Category archives: Health Care

Obamacare and Abortion: Tell Us Your Story

by Patrina Mosley

December 13, 2018

In FRC and Charlotte Lozier Institute‘s fifth annual investigation into Obamacare funding of abortion, we found that Americans now have fewer plans than ever before and more locales than ever providing abortion-only plans. At the same time, Obamacare is becoming less and less affordable and some Americans are saying, “I just can’t do this anymore.” Obamacare enrollment is already reported to be down 12 percent from last year.

Some have opted for Christian healthcare share ministries and others are taking advantage of the new short-term plans extended under the Trump administration, particularly now since there is no penalty for not having Obamacare.

Because of the individual mandate in Obamacare, Americans were required to purchase health coverage or pay a tax penalty. Due to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the individual mandate will no longer exist starting with the 2019 plan year. However, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia have all the imposed their own state mandates effective 2019. Vermont’s mandate will be effective for 2020 enrollment. Other states are also considering implementing their own individual mandates. You can visit here for more information.

The short-term plans, however, are limited to a 36-month duration, provide fewer benefits, will not always cover pre-existing conditions, are generally less expensive, and cannot be purchased with Obamacare subsidies. Basically, these are for healthy people and those who are still deciding what major coverage to buy but don’t want to go without any coverage in case of an emergency. To see what your short-term options are, you can go here.

As our investigations continue to shine a light on the dark entanglement of the taxpayer funding of abortion, we also want to hear from you, the consumer, to see how Obamacare is affecting your decision to choose between your healthcare and your conscience.

Remember Connecticut’s Bracy family? In 2014, they had to sue their state and the federal government after being forced on to Connecticut’s Obamacare, which only offered plans that required them to pay for other people’s abortions. Due to pressure, the state of Connecticut now has at least one pro-life plan.

Tell us your story. We have provided our findings and encourage you to contact us with your experiences regarding abortion and Obamacare (either before or after enrollment in a plan) at info@obamacareabortion.com. Let us know what has and has not worked for you. One day we will win this battle, but in the meantime, we have to continue to fight and tell our stories!

Christian Healthcare Alternatives to Obamacare

by Patrina Mosley

December 4, 2018

Family Research Council (FRC) and Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI) have released our fifth annual comprehensive review of elective abortion coverage under Obamacare on ObamacareAbortion.com. This resource will help any consumer who wants to find pro-life health plans.

Premiums have continued to sky-rocket and more locales than ever have no pro-life plans to choose from.

It can be tiring to have to choose between your healthcare needs, your pocket, and your conscience.

You may have wondered or heard from neighbors saying: “Why do all the good plans include the abortion coverage?” If you are dissatisfied with the insurance choices in your state, you may want to consider a healthcare sharing ministry. While healthcare sharing does not fix the problem of abortion funding in Obamacare, it does provide an option that respects our consciences and moral values.

In life, things (including medical emergencies) happen, and those within the Body of Christ should strive to take care of each other just as they did in the Book of Acts, during the early church. One of the ways Christians are continuing to care for one another today is by shouldering the burden of each other’s healthcare expenses. Does this mean that the early church in Acts practiced communism as we know it today, or that the teachings of Jesus promoted government-enforced socialism? No. But we are told that the Christians of that time did share all things in common. They voluntarily engaged in this way of life—serving one another—out of an overflow of the heart, because of what their Lord had done for them. (See here for more discussion on this issue.)

These Christian healthcare sharing ministries operate on a system of voluntary contributions of Christian members who are wanting to systematically live out Galatians 6:2 (“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ”) by sharing medical costs among their members. Healthcare sharing ministries are exempt from the individual mandate of Obamacare. These ministries do not support abortion in any way and provide an alternative to the state and federal exchanges:

These three ministries have been certified and recognized as healthcare sharing ministries by the Department of Health & Human Services (via the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).

The testimonials of how families have benefited from these ministries are encouraging to see, particularly with those who run their own business. “It’s a great alternative for families who are self-employed,” said one.

