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CALIFORNIA SENATE TRAMPLES ON FREE SPEECH TO PROTECT PLANNED PARENTHOOD

This week, the California Senate passed legislation sponsored by Planned Parenthood that expands criminal penalties for recording certain confidential conversations. The bill was designed to target the type of undercover journalism that exposed Planned Parenthood’s harvesting and selling of baby body parts.

Assembly Bill 1671 makes it a crime to record or publish confidential communications with health care providers—even if those conversations disclose criminal activity. Existing laws already criminalize recording of such communications and provide for a $2500 fine. Under AB 1671, the fine is attached to each violation, or each publication of the communication, including those on social media, blogs, websites, etc. Violators can also be sentenced to one year in state prison.

Opponents of the bill include the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The ACLU has said the bill is an unconstitutional content-based regulation of speech and that limiting the bill to conversations with health care providers raises Equal Protection concerns. In Bartnicki v. Vopper, (2001), the Supreme Court found that the disclosure of an illegally intercepted conversation regarding a public issue was protected by the First Amendment.

AB 1671 is a direct attack on the efforts of David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress to expose Planned Parenthood’s illegal practice of selling fetal body parts for profit.

Since the release of Daleiden’s videos, eleven states have voted to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider.

By passing AB 1671, California legislators have demonstrated their willingness to trample on the free speech rights of their constituents in order to protect Planned Parenthood’s financial interests.

The bill will go back to the Assembly for a vote, where it is expected to pass. Please watch for upcoming emails seeking your help in urging California Governor Jerry Brown to veto AB 1671.

Please consider making a donation to Life Legal today so that we can continue to oppose legislation that only serves to protect Planned Parenthood’s financial interests.



(Original Article)

CALIFORNIANS STAND TO LOSE FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Camille Giglio
August 31, 2016

David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress urgently need your help to prevent the state government from taking away their, and basically our, right to exercise freedom of speech.  PLEASE, BEGIN NOW, TO CONTACT THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE AND URGE THAT HE VETO AB 1671. . To email: https://govnews.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/index.php.  Once connected follow instructions. 

This bill applies prior restraint on speech which is illegal. It will stop whistleblowers.

Assembly member Jimmy Gomez, (D-East L.A.) is author of AB 1671,  Confidential Communications: Disclosure.  Planned Parenthood is the sponsor.  The objective of this bill is to criminalize the activity of David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress.

The bill was, according to opponents, so poorly written that it also threatened the freedom of speech for the media, the ACLU and other groups which caused them to lobby aggressively against the bill.  The ACLU still, as of this writing, opposes the bill.

Planned Parenthood was so unnerved by the attention and the loss of some funding provided by the Center for Medical Progress that they turned to their greatest ally, the state legislature, to create a bill to criminalize the work of the Center for Medical Progress and, especially targeting David Daleiden.

The bill has sailed through 5 Assembly and Senate committee and one Assembly floor hearings  with a vote total of 81 “YES” and 38 “NO.” Votes, However, it was heavily opposed, initially by the California Newspaper Assn, the ACLU and a number of other big lobbies due to the potential of the loss of First Amendment rights for those groups as well.

At the last minute just prior to a final Senate floor vote when it looked like the bill might fail it was whisked into a Senate Rules committee hearing where a waiver was granted protecting the First Amendment rights to the media. A media representative, unwilling to give his name, stated that they had no signal from the Governor as to what he was prepared to do should the bill reach his desk, so the Media even though it realizes that this waiver weakens the protects to Freedom of speech  had to step in and ask for a waiver to protect its members rights to publish.

The bill, AB 1671, will, most likely go quickly to the Senate floor for a final vote and on to the Governor. To phone 916-445-2841. This is an automated line. Follow instructions. Be prepared to state reason for call. It will accept only one bill at a time.
 

Ca. Right to Life Comm. Inc. 2977 Ygnacio Valley Rd, #243, Walnut Creek 94598
www.callifeadvocates.org/blog,  (925)- 899-3064.

A Guide to Catholic Teaching and Voting

A Brief Catechism for Catholic Voters

Fr. Stephen F. Torraco, PhD


1. Isn’t conscience the same as my own opinions and feelings? And doesn’t everyone have the right to his or her own conscience?

Conscience is NOT the same as your opinions or feelings. Conscience cannot be identical with your feelings because conscience is the activity of your intellect in judging the rightness or wrongness of your actions or omissions, past, present, or future, while your feelings come from another part of your soul and should be governed by your intellect and will. Conscience is not identical with your opinions because your intellect bases its judgment upon the natural moral law, which is inherent in your human nature and is identical with the Ten Commandments. Unlike the civil laws made by legislators, or the opinions that you hold, the natural moral law is not anything that you invent, but rather discover within yourself and is the governing norm of your conscience. In short, Conscience is the voice of truth within you, and your opinions need to be in harmony with that truth. As a Catholic, you have the benefit of the Church’s teaching authority or Magisterium endowed upon her by Christ. The Magisterium assists you and all people of good will in understanding the natural moral law as it relates to specific issues. As a Catholic, you have the obligation to be correctly informed and normed by the teaching of the Church’s Magisterium. As for your feelings, they need to be educated by virtue so as to be in harmony with conscience’s voice of truth. In this way, you will have a sound conscience, according to which we you will feel guilty when you are guilty, and feel morally upright when you are morally upright. We should strive to avoid the two opposite extremes of a lax conscience and a scrupulous conscience. Meeting the obligation of continually attending to this formation of conscience will increase the likelihood that, in the actual operation or activity of conscience, you will act with a certain conscience, which clearly perceives that a given concrete action is a good action that was rightly done or should be done. Being correctly informed and certain in the actual operation of conscience is the goal of the continuing formation of conscience. Otherwise put, you should strive to avoid being incorrectly informed and doubtful in the actual judgment of conscience about a particular action or omission. You should never act on a doubtful conscience.


2. Is it morally permissible to vote for all candidates of a single party?

This would depend on the positions held by the candidates of a single party. If any one or more of them held positions that were opposed to the natural moral law, then it would not be morally permissible to vote for all candidates of this one party. Your correctly informed conscience transcends the bounds of any one political party.


3. If I think that a pro-abortion candidate will, on balance, do much more for the culture of life than a pro-life candidate, why may I not vote for the pro-abortion candidate?

If a political candidate supported abortion, or any other moral evil, such as assisted suicide and euthanasia, for that matter, it would not be morally permissible for you to vote for that person. This is because, in voting for such a person, you would become an accomplice in the moral evil at issue. For this reason, moral evils such as abortion, euthanasia and assisted suicide are examples of a “disqualifying issue.” A disqualifying issue is one which is of such gravity and importance that it allows for no political maneuvering. It is an issue that strikes at the heart of the human person and is non-negotiable. A disqualifying issue is one of such enormity that by itself renders a candidate for office unacceptable regardless of his position on other matters. You must sacrifice your feelings on other issues because you know that you cannot participate in any way in an approval of a violent and evil violation of basic human rights. A candidate for office who supports abortion rights or any other moral evil has disqualified himself as a person that you can vote for. You do not have to vote for a person because he is pro-life. But you may not vote for any candidate who supports abortion rights. Key to understanding the point above about “disqualifying issues” is the distinction between policy and moral principle. On the one hand, there can be a legitimate variety of approaches to accomplishing a morally acceptable goal. For example, in a society’s effort to distribute the goods of health care to its citizens, there can be legitimate disagreement among citizens and political candidates alike as to whether this or that health care plan would most effectively accomplish society’s goal. In the pursuit of the best possible policy or strategy, technical as distinct (although not separate) from moral reason is operative. Technical reason is the kind of reasoning involved in arriving at the most efficient or effective result. On the other hand, no policy or strategy that is opposed to the moral principles of the natural law is morally acceptable. Thus, technical reason should always be subordinate to and normed by moral reason, the kind of reasoning that is the activity of conscience and that is based on the natural moral law.


4. If I have strong feelings or opinions in favor of a particular candidate, even if he is pro-abortion, why may I not vote for him?

As explained in question 1 above, neither your feelings nor your opinions are identical with your conscience. Neither your feelings nor your opinions can take the place of your conscience. Your feelings and opinions should be governed by your conscience. If the candidate about whom you have strong feelings or opinions is pro-abortion, then your feelings and opinions need to be corrected by your correctly informed conscience, which would tell you that it is wrong for you to allow your feelings and opinions to give lesser weight to the fact that the candidate supports a moral evil.


5. If I may not vote for a pro-abortion candidate, then should it not also be true that I can’t vote for a pro-capital punishment candidate?

It is not correct to think of abortion and capital punishment as the very same kind of moral issue. On the one hand, direct abortion is an intrinsic evil, and cannot be justified for any purpose or in any circumstances. On the other hand, the Church has always taught that it is the right and responsibility of the legitimate temporal authority to defend and preserve the common good, and more specifically to defend citizens against the aggressor. This defense against the aggressor may resort to the death penalty if no other means of defense is sufficient. The point here is that the death penalty is understood as an act of self-defense on the part of civil society. In more recent times, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, Pope John Paul II has taught that the need for such self-defense to resort to the death penalty is “rare, if not virtually nonexistent.” Thus, while the Pope is saying that the burden of proving the need for the death penalty in specific cases should rest on the shoulders of the legitimate temporal authority, it remains true that the legitimate temporal authority alone has the authority to determine if and when a “rare” case arises that warrants the death penalty. Moreover, if such a rare case does arise and requires resorting to capital punishment, this societal act of self-defense would be a *morally good action* even if it does have the unintended and unavoidable evil effect of the death of the aggressor. Thus, unlike the case of abortion, it would be morally irresponsible to rule out all such “rare” possibilities a priori, just as it would be morally irresponsible to apply the death penalty indiscriminately.


6. If I think that a candidate who is pro-abortion has better ideas to serve the poor, and the pro-life candidate has bad ideas that will hurt the poor, why may I not vote for the candidate that has the better ideas for serving the poor?

Serving the poor is not only admirable, but also obligatory for Catholics as an exercise of solidarity. Solidarity has to do with the sharing of both spiritual and material goods, and with what the Church calls the preferential option for the poor. This preference means that we have the duty to give priority to helping those most needful, both materially and spiritually. Beginning in the family, solidarity extends to every human association, even to the international moral order. Based on the response to question 3 above, two important points must be made. First, when it comes to the matter of determining how social and economic policy can best serve the poor, there can be a legitimate variety of approaches proposed, and therefore legitimate disagreement among voters and candidates for office. Secondly, solidarity can never be at the price of embracing a “disqualifying issue.” Besides, when it comes to the unborn, abortion is a most grievous offense against solidarity, for the unborn are surely among society’s most needful. The right to life is a paramount issue because as Pope John Paul II says it is “the first right, on which all the others are based, and which cannot be recuperated once it is lost.” If a candidate for office refuses solidarity with the unborn, he has laid the ground for refusing solidarity with anyone.


7. If a candidate says that he is personally opposed to abortion but feels the need to vote for it under the circumstances, doesn’t this candidate’s personal opposition to abortion make it morally permissible for me to vote for him, especially if I think that his other views are the best for people, especially the poor?

A candidate for office who says that he is personally opposed to abortion but actually votes in favor of it is either fooling himself or trying to fool you. Outside of the rare case in which a hostage is forced against his will to perform evil actions with his captors, a person who carries out an evil action ¾ such as voting for abortion ¾ performs an immoral act, and his statement of personal opposition to the moral evil of abortion is either self-delusion or a lie. If you vote for such a candidate, you would be an accomplice in advancing the moral evil of abortion. Therefore, it is not morally permissible to vote for such a candidate for office, even, as explained in questions 3 and 6 above, you think that the candidate’s other views are best for the poor.


8. What if none of the candidates are completely pro-life?

As Pope John Paul II explains in his encyclical, Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), “…when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and morality. This does not in fact represent an illicit cooperation with an unjust law, but rather a legitimate and proper attempt to limit its evil aspects.” Logically, it follows from these words of the Pope that a voter may likewise vote for that candidate who will most likely limit the evils of abortion or any other moral evil at issue.


9. What if one leading candidate is anti-abortion except in the cases of rape or incest, another leading candidate is completely pro-abortion, and a trailing candidate, not likely to win, is completely anti-abortion. Would I be obliged to vote for the candidate not likely to win?

In such a case, the Catholic voter may clearly choose to vote for the candidate not likely to win. In addition, the Catholic voter may assess that voting for that candidate might only benefit the completely pro-abortion candidate, and, precisely for the purpose of curtailing the evil of abortion, decide to vote for the leading candidate that is anti-abortion but not perfectly so. This decision would be in keeping with the words of the Pope quoted in question 8 above.


10. What if all the candidates from whom I have to choose are pro-abortion? Do I have to abstain from voting at all? What do I do?

Obviously, one of these candidates is going to win the election. Thus, in this dilemma, you should do your best to judge which candidate would do the least moral harm. However, as explained in question 5 above, you should not place a candidate who is pro-capital punishment (and anti-abortion) in the same moral category as a candidate who is pro-abortion. Faced with such a set of candidates, there would be no moral dilemma, and the clear moral obligation would be to vote for the candidate who is pro-capital punishment, not necessarily because he is pro-capital punishment, but because he is anti-abortion.


11. Is not the Church’s stand that abortion must be illegal a bit of an exception? Does not the Church generally hold that government should restrict its legislation of morality significantly?

The Church’s teaching that abortion should be illegal is not an exception. St. Thomas Aquinas put it this way: “Wherefore human laws do not forbid all vices, from which the virtuous abstain, but only the more grievous vices, from which it is possible for the majority to abstain; and chiefly those that are to the hurt of others, without the prohibition of which human society could not be maintained: thus human law prohibits murder, theft and such like.” [ emphasis added]. Abortion qualifies as a grievous vice that hurts others, and the lack of prohibition of this evil by society is something by which human society cannot be maintained. As Pope John Paul II has emphasized, the denial of the right to life, in principle, sets the stage, in principle, for the denial of all other rights.


12. What about elected officials who happen to be of the same party affiliation? Are they committing a sin by being in the same party, even if they don’t advocate pro-choice views? Are they guilty by association?

Being of the same political party as those who advocate pro-abortion is indeed a serious evil IF I belong to this political party IN ORDER TO ASSOCIATE MYSELF with that party’s advocacy of pro-abortion policies. However, it can also be true that being of such a political party has as its purpose to change the policies of the party. Of course, if this is the purpose, one would have to consider whether it is reasonable to think the political party’s policies can be changed. Assuming that it is reasonable to think so, then it would be morally justifiable to remain in that political party. Remaining in that political party cannot be instrumental in the advancing of pro-abortion policies (especially if I am busily striving to change the party’s policies) as can my VOTING for candidates or for a political party with a pro-abortion policy.


13. What about voting for a pro-abortion person for something like state treasurer, in which case the candidate would have no say on matters of life in the capacity of her duties, it just happens to be her personal position. This would not be a sin, right?

If someone were running for state treasurer and that candidate made it a point to state publicly that he was in favor of exterminating people over the age of 70, would you vote for him? The fact that the candidate has that evil in his mind tells you that there are easily other evils in his mind; and the fact that he would publicly state it is a danger signal. If personal character matters in a political candidate, and personal character involves the kind of thoughts a person harbors, then such a candidate who publicly states that he is in favor of the evil of exterminating people over the age of 70 - or children who are unborn - has also disqualified himself from receiving a Catholic’s vote. I would go further and say that such a candidate, in principle - in the light of the natural law - disqualifies himself from public office.


14. Is it a mortal sin to vote for a pro-abortion candidate?

Except in the case in which a voter is faced with all pro-abortion candidates (in which case, as explained in question 8 above, he or she strives to determine which of them would cause the let damage in this regard), a candidate that is pro-abortion disqualifies himself from receiving a Catholic’s vote. This is because being pro-abortion cannot simply be placed alongside the candidate’s other positions on Medicare and unemployment, for example; and this is because abortion is intrinsically evil and cannot be morally justified for any reason or set of circumstances. To vote for such a candidate even with the knowledge that the candidate is pro-abortion is to become an accomplice in the moral evil of abortion. If the voter also knows this, then the voter sins mortally.

 

COPYRIGHT © 2002
Stephen F. Torraco

(Original Article)



ALERT : The MMR making the news is from Japan and made in animal cells, not aborted fetal cells

Sound Choice Pharmaceutical Institute
Education . Scientific Research . Sound Choice Drug Certification. Ethical Biotechnology
Join us by making an on-line donation at www.soundchoice.org; or 1749 Dexter Avenue N, Seattle, WA 98109

The news media, both left and right leaning, have been quick, perhaps too quick, to jump into the autism-MMR controversy based on a recent publication in the journal Pediatrics.

The MMR all the news are talking about is from Japan and was made in ANIMALS not aborted fetal cells. Therefore, we would not expect that study to show any link between animal based MMR and autism. We only see a link between aborted fetal manufactured vaccines and autism.

Defeating The Delphi Technique

The delphi technique and hegelian dialects are heavily exposed at www freedom-force.org

                    This document will give some ugly but useful advice in how to defeat the Delphi Technique. If your not familiar with what it is - it is a manipulative method used by Governments, Organizations and Unions to cause a ‘pre-selected outcome’ at a meeting, event, or function. Its usage is also implemented in any on line instrument such as a chat room, forum or newsgroup that has ‘Moderators.’

Here is how the delphi technique works (and boy its effective). It is based upon the Hegelian Dialectic of creating ones own opposition in order to manipulate that opposition to a unified consensus. One exposing document from the Education Reporter accurately describes it:

In group settings, the Delphi Technique is an unethical method of achieving consensus on controversial topics. It requires well-trained professionals, known as "facilitators" or "change agents," who deliberately escalate tension among group members, pitting one faction against another to make a preordained viewpoint appear "sensible," while making opposing views appear ridiculous.

So there you have it, - a highly trained change agent or facilitator is brought in whenever a dispute arises where a predetermined outcome is desired. The facilitator will host a meeting (on line or otherwise) to gather input from members of the group. The trick is anyone who disagrees with the pre-ordained plan is segregated, ridiculed and marginalized, while those supporting the ruling powers agenda is encouraged and praised for their ‘activism’ The key is that it is important that the members of the meeting or group get involved thus causing them to have the feeling of satisfaction that they have been involved in the change. The sad reality is that the entire thing was only a mass crowd manipulation to a pre-determined end. Here is another example of what it is.

The facilitator begins by working the crowd to establish a good-guy-bad-guy scenario. Anyone disagreeing with the facilitator must be made to appear as the bad guy, with the facilitator appearing as the good guy. To accomplish this, the facilitator seeks out those who disagree and makes them look foolish, inept, or aggressive, which sends a clear message to the rest of the audience that, if they don’t want the same treatment, they must keep quiet. When the opposition has been identified and alienated, the facilitator becomes the good guy - a friend - and the agenda and direction of the meeting are established without the audience ever realizing what has happened.

 
Trap-Dooring the Change Agent

The simplest and most effective method to defeat the delphi technique is for everyone in the meeting to know about it. I call it trap-dooring the change agent. Here is how you do it. Prior to the meeting simply make many copies of what the Delphi Technique is (and how its used). That could be as simple as printing and making 500 copies of this document. If there is a ‘facilitator’ in the meeting, and you are reading this - try to see if you can see this tactic at work. Do you think this is a acceptable method of democracy where everyone’s rights are being equally respected?? I don’t think so either. Why don’t we start with a polite question for him like “Are you using Delphi?”

How to Diffuse the Delphi Technique

Three steps can diffuse the Delphi Technique as facilitators attempt to steer a meeting in a specific direction.

  1. Always be charming, courteous, and pleasant. Smile. Moderate your voice so as not to come across as belligerent or aggressive.
     
  2. Stay focused. If possible, jot down your thoughts or questions. When facilitators are asked questions they don’t want to answer, they often digress from the issue that was raised and try instead to put the questioner on the defensive. Do not fall for this tactic. Courteously bring the facilitator back to your original question. If he rephrases it so that it becomes an accusatory statement (a popular tactic), simply say, "That is not what I asked. What I asked was …" and repeat your question.
     
  3. Be persistent. If putting you on the defensive doesn’t work, facilitators often resort to long monologues that drag on for several minutes. During that time, the group usually forgets the question that was asked, which is the intent. Let the facilitator finish. Then with polite persistence state: "But you didn’t answer my question. My question was …" and repeat your question.
Never become angry under any circumstances. Anger directed at the facilitator will immediately make the facilitator the victim. This defeats the purpose. The goal of facilitators is to make the majority of the group members like them, and to alienate anyone who might pose a threat to the realization of their agenda.
At a meeting, have two or three people who know the Delphi Technique dispersed through the crowd so that, when the facilitator digresses from a question, they can stand up and politely say: "But you didn’t answer that lady or gentleman’s question." Even if the facilitator suspects certain group members are working together, he will not want to alienate the crowd by making accusations. Occasionally, it takes only one incident of this type for the crowd to figure out what’s going on.

Establish a plan of action before a meeting. Everyone on your team should know his part. Later, analyze what went right, what went wrong and why, and what needs to happen the next time. Never strategize during a meeting. A popular tactic of facilitators, if a session is meeting with resistance, is to call a recess. During the recess, the facilitator and his spotters (people who observe the crowd during the course of a meeting) watch the crowd to see who congregates where, especially those who have offered resistance. If the resistors congregate in one place, a spotter will gravitate to that group and join in the conversation, reporting what was said to the facilitator. When the meeting resumes, the facilitator will steer clear of the resistors. Do not congregate. Instead gravitate to where the facilitators or spotters are. Stay away from your team members.
 
Maybe the Diamond Tactic (communist tactic of crowd manipulation) will also interest you:
  1. Plan ahead of time what action you want the group to take: nominate or oppose a candidate, support or oppose an issue, heckle a speaker, or whatever. Everyone on your team must know exactly what they are going to do, including contingency plans.
     
  2. Team members should arrive at the meeting separately and never congregate together.
     
  3. Team players should arrive early enough to take seats around the outside of the assembly area, roughly in the shape of a diamond. They must not sit together. The object of the tactic is place your people around the perimeter of the audience so that, when they begin to take action, those in the center will have to do a lot of head turning to see them – to the right, then the left, then the rear of the room, then the front, etc. The more they turn their heads, the greater the illusion of being surrounded by people in agreement with each other, and the more they will be convinced that these people represent the majority opinion.
The only way to thwart the Diamond Tactic is to always be prepared to match it with your own team. Never take a meeting for granted, especially if something important is scheduled to transpire, such as nomination of officers. Even a simple gathering to hear an important speaker can turn into a nightmare if opponents send in hecklers. So, always plan for the worst and be prepared to spring into action with comments from the floor such as: “I want to make it clear that these people do not speak for me. I am in total opposition to what they stand for. In fact, I would like to ask them to identify themselves. Who are you? Why did you come to this meeting? What is your agenda?” If comments such as this are heard from three or four people around the outside of the room, the meeting will be very exciting, but the tactic will be defused.

 
Setting Up an Online Trap Door For a Change Agent in a Forum (eg - http://groups.yahoo.com)

A effective and blunt instrument to put a total kill on manipulations in a online forum is to simply post the Delphi Technique to several similar email lists. In the posting SHOW where you have attempted to post an educational expose showing how crowds are manipulated(both online and off). If a change agent is running a email group they are now in a juxtaposition. If they they attempt to censor the document, it will be quickly exposed in the other groups where the posting was allowed. If they DO post the document their techniques may be quickly realized. Either way they are cornered, and they have to cede their operations or face exposure.

I am truly of the belief that everyone in North America should know the Delphi Technique and be taught to resist it. Now that you know the average public meeting (or online forum) can be highly manipulated from both sides, did you ever stop to think that the Hegelian Dialectic is being used at a national level by our one-mind propaganda media? Start learning some alternative information so you can become a critical thinker again. This document is public domain please copy and share freely with all.
 

www.freedom-force.org
www.conspiracycentral.net
www.anomalicresearch.com
                www.prisonplanet.com
www.pilotsfor911truth.org
www.nutrimedical.com
                www.infowars.com
www.tulsatruth.org
www.intelwire.com

 

POLST: Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment

Be Careful What You Sign
By Germaine Wensley RN

Abrightly-colored (usually pink) document, POLST, has exploded onto the health-care scene across the nation. It was initially developed in Oregon by a task force convened by the Center for Ethics in Health Care at Oregon Health & Science University as a complement to an advanced directive, but it can also function alone. It was recommended for people of any age with advanced, progressive serious illness or frailty to ensure their wishes regarding health decisions toward the end of life are known. This one page, two-sided, pre-printed form provides boxes for various options of care or non-care to be checked off. Options include whether CPR should be attempted, IV fluids or antibiotics given, mechanical ventilation or intubation should be used, and whether to provide “artificial” nutrition.1 This simple form was intended to make it easier for health care providers to quickly see a patient’s desires since the form is frequently found at the front of a patient’s chart. Many states have followed Oregon’s lead and developed similar programs which may go by other names such as Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST), Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) or other similar names, and the form varies slightly from state to state. In California, POLST began as a seven community pilot project in 2007 and has been used statewide since January 1, 2009. (CA POLST form can be viewed at: http://www.capolst.org/documents/CAPOLSTform2011v13web_005.pdf)

http://blog.callifeadvocates.org/images/BeCarefulWhatYouSign/BeCarefulWhatYouSign_001.png

It must be pointed out that this simplified form, after being filled out and signed by a physician, immediately becomes a valid, actionable, medical order carrying all the authority of a physician’s order, to be followed by all healthcare providers. In addition to the physician’s signature and depending on the state in which the form is generated, it must also contain the signature of the patient, guardian, legal surrogate, or “legally recognized decision maker” even though the law doesn’t define what a “legally recognized health care decision maker” might be. The form is devised to be portable and travel with the patient through various health care settings. But problems in travel could arise because the POLST has been signed by a physician who may not be present at the time of implementation, and judgments of the medical team on the scene are essentially disregarded.

As benign as the name, Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment, might sound, the POLST form is now being hotly debated. Advocates consider the document to be an important instrument giving patients greater control over care at the end of their life, but critics worry about abuse and the possibility that it could easily be used to expedite death and/or advance euthanasia. Some critics also say it is difficult for patients to make changes in the document if they have a change of mind regarding any of the options.

Lois R. Robley RN, PhD, views POLST as a real help for nurses, particularly in the critical care setting. Robley says many difficulties have been encountered with advanced directives. In comparison to other advanced directives, POLST is a simple form that makes it easier for nurses to follow patients’ wishes.2 It is no doubt true that the form makes it easier for nurses and other caregivers to clearly see at a glance the patient’s supposed preferences, however, it appears most of the real problems with the form begin before it reaches the health care provider. It has to do with the form itself, the facilitator filling out the form, and the way options are presented to the patient. It might do well for a nurse caring for someone with a POLST form, to do her own verification that what is on the form is correct, if the patient is able to provide the information, or perhaps check it against an advanced directive if available.
Compassion & Choices, a pro-euthanasia organization generated by a merger of the Hemlock Society and Compassion in Dying, is an avid advocate of the form. They say POLST is an important document because most medical personnel, especially in an emergency situation, will most likely give the patient all possible treatments whether the patient wants them or not. That a pro-euthanasia group is very enthusiastic about this document gives one pause for thought.

