” The Hill reports.

The Associated Press "fact-checked" President Obama’s combative proclamation that "middle-class families shouldn’t pay higher taxes than millionaires and billionaires." In broadcasting his new "Buffett Rule" for millionaires — his so-called "revenue" vehicle for the American Jobs Act — Obama tossed a class-warfare grenade, claiming that the wealthy are not covering enough of the tax burden. The President demanded in a bellicose speech Monday that individuals earning over $1 million a year must "pay their fair share" to help slash the soaring federal deficit.

Obama also vowed to veto any Republican bill that does not adopt a "balanced" approach to reducing the deficit, meaning if the bill does not include tax increases on high-earners he will axe the proposal. "I will not support any plan that puts all the burden for closing our deficit on ordinary Americans," he pledged. "And I will veto any bill that changes benefits for those who rely on Medicare but does not raise serious revenues by asking the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations to pay their fair share."

Looking at a season on the sidelines, or possibly the end of his Hall of Fame career, NFL quarterback Peyton Manning (#18) apparently traveled recently to Europe for a medical procedure that has not been approved in the United States: adult stem cell therapy.

Manning, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a Super Bowl victory in 2007, “has had three surgeries in 19 months on his bothersome neck, the latest of which caused the four-time NFL MVP to miss his first game in 14 seasons…,” reported Fox News. While few details were immediately available about the procedure, other than those supplied by Fox Sports commentator Jay Glazer, the therapy most likely did not involve embryonic stem cells — a medical procedure condemned by religious and pro-life leaders as destructive of human life.

Rather, reported bioethics expert Dr. David Prentice on LifeNews.com, the therapy most likely used “adipose (fat) derived adult stem cells from Manning’s own body,” a procedure that “bypasses any problems of transplant rejection and is relatively safe.”
 

A couple from West Palm Beach, Florida, has just been awarded $4.5 million in a “wrongful birth” suit against a doctor and an ultrasound technician. The couple charged that the medical professionals were negligent because had they known they were to give birth to a severely disabled child, born without arms and with only one leg, they would have aborted the baby.

Ana Mejia and Rodolfo Santana sued Dr. Marie Morel and her ultrasound technician for a staggering $9 million, estimated to cover the child’s expenses for the next 70 years. Mejia and Santana alleged that the doctor should have been able to see the baby’s disabilities during the ultrasounds.

The jury, consisting of four men and two women, agreed that the doctor and ultrasound technician failed to properly read the sonograms. They determined that the doctor was 85 percent negligent and the technician was 15 percent negligent.

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