When another family who was having trouble paying the high premiums of Obamacare switched to a healthcare share ministry, the representatives even prayed with the family. These healthcare ministries are not only ministering to believers physically and financially but also spiritually and emotionally.

Today, there are over 1 million healthcare sharing participants with approximately 85 percent of those represented and supported by a ministry that is a member or affiliate of the Alliance of Health Care Sharing Ministries.

Believers are using whatever means they have to bless one another. This is not a redistribution of wealth where the government is dictating to us what we should do with our money, which is what Obamacare does by subsidizing the killing of innocent human beings through anti-life health insurance. Instead, participating in healthcare sharing ministries is a form of voluntary stewardship of what God has blessed us with in order to take care of our own bodies as well as the body of Christ.

We want to see all human life protected, and certainly do not want to further abortion by paying for it through our insurance plans. As long as health insurance plans cover abortion, and Obamacare becomes less and less affordable, we can pursue healthcare sharing options that have arisen to fill the gap. More options are available at the resources tab of Obamacareabortion.com, as well as information on what progress has been made to protect your conscience in healthcare choices.

Release Charlie Gard

by Arina Grossu

July 6, 2017

Arina Grossu, FRC’s Director of the Center for Human Dignity, delivered the following speech on July 6, 2017 at a press conference for #CharlieGard at the National Press Club.

Good afternoon and thank you for being here. We are encouraged by the outpouring of love and support that Charlie Gard and his parents, Chris and Connie have gotten from all over the world, in their quest to take Charlie out of the U.K. for nucleoside bypass therapy. They have already raised $1.7 million in private funds and they even had offers from a U.S. hospital for free treatment and also for him to stay at the Vatican hospital. We are encouraged that Pope Francis and President Trump have expressed support for Charlie and his family. President Trump has requested a meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May at the G20 Summit in Germany tomorrow and a family spokesman said, “The White House has been in talks with Charlie’s family, GOSH, the UK Government, the Department of Health and the American doctor who wants to treat Charlie.”

The question at hand is not whether the treatment is going to work for Charlie, who has TK-2 related mitochondrial depletion syndrome. We hope that it does and we know that it has for others with less severe forms of mitochondrial depletion syndrome—others who are alive today as a result of their treatment. Why should Charlie be deprived of the same chance?

We urge the British government, the courts, and the hospital to release Charlie. You are holding him hostage. This is a case about parental rights coming into conflict with socialized medicine. Who should decide what’s in the best interest of Charlie? His parents. Not the courts. Not the hospital. Not the government.

As Wesley Smith so aptly put it, “The refusal to allow Charlie’s parents to remove their baby boy from the hospital is an act of bioethical aggression that will extend futile-care controversies, creating a duty to die at the time and place of doctors’ choosing. And that raises a crucial liberty question: Whose baby is Charlie Gard? His parents’? Or are sick babies—and others facing futile-care impositions—ultimately owned by the hospital and the state?”

It is Chris and Connie, his parents, who have the right to seek treatment for their son—treatment that has been successful for little Maxwell Smith, another British boy who was also diagnosed with TK2-related MDS. He was diagnosed at 9 months and treated with nucleoside bypass therapy. He is still alive at 5 ½ years old as a result. Doctors of another boy, Arturo Estopiñan, told his parents that there was no treatment and that he would die soon. Arturo is still alive today at 6 years old as a result of this therapy. Arturo’s parents said that their son “would surely be dead by now” if he was not granted access to the treatment. The therapy is a simple oral medication.

Please don’t deprive Charlie of a chance at therapy. Charlie’s parents have said in a tearful plea, “We’re not allowed to choose if our son lives.” They also said, “If he’s still fighting, we’re still fighting.”

Chris and Connie, please be assured that we join you in prayer and we support you in your right to parental authority.

We must protect the rights of parents to make decisions for their children’s health—decisions that are based with best interests in mind. We must protect Charlie, the most vulnerable person among us.

We are praying for you Charlie, Chris, and Connie at this most stressful time. You are not alone. You have supporters all around the world.