California Advocates For Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), a non-profit advocacy group, published a brief on California POLST which included a survey of Long-term Care Ombudsmen. Their brief lists several advantages of POLST. It is easily identified with its brightly colored paper, the form is reader friendly, contains more specific information about end-of-life-care than the standard advanced health-care documents, and may be more available than an advanced directive since it is meant to be included and highly visible in a patient’s medical chart.3

On the other hand CANHR cites problems they have encountered with the form. Their survey of Long-term Care Ombudsmen regarding POLST in practice revealed a very disturbing level of misrepresentation and misuse of POLST a few of which I’ll list here. For instance there is no requirement that POLST be checked for consistency against an advanced health care directive, and end-of-life terms on the form in some instances could have multiple meanings in multiple situations. Despite the fact that doctors are supposed to explain the form to patients, non-physician “health care professionals” – such as social workers, care assistants, or even people who work in a facility business office – are often left to do so. It was found troublesome that the physicians who sign the form don’t indicate whether they have actually discussed the choices with the patient or worse yet may never even have met the patient. Perhaps most alarmingly, however, the survey found that accompanying handouts may manipulate patients’ choices. For example, the material describes how CPR can cause broken ribs and brain damage. “The handouts are clearly intended to convince patients or their representatives to forgo CPR,” the study found. Another important criticism is that CA POLST law permits third parties to sign a POLST which overrides previously expressed wishes of the patient if the patient is incapacitated. They see this as undermining the primary purpose of POLST and “setting California privacy law and advance health care decision-making on their heads.”4

http://blog.callifeadvocates.org/images/BeCarefulWhatYouSign/BeCarefulWhatYouSign_001.png

At present the form is voluntary but as early as 2007 Karen Ward R.N expressed worries about POLST. “Will these forms become standard hospital policy. Will they become governmentally mandated?” 5 In some states offering the form is mandatory, but when AARP did their analysis of POLST, it was found that in those states where it is mandatory to offer it, it was common to find that nursing homes misinterpreted that to say they must require every resident to have POLST form.6 Ward also wondered, “Is the goal to phase out current Advance Directives? If not, what is the rationale of duplicity and probable conflict of the two forms? If POLST is to enhance Advance Directives, which one supercedes the other? Which one is followed if there are discrepancies?”7 “If there is a conflict between documents, the more recent document should be followed” according to the California Coalition for Compassionate Care’s web-site.8

California law requires that physician orders in a POLST be followed by health care professionals, and provides immunity from civil or criminal liability to those who comply in good faith with a patient’s POLST requests.9 (Other states with POLST programs have also granted this same immunity) Why would that be? Might there be a chance that one could be accused of causing the death of a patient by following the form and run the risk of being sued? Yet on the web-site of the California Medical Association it is stated that physicians and other health care providers are authorized to decline to comply with a patient’s Advance Health Care Directive, surrogate decision-maker’s health care decision or POLST form because of conscience or institutional policy or because the care would be medically ineffective or contrary to generally accepted health care standards. Certain procedures would need to be followed in such circumstances.10 What should a CA health provider do with these conflicting instructions?

How accurately does a POLST document truly convey a person’s wishes and values? It’s not uncommon for patients to be confused about what they are being asked to decide, and vague or misinformed about the purpose and/or effectiveness of medical options they are being asked to choose among. Patients must rely on the facilitator to explain what is not understood. How well does the facilitator explain the options? The patient may still not fully understand what s/he is choosing which can be especially true when decisions are made in a crisis situation. Rita Marker J.D., the executive director of Patients Rights Counsel, points out that POLST facilitators may be social workers or clergy with no medical training, and this could easily lead to misinformation being given the patient. Facilitators are “basically taught to follow a script. They might say things such as, ‘We find that most people would not want to continue to live in a vegetative state.’ They focus on what you wouldn’t want done.”11

A team of three doctors and a moral ethicist wrote an article very critical of POLST in the journal of Ethics and Medics. After reviewing training materials for facilitators of POLST, they concur with Marker’s conclusion: The training is heavily fear-based, and biased in favor of refusing life-sustaining treatments. This is accomplished by the facilitator filling out the form for the patient emphasizing all possible burdens of accepting treatment and on the other hand minimizing burdens associated with refusal of treatment. For example, one of its training scripts reads: To assist you in making this decision, I’d like to give you some examples of the side effects that can occur because of receiving artificial nutrition and hydration. First, the artificial nutrition that is delivered through tubes often moves out the stomach and slips into the lungs, causing pneumonia. This is called aspiration. The artificial hydration that is delivered may also increase the amount of fluid the body has to absorb, causing extra fluid in the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. The extra fluid also causes congestion in other parts of the body, causing pain and discomfort as well as the need to urinate more frequently artificial hydration that is delivered may also increase the amount of fluid the body has to absorb, causing extra fluid in the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. The extra fluid also causes congestion in other parts of the body, causing pain and discomfort as well as the need to urinate more frequently.12 Would anyone want to receive nutrition or hydration by tube or IV after being told that?

According to lawyer Lisa Gasbarre Black, The POLST movement "is a national effort to manage and control death under the guise of compassion.” The POLST philosophy is that a patient’s wishes are paramount, and POLST’s theory wishes to elevate patient autonomy to the level of an enforceable, legal right Ms. Black says. This may implicitly allow patients to mandate non-treatment in a way that would constitute voluntary euthanasia she adds. Since POLST is a physician’s order, health care givers would be mandated to comply. She also points out that advocates of POLST are already working to influence legislators to make personal autonomy a legal right, and lay a foundation for the concept of managed death to be more widely accepted. “Unfortunately the arguments in favor of the POLST theory mask the corrosive effect of POLST legislation,” says Ms. Black. She sees POLST playing a subtle, but significant role in advancing the euthanasia movement in our country.13

Let me expand on the possibility of POLST being able to be used in a way that could constitute voluntary euthanasia. Moral Ethicist Christian Brugger PhD., a strong critic of POLST, contends that though the form is recommended to be filled out when one is seriously ill or toward the end of life, anyone can fill out a POLST form at any time. This is a problem since POLST law sets forth no requirement that a patient’s refusal of life-support must be limited to end-of-life conditions. “If someone refuses life-support with the specific aim (or intention) of causing his or her own death, the person is choosing suicide. Morally speaking this is no different from ingesting a lethal dose of medication. The POLST-type law grants adults the civil right to direct healthcare professionals to remove life-sustaining procedures when those procedures are not futile and when the burden imposed by them would be offset by a reasonable hope of recovery. It juridically extends the ordinary context for the refusal of life-support to include the motive of bringing about death. Without using the term, the new law authorizes euthanasia.”14

With regard to artificially administered nutrition delivered by tube, there are three boxes on the POLST form to be checked: 1) not having a tube at all, 2) defined trial period of artificial nutrition tube, and 3) long-term nutrition tube. This poses problems for Catholic hospitals and Catholic health givers since ethical guidelines for Catholic hospitals, titled the ‘Ethical and Religious Directives’, state clearly that the administration of food and water to all patients who need them to survive is a moral obligation. The POLST form, by design, permits any patients for any reason at any time to direct their healthcare givers to withhold food and water from them. No wonder it’s the document of choice by Compassion & Choices, says Brugger.15

In fact the Catholic Bishops of Wisconsin issued a Pastoral Statement regarding their concerns about POLST. The statement declares in part: “A POLST form presents options for treatments as if they were morally neutral. In fact, they are not. Because we cannot predict the future, it is difficult to determine in advance whether specific medical treatments, from an ethical perspective, are absolutely necessary or optional. These decisions depend upon factors such as the benefits, expected outcomes, and the risks or burdens of the treatment. A POLST oversimplifies these decisions and bears the real risk that an indication may be made on it to withhold a treatment that, in particular circumstances, might be an act of euthanasia. Despite the possible benefits of these documents, this risk is too grave to be acceptable.”16

To follow the history and timing of POLST as it developed in Oregon is interesting, possibly revealing. The POLST task force began meeting in 1991, in 1995 the POLST form was released for use in Oregon, and in 1997 physician-assisted-suicide was legalized by Oregon voters. In the intervening years between 1991 and 1997, Compassion & Choices (CC) and other euthanasia supporters had been busy educating Oregonians about the importance of “dying with dignity, and eventually the importance of signing a POLST form. Is it significant that POLST was developed as groundwork was being laid for the legalization of physician assisted suicide?

The push for physician-assisted suicide didn’t stop in Oregon. Buoyed up by the legalization of it in Oregon, Compassion and Choices (C&C) and their allies moved on to other states helping them to follow suit. Educating the public on end-of-life choices, the advantage of signing a POLST, and the benefits of physician assisted suicide aka “death with dignity” is one of the first steps in helping the public to embrace the idea. C&C has joined forces with physicians, hospital associations, universities, public health organizations and other groups in these “educational” efforts.

In 2011 C&C launched a program entitled "Peace at Life’s End – Anywhere." Moral ethicist E. Christian Brugger PhD., says it should more properly be called "legal self-killing anywhere in the U.S.”17 This goes beyond their promotion of POLST. According to the C&C web-site, this is a program to “educate and empower individuals throughout America who want a peaceful death. . . . whether or not they live in a state where aid in dying is openly available . . . there is one method of peaceful dying universally available, legal, safe, painless and suitable for a gentle parting . . . This is the purposeful refusal of food and fluids, in medical jargon known as voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) We hope to inform people in every state of safe, legal and peaceful means to end life when physical decline and suffering become pointless and unbearable.”18 In other words "Peace at Life’s End – Anywhere” is instructing people on how to kill themselves. The same organization offering this program is also the same organization aggressively promoting POLST.

The goal of ethical, moral medicine should be to care for, protect, and preserve life until natural death. As Dr. Brugger states, "You have arguments by defenders that make these documents (POLST) seem innocent, but the pressure is always in favor of removal of treatment"19

Advanced Directives let your doctor know what kind of care you would like if you become unable to make medical decisions. Some examples are living wills, DNR (do not resuscitate order), POLST, and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. The first three violate two important principles of the practice of ethical medicine. First before making a healthcare decision you must have all (or as much as possible) available information about your present condition and secondly you must have pertinent information about the current “state of the art” practice of medicine. It is not possible to foresee the future. The better method is the fourth one, Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPAHC), but there are problems with some of those versions, too. A DPAHC designates a person of your choosing to make care decisions in the event you are unable to do so. This person should be one you completely trust, who has been told your wishes and desires for healthcare, and fully understands them. Two recommended versions of DPAHC which are careful in respecting life rather than hastening death can be had by contacting the Life Guardian Foundation www.lifeguardianfoundation.org or Patient’s Rights Council www.patientsrightscouncil.org. But in the end, no legal instrument can substitute for wise and loving choices, made on the spot, when the precise treatment dilemma is clear and care decisions are needed.20

Germaine Wensley RN is a founder and vice-president of California Nurses for Ethical Standards (CNES). She is also the editor of the CNES’ publication, lifesCeNES.

 

END NOTES

  1. California Coalition for Compassionate Care, http://www.capolst.org/?for=patients
     
  2. NURSING ETHICS: POLST sweeps the nation, Lois R. Robley RN, PhD, Nursing 2013 Critical Care, January 2009, vol. 4, #1 PP 19-20
     
  3. CANHR POLICY BRIEF “Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Problems and Recommendationswww.canhr.org/reports/2010/POLST_WhitePaper.pdf
     
  4. ibid
     
  5. “Know Your POLST, ”Commentary By Karen Ward, RN March 13, 2007, North Country Gazette.
     
  6. Improving Advanced Illness Care: The Evolution of State POLST Programs, AARP POLST analysis, http://assets.aarp.org/rgcenter/ppi/cons-prot/POLST-Report- 04-11.pdf
     
  7. “Know Your POLST, ”Commentary By Karen Ward, RN March 13, 2007, North Country Gazette.
     
  8. Coalition for Compassionate Care of California web-site www.capolst.org/documents/POLSTFAQforProviders.pdf
     
  9. IBID
     
  10. Information & Frequently Asked Questions About POLST http://www.cmanet.org/about/patient-resources/end-of-life-issues/physician-orders-for-life-sustaining-treatment
     
  11. Physicians Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment: Helpful or a New Threat, National Catholic Register, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/physicians-order-for- life-sustaining-treatment-helpful-or-a-new-threat/#ixzz2W24ihq4C
     
  12. ”POLST and Catholic Healthcare” Ethics & Medics January 2012, Volume 37, number 1 E. Christian Brugger, PhD, Chair of Moral Theology at Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Stephen L. Pavela, specialist in internal medicine and president of the La Crosse Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, William L. Toffler MD, professor of family medicine at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Dr. Franklin Smith, a specialist in urology and past president of the Milwaukee Guild of the Catholic Medical Association in Wisconsin.
     
  13. NLA BRIEF, National Lawyers Association, Vol. 7, No. 3 October-December 2010, “The Danger of POLST Orders: An Innovation on the DNR”, p.1, 6
     
  14. Euthanasia by Omission - And Making It a Doctor’s Order, E. Christian Brugger, zenit.org, Posted: August 24, 2011 & Physicians Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment: Helpful or a New Threat, National Catholic Register, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/physicians-order-for-life-sustaining-treatment- helpful-or-a-new-threat/#ixzz2W24ihq4C
     
  15. Physicians Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment: Helpful or a New Threat, National Catholic Register, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/physicians-order-for- life-sustaining-treatment-helpful-or-a-new-threat/#ixzz2W24ihq4C
     
  16. Upholding the Dignity of Human Life: A Pastoral Statement on Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) from the Catholic Bishops of Wisconsin
     
  17. Legalizing Euthanasia by Omission and Making It a Doctor’s Order, E. Christian Brugger PhD., Aug. 24, 2011, Zenit. www.zenit.org/en/articles/legalizing-euthanasia-by-omission
     
  18. Compassion and Choices web-site: http://www.compassionandchoices.org/2011/08/17/peace-at-lifes-end-anywhere/
     
  19. Physicians Orders for Life-sustaining Treatment: Helpful or a New Threat, National Catholic Register, http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/physicians-order-for- life-sustaining-treatment-helpful-or-a-new-threat/#ixzz2W24ihq4C
     
  20. TAKING CARE: ETHICAL CAREGIVING IN OUR AGING SOCIETY, The Limited Wisdom of Advance Directives, Chapter 2, The President’s Council on Bioethics - Washington, D.C. - September 2005 - www.bioethics.gov


See Also: POLST - Problems and Recommendations - CANHR POLICY BRIEF

Common Core Curriculum: how do you spell socialism?

Nationalized education imbedded in a workforce-management system? Well, how would you spell it?

Monday, August 19, 2013
By Stephanie Block

It’s almost a decade old but Joe Esposito’s report, Tangled Web: The Mastery Learning/OBE/STW-TQM Connection, sheds a good bit of light on the current Common Core movement to nationalize public education. (1)

Esposito was an Oklahoma businessman appointed to the state’s executive council for School-To-Work in the mid 1990s. In that capacity, a number of documents from SCANS – the US Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills – came to his attention and disturbed him greatly. Because he was vocal about his concerns, he was removed from the council.

Esposito opposed efforts to prepare American children for the global marketplace by subsuming local educational systems into a single entity with the country’s workforce: “[T]he vision [is] to create a ‘seamless web of human resource development’ (NCEE’s Marc Tucker, et. al). The culmination is federally supported systemic education reform—or ‘School-to-Work’ (STW) workforce training from preschool through higher education, and beyond—in compliance with United Nation’s lifelong learning plans. More accurately, this is lifelong indoctrination for servitude—an important part of ’world-class standards.’ Targeting all schooling—public and private—STW reforms link all levels of what was a vehicle for educating and learning. Fully implemented, all schools will be vocational, all children will have a career path no later than 7th grade, and all children/adults will be credentialed through a national/international job certification system.” (Esposito, p. vii, emphasis in original).

The report documents this effort, quoting copiously from source materials. If one hasn’t already seen these, it’s worth the gander both for their historical perspective and as a foundation for understanding current developments. The Workforce Development system, begun in 1998 with passage of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), is now fully entrenched. Together with its School-to-Work initiatives, the law created local and state boards as well as industry clusters (networks of associated businesses) across the country.

Still, the system isn’t as comprehensive as social planners intend. “While there have been pockets of success [in the in local public work-force system WIA started] throughout the United States, most would agree that we are a long way from a sustainable, systemic approach to workforce development that addresses a fundamentally transformed U.S. and global economy.” A “sustainable, systemic approach” is one that will provide “access to ongoing career management supports, longer-term career training and education programs, and timely, high-quality information about skill needs and occupational requirements.” (Introduction, p. 1) It will move from geographically-based management of the labor force to market-based and industry-based management. (p.11) And, it will intersect with the education system, with increasingly connected systems, organizations, and institutions. (2)

Enter Common Core, the next step in building a seamless system of Workforce Development and education. Researcher Charlotte Iserbyt (3) recently remarked: “Communist Core (my label for Common Core) has been with us for many years under other labels. (Semantic Deception) What do people think Maine’s Learning Results were all about? Maine was probably the major state to introduce Communist Core. In fact, if I recall correctly, Maine’s Communist Core was used at the international level to develop the international Communist Core standards.”

She’s mistrustful of the sudden organized opposition, however. “A handful of long-time recognized education researchers have opposed the Communist Core (Marxist) national curriculum for over 48 years with little support from the grass roots! All of a sudden there is this enormous national opposition to Communist Core (the new label for Maine’s mid-nineties Learning Results, and the 1970-present National Assessment for Educational Progress of which 60 % of the test items are politically correct-attitudinal. This phony, deliberately hyped opposition to Communist Core is spearheaded and supported by the national Heritage Foundation, which for the past 7-8 years has controlled Maine’s education system, and which has affiliates in most states. Former Commissioner of Education Bowen was groomed for his job when he headed up Maine Heritage. This hype, with another tax-exempt foundation, Pioneer, coming in to support home school leader, Heidi Sampson’s, anti-common core agenda, is very suspect.”

Why on earth would Iserbyt – who is utterly opposed to Common Core and has made it her life’s work to arouse concern about education “reform” – be leery of successful, organized opposition to Common Core? She explains that Heritage Foundation and Pioneer miss the salient problem: “The anti-Communist Core movement is very simply a red herring (diversion) to keep Americans from understanding and opposing the Trojan Horse: tax-funded school choice. This pro-tax-funded school choice agenda is supported by the Governor and Bowen who take their orders from the Council of Chief State School Officers,

Florida’s ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, his Foundation for Excellence in Education, Bill Gates, Pearson, and IBM’s ex-CEO Gerstner. Gerstner has the gall to call for recommending to President Obama that he bring down all 16,000 public school districts with their messy elected school governance. He and other globalist corporate heads want the privatization of ALL education in order to implement the Soviet polytechnical workforce training system called for by Carnegie in 1934. All neoconservative (Trotskyitne) tax-exempt foundations, including the major player, the national Heritage Foundation, the corporate fascist globalist Council on Foreign Relations, and the Obama Administration all support tax–funded school choice.” (emphasis added).

There are a lot of hard words in these comments but tax-funded school “choice” doesn’t provide “choice” for long. A comprehensive system that involves everyone can only allow so much latitude or the system doesn’t work (just ask the employers who will be forced to supply birth control in the U.S.’s new, universal health care system). “Communist Core is NOT the issue. Those fighting Communist Core better wake up and realize that even if they kill Communist Core, if they do NOT oppose ALL forms of tax-supported School Choice and Charter Schools, they will wake up one day and find that their children in their favorite tax-supported choice private school are required by federal law (regulations) to take the Communist Core assessment (test) they thought they had killed! Why? Because when an education entity (private or public) accepts one penny of federal money it MUST adhere to federal regulations regarding curriculum, testing, hiring, etc., etc.”

Meanwhile, the even bigger issue is the creation of a nationalized education linked to a workforce-management system – of which universal, nationalized health care is a piece. Is this really the direction we want to go?
 

(Original Article)
© Spero News

ObamaCare and Compromise

Backed into a Corner
March 8, 2013
by Wesley J. Smith

Here’s the story: Last year, the Department of Health and Human Services promulgated regulations under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), requiring all business owners with 50 or more full time workers provide health insurance providing free birth control, sterilization surgeries, and the morning after pill to female employees. That rule conflicted with the religious beliefs of tens of millions of Americans, setting off political conflict.

There are three different categories of religious "objectors" to the rule: First, are houses churches or associations of churches as well as the "exclusively religious activities" of these groups. Second, are religious organizations acting in the world, such as nonprofit hospitals, universities, and charities. And third, are private business owners.

The original rule created a very narrow exemption for the first category only. Religious organizations and objecting religious business owners were treated identically: Either violate your faith by providing the coverage or face a stiff fine!

That set off a political fire storm as to the religious organizations. Bishops protested. Civil libertarians decried the assault on the First Amendment. Lawsuits were threatened. With an election near, the Obama administration delayed the effective date of the rule as it applied to these objecting religious organizations until August 1, 2013, and promised to fashion a new approach.

The rule went into effect for all other employers on August 1, 2012, sparking scores of lawsuits against the government. The business owners have experienced differing results in the lower courts so far. For example, Hercules Industries, a Colorado air conditioning and heating manufacturer, has been protected by the courts (as I reported here at tothesource.) In contrast, Hobby Lobby—the largest chain of craft stores in the nation—has been refused protection by the courts and currently faces ruinous penalties for refusing to cover the morning after pill because of its abortifacient potential. The fate of the Free Birth Control Rule as it affects private business owners will almost certainly be decided by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the administration recently announced its proposed revised rule as it impacts non house of worship religious organizations. Those hoping the administration would back off were bitterly disappointed. Instead of offering a true modus vivendi, the administration launched a stealth power grab. Not only does the proposed "compromise" continue the government’s intrusion into the religious sphere, but it concomitantly uses the contraception coverage controversy as the pretext for increasing Obamacare’s control over the private insurance sector.

Instead of simply exempting all religious organizations with faith-based objections to contraception from compliance with the rule, there will now be two classes of religious objectors. The first are those previously given an exemption. All other religious nonprofits opposed to contraception—the ones about which such a fuss was made—receive a mere "accommodation."

Here’s how the "accommodation" will work:

  • The organization must comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act and purchase a general group health plan.
  • The organization must certify to its insurance carrier that it objects to contraception for religious reasons.
  • The health insurance carrier then must "automatically enroll participants and beneficiaries in a separate health insurance policy that covers recommended contraceptive services."
  • The insurance carrier must provide this supplemental policy to these girls and women free of charge.

Thus the mere act of purchasing health insurance by the religious employer—required by law—automatically triggers forced free coverage for contraception.

This means that in many cases, even nuns will have to be insured for birth control. The accommodation also forces objecting organizations to be complicit in furthering an activity their faith deems sinful—with no opt/out other than to break the law by not buying health insurance—which would be detrimental to all their employees—and facing stiff fines.

The proposed rule also impinges on the liberty of the private sector by compelling carriers to provide a free product to identified organizations for the purpose of furthering the administration’s social goal of "gender equality" (as Department of Justice lawyers have argued in legal briefs). Thus, insurance companies will be able to fully charge for-profit companies like Google or Sears for covering contraception and sterilization surgeries. They will also be able to charge the Episcopalian and Lutheran Churches—neither of which is doctrinally opposed to birth control, and thus do not qualify for the accommodation. But companies will not be allowed to charge Catholic Charities or Georgetown University, while still having to provide the same contraceptive coverage as to its other customers—an act of blatant conscription.

When you think about it, the Free Birth Control Rule "compromise" is ingeniously camouflaged statism. By forcing the private sector to foot the bill for unwanted contraceptive coverage, the regulation becomes more difficult to resist on First Amendment grounds. It allows the media to claim, falsely, that the administration backed off its moral imperialism against (mostly) Catholic charitable organizations. Even better from the president’s perspective, it generates increased bitterness, churning, turmoil, and political division, and does so in such a complicated way that opponents to the administration’s coercion can be made by media and other apologists to appear as if they are the unreasonable ones.

The issue here is not contraception—but principle—e.g. resisting the current administration’s ongoing demolition of limited government. If the private sector can be forced to provide a free product to allow the government to circumvent what should be a constitutionally protected religious objection, in order to promote administration-desired social goals, why not also (one day) mandate similar universal coverage (sometimes on the private sector’s dime) for free abortion? Indeed, why should the make-the-private-sector-pay-for-controversial-government-social-agendas gambit be limited to health care?

If this compromise sticks, as a famous advertisement slogan once put it, imagine the possibilities.

 
tothesource (Original Article)

Election Results

Worth your while to read!
 
Meet Laura Hollis - Prof of Law Notre Dame on the election results

November 8, 2012

Laura Hollis is:

Current: Associate Professional Specialist and Concurrent Associate Professor of Law at University of Notre Dame.

Past:  Director at Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Associate  Director and Clinical Professor at University of Illinois at  Urbana-Champaign.

Education: University of Notre Dame Law School, University of Notre Dame.

Summary:  She has 20+ years’ experience in curriculum and other program development and delivery.

#########################################

I am already reading so many pundits and other talking heads analyzing the disaster that was this year’s elections. I am adding my own ten cents. Here goes:

1. We are outnumbered

We accurately foresaw the enthusiasm, the passion, the commitment, the determination, and the turnout. Married women, men, independents, Catholics, evangelicals – they all went for Romney in percentages as high or higher than the groups which voted for McCain in 2008. It wasn’t enough. What we saw in the election on Tuesday was a tipping point: we are now at a place where there are legitimately fewer Americans who desire a free republic with a free people than there are those who think the government should give them stuff. There are fewer of us who believe in the value of free exchange and free enterprise. There are fewer of us who do not wish to demonize successful people in  order to justify taking from them. We are outnumbered. For the moment.

It’s just that simple.

2. It wasn’t the candidate(s)

Some are already saying, “Romney was the wrong guy”; “He should have picked Marco Rubio to get Florida/Rob Portman to get Ohio/Chris Christie to get [someplace else].” With all due respect, these  assessments are incorrect. Romney ran a strategic and well-organized  campaign. Yes, he could have hit harder on Benghazi. But for those who  would have loved that, there are those who would have found it  distasteful. No matter what tactic you could point to that Romney  could have done better, it would have been spun in a way that was  detrimental to his chances. Romney would have been an excellent  president, and Ryan was an inspired choice. No matter who we ran this  year, they would have lost. See #1, above.

3. It’s the culture, stupid!

We have been trying to fight this battle every four years at the voting booth. It is long past time we admit that is not where the battle really is. We abdicated control of the culture – starting back in the 1960s. And now our largest primary social institutions – education, the media, Hollywood (entertainment) have become really nothing more than an assembly line for cranking out reliable little Leftists. Furthermore, we have allowed the government to undermine the institutions that instill good character – marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches. So, here we are, at least two full generations later – we are reaping what we have sown. It took nearly fifty years to get here; it will take another fifty years to get back. But it starts with the determination to reclaim education, the media, and the entertainment business. If we fail to do that, we can kiss every election goodbye from here on out. And much more.

4. America has become a nation of adolescents

The real loser in this election was adulthood: Maturity. Responsibility. The understanding that liberty must be accompanied by self-restraint. Obama is a spoiled child, and the behavior and language of his followers and their advertisements throughout the campaign makes it clear how many of them are, as well. Romney is a  grown-up. Romney should have won. Those of us who expected him to win assumed that voters would act like grownups. Because if we were a  nation of grownups, he would have won.

But what did win? Sex. Drugs. Bad language. Bad manners. Vulgarity.

Lies. Cheating. Name-calling. Finger-pointing. Blaming. And irresponsible spending. This does not bode well. People grow up one of two ways: either they choose to, or circumstances force them to. The warnings are all there, whether it is the looming economic disaster, or the inability of the government to respond to crises like Hurricane Sandy, or the growing strength and brazenness of our enemies. American voters stick their fingers in their ears and say, “Lalalalalala, I can’t hear you.” It is unpleasant to think about the circumstances it will take to force Americans to grow up. It is even more unpleasant to think about Obama at the helm when those circumstances arrive.

5. Yes, there is apparently a Vagina Vote

It’s the subject matter of another column in its entirety to point out, one by one, all of the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Democrats this year. Suffice it to say that the only “war on women” was the one waged by the Obama campaign, which sexualized and objectified women, featuring them dressed up like vulvas at the Democrat National Convention, appealing to their “lady parts,” comparing voting to losing your virginity with Obama, trumpeting the thrills of destroying our children in the womb (and using our daughters in commercials to do so), and making Catholics pay for their birth control. For a significant number of women, this was appealing. It might call into question the wisdom of the Nineteenth Amendment, but for the fact that large numbers of women (largely married) used their “lady smarts” instead. Either way, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are rolling over in their graves.

6. It’s not about giving up on “social issues”

No Republican candidate should participate in a debate or go out on the stump without thorough debate prep and a complete set of talking points that they stick to. This should start with a good grounding in biology and a reluctance to purport to know the will of God. (Thank you, Todd and Richard.)

That said, we do not hold the values we do because they garner votes.We hold the values we do because we believe that they are time-tested principles without which a civilized, free and prosperous society is not possible.

We defend the unborn because we understand that a society which views some lives as expendable is capable of viewing all lives as expendable.