And to the U.K and Great Osmond Street Hospital, please free Charlie so that he can have a fighting chance at life. The world is watching and waiting for you to do the right thing and release Charlie to his parents.

Thank you.

Community Health Care Centers Offer Full Spectrum of Primary Care, Unlike Planned Parenthood

by Family Research Council

June 13, 2017

If Planned Parenthood is defunded in the health care bill currently before the Senate, won’t this deprive women of vital health care services?”

FRC has recently received a number of comments along these lines. While admitting that Planned Parenthood “has done some bad things,” some are still concerned that millions of women will be deprived of vital health care if the primary provider of abortions in America loses federal funding.

It is important to know that there are 13,540 federally-qualified, low-cost, high quality health care clinics and rural health centers, which outnumber Planned Parenthood 20 to 1 nationally. (By August 2017, there will be 620 Planned Parenthood facilities, down from 662 in 2015.) 

Women have real choices when it comes to healthcare, and they can find one of these clinics at GetYourCare.org. These federally-qualified health centers not only offer screening and prevention services, pap smears, cancer screenings, breast exams, and prenatal services, but they also offer a full spectrum of other primary care services that Planned Parenthood fails to provide, including:

  • Mammograms
  • A variety of immunizations
  • Diabetes and glaucoma screenings
  • Cholesterol screenings
  • Cardiovascular screening blood tests
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Eye, ear, and dental screenings
  • Preventive dental services
  • Well-child services
  • Medical nutrition services
  • Bone mass measurement
  • Social worker services
  • Mental health services
  • Substance abuse services
  • Emergency medical services
  • And others

Federally-qualified health centers offered services for 21.7 million patients in 2013 compared to Planned Parenthood who served 2.7 million. That’s over eight times as many patients.

In 2014, federally-qualified health centers served approximately 23 million people. With an extra half a billion in taxpayer funds that currently goes to Planned Parenthood, these federally-qualified health centers could grow and expand their reach.

To see the sources for the above information and more, please visit frc.org/plannedparenthoodfacts.

D.C.’s Inhuman Assisted Suicide Law Must Be Repealed

by Daniel Hart

February 22, 2017

With barely a murmur from the major news media, Washington, D.C. became just the sixth jurisdiction in America to legalize assisted suicide this past Saturday.

As discussed previously, assisted suicide is an abhorrent illustration of how far we have fallen as a culture, where death can now be chosen as if it were a legitimate choice among a variety of medical options.

It is therefore extremely disappointing, to say the least, that Congress did not use its constitutional authority to block the D.C. assisted suicide legislation from becoming law through a joint resolution of disapproval.

Congress can and must exert its constitutional authority to nullify this harmful and deeply flawed D.C. legislation, which undermines the dignity of human life, lacks commonsense safeguards against abuse, and endangers poor, sick, disabled, and elderly people.

Although the D.C. law has already taken effect, doctors will not be able to prescribe lethal drugs for several months, possibly not until October, while D.C. creates the administrative forms, oversight, and studies for assisted suicide under their law.

Congress’ latest spending bill funds the government until April 28 of this year. This gives Congress another chance to act to repeal the D.C. assisted suicide law by attaching a repeal provision to must-pass spending legislation, before patients begin to end their lives in our nation’s capital. We support Dr. Andy Harris (R-MD)’s efforts to that end.

Assisted suicide is an inhuman act, pure and simple. It short-circuits the universal experience of death that every human being deserves at the natural end of their life. Further, anyone who has sat at the bedside of a dying person will tell you that death gives new meaning and insight into our humanity.

One of the most beautiful recent illustrations of this was written for The New Yorker, of all places (a publication whose editorial board is almost certainly in favor of assisted suicide). Kathryn Schulz’s piece is a stunningly poetic and perceptive account of her experience of witnessing her father’s death. Here is an excerpt:

Even so, for a while longer, he endured—I mean his him-ness, his Isaac-ness, that inexplicable, assertive bit of self in each of us. A few days before his death, having ignored every request made of him by a constant stream of medical professionals (“Mr. Schulz, can you wiggle your toes?” “Mr. Schulz, can you squeeze my hand?”), my father chose to respond to one final command: Mr. Schulz, we learned, could still stick out his tongue. His last voluntary movement, which he retained almost until the end, was the ability to kiss my mother. Whenever she leaned in close to brush his lips, he puckered up and returned the same brief, adoring gesture that I had seen all my days. In front of my sister and me, at least, it was my parents’ hello and goodbye, their “Sweet dreams” and “I’m only teasing,” their “I’m sorry” and “You’re beautiful” and “I love you”—the basic punctuation mark of their common language, the sign and seal of fifty years of happiness.

One night, while that essence still persisted, we gathered around, my father’s loved ones, and filled his silence with talk. I had always regarded my family as close, so it was startling to realize how much closer we could get, how near we drew around his dying flame. The room we were in was a cube of white, lit up like the aisle of a grocery store, yet in my memory that night is as dark and vibrant as a Rembrandt painting. We talked only of love; there was nothing else to say. My father, mute but alert, looked from one face to the next as we spoke, eyes shining with tears. I had always dreaded seeing him cry, and rarely did, but for once I was grateful. It told me what I needed to know: for what may have been the last time in his life, and perhaps the most important, he understood.

It is easy for those who have never experienced the death of a loved one to say that people should have a “right to die.” When real-life accounts of death come to light, assisted suicide quickly becomes unthinkable. Here is one final excerpt:

Eventually, we decided that my father would not recover, and so, instead of continuing to try to stave off death, we unbarred the door and began to wait. To my surprise, I found it comforting to be with him during that time, to sit by his side and hold his hand and watch his chest rise and fall with a familiar little riffle of snore. It was not, as they say, unbearably sad; on the contrary, it was bearably sad—a tranquil, contemplative, lapping kind of sorrow. I thought, as it turns out mistakenly, that what I was doing during those days was making my peace with his death. I have learned since then that even one’s unresponsive and dying father is, in some extremely salient way, still alive.

Action #11 - Rescind Hospital Requirements Regarding Treatment of People Identifying as Transgender

by Family Research Council

January 3, 2017

On June 16, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed a rule under the auspices of promoting innovation, flexibility, and improvement in patient care, but which is expected to require federally regulated health care entities to violate their conscience. The rule will force hospitals and other providers to implement policies to provide medical services related to gender identity or sexual orientation.

Why True Feminism Means Skipping the Women’s March on Washington

by Brynne Krispin

January 3, 2017

On January 21, women from around the country will come together in our nation’s capital for the Women’s March on Washington. Hundreds of thousands of women will fill the streets near the U. S. Capitol with their Rosie the Riveter arms flexed and their “woman power” signs bouncing in the air. They’ll stand tall and confident, filled with determination for their voices to be heard during the next four years of a Trump presidency.

A march like this has great potential for admirable goals, but its mission is a bit vague – standing in solidarity together for the protection of women’s rights and sending a bold message to the new administration that “women’s rights are human rights.” The mission statement ends in all caps, “HEAR OUR VOICE.”

But while this information alone has prompted thousands to register for the event already, it’s purpose has left many of us confused and disappointed. It’s upsetting to read the three paragraph mission statement and not be able to answer the most basic question: What rights are we fighting for? And to take it a step further, are we even speaking in unison?

Nowhere on the website does it list plans for what they hope to accomplish by marching in Washington, nor do they discuss goals for the next four years.

Motivating hundreds of thousands of women to come together and fight for a cause is compelling, but if you’re organizing a women’s movement, it needs to be for a specific cause that affects many women in our country and around the world – the gender wage gap, equal rights to education, the list could go on and on. We need to know what we’re fighting for and have a clear strategy to get things done. 

Feminism encourages women to think for themselves – get the facts, use our brains, and make smart decisions. So why should we show up to march? According to the logic of the organizers for the Women’s March, simply because we’re women. They expect us to say, “Oh cool, I’m going to go to this awesome event with hundreds of thousands of women because… I’m a woman!” This dumbs us down to one-dimensional human beings; it is the exact opposite of feminism.