We defend family – mothers, fathers, marriage, children – because history makes it quite clear that societies without intact families quickly descend into anarchy and barbarism, and we have plenty of proof of that in our inner cities where marriage is infrequent and unwed motherhood approaches 80 percent. When Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, many thought that the abortion cause was lost. Forty years later, ultrasound technology has demonstrated the inevitable connection between science and morality. More Americans than ever define themselves as “pro-life.” What is tragic is that tens of millions of children have lost their lives while Americans figure out what should have been obvious before. There is no “giving up” on social issues. There is only the realization that we have to fight the battle on other fronts. The truth will win out in the end.

7. Obama does not have a mandate. And he does not need one.

I have to laugh – bitterly – when I read conservative pundits trying to assure us that Obama “has to know” that he does not have a mandate, and so he will have to govern from the middle. I don’t know what they’re smoking. Obama does not care that he does not have a mandate. He does not view himself as being elected (much less re-elected) to represent individuals. He views himself as having been re-elected to complete the “fundamental transformation” of America, the basic structure of which he despises. Expect much more of the same – largely the complete disregard of the will of half the American public, his willingness to rule by executive order, and the utter inability of another divided Congress to rein him in. Stanley Kurtz has it all laid out here.

8. The Corrupt Media is the enemy

Too strong? I don’t think so. I have been watching the media try to throw elections since at least the early 1990s. In 2008 and again this year, we saw the media cravenly cover up for the incompetence and deceit of this President, while demonizing a good, honorable and decent man with lies and smears. This is on top of the daily barrage of insults that conservatives (and by that I mean the electorate, not the politicians) must endure at the hands of this arrogant bunch of elitist snobs. Bias is one thing. What we observed with Benghazi was professional malpractice and fraud. They need to go. Republicans, Libertarians and other conservatives need to be prepared to play hardball with the Pravda press from here on out. And while we are at it, to defend those journalists of whatever political stripe (Jake Tapper, Sharyl Atkisson, Eli Lake) who actually do their jobs. As well as Fox News and talk radio. Because you can fully expect a re-elected Obama to try to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine in term 2.

9. Small business and entrepreneurs will be hurt the worst

For all the blather about “Wall Street versus Main Street,” Obama’s statist agenda will unquestionably benefit the biggest corporations which – as with the public sector unions – are in the best position to make campaign donations, hire lobbyists, and get special exemptions carved out from Obama’s health care laws, his environmental regulations, his labor laws. It will be the small business, the entrepreneur, and the first-time innovators who will be crushed by their inability to compete on a level playing field.

10. America is more polarized than ever; and this time it’s personal

I’ve been following politics for a long time, and it feels different this time. Not just for me. I’ve received messages from other conservatives who are saying the same thing: there is little to no tolerance left out there for those who are bringing this country to its knees – even when they have been our friends. It isn’t just about “my guy” versus “your guy.” It is my view of America versus your view of America – a crippled, hemorrhaging, debt-laden, weakened and dependent America that I want no part of and resent being foisted on me. I no longer have any patience for stupidity, blindness, or vulgarity, so with each dumb “tweet” or FB post by one of my happily lefty comrades, another one bites the dust, for me. Delete. What does this portend for a divided Congress? I expect that Republicans will be demoralized and chastened for a short time. But I see them in a bad position. Americans in general want Congress to work together. But many do not want Obama’s policies, and so Republicans who support them will be toast. Good luck, guys.

11. It’s possible that America just has to hit rock bottom

I truly believe that most Americans who voted for Obama have no idea what they are in for. Most simply believe him when he says that all he really wants is for the rich to pay “a little bit more.” So reasonable! Who could argue with that except a greedy racist?

America is on a horrific bender. Has been for some time now. The warning signs of our fiscal profligacy and culture of lack of personal responsibility are everywhere – too many to mention. We need only look at other countries which have gone the route we are walking now to see what is in store.

For the past four years – but certainly within the past campaign season – we have tried to warn Americans. Too many refuse to listen, even when all of the events that have transpired during Obama’s presidency – unemployment, economic stagnation, skyrocketing prices, the depression of the dollar, the collapse of foreign policy, Benghazi, hopelessly inept responses to natural disasters – can be tied directly to Obama’s statist philosophies, and his decisions.

What that means, I fear, is that they will not see what is coming until the whole thing collapses. That is what makes me so sad today. I see the country I love headed toward its own “rock bottom,” and I cannot seem to reach those who are taking it there.

#############################################

If we cannot regain control of those critical institutions ("that instill good character – marriage, the family, communities, schools, our churches"), that Ms. Hollis enumerated, and rekindle the rational, sane and conservative values they once represented,…..WE ARE DOOMED TO CONTINUE THIS SLIDE INTO A LEFTIST, PROGRESSIVE, LIBERAL LED DECAY and ULTIMATE COLLAPSE.

Evidence of the American Holocaust

16,433 aborted unborn babies found in San Fernando Valley

Originally posted on November 25, 2012


Pathologists at Los Angeles County coroner’s office working on largest victims – February, 1982. Click here for high resolution photo.

In 1980 Malvin Weisberg, who lived in an upscale neighborhood in Woodland Hills, in the western side of L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, began to purchase with payments a large (20’x8’x8’) land/sea storage container from the Martin Container company in Wilmington. Weisberg supposedly needed the steel box to store tennis court lights.

Weisberg defaulted on his payments for the container, until finally the Martin company came on February 3, 1982 to repossess the large box.

On February 4, when workers opened the doors to the steel box now parked in the container yard in Wilmington, they were overwhelmed with the stench of decaying human flesh. When they looked inside, they saw bodies strewn among open boxes and plastic buckets. One worker described the scene as a “war zone” and reported watching a headless body tumble forward.


Baby girl. Weight after abortion, 1 pound, 13 oz., age 25-26 weeks. Salt poisoned by Dr. Gordon Goei. Coroner’s case #82-1901-2. Click here for high resolution photo.

The Martin Container employees called the Los Angeles County health department, who began transferring bodies to the county coroner’s office. At the coroner’s office, just west of the L.A. County/USC Medical Center, Dr. Eva Hauser, assisted by Dr. Joseph Wood, weighed, measured and performed autopsies on at least 43 of the larger baby bodies. Some had been dead for more than two years. Some were at least 30 weeks old. All were severely mutilated through salt poisoning or dismemberment with surgical knives. The smell, the buzz of flies, and the sight of mangled infant bodies made the autopsy procedure difficult for the doctors. Many of the bodies still had labels which identified the abortionists.

Since Los Angeles County now had possession of the bodies, the county had to decide how to dispose of them. The Feminist Women’s Health Center, an abortion business, and the ACLU filed suit to have the babies’ bodies incinerated, rather than buried.

The Los Angeles County board of supervisors, led by supervisor Michael Antonovich, requested burial. President Ronald Reagan sent a letter to decry the killing of these children and to encourage a memorial service. On May 30 state senators David Roberti and Alex Garcia, county supervisors Antonovich and Deane Dana, Dr. Gerald Navarre, and Martin Container employee Hank Stolk held a press conference to urge Los Angeles district attorney John Van de Kamp to release the bodies for burial.

During the news conference photos of many of the aborted babies were shown to the media. Several reporters became hostile and alleged that the photos were illegal. Incensed by the reporter’s lack of compassion, Roberti shouted, “They took pictures at Auschwitz” and then accused reporters of “convoluted morality.”

After a lengthy court battle between Los Angeles County and the abortion industry, the 16,433 bodies were crammed into several large pine boxes and buried at Odd Fellows Cemetery in the Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles on October 6, 1985.

President Ronald Reagan provided a written eulogy for the burial, but he had already written poignantly in 1982, “The terrible irony about this sudden discovery is not that so many human lives were legally aborted, but that they are only a tiny proportion of the 1.5 million unborn children quietly destroyed in our nation this year. This is the truth many would rather not face.”



(Original Article)
Copyright © 2012 California Catholic



Change Agents, Volume 1


(Direct Link, Click to view in another window)

Norplant is Back–Under a Different Name

Population Research Institute

Weekly Briefing
22 October 2012

by Steven W. Mosher and Elizabeth Crnkovich

Ten years ago PRI drove a stake through the heart of Norplant, an abortifacient contraceptive that had harmed thousands of women in the U.S. and many more around the world. But it refused to die.

The population controllers have long dreamed of chemically sterilizing women for extended periods of time. That was the idea behind Norplant I, which consisted of six silicon capsules loaded with levonorgestrel that, implanted permanently in a woman’s body, was intended to shut down her reproductive system for up to five years. And it is this same idea that is driving the release of Norplant II, touted as “one of the most effective reversible contraceptives available.”

Except that, if the history of Norplant I is any guide, the second generation of this device will prove just as dangerous as the first.

No sooner had Norplant been approved by the FDA in 1990 than woman who received the implant began reporting serious side effects. By 1996, over 6,000 complaints of “adverse medical consequences” had been filed by American women who were suffering from various Norplant-related ailments, from heavy bleeding and vision impairment to general malaise and lack of appetite.

But these problems paled in comparison with those suffered by women overseas, perhaps because these latter were more often malnourished and in poor health to begin with. PRI investigations revealed that these women, instead of just suffering from vision problems, sometimes went blind, and instead of just suffering from a general feeling of malaise, were sometimes actually bedridden for months on end. And when they sought to have the troublesome implants removed, their requests were turned down by population control officials. They were forced to continue in pain and suffering, and sometimes died.

So it was that PRI in 1996 launched a media campaign against Norplant, advising American women who were suffering serious side effects from the device to contact legal counsel. We also filed a “citizen’s petition” with the FDA to have Norplant taken off the market.

Both of these efforts bore fruit. Faced with tens of thousands of lawsuits from injured women, the original manufacturer, Wyeth-Aherst, in 2002 reached an out-of-court settlement with the victims. That same year it took Norplant I off the market in the U.S., in an obvious effort to stem the financial hemorrhaging caused by the lawsuits.

It was a different story overseas. Wyeth-Aherst continued to manufacture, and USAID continued to purchase, millions of Norplant I to use on women in the developing world. Such women were, after all, easy targets. They lacked the means to fight back legally, and their complaints were brushed off by local health agencies complicit in population control programs. USAID finally ended its contract with the manufacturer in 2006, after PRI called attention to the obvious double standard at work here: How can the U.S. continue to promote the use of a drug/device overseas, we asked, that is so dangerous it has been taken off the market in the U.S.?

Now the same thing is happening all over again. It turns out that the new manufacturer, Bayer HealthCare, has no plans to market Norplant II in the United States. USAID has nevertheless signed a contract with the German pharmaceutical company to purchase and distribute the drug/device to its population control partners to implant in poor women around the world. Sound familiar?

Both Norplants are implanted under the skin of the upper arm. Both contain the same “active ingredient”: levonorgestrel is a synthetic progestin. Like other such steroid-based drugs, it thickens the cervical mucus, sometimes (but not always) inhibits ovulation, and alters the lining of the uterus to prevent implantation. This means that women on Norplant can conceive children, who are then aborted after failing to implant in the uterus.

The main difference between the two Norplants is a relatively minor one. Norplant I contains six silicon rods containing synthetic progestin, while Norplant II contains only two, albeit larger, rods. In fact the two drug/devices are so similar that when the FDA approved Norplant II way back in 1996, it relied mostly upon Norplant I studies. We already know how well that turned out.

There is one more difference we should mention. Since “Norplant” has become a byword for a dangerous contraceptive drug/device, Norplant II has been given a new name. It will be marketed under the name “Jadelle”. Of course, a dangerous contraceptive by any other name is still a dangerous contraceptive.

The U.S. Agency for International Development picked World Contraception Day to proudly announce its new Jadelle program. We think the choice of this day oddly appropriate, since our aid agency apparently does have ambitions to contracept the world: It is ordering no fewer than 27 million implants at roughly $10 apiece from the manufacturer over the next six years.

What this means is that, even if this massive chemical sterilization campaign falters for some reason—such large numbers of poor women injured or dying as a result, or a Romney administration deciding that such an assault on the world’s fertility is a bad idea—the American taxpayer will still be on the hook to the tune of $270 million dollars.

Norplant I died a very public death some years ago, pilloried in the courts and pummeled in the media. One may well ask why it has now been resurrected, under a new name and with a new manufacturer.

The answer is that implanting long-term contraceptives in poor women is one of the cherished goals of the population control movement. USAID itself reiterated its commitment to this goal at the recent London Family Planning Summit sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

A woman on birth control can stop taking her pills. A woman on depo-provera can stop taking her injections. But Jadelle, like its predecessor, is impossible to remove short of surgery. A woman who has been chemically sterilized by Jadelle will stay sterilized—for five long years.



(Original Article)

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(540) 660-2733
PRI online

(c) 2010 Population Research Institute. Permission to reprint granted.
Redistribute widely. Credit required.

Which Babies Should Get the Death Sentence?

By Terence P. Jeffrey

Americans witnessed a remarkable drama this week when some of our most exalted politicians frantically scrambled to reassure voters that they, too, believed that the United States ought to permit the deliberate killing of at least some innocent human beings.

They apparently did so to persuade the public they are caring, compassionate and — above all — reasonable people.

The drama started when Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican nominee in the U.S. Senate race in Missouri, expressed his view that no innocent human being ought to be deliberately killed.

However, that was not the only thing Akin expressed.

"What about in the case of rape. Should it (abortion) be legal or not?" Charles Jaco of KTVI in St. Louis asked Akin in an interview broadcast over the weekend.

"Well, you know, people always want to try to make that as one of those things, well, how do you slice this particularly tough ethical question," said Akin. "It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare. If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something. You know, I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be on the rapist and not attacking the child."

Akin’s answer had two distinct parts. In the first, he made a claim about the physiological likelihood of a rape victim conceiving a child as the result of the criminal act committed against her. In the second, he made a policy statement about whether aborting such a child ought to be permitted.

The first part of Akin’s answer was worse than gratuitous. It made a claim he could not back up and did so in language that itself raised questions.

But what about the second part of Akin’s statement — that rapists ought to be punished but not children conceived through rape?

Is this a logical, morally defensible, even laudable and courageous position?

A good place to find the basic premises for conducting that analysis is on the website of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign. It includes a statement explaining Romney’s position on abortion.

"Mitt Romney is pro-life," says the first sentence of this statement. "Mitt believes that life begins at conception and wishes that the laws of our nation reflected that view," it further says. "Because the good heart of America knows no boundaries, a commitment to protecting life should not stop at the water’s edge. Taking innocent life is always wrong and always tragic, wherever it happens," it also says.

"Americans have a moral duty to uphold the sanctity of life and protect the weakest, most vulnerable and most innocent among us," it concludes. "As president, Mitt will ensure that American laws reflect America’s values of preserving life at home and abroad."

Now, I have not quoted here every word from Romney’s campaign statement on abortion. But the term "rape" does not appear in it anywhere.

So, here is the syllogism a logical person might begin to construct from what Romney’s campaign say about Romney’s position on abortion: 1) "Life begins at conception," 2) "taking innocent life is always wrong and always tragic, wherever it happens," 3) "Americans have a moral duty to uphold the sanctity of life and protect the weakest, most vulnerable and most innocent among us," and 4) "Mitt will ensure that American laws reflect America’s values of preserving life at home and abroad."

Therefore?

Given Romney’s premises, what would be the logical position for Romney to take on whether American law should permit the taking of an innocent human life conceived through a rape?

"Gov. Romney and Congressman Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape," Romney campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg told multiple news organizations on Monday.

This has been Romney’s position ever since he declared himself pro-life. "I am pro-life," Romney wrote in a July 26, 2005, op-ed in the Boston Globe. "I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape and to save the life of the mother."

So, if abortion is not the "wrong choice" in cases of rape, what kind of choice is it?

Who exactly benefits when the government permits the deliberate killing of an innocent child conceived through rape?

"And in the quiet of conscience, people of both political parties know that more than a million abortions a year cannot be squared with the good heart of America," says the abortion statement on Romney’s website.

Do those same consciences think permitting the deliberate killing of some innocent children can be squared with the good heart of America — as long as it is only certain categories of children, such as those conceived through rape?

Rep. Todd Akin’s substantive position that we should protect the right to life even of those conceived through rape — who are themselves a second victim of that evil act — is not only in keeping with the good heart of America, it is plain and simply right.

( Original Article )

POLST - Problems and Recommendations

CANHR POLICY BRIEF
 
 
Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment
(“POLSR”)
Problems and Recommendations

 
 
A SPECIAL REPORT BY:
California Advocates For Nursing Home Reform
650 Harrison Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 974-5171 or (800) 474-1116 (Consumers Only)
www.canhr.org
 

 

HOPE:
      “A POLST is particularly useful for individuals who are frail and elderly or who have a compromised medical condition, a prognosis of one year of life, or a terminal illness.” (AB 3000 (2008) Section 1(f))

REALITY:
      Seventy-three percent (73%) of surveyed Ombudsman report that nursing homes residents are erroneously told POLSTs are mandatory, regardless of their health condition, “always” or “often.”

 



Executive Summary

      The POLST form has exploded into the consciousness of California health care providers. The meteoric rise of POLST as part of advance health care planning has been the result of a well-organized and coordinated effort to sell the POLST form’s considerable benefits. The greatest benefit is that POLST is meant to inspire a conversation – a conversation between physicians and other health care providers with their patients who are at the end of their lives. However, POLST has caused deep concerns among many health care consumer advocates who publicly wonder if POLST is doing more harm than good for Californians.

      This policy analysis is devoted to assessing POLST – from the good to the bad to the ugly. The analysis begins with an overview of the positive features of POLST as an advance care planning tool. The discussion then shifts to the considerable problems that POLST presents, from the form itself to its statutory foundation and subsequent implementation. The analysis concludes with a lengthy list of recommendations for eliminating or reducing some of the POLST problems.

      As part of its analysis, CANHR conducted a survey of Long-term Care Ombudsman regarding the POLST in practice. The survey revealed a very disturbing level of misrepresentation and misuse of POLST such that one wonders if the forms are in fact causing more harm than good. The forms certainly have their place as a useful advance health care planning tool. The problem is the good intentions of the POLST form’s proponents have not addressed the troublesome realities of a health care profession that often leaves patients groping for information to elucidate their options. In short, POLST fails to recognize that for many patients, the health care system is simply not interested in a conversation.
 



POLST Background

      Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (“POLST”) are physician order forms on which a patient indicates preferences regarding end-of-life care such as resuscitative measures and other life-sustaining treatment. Those preferences are then used to direct the patient’s care in the event they lose capacity to communicate their preferences at some future time. The primary purpose of POLST, therefore, is to ensure that patients receive end-of-life care consistent with their preferences.

      Oregon was the first state to adopt POLST in 1991 and since that time, the form has been established or is being developed in over twenty-five states. In California, POLST began as a seven community pilot project in 2007 and has been used statewide since January 1, 2009. Statewide use began with the adoption of Assembly Bill Number 3000 (“AB 3000”) which amended and added Probate Code sections 4780-4785 - the entirety of the POLST law.



The Advantages of POLST

1. Patients’ Preferences are formalized at an appropriate time.
      POLST forms are designed for completion when a patient is frail and elderly or terminally ill. Thus, the expression of the patient’s wishes need not rely on conjecture about end-of-life scenarios when the principal is relatively healthy and does not have a terminal condition; but rather can be based on medically-informed expectations. The preferences selected should be considerably more educated and give providers a more accurate picture of the patient’s desires.

2. Third Parties may guide choices when the Patient has not made documented Preferences.
     
A third party may execute a POLST on behalf of the patient if the patient has lost the capacity to do so. This feature allows for advance direction of treatment even when patients have not documented their wishes. Since a small minority of the population has completed AHCDs, POLST provides a method to express and document patients’ wishes when they otherwise could not.

3. reader-friendly form.
     
POLST is a mere two page form. As such, POLST does not seem daunting and implicitly encourages patients to complete it. Other advance directive forms are typically significantly longer. For example, the “Five Wishes” directive, a comprehensive form meant to meaningfully and plainly address end-of-life care decisions, offers forty-seven separate choices. The brevity of the POLST form tends to persuade patients or their legal representatives to complete it.

4. POLST must be signed by a physician.
     
The requirement that a physician sign the form is important for three reasons. First, it forces physicians to be part of the end-of-life care planning process, giving patients an opportunity to ask questions and receive expert information to make more informed choices. Second, the requirement should assure that forms are filled out correctly and signed by appropriate parties since the physician is not supposed to sign the POLST form until such actions have taken place. Third, a physician’s signature gives the form the primacy of a medical order. As a medical order, unlike AHCDs, health care facilities and staff can follow a POLST’s directions without reservation.

5. Detailed Information on the form.
      POLST contains more specific information about end-of-life care options than the standard AHCD, therefore offering better accuracy regarding patients’ true care preferences.

6. Easily Identifiable.
     
The POLST form is printed on #65 stock, pink paper, rendering it instantly recognizable in a patient’s medical chart.

7. Standardized Form.
     The POLST form is standardized. Thus, health care workers will presumably have great familiarity with the form and have confidence in adhering to its directions. This familiarity should minimize patient and family confusion in filling out or amending the form.

8. POLST will be available when AHCDs may not be.
      POLST forms are meant to be included in a patient’s medical chart and transported with the patient any time they move to a new health care provider. AHCDs may also be included in the patient’s chart, but were not designed to travel with the patient to new providers. Thus, POLSTs should be more readily available to inform physicians’ treatment orders.
 



POLST Problems
 
Problems with the POLST Form

1. There Are No Limits on Who Can Sign on Behalf of the Patient.
      Any of the following parties may sign a POLST form for a patient: (1) the patient him or herself; (2) parent of minor; (3) health care representative; (4) court-appointed conservator; and (5) other.
      The inclusion of “other” as a signatory allows any person at all to direct end-of-life care for patients. This bears repeating: including “other” as a signatory permits anyone to make critical life and death decisions on behalf of patients. This fact leaves patients vulnerable to massive abuse and is entirely inconsistent with POLST law. California Probate Code Section 4780(1) limits POLST signatories to patients with capacity, or legally recognized health care decision makers.

2. No Requirement that AHCD be Checked for Consistency.
     
Although it is certainly the case that physicians should check patients’ AHCDS for consistency with POLST forms, they do not always do so. This is problematic because: (1) AHCDs help to advise proper implementation of POLST, and (2) consistency or lack thereof between AHCDs and POLSTs would help determine whether the POLST form is accurate.

3. POLST Form has Narrower Rules for Revocation than POLST Law.
     
The POLST form states that patients wishing to revoke a POLST form may do so by: (1) executing a verbal or written advance directive, (2) executing an entirely new POLST form, or (3) writing “VOID” across the POLST form. However, under Probate Code Section 4780(d), any time a patient chooses to revoke a POLST form and effectively communicates that intent, the POLST form is revoked. Therefore, the form is inconsistent with the law and misleads patients.

4. Lack of Clarity.
     
While end-of-life care choices in POLSTs may be clear in some instances, they are not consistently easy to understand. For example, part B of POLST presents three potential medical interventions: (1) “comfort measures,” (2) “limited additional interventions,” and (3) “full treatment.” These terms could have multiple meanings in multiple situations. As lawyer and medical doctor Jason W. Manne questions, “what do these terms mean in terms of actual medical procedures performed by doctors?” As one California Long-term Care Ombudsman (“Ombudsman”) reports, “POLST format does not display the choices clearly and simply when staff need to use it. . . . EMT’s are confused about what ‘comfort care’ means . . . should the patient even be sent to the hospital if the POLST says ‘comfort care?’ ”

5. Physicians Sign the Form but Do Not Acknowledge Having Conversation.
     
Physicians are required to sign POLST forms, but there is no place to indicate whether the end-of-life care choices were discussed with their patients. Thus, the form appears to guarantee basic physician-patient interaction; in practice, however, physician participation is exhausted by simply signing a previously prepared form. POLSTs are supposed to be the result of a reflective, iterative, process, marked by ample conversation with a physician. In a survey of Ombudsman programs conducted by CANHR, more than 72% of POLSTs for residents of long-term care facilities were completed by nurses, nurse’s aides, or other non-physicians. In light of such data, physician participation in POLST completion appears to be tepid.

Problems with the POLST Law

1. Third Parties Permitted to Override Previously Expressed Wishes of a Patient.
      The primary purpose of POLST is to ensure that end-of-life care is delivered in a manner consistent with the patient’s wishes. The form is designed to record the patient’s preferences and then direct providers accordingly. Unfortunately, the POLST law permits third parties to override prior expressions of a patient’s preferences, undermining the primary purpose of POLST and setting California privacy law and advance health care decision making on their heads. For example, E.H. from Fairfield, California, reports that his friend wrote an AHCD directing that he receive all treatment necessary to prolong his life. The friend’s son (and, it should be noted, his heir) nonetheless later signed a POLST directing his father receive comfort care only. His father passed away soon after.

      The insidious proposition that third parties may override the previously expressed wishes of a patient comes from two provisions of AB 3000. The first provision is Probate Code Section 4780(c), allowing a “legally authorized representative” to sign a POLST on behalf of an incapacitated patient. That provision is innocuous enough until one considers a second provision, found in Probate Code Section 4781.4, which states in the event of a conflict between POLST and any other previous health care instruction, the latest in time prevails. Thus, the POLST law gives third party “representatives” the ability to countermand a patient’s prior expressions of treatment preferences and make treatment decisions with which the patient has expressly disagreed..

&      Patients’ rights to express their treatment preferences in advance are grounded in federal and state constitutional law, namely the right of privacy and bodily autonomy. Once a patient has documented his or her preferences, the only person who may override those decisions is the patient. The POLST law, therefore violates basic constitutional law principles and undermines its own stated purpose of promoting patient self-determination. Even if third parties were constitutionally able to overrule a patient’s express health care preferences, there are compelling policy reasons for avoiding it. In a Shalowitz, Garret-Mayer, and Wendler 2006 study, surrogates wrongly predicated patients’ treatment preferences 32% of the time. In matters of life and death, 68% must be seen as a failing grade.

2. Who Is a “Legally Recognized Health Care Decision Maker” Anyway?
      POLST law allows “legally recognized health care decision-makers” to sign a POLST and make end-of-life care decisions on behalf of a patient who lacks capacity. The law, however, does not define what a legally recognized health care decision maker is.

      A “POLST Model Policy” developed by the California Coalition for Compassionate Care cites various case and statutory law to define “legally recognized decision maker,” but is not able to provide a definitive understanding of the term. The cited case law is Cobbs v. Grant. But the Cobbs decision merely states that parents may make treatment decisions for their children. In unbinding dicta, the Cobbs court says that a patient’s “closest relative” may decide for the patient but does not define the term or explain who decides if family members are in disagreement. The POLST Model Policy also cites various statutes that give health care decision making authority to agents operating under a power of attorney, persons orally designated by a patient, and court-appointed conservators.

      A “legally recognized health care decision maker” certainly includes surrogates who are properly designated through procedures authorized in the Probate Code. However, the majority of patients have no such surrogate, leaving the identity of a potential representative much less certain. Family members seem to have some authority via Cobbs, another case called Barber v. Superior Court, and Probate Code Section 4716. Nonetheless, there is no provision for who among family members is “the closest” or how to resolve intra-family conflicts. All of this uncertainty is compounded by the fact that the POLST form allows any person, a.k.a. “other,” to sign a POLST on behalf of the patient.

3. Long-term Care Ombudsman Are Not Required to Witness POLST Form Signing in Nursing Homes.
      Under California Probate Code Section 4675(a), AHCDs executed in skilled nursing facilities require an Ombudsman sign as a witness. This is because nursing home residents are “insulated from a voluntary decision-making role, by virtue of the custodial nature of their care, so as to require special assurance that they are capable of willfully and voluntarily executing an advance directive.”16 This same special assurance should be provided when POLST forms are signed. Many reports of POLST abuses and problems have come from skilled nursing facilities.

Problems with POLST Implementation

1. Misunderstanding that POLST Somehow Replaces AHCD.
   In the preamble to AB 3000, the legislature declares:

“The Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form complements an advance directive by taking the individual’s wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment, such as those set forth in the advance directive, and converting those wishes into a medical order.” [emphasis added]

However, in practice, POLST is often used in place of an advance directive. Seventy-three percent of surveyed Ombudsman reported that POLST is represented to patients as replacing an AHCD “always” or “often.”

2. POLST Form Is Not Used Primarily for Persons with Terminal Illness.
      One of the selling points of POLST is that the form was meant to reflect patients’ treatment preferences closer in time to their end-of-life care, when they are likely to know what will cause their deaths. Despite this intention, some providers have been giving out POLSTs to practically all patients, healthy or ill, with health care directives or not. According to Hickman, Tolle, et al., 92% of all nursing home patients in Oregon were given POLST in 2004. In California, 73% of surveyed Ombudsman report that residents of nursing homes are erroneously told POLSTs are mandatory, without regard to their health condition, “always” or “often.” POLST is not meant for younger, healthy persons. And, importantly, POLST forms do not expire – meaning patients may be held to their choices many years after their preferences have changed.

3. Accompanying Handouts May Manipulate Patient Choices.
      Many times, POLST forms will be accompanied by handouts meant to sway patient decisions. For example, on the POLST form, CPR is an available option. However, accompanying handouts describe how survivors of CPR may have broken ribs and brain damage and that those revived may only survive a short period of time afterwards. The handouts are clearly intended to convince patients or their representatives to forego CPR.

4. Physicians Complete and sign “advisory POLSTS.”
      Another POLST implementation problem is that physicians will sometimes fill out and sign POLST forms without a patient’s or surrogate’s consent. These physicians claim that these forms are only advisory and not binding. Despite such caveats, the presence of a physician-signed POLST in a patient’s medical chart is likely going to dictate care, regardless of whether a patient has signed. Any effort to use the POLST in a manner other than to preserve the patient’s express wishes is illegal and unfair to the patient.

5. The Form Is Transferred Between and Among Institutions.
     Because POLST is meant to travel with the patient between and among institutions, there may be problems of physicians who are not credentialed at a particular health care facility giving enforceable orders.

6. POLST Forms Sometimes Lack a Physician’s Signature.
An Ombudsman from a northern California program reported that patients’ files frequently contain POLST forms that are missing the physician’s signature. POLST forms that lack a physician signature are not legal or enforceable and should not be made part of a patient’s record until they are properly signed.

7. “Health Care Professionals” Rather Than Doctors Explain the Form.
      Despite the fact that doctors are supposed to explain the form to patients, non-physician “health care professionals” – such as social workers, care assistants, or even people who work in a facility business office – are often left to do so. In long-term care facilities, a staggering 57% of all POLSTs are believed to be completed by non-health care professionals such as admission coordinators and business managers. While these persons may possess some basic knowledge of health care, they are not experts in medicine and the issues of end-of-life care. Thus, many important choices on the form and their implications may be inaccurately explained or not explained at all, leading to violations of patients’ basic rights to give informed consent prior to medical treatment. Overall, allowing undefined health care professionals to review the form with the patient contributes to undermining the purpose of POLST: to accurately reflect the treatment preferences of the patient.

      In a recent case in Santa Cruz, a nursing home was subjected to enforcement action by the state Department of Public Health for using POLST procedures that failed to ensure that physicians had discussed end-of-life care options with their patients; in fact, the facility’s procedures discouraged such conversations. The facility was found to have a clipboard stacked with POLST forms in various stages of completion. Upon further investigation, the facility was found to be mailing partially completed POLST forms to resident representatives for signature. Once the forms were returned, the facility submitted them to the relevant physicians for signature. The facility was treating the forms as part of an assembly-line of end-of-life care, with no regard for deliberation or informed consent.

HOPE:
      “[POLST] would require a health care provider to explain the form.” (AB 3000 (2008) Preamble)

REALITY:
      In nursing homes, 57% of all POLSTs are believed to be completed by non-health care professionals such as admission coordinators and business managers.


8. The Form Is Often Presented as Mandatory.

      While the POLST form is voluntary, health care facility staff members often tell patients that their services are contingent on POLST completion. As stated before, 73% of Ombudsman reported that POLST is “always” or “often” presented to long-term care residents as mandatory.

9. Patients with Capacity are Ignored.
      One Long-term Care Ombudsman in Los Angeles reports that multiple nursing homes have a standard practice of having POLSTs signed by resident family members, regardless of whether the resident has capacity to make health care decisions. This observation is reinforced by the fact that 59% of surveyed Ombudsman found that POLSTs were signed by third parties, even when the resident had capacity, “often” or “sometimes.”

10. Non-English Forms Are Useless.
      Physicians will only honor forms filled out in English, even though the form has been translated in many languages. So, while patients may fill out a POLST in their native language, they are useless unless they find someone to translate it to English. Non-English POLSTs may give a false sense of security to non-English speakers so not only are they non-binding but actually may discourage practical advance direction of care.



Recommendations for Improving the POLST Form

1. Add a Statement that POLSTs are Voluntary.
      While a POLST form is meant to be voluntary, health care providers will often present POLST as mandatory. The simplest solution is to add a prominent statement, perhaps in bold, that POLST is voluntary and health care services are not contingent upon completion. Another alternative is to change the law to add penalties for providers who claim otherwise.

2. Add a Statement That POLST Does Not Replace AHCD.
      POLST forms do not replace AHCDs. The POLST law makes this very clear. Yet, in practice, POLST has tended to crowd out AHCDs with some providers actually claiming that POLST has replaced AHCDs. A statement in bold across the top of each side of the POLST form – saying something to the effect of “POLST does not replace AHCD” – would help resolve this practice.

3. Remove “Other” from Potential Signatories and Require Patient Incapacity Before any Third Parties May Sign on Behalf of the Patient.
      Under POLST, only a “legally recognized decision maker” may sign on behalf of a patient. While this term remains undefined, it certainly does not include “other.” “Other” should be deleted from the options. In addition, third party signatures should be prohibited unless the patient lacks capacity to sign the POLST him or herself.

4. Check for Consistency with AHCD.
      Providers should be strongly encouraged to check consistency between AHCDs and POLSTs. Comparing a POLST to a pre-existing AHCD would enhance decision making by identifying mistakes and more fully informing patients’ preferences. To deal with this, the form should instruct health care professionals to check for consistency with any advance directives.

5. Modify Form Revocation Requirements to Match the Law.
     
The law allows patients to revoke POLST forms at any time, in any fashion. The form, however, lists only a few methods of revocation. This inconsistency should be resolved by amending the form to reflect the law.

6. Clarify the Choices In the Form.
      POLST advocates should work with physicians and patients to clarify the unclear parts of the POLST form. For example, “comfort care” could be better defined while terms like “intubation” and “cardioversion” should be defined or removed, unless there is some guarantee that doctors will always be available to explain these terms.

7. Require the Signature of the Person Alleging the Conversation.
      Since one of the primary purposes of POLST is to insure that each patient or representative has a discussion with a physician or other health care professional about end-of-life preferences, the discussion should be acknowledged on the form. The physician who signs the form should have to indicate whether they had a conversation with the patient. If they did not, the health care professional who did have the conversation should have to sign the form and select their profession from a limited menu of approved health care professions.

Suggested Changes in POLST Law

1. Most Recent Document Completed by the Patient Should Prevail
      Under the POLST law, the most recent document prevails when an AHCD conflicts with a POLST. Patients’ privacy rights, however, dictate that the most recent treatment preferences expressed by the patient should prevail. When patients themselves fill out two documents, the most recent one should prevail. However, a patient’s documented wishes should not be overwritten by a third party executing a POLST on the patient’s behalf. If POLSTs are meant to reflect a patient’s wishes, third parties should not be able to override them simply by completing a new POLST form.

2. Clarify “Legally Recognized Decision Maker.”
      The law should clarify who constitutes a “legally recognized decision maker.” Because the form includes a category of “other,” such a decision maker potentially includes anyone at all. The law should be amended to at least provide a cursory definition that limits potential representatives in a manner consistent with established California health care law. The definition should clarify whether family members, without express designation by the patient or a court, are included as “legally recognized decision-maker[s].”

3. Require Physicians Explain the Choices.
      The law currently allows “health care professionals” rather than physicians to explain the POLST form. The form is littered with technical terminology – some of which non-expert “health care professionals” may have a difficult time with. With decisions as important as whether one will be left to die, informants should be qualified physicians. No substitute for an adequate informant should be accepted. At the very least, the term “health care professional” should be defined so that unqualified people are excluded from consideration.

4. Require a Witness in Nursing Homes.
      A witness to a POLST signing should be present for two reasons. First, a witness can assure a physician conversed with the patient. Second, a witness can assure the physician’s information was conveyed objectively and the patient or representative signed voluntarily – with the opportunity to make decisions. A witness requirement could be limited to situations where inordinate pressure exists to have POLSTs completed, such as when the patient is a resident of a skilled nursing facility. In those situations, the Ombudsman program could be utilized as the witness, as they are with AHCDs.

Suggested Changes in POLST Implementation

1. Direct that if a Patient Lacks Capacity and Has Previously Appointed a Surrogate, Only that Surrogate May Sign for the Patient.
      If a patient appoints a surrogate to make decisions for him or her, the patient has clearly expressed a trust and preference for that particular surrogate. Therefore, when a patient has appointed a surrogate and subsequently loses capacity to express treatment preferences, POLST completion should be limited to the appointed surrogate. In such cases, no other third parties should be allowed to complete a POLST, unless the appointed surrogate expressly abrogates their position.

2. Give Only to Terminally Ill Patients.
      POLST’s history and law make clear that POLST forms are only supposed to be given to frail, elderly, or terminally ill patients. However, in practice, some providers have given the form to practically all patients. Providers should be discouraged from this practice. Patients who are not frail, elderly, or terminally ill should be encouraged to complete AHCDs, which would not only satisfy the goal of POLST policy but also the federal Patient Self-Determination Act (“PSDA”), which was designed to increase the use of AHCDs nationwide.

3. Should Only Acknowledge Forms Signed by a Physician.
      A form not signed by a practicing physician is not legal should not be acknowledged or included in a patient’s medical records. Health care providers confronted with forms not signed by physicians should refuse to accept the forms until they include a physician’s signature.

4. Use Supplemental Handouts that Contain Balanced Information.
      Many times, handouts given with POLSTs prevent patients from choosing care options most reflective of their true preferences. The handouts seem intended to scare patients about some of their potential choices. Providers who elect to continue providing handouts should ensure they present all reasonable information regarding each POLST form option. This objective handout would leave the patient to decide for him or herself – rather than the handout making the decision for the patient.

5. Don’t Allow “Advisory Forms.”
     
“Advisory forms” - forms filled out and signed by a physician only – are not legal and should not be allowed. Since these forms are not binding, their existence can only cause harm. Physicians are precluded by law from substituting their treatment choices for those of their patients.

6. Use Forms with Both English and Other Languages.
      Non-English POLSTs, like English POLSTs, should be honored. It seems perfectly reasonable to include accompanying English text in all foreign language forms so that they may be read by both the patient and health care providers. Such a form would eliminate the need for a translator and guarantee that any POLST form signed by the patient would be immediately binding.

7. Put AHCDs in the Chart.
      If AHCDs, like POLST forms, were available in the patient’s medical records, the two could more easily be used in collaboration with one another. Providers should be re-acquainted with the federal PSDA and give AHCDs their rightful place in the advance directive document hierarchy.



Conclusion

      The POLST form represents a positive development in advance care planning in many ways. It presents a reader-friendly form to inform important end-of-life decisions. Unlike AHCDs, the form requires medical personnel to sign the form and consult with the patient. The form is standardized and instantly identifiable and gives patients affirmative choices in choosing end-of-life care. However, POLST is far from perfect.

      POLST is imperfect in regard to the: (a) makeup of the form, (b) substance of the law, and (c) implementation. In those regards, recommendations have been made. Some of those recommendations, such as dealing with non-English forms and handouts intended to inform end-of-life care decisions, are relatively insignificant and merely advisory. However, most recommendations, such as revising the law to prevent unconstitutional disregarding of patients’ express wishes, are quite serious and must be immediately addressed by the legislature and POLST advocates. Otherwise, a potential rift between providers and their patients will emerge, characterized by lawsuits, mistrust, and ultimately, a failure to meet the stated goals of POLST.



Notes

  1. See “POLST,” Center for Ethics in Health Care, Oregon Health & Science University. Copyright 2008, http://www.ohsu.edu/polst/programs /state+programs.htm (POLST is established statewide in California, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia. It is established in part of the state in Wisconsin. It is being developed statewide in Alaska, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. It is being developed in part of the state in Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.)
     
  2. AB 3000, Section 1(f), Declaration of Legislative Intent; see also, Susan E. Hickman, et. al., A Comparison of Methods to Communicate Treatment Preferences in Nursing Facilities: Traditional Practices Versus the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Program, Journal of the American Geriatric Society, Vol. 58 (2010), pp. 1241-1248, at 1241.
     
  3. Cal. Probate Code §§ 4780(b) and 4780(c)
     
  4. A 2006 poll from the Pew Research Center found 29% of Americans have completed an AHCD. More Americans Discussing – and Planning – End-of-Life Treatment, The Pew Research Center, January 5, 2006, http://people-press.org/reports/pdf/266.pdf. This finding is consistent with many other polls and studies finding AHCD completion in 20-30% of the population.
     
  5. Cal. Probate Code § 4782(b) does not require that POLST be standardized, but does require that it be “approved by the Emergency Medical Services Authority.” In practice, the form is standardized. Further, The California Coalition for Compassionate Care (“CCCC”) has created one duplicated form used statewide. This is especially important to note when the standardized form is easily accessible both in any medical institution and on-line on www.finalchoices.org. CCCC’s “Model Policy” (2009) refers to the form as “standardized.” AHCDs, on the other hand, tend not to be standardized, although Probate Code Section 4701 provides a base form.
     
  6. Jason W. Manne, A Critical Look at the Physician Orders For Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST): What Are Its Weaknesses?, University of Pittsburgh, 1, 41 (2007).
     
  7. An Ombudsman from a northern California program
     
  8. For more on the Ombudsman POLST survey, contact CANHR.
     
  9. E.H. called CANHR for assistance and shared his story.
     
  1. See “Documents associated with AB 3000 in the 2007-2008 Session,” http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/bilinfo.html (Nothing in the legislative history sheds any light on what the “legally recognized health care decision maker” is.)
     
  2. Model Policy for Skilled Nursing Facilities, Physicians Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST), California Coalition for Compassionate Care (2009).
     
  3. 8 Cal.3d. 229, 244 (1972).
     
  4. See Ballard v. Anderson (1971) 4 Cal. 3d 873, 883, Doyle v. Giuliucci (1965) 62 Cal.2d 606, Bonner v. Moran (1941) 126 F.2d 121 (all these cases stand for the principle that parents may consent for their children).
     
  5. See Cobbs, 8 Cal.3d. at 244.
     
  6. Supra Note 11; see also, Cal. Probate Code §§ 4671, 4711, 1880.
     
  7. Cal. Probate Code § 4675.
     
  8. Based on CANHR’s call and email volume as well as the Ombudsman survey previously discussed.
     
  9. Supra Note 2; See also, Charles P. Sabatino, The Evolution of Health Care Planning Law and Policy, The Milbank Quarterly, Vol. 88, No. 2, p. 230: “The relevant population for POLST is persons with advanced chronic progressive illness, those who might die in the next year, or anyone else wishing to further define their preferences of care . . . POLST comes at the later stages.”
     
  10. For a sample handout, please contact CANHR.
     
  11. CANHR’s Ombudsman survey found that 58% of Ombudsman had seen advisory POLSTs in long-term care facilities, with 21% claiming they are observed “always” or “often.”
     
  12. Supra Note 8.
     
  13. California Department of Public Health, Deficiency Issued During Survey #FGPS11, 12-22-2009.
     
  14. The POLST form is actually in the midst of a revision. A new form has been proposed to the Emergency Medical Services Authority (“EMSA”). Some of the recommendations made in this paper have been included in the draft form. EMSA is expected to makes its decision on a new form later this year.
     
  15. Cal. Probate Code § 4780.

CANHR     Copyright © 2010



See Also: POLST: Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment - Be Careful What You Sign

The Hypocrisy Of The Catholic Church On Healthcare Mandate Catches Up With It

By WILLIAM MAYER

March 6, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - It should go without saying that the American Catholic Church is now engaged in an intense struggle with the Obama administration regarding its decision to force Catholic institutions to provide a full range of "birth control/family planning" services to its employees.

The administration maintains that such an edict [the final language was just published in the Federal Register] doesn’t rise to the threshold of abridging the Church’s First Amendment right to the free exercise of religion.

Less prominent in the give and take on this issue is the understanding that for the most part the U.S Catholic Church, primarily through its governing board, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as its lobbyists cooperated very closely with the president on the Affordable Health Care for America Act, now commonly referred to as Obama Care.

So complete was its devotion to the principle of government funded universal health care that at one point, feeling the extent of the coverage being offered was insufficient, Church representatives suggested that it be expanded to cover the approximately 12M [primarily Mexican] illegal aliens as a matter of Christian equity.

We are expected to ignore the fact that the overwhelming majority of these illegals are at least nominally Roman Catholic.

Much was written at the time about the intricate kabuki-like dance between the administration and the USCCB in crafting language that would make it appear that the comprehensive health care bill would never be used to provide federal funding for abortion.

Life issues quickly became the road block in the health care equation as far as the Church was concerned, hence a "compromise," was hatched; one that appeared to comply with the abortion prohibition represented by the long-in-the-tooth Hyde amendment, which traditionally has had heavy bipartisan support.

Amidst unrelenting pressure, the chief proponent of carving out this exception, a weak-kneed Democrat Representative Bart Stupak, quickly folded his hand, instead agreeing to a loosely worded executive order which would supposedly provide the same protections and safeguards.

"As both sides of the debate remember all too well, the final passage of Obamacare last year hinged on a many-layered debate on abortion funding in the final bill. The balance of power on the final vote in the House of Representatives rested with a small group of pro-life Democrats, led by former Representative Bart Stupak (D–MI), who abandoned their support for a comprehensive restriction on abortion funding. Instead, the "Stupak 7" settled for a presidential executive order that purported to fill the gaps in the legislation that allow various types of abortion subsidies - through tax credits, mandates on insurance companies and states, and direct payments…" [source, Heritage Foundation, http://blog.heritage.org/2011/08/10/more-tax-subsidies-for-abortion-in-obamacare/]

The USCCB’s "new age" teaching on health care is encapsulated as follows:

Catholic Social Teaching and Health Care - In our Catholic tradition, health care is a basic human right. Access to health care should not depend on where a person works, how much a family earns, or where a person lives. Instead, every person, created in the image and likeness of God, has a right to life and to those things necessary to sustain life, including affordable, quality health care. This teaching is rooted in the biblical call to heal the sick and to serve "the least of these," our concern for human life and dignity, and the principle of the common good. Unfortunately, tens of millions of Americans do not have health insurance. According to the Catholic bishops of the United States, the current health care system is in need of fundamental reform…" [source, USCCB Action Alert, July 17, 2009, http://old.usccb.org/sdwp/national/2009-07-17-alert-healthcare.pdf]

So in the modern iteration of Catholic theology, government health care is a right and hence, as a moral imperative, Obama Care was fully supported by the USCCB.

The non-compromise on abortion was welcomed [wink-wink-nod-nod] by the USCCB and publicly supported by the leadership of powerhouse Catholic entities including the Catholic Health Association, run by Sister Carol Keehan a "progressive" nun. 60 Catholic religious orders [primarily nuns] were signatory to a letter greeting this non-compromise as being fully acceptable.

One of the dirty little secrets in this aspect of the controversy is that Keehan has always maintained that she and CHA were in complete lock-step with the USCCB, working with them throughout the entire process.

We see no reason to disagree with Sr. Keehan on that point.

The seminal USCCB document, Making Health Care Abortion Neutral, states in its concluding paragraph, "Health care reform whose goal is to advance health coverage, not advance an agenda on abortion, will take care to be abortion neutral. It will preserve current policies that bar use of taxpayer funds, respect conscience rights, and generally encourage childbirth over abortion; it will not mandate abortion as part of any "basic" or minimum benefit package." [source, http://old.usccb.org/sdwp/national/2009-07-17-bg-healthcare-abortion.pdf].

For some inexplicable reason, this document is no longer available on the new USCCB website as site specific internet searches produce zero hits. It is however available at the "old" USCCB website as heretofore noted, again found via a non site specific ‘net search.

Notwithstanding the cloud of obfuscation behind which the USCCB is now attempting to hide, America’s Catholic governing board unequivocally supported the final Obama Care bill despite the legislation’s clear expansion of funding of euthanasia-like services, birth control and "sex education," all on the strength of weasel worded lip service on the abortion question.

So, paraphrasing a quip by the president’s favorite preacher Reverend Wright, "the USCCB’s chickens have come home to roost" - and with results fully predictable at the time this legislation was originally rammed through Congress and then quickly signed by Obama.

For her efforts, Sister Keehan received a ceremonial pen used during the president’s melodramatic public signing of the bill.

As a result the Church now wants its congregants to believe that it was utterly flummoxed when Mr. Obama issued the mandate through HHS that will require Catholic institutions to fund what they continue to claim is anathema.

Unfortunately for the Church, this dodge simply doesn’t pass the smell test.

Are we to believe that, surprise…surprise…surprise, the U.S. Catholic Church is now apparently led by a consortium of Gomer Pyles masquerading as bishops who couldn’t conceive that such a development might ensue?

Let there be no confusion here, we fully support the Church’s efforts to battle [however weakly] the "family planning services" mandate laid down by the imperial Mr. Obama.

In our opinion such a mandate is clearly unconstitutional.

The bitter irony of this matter lies in the fact that the USCCB brought this mess down on its own head largely because it jettisoned its traditional morality in favor of political clout. It’s heart, as this author has fully noted in numerous articles as well as a monograph [please refer to Bitter Harvest: How Marxist "Progressives" Have Infiltrated the American Catholic Church as well as Catholic Utopian Socialists - Fraudulent Use of Faith Now The Norm has been willingly captured by disciples of Saul Alinsky who then brought Catholic social teaching into line with the radical’s hard left, progressive world view.

So when New York’s Cardinal Dolan bleats his now high minded opposition to the HHS mandate, he should do so knowing full well that the organization [USCCB] over which he now presides is in large part responsible for this problem in the first place, having long ago sacrificed its moral integrity in pursuit of temporal power.

© 2012 William Mayer, PipeLineNews.org,. All rights reserved.

Flyer - DO NOT LET DRUG COMPANIES SCARE YOU INTO SURRENDERING YOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS

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Join the Boycott!

On March 29, ALL Associate group Children of God for Life issued a startling press release that has raised the eyebrows of even the most liberal thinkers.

Senomyx Biotechnology produces flavor enhancers for food giants—Nestle, PepsiCo, Cadbury Adams LLC (a Kraft company) and Solae—using aborted fetal cells HEK-293 (human embryonic kidney), which were taken from an elective abortion in the 1970s. (The food products themselves do not contain the aborted fetal material, but the cell line is used to test the flavor enhancers.)

These companies that partner with Senomyx fund research and development plus they provide royalty payments on the sales of products using Senomyx flavor ingredients. Thus, without question, they are as morally culpable as Senomyx in commercializing aborted fetal remains.

After writing to Senomyx and the partner companies to express concern over the use of aborted fetal material and point out the various moral cell lines that could be used instead, COG for Life is calling for a boycott of the partnering companies. Specifically, PepsiCo is targeted first.

Ignoring the moral concerns, PepsiCo replied to consumers by saying, “We hope you are reassured to learn that our collaboration with Senomyx is strictly limited to creating lower-calorie, great-tasting beverages for consumers. This will help us achieve our commitment to reduce added sugar per serving by 25 percent in key brands in key markets over the next decade and ultimately help people live healthier lives.”

If PepsiCo thinks that lowering calories and sugar content justifies using the remains of aborted children to develop those additives, the company is more morally depraved than we thought!

ACTION ITEM: Please join us in the boycott of PepsiCo and its products—and please respond to this e-mail if you are willing to have your Associate group’s name added to a list of those co-sponsoring this boycott with Children of God for Life and American Life League.

Planned Parenthood

“Only an accounting procedure”
Boxer admits Senate’s ‘abortion compromise’ nothing more than legislative sleight of hand

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California, has admitted to a national news agency that the so-called abortion compromise in the U.S. Senate’s proposed healthcare bill will actually do nothing to stop federal funding of abortions and amounts to nothing more than a clever accounting trick.

Boxer, who played a prominent role in brokering the ‘compromise’ in behind-closed-doors meetings with Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Nebraska (who insisted on the abortion provision to obtain his yes vote), came under withering attacks from her longtime pro-abortion supporters following the inclusion of the Nelson provision.

Boxer, who has received a 100% approval rating from groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood year after year since her election to the Senate in 1992, had been a featured speaker at an abortion-rights rally in Washington, D.C., just weeks before she became involved in the ‘abortion compromise.” Following her decision to agree to the Nelson language, groups like the National Organization for Women, the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and the National Institute for Reproductive Health issued blistering criticism of the senator. National Institute for Reproductive Health president Kelli Conlin said the Senate bill “has sold out women” and described its as “"unconscionable."

But not to worry, Boxer told McClatchy News Service. Boxer, reported McClatchy, “said it’s only an ‘accounting procedure’ that will do nothing to restrict [abortion] coverage.”

A committee made up of House and Senate members is scheduled to begin meetings soon to try to iron out differences in the two bills. The bill passed by the House contains the Stupak Amendment, which imposes ironclad restrictions on federal funding of abortions. Political observers have predicted the House abortion provisions will be stripped from the final bill because it otherwise would not pass the Senate.

In the meantime, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops has urged all Catholics to contact their federal legislators urging them to adopt a bill with strong prohibitions on government-funded abortions. All parishes in the US have been asked by the bishops to include an insert in their parish bulletins regarding the issue.

“As Congress negotiates a final health care bill, the insert encourages Catholics to contact their Senators and Representatives, urging them to keep longstanding restrictions against federal funding of abortion and full conscience protection in the legislation. If these criteria are not met, Catholics are asked to urge Congress to oppose the final bill,” said a Jan. 11 USCCB press release.


Errata
Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo left off CalCatholic’s list of executive pay

On Jan. 11, California Catholic Daily published the story, “How much do you make?” The story revealed that California’s Planned Parenthood affiliates pay their executives exceptionally well, with excellent benefits.

In compiling the list, California Catholic Daily inadvertently failed to include Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo in Concord. Below is information from that affiliate.

Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo, Concord
Calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2007)

Heather Saunders Estes, President and Chief Executive Officer
Salary: $171,214
Benefits: $7,894
Total Compensation: $179,108

Holly Delaney, Chief Financial Officer
Salary: $152,167
Benefits: $7,894
Total Compensation: $160,061

Mitzi Sales, Vice-president for External Affairs
Salary: $112,486
Benefits: $7,894
Total Compensation: $120,380

Phyllis Schoenwald, Vice-president for Medical Services
Salary: $107,907
Benefits: $7,894
Total Compensation: $115,801

Stacy Gardner, Vice-president for Fund Development
Salary: $103,904
Benefits: $7,894
Total Compensation: $111,798

Total number of other employees earning more than $50,000 per year: 65


Hand over fist
While crying poverty, most California Planned Parenthood affiliates show dramatic increases in assets over last five years

(Editor’s note: This is the second in an ongoing series about the finances of the nine Planned Parenthood affiliates in California. Unless otherwise noted, the information comes from IRS Form 990, an annual report required by the IRS for tax-exempt non-profits. Check back periodically for a new installment in the series.)

Since the fiscal year ending June 30, 2003, most Planned Parenthood affiliates in California have shown substantial growth in net assets, according to federal tax statements. The considerable increase in assets came despite repeated appeals to the state legislature for financial relief, as the abortion providers claimed they were turning away thousands of patients for lack of funds.

The growth in Planned Parenthood net assets came despite massive spending on their part to defeat three parental notification initiatives during the same time period. Planned Parenthood spent $5.5 million toward the defeat of Proposition 73 in 2005, $6.4 million toward the defeat of Proposition 85 in 2006, and nearly $9.3 million to defeat Proposition 4 in 2008.

Below is a breakdown of the growth in assets of Planned Parenthood affiliates based on figures from the 990s on file with the IRS. Net assets, as defined by the IRS, include inventory, land holdings, investments, accounts receivable, cash on hand, non-interest-bearing checking accounts and interest-bearing savings accounts.