Feminism celebrates the diversity of all women and appreciates them for who they are. Our unique minds, personalities, race, culture, etc. cannot be easily lumped into one category or even one cause.

If women are being asked to take a stand, we should be certain we know exactly what we’re standing for. 

I know it’s tempting to still attend – you want to make Susan B. Anthony proud with a selfie at the Supreme Court surrounded by hundreds of your new best friends to prove to the world that you are a true feminist. But it’s time to move past the “I am woman, hear me roar” approach. Roaring is not the agent to affect change – strong, articulate ideas are. Being the loudest person in the room is not leadership. We need less women with noise makers and no agenda and more women with a vision and a strategy to move us forward.

To anyone who is attending the Women’s March and completely disagrees with this argument, gather your thoughts and comment below. Your opinion has value, and we want to hear it. We must work together in order to advance the desperate need for women’s equality and respect for women and girls in our nation and around the world. But we must be smart about how we do it, otherwise our cause will fall on deaf ears and no progress will be made.

The problem isn’t with our volume, it’s with our message.

As we stand on the shoulders of the great female leaders before us – Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and others – let’s make sure it isn’t merely our voices that are heard and our message itself actually sinks in.

Note: Already made your pro-woman sign and still want to march in January? Consider the March for Life, which stands for the most basic human right – the right to live. After all, this is the cause Susan B. Anthony would have marched for if she were alive today.

Health Clinics Offer a Broader Range of Services for Women Than Planned Parenthood

by Arina Grossu

September 2, 2015

The Daily Signal recently published my piece on why women don’t need Planned Parenthood and how they are actually better off if the $528 million in federal and state funds that is currently going to Planned Parenthood, is made available to Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs).  These clinics offer more comprehensive women’s health care than Planned Parenthood ever has.  In fact, there is not one unique service that Planned Parenthood offers that women can’t get elsewhere.

For those interested in a more in-depth look at the specific services offered by FQHCs and RHCs, here are the findings. The primary health services that FQHCs and RHCs are listed and defined in the Public Health Service Act including general, preventive, diagnostic, emergency and pharmaceutical health services:

(i) basic health services which, for purposes of this section, shall consist of-
       (I) health services related to family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology that are furnished by physicians and where appropriate, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurse midwives;
      (II) diagnostic laboratory and radiologic services;
      (III) preventive health services, including-
             (aa) prenatal and perinatal services
             (bb) appropriate cancer screening;
             (cc) well-child services;
             (dd) immunizations against vaccine-preventable diseases;
             (ee) screenings for elevated blood lead levels, communicable diseases, and cholesterol;
             (ff) pediatric eye, ear, and dental screenings to determine the need for vision and hearing correction and dental care;
             (gg) voluntary family planning services; and
             (hh) preventive dental services;
    (IV) emergency medical services; and
    (V) pharmaceutical services as may be appropriate for particular centers;
(ii) referrals to providers of medical services
(iii) patient case management services
(iv) services that enable individuals to use the services of the health center
(v) education of patients and the general population served by the health center regarding the availability and proper use of health services.

In addition, the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual for FQHCs and RHCs lists the following covered services under Medicare for qualifying individuals.  RHC services listed in section 50.1 include:

  • Physicians’ services of diagnosis, therapy, surgery, and consultation.  These include the services of doctors of medicine, osteopathy, dental surgery, dental medicine, podiatry, optometry, or chiropractic who are licensed and practicing.
  • Services of Nurse Practitioners (NPs), Physician Assistants (PAs), and Certified Nurse Midwife Services (CNMs).
  • Certified Psychologist (CP) and certified Social Worker (CSW) services.
  • Visiting nurse services to the homebound.