Planned Parenthood Los Angeles
2002: $12.7 million
2007: $45 million
Net increase: $32.3 million

Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, San Jose
2002: $45.8 million
2007: $73.7 million
Net increase: $27.9 million

Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties
2002: $11.7 million
2007: 20.7 million
Net increase: $9 million

Planned Parenthood Shasta Diablo, Concord
(Calendar year ending Dec. 31 of each year.)
2002: $14.7 million
2007: $22 million
Net increase: $7.3 million

Planned Parenthood of San Diego & Riverside Counties
(Calendar year ending Dec. 31 of each year.)
2002: $19.3 million
2007: $25.9 million
Net increase: $6.6 million

Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties
2002: $14 million
2007: $20.2 million
Net increase: $6.2 million

Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, San Francisco
2002: $15.5 million
2007: $17.5 million
Net increase: $2 million

Planned Parenthood of Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley
2002: $1.6 million
2007: $2 million
Net increase: $400,000

Planned Parenthood Six Rivers, Eureka
(Information for this story was not available from an IRS Form 990. The data comes from Planned Parenthood Six Rivers’ 2007-2008 annual report. Six Rivers is the smallest of the nine Planned Parenthood affiliates in California – and the only one to show a loss.)
Total revenues: $2,740,653
Total expenses: $2,790,081
Net loss: $49,428

ACORN and the Catholic Bishops Campaign for Human Development

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“Mark this day down”

Judge rules Oakland ‘bubble law’ constitutional, pro-life lawyers plan to appeal

Attorneys for Rev. Walter Hoye say they will appeal a federal judge’s ruling that Oakland’s so-called ‘bubble ordinance’ does not violate the U.S. constitution. An attorney for Life Legal Defense Foundation said Hoye’s lawyers would ask the court to block enforcement of the ordinance pending appeal as early as this week.

On Aug. 4, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer ruled that Oakland’s "Mother May I" ordinance was constitutional, setting the stage for a showdown in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In a 25-page memorandum opinion, Breyer held that the ordinance, which applies only outside abortion facilities, was not content- or viewpoint-based on its face. Breyer also ruled that the ordinance was narrowly tailored, even though it prohibits merely extending one’s hand with a leaflet to a woman seeking to enter an abortion clinic.

The ordinance, passed in February 2008, prohibits approaches within 8 feet of persons seeking to enter abortion clinics without their consent. Rev. Hoye challenged the ordinance because it prevented him from engaging in the counseling he found most effective, namely, walking up to women and asking them if they would like to talk about alternatives to the clinic. Because the ordinance required him to keep an 8-foot distance, pro-abortion escorts could approach the women first and hustle them into the clinic, while other escorts physically blocked Rev. Hoye.

Confronted with evidence that the city does not enforce the ordinance against pro-abortion escorts who approach and surround women, telling them not to listen to Rev. Hoye, not to take his information, and that he is only there to harass them, the court ruled that this speech was merely "facilitating access" to the clinic and thus did not violate the law.

Faced with the city’s own statements that it is permissible for escorts to approach women and make statements such as "You have the right to an abortion," the court simply stated that the city was wrong about what its own ordinance meant. The court disposed of the escorts’ blocking of Rev. Hoye by declaring, "Of course, escorts also may not physically block demonstrators," as if by merely saying so, the court had made the problem disappear.

"Mark this day down," said Mike Millen, who, in conjunction with Katie Short of the Life Legal Defense Foundation, is representing Rev. Hoye. "On this day, a federal court judge ruled that it is constitutional to put someone in jail for a year for holding out a hand with a leaflet. The Supreme Court clearly wanted to leave at least that channel of communication open to speakers, but the federal district court blocked even that peaceful form of expression."

The next step is an immediate appeal to the Ninth Circuit, Millen said. "While disappointing, this ruling is not entirely unexpected. The good news is that while San Francisco federal judges may be loathe to strike down clearly unconstitutional city ordinances, the Ninth Circuit has an admirable record of supporting free speech rights. We are cautiously optimistic that this wrong will be righted."

© California Catholic Daily 2009. All Rights Reserved.

2009 Students for Life Conference

Reported by Cecelia Cody

On Saturday April 25 the California Students for Life held their annual conference, this year at UC Berkeley.

The following is a synopsis of a presentation on the subject of Planned Parenthood and a glimpse at its goals for the future of abortion. Years ago, in Concord, California, a radical group of feminists operated an abortion clinic called Every Woman’s Clinic. One of their projects was the training of women to abort themselves. Seems like the abortionists seldom change their focus.

Currently there is a bill in the state legislature to authorize funding to cover Planned Parenthood already existing plan for the training of employees for reproductive services.
______________

Dr. Linda Halderman, Senior Policy Advisor for Senator Sam Aanestad and a board certified general surgeon specializing in breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, then shared a bit about what is happening in Sacramento, including a "Pilot Project" in California wherein nurse midwives, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are being trained to do SURGICAL abortions at three Planned Parenthood clinics: Los Angeles, San Diego, and Concord CA. Approximately 700-800 abortions have been done using non-physician personnel to abort babies in three Planned Parenthood locations, with very little follow-up or oversight on the project.

This training program was authorized and public funds in the amount of $1.3 million spent in a 3 year period, were appropriated in 2006 by one individual, Dr. David Carlisle, Director of the Office of State Wide Health Planning and Delivery (OSWPHD), without any notification or accountability to the Legislature.

The purpose of this experiment was, apparently to "(d)emonstrate the role of advanced practice clinicians in expanding early pregnancy care."

Dr. Halderman explained that the sponsors of this "surgical abortion by non-physicians" project, the University of California, San Francisco’s Bixby Center for Reproductive Health. UC San Francisco, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the John Merck Fund and the Education Foundation of America, have provided the actual funding. After two days of training, and performing 40 abortion procedures under supervision of a medical doctor at the Planned Parenthood facility, these non-medical personnel are considered competent to perform this procedure without any doctor in the facility.

On a broader spectrum, among the shocking statistics that Dr. Halderman shared was the fact that Medi-Cal pays $400 for an abortion, but only $237 for a lumpectomy. And during the latest budget crisis, Medi-Cal abortion funding was fast-tracked to payment, while everyone else languished awaiting Medi-Cal reimbursement. It’s not too hard to figure out what the “sacred cow” of Medi-Cal is!

CALIFORNIA RIGHT TO LIFE EDUCATION FUND
P.O. Box 4343, Walnut Creek, CA 94596-4343
(925) 944-5351

E-Mail: callife@calright2life.org

ACORN and Taxpayers

Join Eagle Forum

ACORN Should Not Receive Taxpayers’ Money

by Phyllis Schlafly

May 22, 2009

Several prominent non-Republicans and ex-Republicans have been all over the media giving advice to Republicans about how they should re-brand themselves and which issues they should talk about. Among this unsolicited advice is that Republicans should stop criticizing ACORN.

Au contraire; Republicans should loudly demand that ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) be cut off from all further handouts of taxpayers’ money. After all, didn’t Barack Obama promise us an ethical administration and an end to the influence of lobbyists and special interests?

ACORN is one of the most successful lobbyists for taxpayers’ money, which ACORN uses for very partisan special-interest activities. ACORN and its affiliated organizations (estimated at 270 related corporations and so-called non-profits) are under investigation in more than a dozen states for voter registration fraud, and there’s no question about which party and which candidate ACORN supports.

Nevertheless, ACORN and its affiliated organizations (disguised as nongovernmental "neighborhood stabilization" organizations) could receive $3 billion (with a B) from Obama’s stimulus package and another $5.5 billion from his 2010 federal budget. That is after receiving $53 million of taxpayers’ money over the last 15 years.

 

  • Nevada charged ACORN groups with submitting thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms in 2008, and illegally setting quotas for its canvassers and paying them bonuses for signing up more than 21 new voters a day. The Las Vegas registrar of voters believes 48 percent of registrations turned in by ACORN were fraudulent.
     
  • Nevada’s Democratic Attorney General said that ACORN’s training manuals "clearly detail, condone and … require illegal acts" such as requiring workers to meet voter-registration targets in order to keep their jobs.
     
  • Pennsylvania authorities charged seven ACORN workers with falsifying voter registration forms. The voter registrar said that ACORN submitted at least 1,500 fraudulent registrations during last year’s presidential campaign.
     
  • Washington State fined ACORN $25,000 after several employees were convicted of voter registration fraud in 2007.
     
  • Last year, eight national ACORN board members demanded an audit of ACORN’s books. The result was that the eight were removed.

ACORN’s blatantly partisan activities with taxpayers’ and other non-profit funds make it an appropriate target for a congressional hearing. After first agreeing to hold a hearing, the Democrats then reneged and refused to hold one.

Barack Obama has for years had a close working relationship with ACORN, as a community organizer, as the head of a registration effort for Project Vote (one of ACORN’s partners), as attorney for a very important lawsuit, and for get-out-the-vote assistance in his 2008 presidential campaign. When he met with ACORN leaders last year, Obama bragged that he "ran the Project Vote voter registrations drive in Illinois."

In 1995, Obama represented ACORN in a case upholding the Motor Voter Act. That law authorized postcard registration, which proved so useful to ACORN workers in filing false registrations.

In 2008, Obama’s presidential campaign reported paying $832,000 to Citizens Consulting Inc., the umbrella group controlling ACORN, for get-out-the-vote efforts in key primary states. ACORN and its affiliated groups put thousands of get-out-the-vote workers in battleground states during the presidential campaign last year.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) successfully persuaded the House Financial Services Committee to unanimously pass an amendment to the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act prohibiting any organization indicted for voter fraud from receiving federal housing grants. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) then had a tantrum and got the Democrats to remove it.

Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) tried to prohibit ACORN from getting federal funds through the new Serve America Act. But Harry Reid’s Senate killed that constructive idea.

It’s not just taxpayers’ money that ACORN has had at its disposal; ACORN also has received generous grants from top recipients of federal bailout money. Bank of America (almost $3 million), Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase made big grants to ACORN Housing Corp., one of ACORN’s many affiliated organizations.

It is particularly important to expose ACORN’s political activities because of its new relationship with the Census Bureau, the agency tasked with compiling the 2010 census. The count of the U.S. population will determine which states gain or lose votes in both the U.S. House and the Electoral College, and which districts get more federal handouts.

American constitutional government cannot survive if the population count is managed and manipulated by organizations with partisan bias. The importance of a fair and accurate count cannot be overestimated because the count can give one party an unfair advantage and control over America for the next decade.

Yet the Obama Administration chose ACORN to recruit counters for the 2010 Census, and they are already canvassing neighborhoods. Rep. Patrick McHenry’s (R-NC) effort to sever the Census Bureau-ACORN partnership should be supported by all who want honest elections.

Further reading:
 


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CCHD Funds Change Agents

By Stephanie Block

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development [CCHD] uses a diagram with two footprints to explain its work. One footprint says “Direct Services” and lists good works such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and sheltering the homeless. The other footprint is labeled “Social Change” and lists, among other things, legislative networking, advocacy, and community organizing. “You need both to walk,” the diagram explains [CCHD, “Poverty and Faith Justice,” 1998, p. 20].

The distinction between direct services and “systemic” issues – the changing of problematic social structures – isn’t difficult to understand. One can translate through a pro-life illustration: We see a frightened woman about to enter an abortion clinic. She is threatening to “terminate her pregnancy” because she needs many practical things: diapers, rent money, a friend to talk to, and a place to stay. Those are the goods and services the pro-life community offers her. They are celled “direct services,” that is, they respond directly to the immediate needs of this suffering human being.

Pro-life people are also interested in “social change,” however. The problem isn’t only one woman’s moral choices. She has come to the abortion clinic because the society she lives in tells her that this is the right thing for her to do. It’s legal, for one thing. Her boyfriend and her girlfriends and perhaps even her minister have assured her that she’s making a responsible decision. In such a climate, pro-life activists must work not only to offer each troubled young mother an option to abortion but to help the people around her understand that the life of the pre-born child is precious. So long as there is a culture of death, the numbers of women seeking abortions will be high.

How do pro-lifers work to change this prevailing culture? They do several things.

Pro-lifers work legislatively – that is, they attempt to change bad laws and work for life-sustaining legislation, eyeing the day when there will be a Human Life Amendment to the Constitution protecting a human person from the moment of conception to the moment of his natural, God-ordained death.

They also work educationally – that is, by attempting to teach people about the horror of abortion, the humanity of the fetus, the practical options to a mother in difficult circumstances, and the beauty of chastity.

Lastly, and most significantly, they work spiritually – that is, with the prayerful and humble certainty that injustice is a fact of life unless every heart is turned toward God. Irresponsible personal behavior must be changed before the society at large will change.

That’s the ideal battle plan against abortion. It includes a response to the individual’s immediate needs and it works for social change. It’s a two-pronged, common sense approach to a complex problem.

Now, apply the same principles to another issue: poverty. Just as there is a community of people who are pouring out their hearts and goods to “stop abortion,” there is a community of people who want to “end poverty.” This is not only a good thing, it’s what those who follow in the footsteps of Jesus are called to do. Therefore, it’s not surprising that Christians have an impressive history of direct services to the poor.

Like pro-lifers, people who work to help the poor recognize that there are problems in the fabric of society that tend to exacerbate poverty. Irresponsible personal behavior or unfortunate circumstances such as ill health may be causes of poverty but it, too, may be rooted in societal structures – take the epidemic of divorce, for example. Any attempt to address poverty that fails to recognize societal structures imprisoning even responsible people in crushing situations will fail.

Added to which, there is certainly ignorance among some people who are materially comfortable about the problems the poor face. Like pro-life issues, poverty is complex and calls for both direct services and a gamut of legislative, educational, and spiritual responses.

Therefore, a Catholic examines the Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection, which purports to “help the poor,” and wants to know how it accomplishes its mission. He does not ask this because he believes the Church should stick to direct service and eschew “social change” but because he needs to know that the changes proposed by CCHD grantees are something Catholics ought to be supporting. Are they commensurate with Church teaching?

What do CCHD grantees seek to change? How do they seek to change it? These questions aren’t academic. Catholics pour a lot of money into the CCHD.

Saying one simply wants to “change” is too vague an ambition. Libertarian, free-market capitalists and the card-carrying communists both believe their economic system will help the poor, and they work hard to change present structures to resemble the ideals of their own philosophies. Both have potential benefits for the poor; both have historically wronged the poor in unspeakably horrible ways. Neither adequately reflects the Catholic position.

So again, one asks, what is the change CCHD promotes and how does it seek to bring about that change?

How?

The “how” it seeks to bring about “social change” is easy to answer. CCHD was created in 1970 primarily as a funding mechanism for community organizing projects in its incipient “Crusade Against Poverty.” Writing in 1989, Sanford Horwitt claimed:

As for the Roman Catholic Church, its commitment [to Alinsky-style community organizing, particularly the Industrial Areas Foundation] both in principle and funding is stronger than ever. Except within certain religious and activist circles, it is not widely known that the Church’s Campaign for Human Development expends most of its $8 million annual budget in grants to community organizing and related grassroots empowerment efforts. And many recipients of CHD largess are IAF-directed projects.[i]

These Alinskyian faith-based organizations are “seeded” with money so they can proliferate in parishes around the country. They, in turn, educate people in member congregations to engage in “civic discourse,” to understand how the game of politics is played - as they understand it - and to develop the courage to confront public leaders in issues of concern to their communities.

It sounds good, so far. The problem with Alinsky-style organizations is that, however well-intentioned their organizers and leaders may be, Alinsky’s philosophical understanding of what it takes to engage in civic discourse is extremely unethical. Specifically, Alinsky taught that the ends justify the means and that “truth” is decided by consensus. From Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals we learn:

  • “The third rule of the ethics of means and ends is that…the end justifies almost any means.”
     
  • “The seventh rule of the ethics of means and ends is that generally success or failure is a mighty determinant of ethics….There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds, he becomes a founding father.”
     
  • “The tenth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments….Moral rationalization is indispensable at all times of action whether to justify the selection or the use of ends or means….All effective actions require the passport of morality.”

Elsewhere in his primer for radicals, Alinsky writes:

Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it….By this I mean that in a complex…society it becomes increasingly difficult to single out who is to blame for a particular evil….One of the criteria for picking the target is the target’s vulnerability…as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all the “others” come out of the woodwork very soon…the other important point in the choosing of a target is that it must be a personification, not something general and abstract…Many liberals, during our attack on the then-school superintendent, pointing out that he wasn’t 100% devil, he was a regular churchgoer, he was a good family man, and he was generous in his contributions to charity. Can you imagine in the arena of conflict charging that so-and-so is a racist bastard and then diluting the impact of the attack with qualifying remarks…this becomes political idiocy.

The “target” in question here, of course, is a fellow human being who has been unjustly demonized.

The contemporary IAF, far from repudiating Alinsky, has built upon his work: Mary Beth Rogers, in her book Cold Anger, writes:

All participants in the Industrial Areas Foundation national training programs are given a reprint of a 1933 article by John H. Randall, Jr. titled ‘The Importance of Being Unprincipled’…The thesis is that because politics is nothing but the ‘practical method of compromise,’ only two kinds of people can afford the luxury of acting on principle…everyone else who wants to be effective in politics has to learn to be ‘unprincipled’ enough to compromise in order to see their principles succeed.” (FN p. 214)

Then, there is the problem of Alinsky’s relationship to “truth.” Alinsky wrote: “An organizer working for change…does not have a fixed truth – truth to him is relative and changing.” So how does a community decide what values it will use to do business? Are those “other people” – the principled ones – welcome in the community or not? Truth by consensus is as problematic as an ethics that justifies its means by its ends.

Yet the contemporary IAF is confident of its philosophical base to produce good: “Ernie Cortes, a key figure in network [SW Regional Director of the IAF], pointed out, the IAF methodology bears resemblance [to the] ‘critical method’ of Karl Popper, philosopher of science, who argued for a view of ‘truth’ not as a positive assertion, but as theories formulated out of practice and aimed at problem solving that had not yet been refuted.” [Harry Boyte, Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics] Karl Popper coined the term “open society,” which refers to a form of social organization in which “nobody has a monopoly on the truth.”

From where, then, are ethical principles to come? If they are not fixed in the nature of things – if they are not simply true but are to be determined through a process of collaborative inquiry – anyone with an agenda can easily manipulate the outcome.

These twin problems of ethics and truth make Alinskyian organizations such as the IAF a dangerous CCHD grantee, because people subjected to IAF training are being taught a way of looking at the world, or at least, a way of looking at politics, that contradicts Catholic social justice teaching, Catholic ethics, and the natural law.

And yet, over a third of CCHD money is spent on Alinskyian organizing. Thanks in part to its CCHD grants, the IAF has tripled its presence around the United States in the last decade – and much of that presence is in Catholic parishes. Do these Alinskyian organizations do no good? Of course they do, but it isn’t enough to do good works. Legitimate social justice activism must be predicated on the truth, understanding that although some Church teachings may not be popular (consider the reception of Humanae Vitae), justice can only be accomplished when moral laws that govern the human spirit are obeyed.

That said, the “works” performed by Alinskyian community organizations often are quite controversial. For example, a close look at the major CCHD-funded Alinskyian organizations’ – IAF, PICO, Gamaliel, ACORN, and DART – educational policies reveals a support for education “reform” that has often resulted in deeper academic failure. That failure pales beside the moral failure of the Church to its people who have been trained in Machiavellian politics with the Church’s blessing, but it’s a practical consequence of a faulty philosophy.

What?

That’s how the CCHD seeks to bring about systemic change, but the “what” part of the question remains to be answered: what is the change CCHD-funded Alinskyian organizations promote?

The IAF has waged a long-standing battle to fight the perception that it is “Communist.” Saul Alinsky, who had no compunction - up to a point - about working with Communists, was investigated by the FBI in 1940 - 1941 and found innocent of any remarks or actions against the United States government, or in favor of any foreign government.

Yet a problem remains. The IAF undeniably holds liberationist – Christian socialist –positions. It has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with the liberation theology hub of North America, the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) of San Antonio, which was used by the Texas IAF as a training institute to educate the clergy and civilians on ‘social justice’ issues. The lead organizer of the San Antonio IAF local (and later Southwest Regional Director of the IAF) was an instructor at MACC, whose own founder and director was Alinskyian trained.

Besides eschewing absolute or objective truth, the IAF, like Marxist organizations, has adopted the concept of “class analysis,” uses the techniques of “popular education” (conscientization), and seeks to change the values of participants, replacing them with the values of the organizer. In an organization grounded in much of the same worldview as Marxism, and using many of the same techniques to recruit and organize people, it’s hardly surprising that the IAF also has many of Marxism’s goals.

The function of the Industrial Areas Foundation and similar Alinsky-style organizing networks is to establish the community base for comprehensive federal structures. Empowerment Zone economic revitalization packages, school-to-work schemes, and Nehemiah Housing Developments all have two common features. They each deliver a medley of services: health care, childcare, housing, social services and education reform packages, financed with federal money. Their other feature is that the reception of this federal assistance is contingent upon community-based institutions – like the IAF, Gamaliel, PICO, ACORN, or DART – to coordinate and presumably “humanize” deliverance of these funds.

Such a highly controlled educational, health, welfare and economic system is, in short, a socialized system. CCHD-funded Alinsky organizations seek to eventually draw member institutions into what they call the “third way” of governance – that is, community based service provision.

It doesn’t happen immediately. Newly established community organizations need to be trained to civic action and consensus-building. Local leadership must be tested. Religious institutions, useful for their “social capital” (in organizing parlance), networking, and wealth must have their vision bent to work toward a worldly kingdom rather than Christ’s. That’s accomplished in small, non-threatening steps.

But older, established organizations demonstrate the bigger picture. Baltimore’s IAF local, BUILD, has been around since the 60s and has received many years of CCHD grants. BUILD is an actor in a federally funded “neighborhood transformation” project whose efforts include providing total health care to all residents, expansion of job opportunities, monetary assistance toward the rehabilitation of old housing, and the construction of new housing. BUILD works with ACORN and the Democratic Socialists of America to promote “living wage” legislation. These are important social changes.

But the deeper changes are in the religious understanding of people involved with BUILD. A prayer service conducted by the organization illustrates how the Christian message is distorted and used by the IAF: “Somehow the Kingdom will come on the earth. BUILD, if you are a mighty people, if you are a noble people, if you are a great people, there’s forests out there. There’s land to be filled. There’s work to be done. Won’t you be counted in the army of the Lord?” [Harry Boyte, Commonwealth: A Return to Citizen Politics, (New York: The Free Press, 1989), chapter 7, “Repairing the Commons,” p. 114].

This is not systemic change toward a more just society, but systemic change of a profoundly ideological order. So we look again at CCHD’s diagram of the two footprints. Where are those feet taking us? And do we really want to contribute to the journey?
Maybe not.

[i] Sanford Horwitt, Let Them Call Me Rebel, (New York: Vintage Books, 1989) p 586. David Finks confirms this by saying “The largest single contributor to these citizen organizations over the last decade has been the CHD “ (The Radical Vision of Saul Alinsky, p 271) and Rael Jean and Erich Isaac write, “The Catholic Church has also been a major contributor to the utopians through its Campaign for Human Development…The largest grants have gone to community-organizing projects of the Alinsky school: the largest single recipient has been the Industrial Areas Foundation…” (The Coercive Utopians, p 210).

Dissing the Organizer

Obama, ACORN…and Catholic Action

By Stephanie Block

Over at the Catholics for Obama blog, the headline screams, “Palin Continues to Smear Catholic Action.” This preposterous thesis has been crafted from her comments about Barak Obama’s past as a community organizer. The blog contends, “Catholics across the country continue to be outraged by Republican politician Sarah Palin who repeated her smear against Catholic Action by mocking Barack Obama’s service as director of a community group sponsored by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (an arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) and led by eight Catholic parishes on the South Side of Chicago.” Well! That’s quite a leap. Ms. Palin said nothing whatsoever about Catholic Action. It was the Catholics for Obama blogger who drew the connection between community organizing, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). There’s no secret here. The CCHD gives between a third and a half of its grants to Alinskyian organizing networks.

Alinskyian what?

If you are saying “Alinskyian, what?” you need to know that there are over 200 organizations operating in cities around the United States, training social justice activists according to the theories of Saul Alinsky. Over the past 30 years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has given millions of dollars from Catholic donations to these groups. That’s a lot of money going to train people in a very distinctive way of looking at the world and its problems. Alinsky’s writings contain a number of disturbing premises:

“The third rule of the ethics of means and ends is that … the end justifies almost any means.” “The seventh rule of the ethics of means and ends is that generally success or failure is a mighty detriment of ethics. … There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds, he becomes a found ing father.” “The tenth rule of the ethics of means and ends is that you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments. … Moral rationalization is indispensable at all tunes of action whether to justify the selection or the use of ends or means.” “An orga nizer working for change … does not have a fixed truth — truth to him is relative and changing.”

The book from which those “rules” are taken is called Rules for Radicals and it opens with the disturbing lines: “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.” The reader can glean a great deal of information from those opening remarks. Machiavelli’s The Prince used to be on the Catholic index as forbidden reading (when the Church had an index) because Machiavelli was so completely amoral. The Prince and Machiavelli’s companion piece, “Discourses,” are cold-blooded examinations of political power, how it is obtained, maintained and expanded. In “Discourses” one reads: “Cunning and deceit will serve a man better than force to rise from a base condition to great fortune” and “A prince cannot live securely in a state so long as those live whom he has deprived of it.” In The Prince, Machiavelli makes it clear that he believes the moral law does not apply to leaders. He says, for example: “So you see a wise ruler cannot, and should not, keep his word when doing so is to his disadvantage, and when the reasons that led him to promise to do so no longer apply. Of course, if all men were good, this advice would be bad; but since men are wicked and will not keep faith with you, you need not keep faith with them…But it is essential to know how to conceal how20crafty one is, to know how to be a clever counterfeit and hypocrite.” (54) Elsewhere, he writes: “So a ruler…should do what is right if he can; but he must be prepared to do wrong if necessary.” (55) This is Alinsky’s model, rewritten for “the people.” It’s the antithesis of Catholic teaching. It cannot, therefore, be used to promote Catholic Action.

Ditching moral truth

Marxism teaches that “truth” is a social construction, determined by consensus. Alinsky teaches the same thing, writing, “An organizer….does not have a fixed truth – truth to him is relative and changing.” The organizer, for whom the “ends justify the means,” can’t be bound by moral absolutes. To support a utilitarian ethics, the truth must be fluid. This is not what scripture or the Church teaches, of course. It isn’t enough that organizations acquire “good things” for their constituencies. They must accept and teach moral truth; they must be principled. A lying or bribing political lobby may win all its temporal battles, but it will have lost its soul. Contemporary Alinskyian networks, far from repudiating Alinsky, have built upon his work: Mary Beth Rogers writes, “All participants in the Industrial Areas Foundation [the first Alinskyian network, founded in 1940] national training programs are given a reprint of a 1933 article by John H. Randall, Jr. titled ‘The Importance of Being Unprincipled’. …The thesis is that because politics is nothing but the ‘practical method of compromise,’ only two kinds of people can afford the luxury of acting on principle…everyone else who wants to be effective in politics has to learn to be ‘unprincipled’ enough to compromise in order to see their principles succeed.” Civic act ion predicated on “truth by consensus” is the antithesis of Catholic truth. It cannot, therefore, be used to promote Catholic Action.