RHC services covered by Medicare also include certain preventive services such as:

  • Influenza, Pneumococcal, Hepatitis B vaccinations;
  • Hepatitis C screenings;
  • IPPE;Annual Wellness Visit; and
  • Medicare-covered preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

FQHC services listed in section 50.2 include all of the above services listed in section 50.1 above, and specifically:

  • Screening mammography;
  • Screening pap smear and screening pelvic exam;
  • Prostate cancer screening tests;
  • Colorectal cancer screening tests;
  • Diabetes outpatient self-management training (DSMT) services;
  • Diabetes screening tests;
  • Medical nutrition therapy (MNT) services;
  • Bone mass measurement;
  • Screening for glaucoma;
  • Cardiovascular screening blood tests; and
  • Ultrasound screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm

Another Health and Human Services (HHS) flyer on preventive primary health services shows that the following services are covered when furnished by FQHCs to a Medicare patient:

  • Medical social services;
  • Nutritional assessment and referral;
  • Preventive health education;
  • Children’s eye and ear examinations;
  • Well child care, including periodic screening;
  • Immunizations, including tetanus-diphtheria booster and influenza vaccine;
  • Voluntary family planning services;
  • Taking patient history;
  • Blood pressure measurement;
  • Weight measurement;
  • Physical examination targeted to risk;
  • Visual acuity screening;
  • Hearing screening;
  • Cholesterol screening;
  • Stool testing for occult blood;
  • Tuberculosis testing for high risk patients;
  • Dipstick urinalysis; and
  • Risk assessment and initial counseling regarding risks.

For women only:

  • Prenatal and post-partum care;
  • Prenatal services;
  • Clinical breast examination;
  • Referral for mammography; and
  • Thyroid function test.

Planned Parenthood on the other hand, lists in its most recent report only the following categories for services it offers: STI/STD testing and treatment, contraception, cancer screening and prevention, other women’s health services, abortion and other services.

Its services are quite limited—services which are already being offered by FQHCs and RHCs, excepting abortion.

Congress and states must defund Planned Parenthood and the money be made available to these other health clinics which are much more comprehensive in their health care offerings than Planned Parenthood.  Women, families and children deserve better health care than what Planned Parenthood offers.

Guttmacher’s Proposition: Taxpayer-Funded Condoms and Vasectomies

by Sean Maguire

July 16, 2015

In the latest issue of the Guttmacher Policy Review, the Guttmacher Institute (formerly the research arm of Planned Parenthood), proposes some changes to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) they feel are necessary to accomplish the goals of that law.

             Obamacare contains many provisions we have only found out about since Congress passed it. The most famous (or infamous) of these is the mandate, administered by the federal Health and Human Services (HHS) department, that requires coverage of 18 forms of contraception, including drugs and devices that can kill embryos.  These are to be funded by taxpayer dollars and included in plans provided by businesses and organizations despite any moral objections they might have.

            Guttmacher is not satisfied with this arrangement. No, it’s not upset that the American people are being forced to pay for potentially embryocidal drugs and devices.  Guttmacher is upset because the HHS mandate hasn’t gone far enough. They are pushing for the mandate to include male sterilization and condoms, all funded by taxpayer money.

            Instead of recognizing the failure of Obamacare to accomplish real healthcare access for the American people, Guttmacher is calling for an expansion of coverage morally unacceptable to tens of millions of taxpayers. They are calling for the implementation of regulations which will mandate insurance coverage of condoms and vasectomies for everyone.

            Guttmacher wants tax dollars to be spent on condoms and vasectomies so that sexual license will not be impeded by a lack of funding or fear of the logical outcome of sexual intimacy: babies. While Guttmacher says it wants the federal government to stay out of the bedroom, they simultaneously demand federal funding of the activities therein.

            It is not the job of the American taxpayer to fund others’ sexual practices, and they should not be forced to do so.

Supreme Court Provides Relief to Several Pennsylvania Charities from Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate

by Chris Gacek

July 1, 2015

Well, there has been a little bit of good news today in an Obamacare contraceptive case involving non-profits.  According the Becket Fund’s webpage, the Supreme Court “granted relief in Zubik v. Burwell to a group of Pennsylvania-based religious organizations, including Catholic Charities and other social service organizations.”  “The Court stated that the federal government is “enjoined from enforcing against the applicants the challenged provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and related regulations pending final disposition of their petition for certiorari.”

This is not a final win on the merits of the case, but it is a very positive signal.

Archives