Liberationism

Alinskyian organizing, operating within faith-based institutions, is liberationist – as in liberation theology. Liberationism uses religious language to promote socialism. Consider again, for example, the words quoted above: “What follows is for those who want to change the world from what it is to what they believe it should be. The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power. Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.” Christians /span>don’t think in those terms. Catholic social teaching stresses the mutual dependency on God and one another that exists between the Haves and the Have-nots. They aren’t rivals. It’s an entirely different worldview. Then there’s the pedagogy – the teaching method by which liberationists educate people into their worldview. Charlie Curran, a dissident Catholic theologian who admired Alinskyian organizing, writes: “Although Alinsky does not use the word ‘conscientization,’ there is no doubt that such a process is the cornerstone of his method….The people must learn that through their power they can bring about change. Raising consciousness is a part of Alinsky’s overarching commitment to popular education.” Contemporary Alinskyian networks continue to use this pedagogy. Maryann Eklaund, in her Master’s thesis on one of these networks organizing in southern Texas, details the values clarification exercises – her term – its organizers used to get people to change their perspective on things. We’re talking serious manipulation of people. Another writer, Mary Beth Rodgers, describes the same thing. “Cortes [an organizer for the Industrial Areas Foundation network, southwest region] knew that Mexican parents willingly sacrificed for their children – and often for their church. By talking about family values, could you motivate and organize people to act politically in their own genuine self-interest?…the new organization had to reach into the heart…The idea of protecting and enhancing families might make that possible.” The implication of this passage is that the religious and family values of Catholics have been used to generate a conversation between them and the organizers. The organizers use the relationship built from the Catholic values of the Mexicans to introduce another set of values – those of the organization. That brings us to yet another element of liberationism, which is its deliberate use of scriptures and religious symbols for a political end. For example, St. Timothy’s Catholic Church in San Antonio used “new catechisms” that connected biblical and Mexican historical and cultural themes with the current issues of the Alinskyian organization to which it belonged. Now, Catholic catechisms don’t contain this sort of information. These “catechisms” were not designed to present Church teachings but the organizers’ teachings. Liberation theology isn’t Catholic. It doesn’t support the Catholic faith any more than it supports authentic justice or truth. It cannot, therefore, be considered Catholic Action.

The big picture

What are contemporary Alinskyian organizations trying to build? In general terms, their “vision” can be expressed as a practical philosophy of governance called variously 9 C third way,” “participatory democracy,” or “democratic socialism.” All these terms, and others, describe a system of government that seeks to use “mediating institutions” – churches, unions, schools, and the like, held together by the relationships they have forged through the Alinskyian organization – to control all facets of its citizens’ lives. To achieve this, Alinskyian networks are engaged in “restructuring” activities of all kinds. On the political level, they work among the Democratic Socialists of America, the New Democrats, and the New Party, and the Democratic Party. In the economic arena, they have promoted and overseen the Empowerment Enterprise Community Zones in dozens of communities. They support universal health care and are experimenting with church-based health-care clinics. They have driven federal education “reform” and are insinuated in many school-to-work programs. In short, the programs they support involve centralizing benefits that effect larger and larger groups of people. Catholic social teaching has never supported socialism. In fact, Pius XI writes “No one can be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true socialist.” The work of Alinskyian organizations cannot be considered – by any stretch of the imagination – to be Catholic Action.

Yet, This Is What the Campaign for Human Development Supports

Those are the foundational problems with the CCHD. Its political problems are twofold. In the first place, millions of charitable Catholic dollars are being poured into organizing networks that are furthering a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual civic agenda. Nearly every legislative healthcare package they propose has an abortion-supportive element to it. There is not one politician of which I’m aware who has been endorsed by or emerged from these networks who publicly opposes abortion or homosexual “rights.” By funding the Alinskyian networks, Catholics have become practical allies of the very groups they profess to oppose in the public square. The second political problem with the CCHD collection is much worse, however. Not only does CCHD fund people whose goals are antithetical to Catholic Action but it provides the vehicle through which Catholics are systematical educated to work against Catholic Action. How? CCHD-funded Alinskyian organizations organize in Catholic parishes, reeducating Catholic activists to work according to liberationist principles (not Catholic Action principles). There is widespread use throughout American-Catholic parishes of materials crafted to support Alinskyian organizing. The confusion, therefore, that Catholics express over fundamental moral issues and their comparative weight and urgency in public affairs isn’t just zeitgeist. It’s been systematically inculcated.

Obama and the Alinskyian Organizations

If one must fault Governor Palin comments about Obama’s community organizing experience, it’s that she minimized the seriousness of that experience. CCHD gave $40,000 in 1985 and $33,000 in 1986 to the Chicago Developing Communities Project, of which Obama was then lead organizer. It also gave millions to Gamaliel and ACORN, the Alinskyian networks that trained Obama and which today are stumping for his election. The most recent accounting of CCHD grantees available (2006-2007) indicate that in just that one year, $1,146,000 was given to the ACORN network and well over $2 million went into the other major Alinskyian networks. What did ACORN give us for that investment? Last year, The Seattle Times reported the biggest voter-registration fraud scheme in Washington history. Three ACORN employees pleaded guilty, and four more were charged for filling out and submitting more than 1,800 fictitious voter-registration cards during a 2006 registration drive in King and Pierce counties.” (Keith Ervin, “Three plead guilty in fake voter scheme,” 10-30-2007) This year, an ACORN employee in West Reading, PA, was sentenced for to up to 23 months in prison for identity theft and tampering with records. A second ACORN worker pleaded not guilty to the same charges and is free on $10,000 bail. Those are convictions from the past year. There are also examples of indictments this year, such as the four ACORN employees in Kansas City charged with identity theft and filing false registrations during the 2006 election and the Reynoldsburg fellow indicted on two felony counts of illegal voting and false registration, after being registered by ACORN to vote in two separate counties. And there are current investigations into ACORN for voter fraud all over the map – the Milwaukee ACORN for 200 to 300 fraudulent voter registration cards; – the Cleveland ACORN for its submission of 75,000 voter registrations, many of which are fraudulent; – the New Mexico ACORN, which claims to have taken 72,000 new voter registrations in the state since January, is under suspicion for 1,100 possibly fraudulent voter registration cards turned in to the Bernalillo County clerk’s office recently.

These are recent complaints but ACORN’s history is riddled with criminal activity. During the last major election, the Wall Street Journal did a story about ACORN. Four ACORN workers had been indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms to the Kansas City, Missouri, election board; other ACORN workers were convicted in Wisconsin and Colorado and investigations, at the time the article was written, were under way in Ohio, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. [“The Acorn Indictments,” WSJ 11-3-06]

Programs that don’t work

The Wall Street Journal article points out some additional facts that have particular interest to us, two years later. “Operating in at least 38 states (as well as Canada and Mexico), ACORN pushes a highly partisan agenda, and its organizers are best understood as shock troops for the AFL-CIO and even the Democratic Party. As part of the Fannie Mae reform bill, House Democrats pushed an ‘affordable housing trust fund’ designed to use Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac profits to subsidize ACORN, among other groups. A version of this trust fund actually passed the Republican House and will surely be on the agenda again next year.” ACORN was a tremendous force for the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), created in the late 70s to force banks to make loans to low-income borrowers. Besides fighting for passage of this act, ACORN monitored banks9 9 compliance. Some analysts of the current housing crisis contend the CRA policies are in good part to blame. Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, takes the analysis a step further. The “housing bailout” package signed into law to rescue Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae with an unlimited credit line not only increases the federal debt but also gives millions of dollars to La Raza and the ACORN. [Elizabeth Williamson & Brody Mullins, “Democratic Ally Mobilizes In Housing Crunch: Acorn Leads Drive to Register Voters Likely to Back Obama; New Federal Funds,” WSJ, 7-31-08]

Brought to you, ladies and gentleman, in part by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Remember that in November.

Catholic Charities Participate in Abortion: Prosecution of Charity Ruled Out in Abortion Case

The Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney for Richmond says he will not prosecute a local Catholic charity for violating the state’s parental-notification law after four of its employees helped a 16-year-old get an abortion in January.

Despite a pending federal investigation, Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring said Monday that a 2003 law may not have been violated by a social worker at Catholic Charities of Richmond (CCR). State law allows for someone "in loco parentis" to stand in place of the grandparent or adult sibling as a substitute for a missing parent, he said.

"I want to meet with the person who signed the consent form," said Mr. Herring, a Democrat who took office in 2006.

"It’s going to be up to her and her counsel, if she has one, to waive her Fifth Amendment rights to sit down with me," he said, referring to the social worker who signed the consent form. "I want to understand her state of mind. Did the staff worker assume he or she was standing in loco parentis?"

The staff worker, who was fired along with three other employees for outfitting the girl with a contraceptive device late last year and then arranging for an abortion on Jan. 18, could not be reached for comment.

The girl, who is from Guatemala and whose parents are missing, was a ward of the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which had contracted with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Office of Refugee Programs to provide foster care for the girl.

HHS’ position is that the staffer who signed the consent form violated Virginia’s parental-notification law on minors having abortions, a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by a $500 fine.

HHS spokesman Kenneth J. Wolfe said Monday that David H. Siegel, acting director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) at HHS´ Administration for Children and Families, is the girl’s guardian and the only person who could have allowed an abortion.

An April 23 letter from Mr. Siegel to the USCCB called the abortion "a criminal act" or a "violation of Virginia law" three times. The matter is being inspected by the HHS inspector general.

Mr. Herring said no federal agency has contacted him.

"It appears as if the young lady was going to have an abortion by some means," he said. "It appears they had to make a decision of trying to counsel against it or stand by and allow the girl to resort to other means, which probably would not have been safe or sanitary.

"I would hate for any prosecution to be colored by all the politics surrounding the issue of abortion," he added. "Those who are pro-life, so to speak, are clamoring for prosecution. Those who are pro-choice insist the actions do not warrant prosecution. This could be a loud debate overshadowing a more important issue, which may have been the girl’s health.

"A 16-year-old hell-bent on aborting a fetus is going to do it either way."

Officials at the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, which oversees CCR, have never mentioned health as a factor in the employees’ decision to help the girl abort.

Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo was informed of the pending abortion the day before, had forbidden it from taking place, but was "erroneously" told he could not stop it, said his spokesman, Stephen Neill. The following morning, a volunteer associated with CCR drove the girl to an abortion clinic.

Word of the abortion quickly reached HHS, which demanded an explanation. On Jan. 28, the USCCB provided a timeline to the agency, outlining the chain of events leading to the abortion.

On April 29, Bishop DiLorenzo, along with two other bishops, sent out a missive to about 350 U.S. Catholic bishops, giving details of the incident before it appeared in the media. The Wanderer, a Catholic publication, and The Washington Times broke the story in mid-June.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring says that he will not press charges in a Richmond Catholic charity abortion case involving a teenager.

The American Life League on Monday called on Mr. Herring to investigate why CCR Executive Director Joanne Nattrass did not stop the pending abortion.

"It seems to us that if she knew of some illegal activity that was taking place, one thing she should have done immediately was call the police," said the group, which is based in Fredericksburg, Va. "While it is reported that Bishop DiLorenzo said that he forbade the abortion, we are equally concerned about his inaction as well.

"Who signed the consent forms? Did Joanne Nattrass know of the commission of a crime and not inform the authorities?"

Ms. Nattrass did not return a call asking for comment, and her spokeswoman, Paula Ritter, said she could not discuss personnel issues.

William Etherington, attorney for the diocese and CCR, said the bishop has gotten a lot of "reviling" e-mails on the issue but declined comment.

Catholic Charities Participate in Abortion: Antiabortion Group Urges Inquiry

An antiabortion group is calling for a criminal investigation into a Richmond-based Catholic charity’s involvement in a 16-year-old illegal immigrant’s abortion.

American Life League sent a letter yesterday to Richmond Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael N. Herring, asking him to investigate Commonwealth Catholic Charities, which is under federal scrutiny for its role in the January abortion.

"Too many questions are left hanging," said Judie Brown, executive director and co-founder of American Life League. The organization has about 300,000 members, she said.

Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Tracy Thorne-Begland said his office had received the letter and would follow up.

"It really just appears to be a situation of applying the facts to the law," Thorne-Begland said.

In the letter, the group seeks answers about what it says was the "illegal assistance" that four charity employees gave to the girl, a Guatemala native who was in the government’s refugee resettlement program.

The employees were fired after it was revealed that they helped the girl travel to and from a facility, signed a consent form for the procedure and assisted with contraceptives in previous months.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is investigating whether the charity broke state and federal laws by facilitating the abortion.

Federal officials have said the charity failed to file a treatment authorization request, required for medical procedures for minors in the government’s care. In addition, Virginia law requires that girls younger than 18 have parental consent for abortions.

In the letter, Brown points a finger at Richmond Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo and Joanne D. Nattrass, executive director of the charity.

DiLorenzo and Nattrass have said they knew that the abortion was planned but were told there was nothing they could do to stop it. Neither DiLorenzo nor Nattrass could be reached for comment yesterday.

"It seems to us that if [Nattrass] knew of some illegal activity that was taking place, one thing she should have done immediately was call the police," the letter says. "While it is reported that Bishop DiLorenzo said that he forbade the abortion, we are equally concerned about his inaction as well."

DiLorenzo and Nattrass apologized for the incident last week, but Brown said that was not enough.

She said American Life League has repeatedly reached out to the Richmond diocese for answers but has received no response.

"This is a Catholic agency that sanctioned the killing of a life," Brown said. "We want to know why."

The Supreme Court Decision On Same Sex Marriage

by Camille Giglio,
Family Issues Legislative Analyst, California Federation of Republican Women, and
Director, California Right to Life Committee

The right to enter into an
officially recognized family relationship that affords all of the significant legal
rights and obligations traditionally associated under state law with the institution
of marriage, but under which the union of an opposite-sex couple is officially
designated a “marriage” whereas the union of a same-sex couple is officially
designated a “domestic partnership.” The question we must address is whether,
under these circumstances, the failure to designate the official relationship of
same-sex couples as marriage violates the California Constitution.

In re: Marriage Cases: six consolidated appeals

The recent California Supreme Court Case regarding same-sex marriages was a split decision, 4-3, in favor of granting same-sex couples the same standing before the law as heterosexual couples to obtain a marriage license. Concurring; Chief Justice Ron George, Associate justices,

Joyce Kennard, Kathryn Werdegar, Carlos Moreno. Dissenting; Associate Justices Carol Corrigan, Marvin Baxter and Ming Chin.

At the same time while acknowledging that the current Domestic Partner legislation actually provides the same civil rights as a marriage contract; they argue that only the word marriage can convey equality and an “even playing field” in the context of protecting civil rights . The idea conveyed in using the term Domestic Partners somehow, in the minds of these four Justices, conveys second class citizenship for same-sex couples.

These judges relied on a previous finding - Perez v Sharp, that the constitution could not prevent interracial marriages since it would place limits on human beings rights to chose for themselves with whom they would “desire to share one’s life.”

In other words, an interest in “protecting fundamental interest in liberty and personal autonomy” suddenly overrides centuries of tradition and religious teaching.

They said, further, that the “state now recognizes that an individual’s capacity to establish a loving and long term committed relationship [including] [the] care and raising of children does not depend upon one’s individual sexual orientation.” To the Justices this question resides on an “emphasis in protecting the family unit.”

Now we understand the agenda behind the hotly contested argument on a gay’s “right” to adoption.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent appointee to the bench, Justice Carol Corrigan, saw things differently in her written descent. She accepts the legal underpinnings of marriage and domestic partnerships to be of equal worth and value and, apparently felt that there was no need to take a case to the Supreme Court.

She said: “It is important to be clear. Under California law, domestic partners have virtually all of the same substantive legal benefits and privileges” available to traditional spouses. (Maj. opn., ante, at p. 45.) I believe the Constitution requires this as a matter of equal protection. However, the single question in this case is whether domestic partners have a constitutional right to the name of “marriage.”

She said, regarding the recent Domestic Partnership legislation: “It is a remarkable achievement that the law now expressly recognizes that domestic partnerships have “almost” the same substantive rights and obligations as spouses.” She uses the word “almost” appearing to be implying that she understands that both can not be exactly the same due to the traditional understanding of marriage as a contract between a man and a woman and their God, while same-sex domestic partnerships, in essence, claim the state as their third party in a purely secular contract.

She is, however, supportive of the Domestic Partnership legislation. She says: “the majority (opinion on same-sex marriage decision) denigrates the Domestic Partners Act legislation which sought equality between marriage and domestic partner rights” thereby reading that legislation as creating second class citizenships.

Judge Corrigan also rejects the argument that this new decision can have as a basis the decision on interracial marriages because that decision - Perez v Sharp - was still based on marriage being between a man and a woman.

She wrote: “The legitimate purpose of the statutes defining marriage is to preserve the traditional understanding of the institution. For that purpose, plaintiffs are not similarly situated with spouses. While their unions are of equal legal dignity, they are different because they join partners of the same gender. Plaintiffs are in the process of founding a new tradition, unfettered by the boundaries of the old one”.

There is a petition being generated now that requests that the court allow at least a month before implementation of this decision while the groups opposed to gay marriage consider a challenge to the decision. Further, Randy Thomasson of California Campaign for Children and Families claims that several pieces of legislation need to be decided prior to implementation, authorizing amendments to various legal codes on marriage and family. This will require new legislation, hearings before committees, both houses to vote on the issue and the Governor to sign or veto any bills. This is the same situation that caused the courts to negate the marriage licenses handed out in San Francisco by Mayor Gavin Newsom’s City Hall clerks.

If this is the case, that legislation needs to happen before implementation, then it might suggest that the court, as Judge Corrigan alludes, interfered in the legislative process. Some people have suggested that their decision was politically motivated.

In the meantime each side of this issue is taking advantage of the moment to urge donations, sign protest forms, call the Governor’s hotline and vote their position on same-sex marriage. The media is interviewing both sides, massive amounts of ink are flowing, blogs and websites are being written with glowing or dire accounts of the future as they see the future being played out in this new enlightened understanding of the purpose of marriage.

Even politicians and campaign managers who view a campaign based on religion as the third rail of politics see this as an opportunity to cash in on the situation. "This will be at the top of the list of issues in the 2008 race, and it comes during a time when Republicans are in desperate need of something that will invigorate the base," declared a Concerned Women of American spokesperson.

The pro same-sex marriage lobbyists declare that their right to marry will not affect the status of marriage for others, but it already has. Marriage is now reduced to an item of political debate. Now that the Sacrament of Matrimony has been reduced to politics and votes where will it go from there? We know where the court decisions on abortion and on civil rights have gone.

The action of the four assenting Justices has placed the Sacrament of marriage exactly where the homosexual community wants it, in the public and secular realm where they have a strong argument for justice and equality on an issue that should be about faith, salvation, moral values and the continuation of mankind.

This decision strikes directly at the biblical reminder that “What God has joined together let no man put asunder.” Quite possibly this has as least as much if not more to do with keeping God in the marriage contract as it does with divorce.

Proposition 22, the marriage amendment, passed eight years ago with a strong majority. The citizens of California will have another opportunity to protect traditional marriage if the 1.1 million signatures gathered so far are approved by the Secretary of State’s office for the November ballot. Information about the ballot initiative entitled Protect Marriage can be found online at http://protectmarriage.com

Its web site contains a list of current supporters. It would seem that every California Republican Senator and Assembly member has signed on.

The future of marriage in California now rests in your hands. It might be well to ponder the warning spoken to the Israelites by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy 8:2-3,14b-16a: “Do not forget the Lord your God.”

_________________________________________________________
WHO SUPPORTED AND WHO OPPOSED SAME-SEX MARRIAGE?

For the supporters of the Court Case there are eight pages of single spaced, tightly
packed paragraphs of Amicus Curiae individuals and groups. Included in the individuals
are several legislators:

Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, (law firm used by Gov. Schwarzenegger) James C. Harrison, Thomas A. Willis and Kari Krogseng for Senators Elaine Alquist, Ellen Corbett, Christine Kehoe, Sheila Kuehl, Carole Migden and Darrell Steinberg and: Assembly members Noreen Evans, Loni Hancock, Jared W. Huffman, Dave Jones, John Laird, Mark Leno, Sally J. Lieber, Fiona Ma, Anthony J. Portantino and Lori Saldana as Amici Curiae on behalf of Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Several pages of listings of churches: mostly every state branch of the Unitarian Universalist organization (indivisable from the ACLU), Metropolitan Community churches, a large smattering of Presbyterian and Episcopal and United Church of Christ groups. One. A woman UUA member, Rev. Diane Miller, PhD, of the Walnut Creek branch is listed as one of the attorneys for the Respondents or Plaintiffs. (Those who spoke before the Court in opposition to the marriage case are called Appellants)

Numerous non-profit and public policy organizations (as well as main line churches). It would seem here our tax dollars, given in support of these groups, are being turned against us. One organization - California Church Impact is an umbrella group for dozens of pseudo faith based and secular organizations such as Planned Parenthood, La Raza, Also California Council of Churches along with quite a few Jewish Congregations and service groups. Also the NAACP is listed here.

The listing for Appellants comprise two and one-half pages of names and include the Thomas More Society, Knights of Columbus, Judicial Watch, Claremont Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence, Kenneth Starr, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, California Catholic conference, Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays.

The list of officially recognized attorneys representing Appellants are:

Alliance Defense Fund, Jay Alan Sekulow, Liberty Counsel, Campaign for California Families; and, this will bring a chuckle, Bill Lockyer, Jerry Brown and numerous state officials who are pretty much compelled to uphold and defend the current state findings.
_______________________

In the 5-27-08 edition of the Contra Costa Times, pg A6, is a bizarre story entitled: California Supreme Court to hear lesbian insemination case.” It seems that about 8 years ago a lesbian was being given fertility treatments by the North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group. However, this group balked at the patient’s request for artificial insemination which she and the Lambda Legal Group (part of ACLU) believe she was entitled to under anti-civil rights discrimination legislation. The Lambda attorney, Jennifer Pizer, states that “There is confusion among many health care providers who believe doctors have the freedom to pick and choose their patients.” Apparently the California Medical Association and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan have joined the brief and Amicus Curiae-friends of the court.

I believe that this is pertinent to the marriage case and to any future state supreme court involvement in the homosexual communities interests. The so-called rights to homosexuals to marry may well go the way of abortion and probably euthanasia if that ever passes. Abortion, in the beginning, was only for the few hard cases. Now its wide open and every business and hospital and religious group is blackmailed with fear of losing their tax support if they don’t provide or refer for abortions. Religious tenets have been compromised.

A 2003 lengthy report printed in The Historian entitled: Model City: The war on poverty, race relations, and Catholic social activism in 1960’s Pittsburg, details the capitulation of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburg, Pa., to an alliance between the church and Planned Parenthood in order to maintain public funding.

Once again, it falls to the Catholics, Evangelicals and Christians everywhere to hold the line. This state Supreme Court marriage Case forcing the state to comply in an unholy alliance with humanism will only be the beginning of the breakdown in yet another tradition value.

Hillary, Obama and the 2008 Elections, Part 2

Where is the Rhetoric Headed?
Shaping public opinion
By Stephanie Block

I won’t skate conspiracy theories so long as there are simpler explanations, but please examine the following articles, trolled from between December 2007 and February 2008. There were dozens and dozens of additional articles one might have chosen to demonstrate the same thing, but one grows weary and the point remains the same, namely that there are a large number of people who are saying roughly the same thing from rather influential positions.

For example, the Tennessean, carried an article called "Democrats believe evangelicals could deliver presidency" (Bob Smietana, 2-20-08) that said, "According to a post-election poll sponsored by Faith in Public Life and the Center for American Progress Action Fund, 32 percent of Tennessee Democratic primary voters were evangelicals." It then goes on to say Democrats are targeting the evangelicals. According to one analyst, "as long as the Republican Party remains opposed to abortion, a vast majority of evangelicals will support them. If you take the life issue off the table - and that’s a pretty big issue - you give Democrats a license to go hunting for evangelical voters." There followed a story about an evangelical who switched his priorities from abstract moral principles to an issue that hit closer to home, namely healthcare, and the observation from a local professor that "evangelicals are expanding their moral agenda to include issues such as poverty and AIDS, along with abortion. That’s especially true about younger evangelicals."

A Washington Post, Op-Ed by Michael Gerson, "Faith without a Home" (2-27-08) starts with the gleeful, "I have seen the future of evangelical Christianity, and it is pierced. And sometimes tattooed. And often has one of those annoying, wispy chin beards. Many observers have detected a shift - a broadening or maturation - of evangelical social concerns beyond the traditional agenda of the religious right. But does this have political implications?"

Bill Berkowitz, writing "The Times They Are A-Changin’ for the Religious Right" (3-27-08) writes, "The old guard is wondering if ‘the younger generation will heed the call’ while the young Turks have other things on their minds besides abortion and same-sex marriage. During a recent appearance at the National Religious Broadcasters conference, Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, expressed deep concern about the future of the conservative Christian movement he helped build. ‘The question is,’ Dobson said, ‘will the younger generation heed the call? Who will defend the unborn child in the years to come? Who will plead for the Terri Schiavos of the world? Who’s going to fight for the institution of marriage, which is on the ropes today?" Berkowitz, one may point out, isn’t sorry to see the old guard go.

Let’s turn now to the other conservative demographic

Hillary, Obama and the 2008 Elections, Part 1

Alinsky and the 2008 Elections
By Stephanie Block

By this point, most people are aware that Hillary Clinton, a contender for the Democrat Party’s nomination as a candidate in the 2008 presidential elections, wrote an analysis of Saul Alinsky’s organizational theories for her college thesis. She met Alinsky through a church group and remained in touch with him until his death in 1972.
Alinsky was an interesting acquaintance for an ambitious politician. He founded the Industrial Areas Foundation in 1940 and authored two books on organizing, Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals, the latter written as a poor man’s Machiavelli. In these works, he observed that the worldly mechanisms for power come from money and large numbers of organized people. Therefore, Alinsky taught his people’s organizations," in their quest for power, should seek money and numbers.

Opponents were to be treated not as persons but as symbols representing ideas…inimical to the welfare of the people." Who determined the welfare of the people?" The organizer, of course.

The Marxist notion of class conflict predicated his worldview. In politics, the end justifies almost any means" and all effective actions require the passport of morality". Along the same lines, Alinsky said that the ethics of means and ends is that you do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral garments…. Moral rationalization is indispensable at all times of action whether to justify the selection or the use of ends or means." Don’t flaunt your revolutionary ambitions, Alinsky taught his organizers to infiltrate. Look like the enemy. Talk like him. Get into his institutions and change them from within.

This is not the stuff of the good guys."

In fact, it is so morally flawed that when Machiavelli published a similar set of practical principles for his prince, the Church put his book on its Index of forbidden" reading. The fact that one can get his way unscrupulously - that unscrupulous means work - doesn’t make it good.

Nor does the contemporary mantra of preferential option for the poor" intend a separate moral code for the poor. Society can address the special needs of the poor without violating fundamental ethical standards. Alinsky was simple wrong and Clinton’s attraction to his brand of organizing is problematic.

Mrs. Clinton, however, isn’t the only Alinskyite seeking the Democrat Party presidential nomination. Senator Barack Obama was trained by Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation, has taught workshops on the Alinsky method, and spent four years as a community organizer in Chicago. Later, he worked with ACORN and its offshoot Project Vote, which are branches of the Alinskyian network.

These two aspiring candidates, regardless of which party acquires the White House plum in November, are important for Catholics to consider. They both uphold abortion rights" and special legal rights" for homosexual behavior. They both support Planned Parenthood. And both have been trained by an organized, ideologically motivated network that gets a great deal of its power - that’s right, money and people - from the Catholic Church.

Surely not, you gasp. The Catholic Church decries abortion as the greatest assault against human life yet known to mankind. The Catholic Church insists, against great social pressure to be silent, that homosexual behavior is "disordered."

Yet here is the Catholic Church filtering millions of dollars into the Alinskyian networks through its annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development and through its congregational support of various network affiliates. Therefore, here is the Catholic Church, supporting Alinskyian political activism.

So, whether or not an Alinskyite ends up as the next president - though it’s possible one will, no thanks to Catholic money - the Alinskyian cancer will continue to be fed by the very body most diametrically opposed to it. Alinsky would have been immensely gratified.

Reprinted from the May 2008 Peque’os Pepper.

Margaret Sanger: The Mike Wallace Interview

The Mike Wallace Interview
Margaret Sanger   9/21/57

Guest: Margaret Sanger
9/21/57

WALLACE: Good evening, what you’re about to witness is, an unrehearsed, uncensored interview on the issue of Birth Control. It will be a free discussion of an adult topic, a topic that we feel merits public examination. My name is Mike Wallace, the cigarette is Philip Morris.

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER: New Philip Morris, probably the best natural smoke you ever tasted, presents…(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER: The Mike Wallace Interview.

WALLACE: Tonight, we go after the story of the woman who violated convention and bucked powerful opposition to lead the Birth Control Movement in America. You see her behind me, she is Mrs. Margaret Sanger, who was thrown into jail eight different times for her efforts. If you’re curious to know why Mrs. Sanger has devoted her life to the Birth Control Movement, if you’d like to hear her answer to the charge that Birth Control is a sin, and if you want to get her views on politics, divorce and God, we’ll go after those stories in just a moment.

WALLACE: My guest’s opinions are not necessarily mine, the station’s or my sponsor’s Philip Morris Incorporated, but whether you agree or disagree, we feel that none should deny the right of these views to be broadcast. One might say that the basis of this program is fact and fiction. And using that yardstick I’d like to apply it to something I usually talk about at this time and that is this: Philip Morris Cigarettes.

WALLACE: Here’s why I smoke ‘em and enjoy them. Fact One:– Today’s Philip Morris is no ordinary blend, it’s a special blend, of domestic and imported tobaccos. Opinion? My taste may be different from yours, but on this I think we can agree. This cigarette tastes natural; I think you’ll like it. Fact Two:–Today’s Philip Morris is made of mild, lighter leaf tobaccos. Opinion. To me that accounts for the genuine mildness I get in every puff–it’s what I call a man’s kind of mildness, there’s no filter, no foolin’, no artificial mildness, because you see there’s nothing between you and the tobacco itself. And fact three is, of course, this box. Philip Morris was the first non-filtered cigarette to come in a crush-proofed box. Opinion? A cigarette that keeps better, smokes better, so get with Philip Morris yourself and check these facts, when you do, I think you’ll find it’s probably the best natural smoke you ever tasted. And now to our story.

WALLACE: When Mrs. Margaret Sanger opened the first Birth Control Clinic in the United States, back in 1916, birth control, was a dirty word. The police threw her into jail as they were to do seven more times during her crusade. A crusade that still faces the reasoning, but unalterable opposition of the Roman Catholic Church. That crusade kept Mrs. Sanger away from her children for long periods. It helped to break up her first marriage, and she suffered constant harrowing social abuse.

WALLACE: Mrs. Sanger, in view of all of that, let me ask you this first of all. Why did you do it? I realize that you had an intellectual conviction that birth control was a boon to mankind, but I’m sure that others have had that conviction too, and so what I would like to know is this: What events –what emotions in your life, made Margaret Sanger a crusader for birth control?

SANGER: Well, Mr. Wallace, it’s hard to say that any one thing has made one do this or that. I think that from the very beginning — I came from a large family, my mother died young, eleven children, that made an impression on me as a child. I was a trained nurse, went among the people.

SANGER: I saw, women, who asked to have some means whereby they wouldn’t have to have another pregnancy too early, after the last child, the last abortion, which many of them had. So there are numerous things that are, one after the other, that really made you feel that you had to do something.

WALLACE: There are some other possible reasons that suggest themselves on reading your biography by Lawrence Lader. Your mother, as you say, died prematurely after bearing eleven children. She was born a Catholic, was she not?

SANGER: She was born a Catholic, yes. In Ireland.

WALLACE: And your, your father was sort of a — village atheist, who clashed with church authorities and because of his atheism his earnings dwindled under community pressure –you and your brothers and sisters were known as quote children of the devil, end quote. Could it be then, that in part at least you were driven emotionally toward the birth control movement because of antagonism toward the church, because that was a way to fight the church.

SANGER: No I don’t think I had anything of the kind in mind– I was — I was what I would call a born humanitarian. I don’t like to see people suffer, I don’t like to see cruelty even to this day, and in nursing you see a great deal of cruelty and unnecessary suffering. At that time, there was no opposition as far as the church was concerned, any church. It was mainly the law, the Federal Law and State Laws, that one had to–to think of. The church was not in my mind at all.

WALLACE: Well in going after your motive then, and I will press you just a little bit more about that and then get to the specifics of this evening, but in your motive, in the movement, is it possible that the movement itself — the feeling of wanting to do anything that you felt was important, that perhaps that moved you a good deal.

WALLACE: Because, the fact remains that you led a movement against overwhelming pressures that stem back to centuries and in doing so according to your autobiography, you even left your first husband, and you wrote this to a friend, Mrs. Sanger. You said, "where is the man to give me what the movement gives, in joy and interest and freedom." Now, what was this joy, this freedom, that you craved?

SANGER: Well, I don’t remember that letter — (LAUGHS) — how it was written, but I think it was not question of a — a marriage at all, there’s a certain satisfaction in a –doing something that is going to alleviate the sufferings of women, in particular, and I was quite a feminist, at the time.

WALLACE: hm — hm — obviously..

SANGER: …and a — yes — and a — I naturally didn’t want to see women take all the suffering of child-bearing and of pregnancies. So it was a pleasure in a sense to think that you were striking at an archaic law, which it was..

SANGER: …it was put on the statute books by Anthony Comstock some years ago, and a no one had stood up against it and no one had–had tried to change the laws, and at that time not even a doctor had a right to use the United States Mail in common carriers for books, for learning, for anything that he had to do with this question. It was considered obscene. The whole question was considered obscene.

WALLACE: Mrs. Sanger, you have helped to spread the Birth Control Movement, not only here in the United States, but in Europe, and the Orient as well. Why? Why is Birth Control of such vital importance internationally? Is it just to save womens’ suffering is that the only reason in your mind?

SANGER: Well, not entirely, the population question is a great concern today and the a the rate at which the birth - births come-in to the a we’re saving them now - at one time the children died

SENIOR CITIZENS, THE NEWEST COMMODITY.

On January 20, 2006, the Contra Costa Times carried a commentary by Mary Moorhead entitled : “Industry zeros in on senior concerns.” The article starts off by saying “I recently discovered a new elders-oriented industry and its recently formed national association.” She said, further, that: “Everyone wants in on the graying of America.” She then proceeded to write about a non-profit that refers to itself as “move managers.” They manage the movement of senior citizens from their individual homes into senior living quarters.

I was reminded of this earlier article by one that appeared in the local Walnut Creek Journal weekly insert to the Times on March 20, 2008, entitled: Developer breaks ground on affordable senior housing project.” It reports on the beginning development of yet another public/private partnership City Council approved project targeting seniors. This will provide 33 one-bedroom apartments for people age 62 and older, earning under $29,350 or couples earning $33,500 or less per year. It is near a medical center and an already existing 80-unit seniors affordable housing apartment building. Both complexes were funded by H.U.D. and other government and private/nonprofit enterprises.

By the way, the words “earning” and “senior citizens” is very generalized. There is no definition provided to define earnings. Is this all the money they have to live on year to year? Is it income from part time employment, is it earnings on investments? The senior citizen so described might have other sources of income and few of the expenses of a young family especially if that citizen is currently living in a home that no longer has a mortgage and is protected by Prop 13. Some of these seniors will qualify for Affordable Housing meaning that the other residents of the complex along with some government entity will subsidize this housing. These are not welfare recipients necessarily.

Walnut Creek is only one city amongst hundreds across the country engaging in a whole new government/non-profit developed, owned and managed industry overseeing and organizing the lives of senior citizens. However, Walnut Creek seems to be a “role model” (read experiment) for this type of development.

From 2001 until 2004, 16 local community agencies using $4 million in funding from the Mt. Diablo/John Muir Community Health Fund and the Y. & H. Soda Foundation met, planned and developed a multi-phased program designed to “help older adults age in place…and, connect underserved, overlooked, and isolated seniors to supportive services and social and recreational opportunities.” (page 2 of Pathways to an aging-friendly community)

In October, 2004, Contra Costa County formalized its efforts by creating a public/private partnership (government agencies providing funding and directives to non-profit agencies) entitled Contra Costa for Every Generation-CCEG: Identifying Pathways to an Aging-friendly Community. As of today they have now achieved the status of a corporation funded by our tax dollars. They also have a 6 part strategic plan for implementation of their goals. www.foreverygeneration.org.

In 2006 I spent several months collecting data and interviewing members of this community development organization. At that time its members were eager to share their enthusiasm for coordinating services to the senior members of our county. Every city within Contra Costa County had at least one representative in attendance along with employees from BART, unions, county and city commissions, bus companies, school districts and many more.

All the while, through newspaper articles, citizens were being prepared to accept the idea that senior citizens couldn’t manage by themselves and would need the help of community agencies to meet their social, transportation, health and living arrangement needs. I’m sure you have all been aware of the multitude of articles claiming somewhat hysterically that the increasing number of baby boomers turning 65 were going to swamp local agencies which would have to gear up to meet the needs of this cohort? These articles always somehow failed to mention the benefits to the agencies of an in- flux of new funding with our taxes and expansion of areas of interest.

During this time the CCEG claims to have commissioned a survey of a certain segment of seniors designed to draw a picture of a cohort much in need of services that they could not supply for themselves. The information was then used to justify planning for all senior citizens and authorizing community agencies to develop plans and funding to service this segment of the county. The agencies involved range from religious, social, health, law, insurance, investments, ethnic, pre-school, transportation, non-profit and elected officials and community activist/lobbies just to name a few. Did I say preschool? Yes, and I’ll explain why later on.

The ideas and plans for re-grouping people into inclusionary neighborhoods http://www.nhc.org has been in the development stage for decades. Many people who have been following these developments point to the 1960’s and the Johnson Administration as the starting point for the social consciousness legislation one of which was the Older American’s Act, 1965. This Act created the Federal Administration on Aging - AoA. It, in turn created its counterpart in every state and territory. The purpose of this legislation was sold to the public as a way to assist senior citizens who were “at risk of losing their independence.” In 1992 the O.A.A. was amended to include disease prevention and health promotion under Title lll-D. The O.A.A. was re-authorized in 2006 further expanding its influence and authority.

In California State legislator Henry J. Mello, (D) Santa Cruz, legislator from 1976-96, is considered the father of health care and aging legislation becoming the Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Aging. During his term in office he authored 120 bills focusing on senior issues.

In 1996 Former Democrat Senator Brett Granlund, “as a favor to Henry Mello” sponsored a bill that Mello designed and wrote, the Older Californians Act. It started out as an innocuous bill concerned about Alzheimer’s but was gutted to accommodate the change to the Older American Act. Mr. Granlund, currently a lobbyist in Sacramento, stated that he couldn’t remember the details of the bill since “I haven’t thought about it now for 9 years.”

Just imagine. Something that will eventually have an impact on every Californian was just an exercise in courtesy to an outgoing legislator and not thought of again.

This legislation led to creation of the Aging State Project and in 2001 with passage of SB 910, to something called the Healthy Aging Initiative. Please see http://www.ccoa.ca.gov/default.asp for a full description of the development of this cabinet level agency.

The initiative mandated a survey of citizens throughout the state. This survey was conducted over a four year period by the Public Policy Institute of California. Andrew Scharlach, Professor of Aging within the school of Social Welfare, U.C. Berkeley, appears to be the spokesman for the survey. It was he whom I saw on a CCTV program presenting the survey’s findings to a meeting of the Contra Costa for Every Generation organization. Though the CCEG leaders claim to have funded and conducted its own survey of senior citizens it is actually material taken from this survey that they used to develop their own so-called strategic plan. One should wonder if the results of the survey accurately reflect the statements of the people surveyed or if they were merely stepping stones to a broader, pre-envisioned conclusion?

AT this time cities and counties creating local programs for senior citizens is voluntary, but the question needs to be asked will it one day become mandatory for every city and county to manage its senior residents?

Now, why would there be child care and pre-school councils participating in this county strategic plan on aging? According to Professor Scharlach “we are all aging.” In other words, as Grace Calliendo of the Mt. Diablo/John Muir Community Health Fund stated to me, ”in order to have every citizen arrive at their senior years healthy and productive we must begin with the young people.”

One city employee whom I interviewed regarding housing needs - moving seniors into new neighborhoods - for the elderly put it very bluntly. She said that senior citizens are taking up too much space living in their long held single family homes. Young families need those houses in order for their children to attend the neighborhood schools.

Of course she failed to mention that by moving the older residents out of their homes and selling them to young families the homes lose their Prop 13 protection and the cities and county realize more taxes.

Another advantage to grouping senior residences together is one of cost savings to the agencies serving this older population. If everybody is in essentially the same neighborhood the agency worker/volunteer can supervise more people at one time for less cost.

Transportation agencies figure that they will realize a greater carrying capacity when seniors are separated from their cars making them dependent upon public transportation.

Seniors will be helped to remain socially active and involved through agencies that will prepare events and gatherings for them. Seniors will be encouraged to volunteer in these agencies and, maybe some will be employable part time. Agencies gain the service, without pay, of experienced volunteers and they don’t have to employ young people with greater needs for larger incomes. People will be appreciative of the opportunity to volunteer their time and talents because they wouldn’t want to appear selfish and unproductive. Similarly high school students are being pushed into volunteering their services to area agencies. There is even a legislative debate about providing students with school credits for volunteering which will be added into their graduation credits. I’m sure that there will be incentives presented to senior citizens making it unbeneficial not to cooperate. Consider what might occur with universal, government controlled health care? Can you say Utilitarian Ethic?

It isn’t just senior citizens who are being targeted for services. Consider the following all of which has been approved through legislation on either the federal or state level or both:

1. Agencies are created or authorized to provide services to new-borns and their mothers through “Welcome Home, baby” programs. Presumably new mothers need coaching in the proper think tank prescribed methods of raising their children.

2. Legislation is authored to develop early pre-schools, ages 1-3, because children need to be placed in government controlled learning programs and aren’t being sufficiently prepared for Kindergarten by their parents. These tiny tots will be failures by the 5th grade if they aren’t properly taught by age 5.

3. After school programs are created because kids aren’t being supervised properly at home and parents aren’t providing enough socialization of their students, esp. home-schooled children. This is the time that many of the non-profits have access to your child.

4. Planned Parenthood offers all sort of counseling and advice to teens and pre-teens because parents don’t instruct their children in the intricacies of relationships.

5. Legislation authorizing extension of government care and counseling for foster children who have reached age 18 and no longer come under the government governance.

6. School to Work Programs and school academies providing training for employment after high school graduation because students aren’t prepared sufficiently to enter the labor force.

7. School health clinics because parents aren’t providing proper attention to their children’s health or obesity/nutrition dangers. Legislation is offered funding school breakfasts and lunches and, in some cases dinners for students

Well, you get the idea.

People are no longer considered capable of managing their own lives. But, even more ominous than that is the move by government entities to hand over their mandates to protect citizens rights to non-profit private agencies to supervise every segment of human life and endeavors. (Castan Centre for Human Rights Law: Human Rights and the Shrinking State; the New Footprint of State Responsibility, by David Kinley).

FEMINISM: CHANGING BOYS INTO COMPASSIONATE MEN

From time to time I have reported on programs being aired on the local county cable TV station - CCTV. I have learned a great deal about what social change programs are entering our county, who is sponsoring them and to whom they are directed.

I recently reported on two programs, originally aired in 2006 and 2007 and taped for re-airing at future dates, in which the speakers introduced A) the idea that our U.S. Constitution was passé and B) in which two elected officials took the opportunity to bash President Bush over his veto of the SCHIP expansion. I usually order a copy of the program on DVD and can spend my leisure (that’s a joke, Ma’am) reviewing the content.

This week I reviewed a program originally aired on September 16, 2005, and re-run many times on CCTV entitled: Man Power: Mentoring Boys to Compassionate Men. The guest speaker was Dr. Michael Kaufman, a Canadian, Founder of the 1991 White Ribbon Campaign to end Domestic Violence. The program was sponsored by STAND Against Domestic Violence and Zero Tolerance Against Domestic Violence. Both of these organizations are supported by our tax dollars.

The coordinators and community partners were the County District Attorney’s Office, Supervisor Federal Glover, County Sheriff’s Dept, Public Defender’s office, Health Dept, Elder Abuse Council and Bay Area Legal Services.

The audience was (sparsely) filled, one must presume, with employees from those agencies and especially people who would work with rehabilitating prisoners and preventing crime amongst those local populations deemed to be most susceptible to criminal activity.

Kaufman’s purpose in being there was to lay out a program for reducing or eliminating the tendencies of violence in men and boys especially as it affected women and creating in them a more compassionate demeanor towards women and their unique status and needs.

The day long workshop (the DVD went on for 2 hours and 27 minutes) consisted of rehashing the 1960s worn out feminist diatribe against: men that they need to develop their feminine side and become more compassionate and accepting of what women want in men.

Here’s some of the things he claimed:

1. Studies of ancient and remote tribes that practice equality amongst the men and women have no violence.

2. The development of male dominance began about 8,000 yrs ago (when questioned by a participant he was unable to state what caused this disruption in Western society). He could only say that men have a pre-disposition to violence and a desire for dominance, therefore, we had a slave society wherein men could dominate others perceived as weaker than themselves.

3. Men are, basically fearful that they won’t be successful.

4. Men perform for other men from whom they seek assurance.

5. Male fear of falling short turns into anger which is then taken out on women, children and white men presume they are privileged just because of their skin color and so they presume to have the right to enslave those of other skin colors. Dr. Kaufman is a white male.

6. Even if one is a non-violent male who would never strike or enslave another that person is responsible for the continuance of this violent society because of silence, failure to turn in their neighbor for perceived violent acts against another.

Kaufman told a story which he presented as his own but I seriously doubt it because he gave other examples of male dominance which the feminists have been crying about for 30 years.

He compared the birth of his son and the reaction of the delivery room staff to the birth of a daughter and the response from delivery room personnel.

For the boy, even the nurses declared, he said, in “deep voices,” “It’s a boy, how strong he looks.” When a girl is born, he said, “delivery room staff pitch their voices high and soft and crooning and say, “ah, it’s a girl, how sweet” He then said: “My son was only 13 seconds old and already victimized by social structure. We talk differently to girls as to boys. Boys are treated differently from girls based on one small part of their body.” This is inequality. He indicated that society begins at birth to teach boys to be violent men. To have to live up to the role model of a violent, wife beating, racist, intolerant slaver.

There was much more, but now I get to the main part of why I’m reporting on this.

As I stated in the beginning, this program was first aired in 2005 and, like so many others, shown over and over again on public television. Often times there has been a meager live audience.

The purpose in airing and recording these programs is not so much to train the attendees, but to reach the TV audience, the community, to manipulate the community’s social values. To create a “norms change” as one spokesman on another Zero Tolerance broadcast had stated.

Here’s what is going on as I figured it out after talking with a very helpful program manager at CCTV. The speakers and programs have goals and objectives which either the city or county officials or non -profit community agencies want people under their sphere of influence to accept. Our tax money is being used to produce these programs whether it comes from local Franchise taxes paid to the cities by the TV station, or charged to us in our monthly bill for cable services or whatever else. We are being brainwashed with our own money and our silence in not opposing these programs.

While the TV station may catch the brunt of our displeasure at what is aired, it is, in reality to county/government entity that brings in the speakers, requests the re-airing of the programs and holds the TV station to accountability and re-authorization of their contract.

So, Gwen Regalia, Mark DeSaulnier, Federal Glover, George Miller, Ellen Tauscher, every city that supports a cable tv station is to be held accountable for the manipulation of our society, in part, through television.

In the old days, the local big-shot would address the village from the Mayor’s balcony. Now he/she does it through our own television in our own home.

THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION AND ABORTION

He lurks in ambush near the villages: in hiding he murders the innocent.

Psalm 9B (10), new Catholic Edition, 1957
 

Question

Does the Constitution embrace a woman’s right to terminate her pregnancy by abortion?

Conclusion

The Court held that a woman’s right to an abortion fell within the right to privacy (recognized in Griswold v. Connecticut) protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. The decision gave a woman total autonomy over the pregnancy during the first trimester and defined different levels of state interest for the second and third trimesters. As a result, the laws of 46 states were affected by the Court’s ruling.

Roe v Wade abstract citation;U.S. Supreme Court Cases and Opinions

Vol. 410 US.113 (1973)
 

The Roe v Wade U.S. Supreme Court Decision of 1973 severely diminished our Constitionally held right to the First and Fourteenth Amendment protections of our lives our liberty and property. This Decision opened the flood gates to recognizing in law that though clearly manifesting total human qualities as recognized by the scientific community, some human beings, those in the womb, are less than human and capable of being killed with total impunity.

In 1973 I was a young mother of three children living just outside of Washington, D.C. When news of this decision first came over the radio I was pleased. Within twenty-four hours I realized that I had misunderstood this new law. People would not be told the truth about abortion and its destructive nature to a baby or the after effects to the mother. The truth would be hidden and taking the life of a preborn baby for casual reasons had risen to a legal right in our country.

The words and deeds of U. S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackman, who wrote the majority opinion on Roe v Wade, have been thoroughly examined and critiqued. No one, it seems, has ever pondered who influenced his thinking? Who or what set him on a course to consider that protecting one person’s privacy could override another person’s right to life?

Though the American Civil Liberties Union takes great pride in acknowledging, to its supporters and followers, that it played a central role in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade abortion Decision of 1973 several lawyers prominently associated with the ACLU and its overall goals, went to great lengths to disassociate themselves from the Roe Decision because while they agreed with and continued to support the premise of free access to abortion, they knew that Roe was predicated on shaky ground and that the country was not yet prepared to quietly acquiesce to the taking of innocent human life.

Laurence H. Tribe, Harvard Law School professor, ACLU member and strong proponent of privacy rights had this to say: “One of the most curious things about Roe is that, behind its own verbal smokescreen, the substantive judgment on which it rests is nowhere to be found.”1

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, current Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and cofounder, in 1972 of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project2 declared:

“Roe, I believe, would have been more acceptable as a judicial decision if it had not gone beyond a ruling on the extreme statute before the court. … Heavy-handed judicial intervention was difficult to justify and appears to have provoked, not resolved, conflict.”

In the last 35 years, Roe and its companion cases have brought about the deaths of over 40 million preborn human beings and brought countless hours of suffering and illness to the women who succumbed to the lure of abortion. They, the babies, were the children of the wealthy, the poor, the young, the thirty-somethings. The future problem solvers of our world.

_________________________________

HOW DID THEY DO IT?

It took 3 years for this Dallas, Texas, case to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1968 Norma McCorvey was a young pregnant unmarried woman. She was looking for assistance to help provide money to see her through the pregnancy. To gain sympathy and attention she declared that her pregnancy was the result of rape. She was introduced to two young lawyers, Sarah Weddington and Linda Coffee who agreed to help her if she would allow them to take her situation to court. The case was first heard in a Dallas district court which found in favor of maintaining the state’s right to keep abortion illegal. Henry Wade was the Dallas District Attorney who was assigned to defend the state’s authority regarding laws against abortion. The plaintiff lost that case to the state. The case was then taken up to the U.S. Supreme Court. By that time McCorvey’s baby had been born and placed in adoption. Years after the Decision McCorvey repudiated her initial claim that she had become pregnant through rape.

Norma McCorvey never intended to get an abortion nor was she even present in the court when the case was decided. She has since then repudiated any association with Planned Parenthood and, in fact, volunteers for a Christian pregnancy counseling organization.

Norman Dorsen, then General Counsel for the ACLU claims to have assisted Sarah Weddington, lead attorney for the plaintiff, in developing the 1973 case. Further, Dorsen claims to have been the lead counsel in the companion case decided that same

________________
1 Quote attributed to Tribe located on web site of Timothy P. Carney. http//timothypcarney.com/?pages_id=176

2 Tribute: The Legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. American Civil Liberties Union, 3/7/2006

day, of Doe v Bolton.3 Bolton defined the meaning of health to include a broad spectrum
of economic, social, educational and mental health standards.
Further, the Unitarian Universalist church, which claims that the ACLU was founded by
UUA members,4 issued a Memorial Statement on the occasion of the January 22,
2007, Roe v Wade 34th Anniversary, claiming responsibility for encouraging a reluctant
Sarah Weddington to accept the case as the plaintiff’s attorney.5

The old phrase “one is known by the company one keeps” is good to recall when considering the organizations with which the ACLU is associated and/or affiliated. Over the decades since its 1920 founding, by an openly avowed Communist, Roger Baldwin, the ACLU has received high praise for being the champion of the voiceless. Yet, when it comes to defending the right to life of the truly voiceless, the child in the womb, they are nowhere to be found.

So, where are these defenders of abortion? Let’s take a look.
 

WHAT THEY SAY TO THE PUBLIC

‘Majority power is limited by the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, which consists of the original ten amendments ratified in 1791, plus the three post-Civil War amendments (the 13th, 14th and 15th) and the 19th Amendment (women’s suffrage), adopted in 1920. The mission of the ACLU is to preserve all of these protections and guarantees”

online ACLU Mission statement, 2007
 

The ACLU, referring to itself as the guardians of freedom claims its mission is achieved
by protecting the following:6

First Amendment rights: freedom of speech, association and assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion
Your right to equal protection under the law: equal treatment regardless of race, sex, religion or national origin.

________________
3 Norman Dorsen is the Frederick and Grace A. Stokes Professor of Law and Faculty Chair of the Global law School
Program at NYU School of Law. He was President of the ACLU from 1976-1991. He is the editor of an ACLU 1984
report entitled: “Our Endangered Rights: The ACLU Report on Civil Liberties Today,” Michigan Law Review, vol. 83,
no. 4. Added note: The book Fabian Freeway provides a listing of the original board members of the ACLU of 1921.
Helen Phelps Stokes is listed as treasurer. There is sufficient research to assume that Frederick Stokes is related to
Anson and Helen Louisa Phelps Stokes.

4 KDFC, 102.1 fm currently airing UUBA ad states that the ACLU was founded by UUA members, 1-10-08.

5 The Women’s Alliance at First Unitarian Church in Dallas was a major supporter of Roe v. Wade when it began its
journey through the Texas court system. The congregation’s leaders encouraged the lead attorney, Sarah Weddington,
to pursue the case even though she was beginning her career and was not sure she wanted to be involved in
such a controversial case. Weddington and members of the Alliance received the Unitarian Universalist Women’s
Federation Ministry to Women Award in 2005 for their work. http://www.uua.org/news/newssubmissions/14042.shtml

6 www.aclu.org/about/index.html
 

  • Your right to due process: fair treatment by the government whenever the loss of your liberty or property is at stake.
     
  • Your right to privacy: freedom from unwarranted government intrusion into your personal and private affairs.

Rather than being the benevolent defender of our Constitution, the ACLU has become the grand manipulator of the meaning of words and actions. Read those words again. Notice how selective they are in enumerating our Bill of Rights guarantees?

It alludes to the Fourteenth Amendment right to Due Process but drops that Amendment’s guarantee of life, liberty and property.

If, as the Constitution states, the state must protect the right to life of all persons, then the proponents of abortion had to find some way to circumvent that guarantee for that segment of humanity existing in the womb in order to bring about the willful destruction that abortion visits on human life.

The Roe v Wade case took these constitutionally guaranteed rights and turned them upside down signaling to both the medical profession and society in general that it had the right to judge preborn persons (the living body of a human being - man, woman and child, American College Dictionary, 1959) as unworthy of the right to life.

In Roe v Wade, the preborn child is denied not only his or her life, but her liberty. She is a captive in the womb. The preborn child is mute, unable to signal to the public that she needs help. This child’s access to due process is non-existent. He or she is declared because of Roe to be non-human and is given no day in court to prove her innocence or provided legal assistance to state her case. The preborn child becomes mere property. Slavery and ownership of another human being was outlawed by the Thirteenth Amendment, but the ACLU chooses to ignore that Amendment.

Roe v Wade redefined the traditionally understood meaning of personhood as stated in the Fourteenth Amendment as applying to all human beings by declaring that only human beings who are born are provided with the title of personhood.

The Fourteenth amendment begins with the words “All persons born or naturalized in the United States….” The emphasis is on the word “born.” According to Roe a baby residing in the womb is not born as we understand the verb to be born. That life exists, but since it is not born it is, therefore, not a person. If this baby is not a person, according to Roe, then succeeding cases and public debate on abortion overlook this life and focus only on the privacy and health rights of the woman.
 

WHAT DID THE ACLU REALLY WANT?

“Do steer away from making it look like a Socialist enterprise. We want also to look patriots in everything we do. We want to get a good lot of flags, talk a good deal about the Constitution and what our forefathers wanted to make of the country and to show that we are really the folks that really stand for the spirit of our institutions.”

Advisory letter by Roger Baldwin. first director, 1920, of the ACLU.

On January 22, 2007, the 34th anniversary of the Infamous US Supreme Court Roe v Wade Decision the ACLU’s web site contained the following statement:

“The world we want includes access to safe and legal abortion care, secures our right to have children when we are ready, and supports programs that foster healthy families and healthy lives for all…………To participate fully in society, we must be free to answer for ourselves whether we are ready and capable of being parents. To achieve this world, we must continue to strive for reproductive freedom for everyone.”

Their statement that they want to secure the right to have children when they want is ironic since they have spent much of their time defending the right of, one might even say the obligation of, everyone not to have children. Or, to have children only when some authority deems a new life to be beneficial to the state.

The ACLU’s current web site has a section entitled “The ACLU’s 100 greatest hits.” This is a brief overview of all the cases they argued that they considered to be of importance and affecting the entire citizenry of our country changing our morally and traditionally understood constitutional rights. All of their cases beginning in 1925 were used to lay the groundwork for later decisions bearing on freedom of speech, equality, due process and privacy. At least 10 of these cases, provided the basis either directly or indirectly on the practice of abortion and the protection of those who perform abortions.

From 1961 to 1972 the ACLU represented the plaintiff in overturning state Court decisions on a variety of issues by framing these issues as a right to privacy or freedom from unwarranted Government intervention in what they claimed was one’s private life and doings.

1961 - Poe V Ullman. Though the ACLU lost this Connecticut case regarding a right to distribute contraceptives it set down a basis for their next case which they did win.

1965 - Griswold v Connecticut. This case granted permission for the distribution of contraceptives based on a married couple’s right to decide in private whether or not they would conceive a child. This was the first time the Supreme Court used the penumbra argument. They said, basically, that though using contraceptives was not stated anywhere in the Constitution, a right to purchase and distribute contraceptives as a privacy right was sort of understood to exist in the constitution. It was argued that a penumbra or shadow of the constitution covered this activity. (refer back to Laurence Tribe’s statement).

1971 - U.S. v Vuitch. A doctor’s conviction for performing an illegal abortion was upheld, but this case expanded the “life and health of the woman” concept to include “psychological well-being.” This meant that if a woman could find a doctor willing to declare that a particular woman was in danger of mental health disorders brought on by the pregnancy she was allowed to obtain a legal “therapeutic” abortion.

This case was also the basis for the 1968 California Therapeutic abortion Act and set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court Roe companion case of Doe v Bolton.

1972 - Eisenstadt v Baird. Bill Baird was a flamboyant abortion supporter and distributor of contraceptives. He was arrested for distributing contraceptives in Massachusetts to unmarried women. The ACLU’s web site states it this way; “In an extension of the Court’s evolving privacy doctrine” Baird’s conviction was overturned and distributing or selling contraceptives to unmarried adults and minors became accepted. Many informed people believe that this was clearly a rigged case.

Supreme Court Justice Blackmun who wrote the majority Roe Court Decision premised it on the prior, Griswold case.7  Every abortion case they and succeeding lower courts subsequently defended were hinged on privacy and health rights.

One of their first successes, in 1925, was on behalf of Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Certain members of the ACLU original Board of Directors were also associates of Margaret Sanger such as Jane Addams, benevolent supporter of social causes such as Hull House of New York in the early 1900’s; and Helen Phelps Stokes, New York socialite and wife of millionaire, Anson Stokes8

Attorney Harriet Pilpel (1911-1991) was a partner in a New York law firm handling social justice type cases. She also acted as legal counsel for Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

The ACLU has had at least 78 years to hone its skills in manipulating the meaning of words especially as those words apply to the Constitution. They understand that Americans value the constitutionally protected rights of privacy, due process and equal protection under the law, but they have put their own twist on those understandings. Even their name is a manipulation of meanings. To them Civil liberties means civil libertarianism, or, freedom from any outside social restraints including that of the government under which we live. To an ACLU devotee the individual is his or her own moral law. This is to be clearly seen in the mission and purpose of the Unitarian Universalist church which, as I wrote earlier, claims to have been instrumental in founding and in continuing to support the ACLU. Yet, even this freedom has its limitations. The ACLU does not believe in complete liberty for everyone, only for those individuals and groups which they determine to be integral to their mission of substituting Christianity for the practice of Humanism. Their Annual Report for 2003 contains an article entitled “The Courage to be a Civil Libertarian - when it counts.”

The article concludes by saying that “ [i]t will be the small number of visionary and dedicated ACLU members, those with the courage to be a civil libertarian when it counts, who will be seen as the true patriots.”

The Welfare Laws of our country, especially as they pertain to women and children, and, therefore, families, are closely bound up with reproductive issues thanks in great part to the influence of the ACLU. According to an 8 page, April, 1995, Briefing Report on Welfare Reform: The Civil Liberties Issues of Welfare Reform”., the ACLU made the following statement:

“Although the Constitution does not guarantee the right to receive welfare, the ACLU believes that reform of the public assistance system will likely implicate a variety of constitutional rights. In particular, once the government decides to give welfare benefits - as the United States did during the New Deal - there are constitutional limits to the conditions that it can attach to those benefits and to the treatment afforded beneficiaries.”

________________
7 Griswold v Connecticut. Invalidated a Connecticut law forbidding the use of contraceptives on the ground that a right of “marital privacy” though not specifically guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, is protected by several fundamental constitutional guarantees. www.aclu.org - ACLU 100 greatest hits.

8 Fabian Freeway, Rose L. Martin, 1968, Fidelis Press

In other words the government, must provide for the lifestyles chosen by the welfare recipients to the detriment of those who pay taxes. No official, no tax paying citizen may require limits be set on those who for whatever reason become dependent upon the generosity of the government. Further, no limits may be set upon those individuals or groups who would desire to encourage and cater to the lifestyle needs of welfare recipients.

This briefing paper goes on to state that “the ACLU will oppose any welfare reform proposal that:

  • Conditions the receipt of welfare upon the recipients’ willingness to waive constitutional rights to privacy and free association.
     
  • Removes or reduces benefits arbitrarily or without due process.
     
  • Targets groups of individuals for unfair treatment in a manner that offends the equal protection principles of the Constitution.

In other words, the government is freed of the need to be accountable to the taxpayer when determining authenticity of need. The welfare mother is freed from the man-in-the-house rule. Welfare was traditionally denied to a mother if there was a spouse or man in the house who was capable of providing income to the family.

All of the federally decided ACLU cases regarding reproductive activities have had their effect in the various states as well. Laws making abortion illegal began in 1850 with the invention of the microscope. When the American Medical Association realized that this invention could clearly show the presence of human cells in the womb, cells that were not the mother’s, they went to court to obtain protection for bad recognition of the presence of a human life in the womb. Prior to 1973 each state had either a total ban on the practice of abortion or very limited access. Roe took away the state’s right to control the practice of abortion making it access to abortion a sweeping federal law.

WHAT THE ACLU HAS DONE IN CALIFORNIA

Based on this interpretation of privacy and health welfare has become a right. Equal opportunity requires the state (the taxpayers) to pay for welfare abortions since the state also pays for pregnancy services. If a wealthy woman can pay for her own abortion, so the argument goes, or if the state provides maternal services to the pregnant poor woman, then that poor women and the teenager must be given the means to obtain an abortion as an ordinary part of the services that the state provides.

But, it has gone way beyond that to a point where the state, especially through schools, is a partner with the abortion and population control industry to the exclusion of any teaching on abstinence. California yearly rejects millions of federal tax dollars that would underwrite the cost of teaching abstinence.

In 1970 the Congress created Title X, Office of Family Planning funding which gave grants to create State Offices of Family Planning. A specific amendment was added denying any funds to be used for abortion. Then Congressman George H. W. Bush, supported this amendment as well as voted for the family planning funding.

There was only one hitch. When applying for funding under this grant the states had to provide information about the services provided. Reimbursement for family planning services was paid at approximately two-thirds of the cost from the federal purse and one third from the state. If it was a reimbursement for abortions it was only one-half federal and one half state payment.

Then Governor Jerry Brown declared in about 1976 that California would not provide information on abortion services as that opposed privacy rights. It also hid from the taxpaying public the facts on the numbers of abortions performed in this state and the amount of tax dollars used. Based on the previous decisions regarding privacy the California taxpayer carries the full burden of funding about an estimated one hundred thousand abortions a year, especially, but not only, for Medi-Cal patients since that time. Anyone claiming to need anonymity or privacy regarding the obtaining of an abortion can obtain a tax funded abortion in California. There is no specific information available to the California taxpayer as to how much of the Health Care budget goes to funding abortion. Now that hospitals and Planned Parenthood clinics are considered HMO’s they receive lump sum payments for their services with little or no accountability as to how those funds are used. The state budget gives only a lump sum listing. It is possible but tedious to search the state website for this information - www.dhs.ca.gov and then click on CDHS.

In 1953 an initiative was passed in California allowing for minor girls to consent to medical services (no provision of abortion) without parental consent. Following 1972 this led to the expansion of services to include abortion without parental involvement as a matter of privacy. You see, the stage was already set.

In 1981 there followed another California ACLU case decision based on privacy.

This was the California Rose Byrd Supreme Court Case entitled: Committee to Defend Reproductive Rights v Myers. The Committee was actually a sub unit of the ACLU. (see Ginsburg as previously noted). This decision declared that based on previous decisions regarding privacy and the fact that pregnancy services were covered to adults a minor’s abortion was to be included in those services as simply another aspect of pregnancy services.

The Myers in this case was Beverly Myers, Director of California Health Services appointed by Governor Jerry Brown. She was an ACLU member and left the position soon after this case was won. Many believe that Governor Brown hired her for this position in order to facilitate bringing the law suit against the state.

There followed several attempts in California to pass legislation regarding requiring either parental consent or notification for a minor to obtain an abortion. After all there are several laws protecting the vulnerability and naivete of youth to contract for services. The ACLU intervened to stipulate that there had to be a “judicial bypass” allowing a minor to circumvent parental involvement if a judge deemed the minor to be capable of adult decisions and if that minor might be subject to abuse or oppressive parental intervention. The result is that parents are denied any knowledge or opportunities to counsel their daughters regarding sexual activities. A young girl’s reproductive future is placed in the hands of third parties who profit from the consequences of immature decision making.

In 1987 a hard fought Minor Consent for abortion bill was passed and signed by Governor Deukmejian requiring parental notification prior to a minor obtaining an abortion. The ACLU and other special interest groups immediately went to a California Superior court to obtain an injunction preventing implementation of the law.

1989. the California based First state Court of Appeals upheld the temporary injunction.

1992. Maxine Chesney was appointed by President Bill Clinton as a Judge of the California Superior Court. She was well known and appreciated by the ACLU as she had found in their favor or other AFL-CIO court matters. The ACLU filed their opposition to parental consent in her court. Chesney declared the Parental Consent law to be unconstitutional. This is referred to as judge shopping.

April 4, 1996 The State Supreme Court overturns Chesney’s ruling by a 4-3 decision, declaring the law to be constitutional. However it extends a period of time for a re-hearing. The injunction remains in effect.

May 5, 1997. American Association of Pediatrics v Lungren is heard. With ACLU-Northern Division lawyer, Margaret Crosby, acting for the plaintiff, the State Supreme Court declares the law to be unconstitutional. The A.A.P. has little or nothing to do with any official association of Pediatricians. It, like so many other non-profit groups is another sub group of the ACLU.

What all the above means is that the ACLU has learned to gain a political advantage by dividing Americans. Rather than using their talents and expertise to bring people together for common goals, they specialize in pitting one segment of the population against another: one gender against another, one class against another, one concept of religion against another. Of great significance, they have learned how to pit child against parent with their minor Reproductive rights laws.

In an article entitled ACLU v Unborn Children author Mary Meehan quotes two prominent former ACLU members, law professor Alan Dershowitz and columnist Nat Hentoff. They charge that “the ACLU’s involvement in abortion compromises its role as guardian of First Amendment Rights.”

Meehan also posits the question: Can The ACLU Be Turned Around?” She states:

“Organizations especially ones as well established as the ACLU, are notoriously difficult to turn around on major policy questions. Yet it is possible to imagine appeals to reason and conscience that would reinforce dissenters within the ranks and encourage others to review their policy. Such appeals might also alert liberals in general including liberal judges to the profound inconsistencies in ACLU policy.”

We, the citizens of California and residents of these United States, are sitting by idly allowing our rights and freedoms to be stripped away while we pretend that someone else is doing our job for us of protecting our hard won rights.

The time is growing short. Will we be a country united under God or a country that like the people of the Old Testament - Samuel verse 8, demanded that we have kings (mere mortals) placed over us to judge us?

___________________________________________

APPENDIX

Bills active in the 2007 session of the

California Legislature’s 2007-2008 term.

The American Civil Liberties Union either supported or opposed the following bills in the 2007 session of the California Legislature. Though some of these bills failed passage, never-the-less they clearly depict the interests of the ACLU. All are bills that the ACLU supported unless otherwise stated.

SB 999, CRIME. Leland Yee, (D-S.F.). Amends the law to provide that the maximum sentence for a defendant, who committed a crime when under the age of 18, be 25 years to life rather than life without the possibility of parole. Remains active for 2008.

SB 840, Single Payer Health Care, Sheila Kuehl, (D-Los Angeles). Would have established the state as the single payer of health care negotiating for and paying all bills. Died in Committee. Most likely will return in the 2008 session.

SB 621, Pupil: Confidential Medical Services: parental notification. Tom Harman, (R-Costa Mesa). The ACLU opposed this bill which would have required school districts to inform parents by a separate letter that their children can obtain confidential medical services without their parents’ permission. Died for lack of a hearing.

SB 304, Prisons; Media access. Gloria Romero, (D-L.A). Would have required the Department of Corrections to permit representatives of the news media to interview prisoners in prison and forbid retaliation against an inmate for participating in an interview. Vetoed.

SB 268, Public postsecondary education: nonresident admission criteria: immigrants. Tom McClintock, (R-Thousand Oaks). The ACLU opposed this bill. Would have disallowed persons without lawful immigration status from eligibility for paying nonresident tuition at the California Community Colleges and the CSU. Failed in committee.

AB 1009, Fetal pain prevention. John Benoit, (R-Riverside). ACLU opposed. Would have enacted the Child Fetal Pain Awareness Act of 2008 to require-except in an emergency-that the physician performing the abortion offer the pregnant woman information and counseling on fetal pain. Pulled from hearings. This bill will be alive in the 2008 session.

AB 708, Reproductive health: abstinence education. Robert Huff, (R-Diamond Bar). The ACLU opposed. Would have required the Department of Public Health to develop and implement a program of sexual abstinence education so as to maximize federal fi-nancial participation. Becomes a two-year bill.

(Note: The state rejects several million dollars a year in funds which would pay for abstinence education.)

AB 374, California Compassionate Choices Act. Patty Berg, (D-Eureka). Would have authorized the state to provide assistance to those patients seeking assisted suicide. A two-year bill.

AB 43, Gender-neutral marriage. Carole Migden, (D-S.F.) Would have redefined marriage as a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between two persons. Vetoed.

AB 22, CalWorks: maximum aid determination. Would repeal the restriction of an aid increase to families who were receiving help continuously for the 10 months prior to the birth of a child, thereby qualifying the family for an increase in support. Died in committee.

AB 14, Discrimination: Civil Rights Act of 2007. John Laird, (D-Santa Cruz). Extends various anti-discrimination statutes to include sexual orientation-with disciplinary actions authorized for offenders and immunities for offenders removed. Signed by the Governor.

The ACLU is a non-profit organization. It forms connections with a multitude of likeminded, socially liberal non-profits. Often times it is these connected groups who appear on the list of supporters of legislation but one may assume that it is done with the wholehearted approval and support of the ACLU.

Some of these groups are: Equality USA, Lambda Letters, Pacific Institute for Community Organizing (and it’s myriad county affiliates), Republicans for Compassionate Choice, Latinos Organizing for Reproductive Equality, the Grey Panthers, ACORN-Alliance of Communities organizing for Reform Now.

Funding for Children’s Health Care

Funding California’s
SCHIP Coverage:
What Will It Cost?


Prepared for:
CALIFORNIA HEALTHCARE FOUNDATION


Prepared by:
Peter Harbage, Lisa Chan, and Clara Evans
Harbage Consulting



Acknowledgments
The authors would like to thank Lesley Cummings, Ron Spingarn, Kim Elliott, and others at the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board for their guidance. The authors would also like to thank Kristen Testa of the Children’s Partnership for her expert guidance. Maura Donovan of the Department of Health Services offered invaluable assistance. Edwin Park of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and David Carroll of the California Budget Project provided very constructive comments. Any errors are those of the authors.

About the Authors
Peter Harbage is founder and president of Harbage Consulting, a Sacramento-based health policy consulting firm. Lisa Chan and Clara Evans are directors at the same firm.

About the Foundation
The California HealthCare Foundation, based in Oakland, is an independent philanthropy committed to improving California’s health care delivery and financing systems. Formed in 1996, our goal is to ensure that all Californians have access to affordable, quality health care. For more information about CHCF, visit us online at www.chcf.org.



Introduction

THE FEDERAL STATE CHILDREN’S HEALTH Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a basic source of funding for children’s health coverage programs in California. Created in 1997, the program is a federal-state partnership: The federal government sets broad program standards and offers financial support to states, which use the money to create and operate children’s coverage programs that best meet the states’ goals and needs.

California’s SCHIP program is the largest in the country, providing coverage to more than one million children and women each month. Over the past decade, California spent about $5.3 billion in federal dollars through SCHIP toward the provision of children’s health insurance. However, the program’s funding is set to expire this year.

Without congressional action, no additional federal dollars would be available to California or any other state after September 30, 2007. With the reauthorization debate already under way, two key questions must be answered: (1) How much federal money is needed for California to fund both those children now enrolled and those who might be added due to proposed expansions in eligibility? (2) How many California children are at risk of losing insurance coverage should federal funding end or fall short of projected needs?

To address these questions, the California HealthCare Foundation commissioned Harbage Consulting to develop a five-year budget forecasting model for spending on California programs supported by SCHIP.

The analysis found that an additional $60 billion over five years, as is being sought from Congress by key stakeholder groups, would probably be sufficient for California to meet the needs of its programs. California will need between $6.7 billion and $8.1 billion in federal funding over the next five years to meet and sustain the existing state programs funded by SCHIP. This is $2.8 billion to $4.2 billion above the baseline set by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The health insurance coverage of over 1.5 million Californians is at issue.

When possible eligibility expansions are included, the funding estimate rises to between $7.4 billion and $8.8 billion, amounts that are $3.5 billion to $4.9 billion above the CBO baseline. Given California’s high enrollment numbers, the state is counting upon federal funding significantly above its current allocation to simply maintain these programs.



Background

SCHIP HAS BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN DECREASING the ranks of uninsured children in the United States. Within six years of its 1997 inception, the estimated percentage of uninsured children nationwide had dropped from nearly 23 percent to 15 percent, despite an economic recession that resulted in many families losing access to employer-based health insurance. By 2005, the proportion of uninsured children fell to 12 percent. Census figures show that California had a similar experience, with the number falling from 21 percent in 1998 to 14 percent in 2005. The California Health Interview Survey, which began collecting data in 2001, estimated that the proportion of uninsured children fell from 15.2 percent in 2001 to 10.9 percent in 2005.

The Creation of SCHIP
SCHIP, authorized under Title XXI of the Social Security Act, was created in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 to serve “targeted low-income children,” defined as uninsured children under the age of 19 in families with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). At that time, Congress allocated $39.6 billion over 10 years to the program, making it the largest expansion of public health insurance since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. To implement SCHIP, states could choose to expand their existing Medicaid programs (called Medi-Cal in California), create new children’s insurance programs, or opt for a combination of both.

California chose a combination expansion: It initiated a small expansion of coverage under Medicaid, increasing eligibility under Medi-Cal for children ages 6 to 18 from 85 percent to 100 percent FPL, and created a separate program for children in families with incomes above Medi-Cal levels. California designated the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB) to oversee the state’s new SCHIP program, called the Healthy Families Program (HFP).



Federal Funding Formula

Federal SCHIP dollars are awarded at what is called an “enhanced matching rate.” Like Medicaid, SCHIP reimburses state program costs at a set percentage. For SCHIP, the reimbursement is 30 percent above a state’s Medicaid (or regular) matching rate. In California’s case, the enhanced matching rate is 65 percent, meaning that the federal government reimburses 65 cents to California for every dollar spent on Title XXI programs.

Unlike Medicaid and Medicare, SCHIP is not an entitlement program. Instead, SCHIP has a capped allotment amount and uses a formula to determine each state’s annual funding level. The formula is based on each state’s number of low-income children—regardless of insurance status—and share of uninsured low-income children. Both factors are determined by the U.S. Current Population Survey. The resulting number, which is calculated on a rolling basis, is then multiplied by a state cost factor based on wages of the state’s health service industry employees. Ultimately, this calculation determines each state’s share of the total funds available from the federal government, which is $5 billion for the current fiscal year.

California received its first allotment, worth $855 million, in 1998. Subsequent annual allotments have varied because of changes in the amount of available federal funding. Federal law requires that allotments must be used within three years. Funds used in a year other than the current year are called carry-over funds. Any funds left unused after three years are returned to the federal treasury and reallocated to states that spent their entire allotment.

Generally, the allotments do not accurately reflect a state’s needs for a given year. For example, the amount California received in its first year was larger than the $791 million received in fiscal year 2007, even though California had no children enrolled the first year. Until 2002, California—and several other states—had to return funds to the federal government for reallocation. From 1997 to 2007, California’s total allotment was $6.9 billion, and the state was able to spend about $5.3 billion. The chart in Appendix A provides detailed information on federal spending through SCHIP.

Despite its initial status as a “donor” state that consistently returned unused SCHIP dollars to the federal treasury, California has spent its entire allocation since Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2002. This year, the large number of children receiving services means the state will overspend its FFY 2007 allotment by approximately $274 million, forcing it to rely on available carry-over funding to cover the shortfall.



California’s SCHIP Programs

California runs the largest SCHIP program in the country, using Title XXI dollars to support a wide range of programs to help uninsured children, as shown in Table 1. Although the state uses the bulk of its SCHIP money for the Healthy Families Program, California also funds several programs created and approved by the federal government to achieve a number of goals, including: (1) helping smooth the HFP and Medi-Cal enrollment process; (2) helping enrollees move between Medi-Cal and HFP without a break in coverage; and (3) supporting certain prenatal programs under Medi-Cal and Access for Infants and Mothers (AIM). Appendix B highlights important changes in the Healthy Families Program since its 1998 inception.

California Programs Funded by Title XXI:

  • Healthy Families Program
  • Severely Emotionally Disturbed Children
  • California Children’s Services
  • Medi-Cal Associated Programs
  • Access for Infants and Mothers
     

Impact on Health Care

California’s SCHIP programs have significantly increased timely access to needed care. Uninsured children who gained coverage through SCHIP received more preventive care, and their parents reported better access and improved communication with providers. Racial disparities in access were reduced.

A comprehensive study of the Healthy Families Program, published in the Journal of American Pediatrics in September 2006, found that the program improved access and significantly improved children’s health outcomes.20 The study also found that California’s SCHIP enrollees experienced the same benefits.



SCHIP Cost Projections and Financial Analysis

THIS SECTION DISCUSSES THE METHODOLOGY used to project the future federal contributions for California’s SCHIP programs over the next five years. Future funding estimates from the federal perspective are approached systematically. For each major Title XXI component—Healthy Families, associated Medi-Cal programs and Access for Infants and Mothers—the analysis starts with baseline spending and rates and then projects five-year costs using assumptions about future payment and enrollment growth rates, as well as other factors where necessary. The estimates also include possible eligibility expansions. Given the challenge of accurate forecasting, low to high estimates are provided and the midpoint is used for the overall analysis. Because the analysis is complex and involves several variables, the chart in Appendix C summarizes the relevant assumptions.

Healthy Families Program
Major variables that affect the cost projection for the Healthy Families Program are: (1) annual cost of health benefits per child; (2) administrative costs; and (3) caseload.

Per-Child Costs
Virtually all Healthy Families Program services are provided through managed care plans, allowing for the use of a per capita rate in calculating the cost of covering children.

Base payment rate. This analysis assumes a base rate for all children in the program at $1,186 per child per year. This is a blended rate, based on data showing an average annual cost for infants of $2,835 across health plans, and a non-infant rate of $1,153.21 The infant rate is weighted to the infant portion of the HFP population at 2 percent. While this amount includes basic mental health costs offered through the health plans, it does not include services offered by counties for severely emotionally disturbed (SED) children, nor does it include spending through California Children’s Services (CCS). Although they are an essential part of the core Healthy Families Program, SED and CCS costs are more appropriately calculated with their own methodology, as described below.


Growth in payment rates. Using past annual rate increases as an indicator, this analysis assumes the annual per-child health benefit cost will increase 3.65 percent a year for the midpoint estimate. This rate is varied by plus or minus 15 percent annually to reflect a possible range of spending due to several variables, such as utilization, medical inflation, and changes in national trends (for a range of 3.1 percent to 4.2 percent). For instance, while the growth rate in overall health care expenditures is expected to slow over the next several years, there is no way to know what impact (if any) that may have on rate negotiations.

The 3.65 percent figure is based on the historical pattern of rate increases, with the understanding that some of the rate increases in various years are outliers. In the past, the Healthy Families Program negotiated relatively low year-over-year rate increases with health plans. Since 2000, HFP premiums have increased at rates substantially lower than the average growth in health spending as defined by National Health Expenditure data.

Other adjustments. These per-child costs require two adjustments:

  • Administrative costs. The current HFP administrative vendor is MAXIMUS, a national health consulting firm, which is paid by the state at a rate of $4.10 per child per month to maintain enrollment operations, a total of $49.20 per person per year. For purposes of this analysis, the administrative vendor costs are considered to be flat over time.
     
  • Patient contribution. The Healthy Families Program requires families to contribute to the cost of coverage by paying premiums determined by income and family size, up to a cap of $45 per month. There is an average $5 co-payment for doctor’s visits (preventive services are carved out). A family’s total out-of-pocket costs are capped at $250 per year. For State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2007, the average cost-sharing per child is estimated to be $7.67 per child per month, or $92.04 per child per year.27 (This amount is held flat for the analysis since a change in state law would be needed to increase it.) These contributions offset program costs and, by federal law, cannot be matched.

Annual per-child cost. The forecasting model estimates that the Healthy Families Program total cost per child (not including SED and California Children’s Services) is between $1,431 and $1,506 during Year 5 of the reauthorization. This amount reflects only federal dollars, based on the projected growth in per capita payment rates, administrative costs, and patient contribution amounts discussed above.

Enrollment Growth
Given existing program rules and state outreach efforts, Healthy Families Program enrollment is expected to increase over the next decade. This was incorporated into the analysis in two steps, first for the eligible and enrolled population, and then for the eligible-but-not-enrolled population. Finally, the potential impact of declining employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) coverage and its implications for the Healthy Families Program is also considered.


To determine the number of children eligible for Title XXI programs over time, this analysis first anticipates the growth in California’s child population. It is estimated that the number of children in California will increase about 15 percent from 2000 to 2020, from about 10.3 million to 11.8 million.28 Based on this projection, it is reasonable to assume that California’s child population will grow at a rate of 0.69 percent annually through the end of the decade. At that point, the California Department of Finance projects a growth rate of 0.75 percent annually for the remainder of the budget window.

There are limitations to this growth rate analysis. In particular, the data do not allow for growth rates by income, which would provide a more accurate picture. Also, these rates are based on average annual growth and do not account for periods when growth may be slower or faster. To reflect a possible range of spending, low and high growth ranges were developed based on a plus or minus 15 percent of the midrange (for a range of 0.59 percent to 0.79 percent until 2010 and a range of 0.69 percent to 0.86 percent subsequently).

Base population 1: eligible and enrolled. Assuming that growth in the eligible and enrolled population will occur at the same rate as growth in the general population, this analysis applied the child population growth rates to the existing population of eligible and enrolled children. It is projected that at the end of FFY 2007, about 786,000 children will be enrolled in the Healthy Families Program. This serves as the base for calculating future enrollment. By the end of FFY 2012, the forecasting model estimates that this population is likely to be as large as 819,000.

Base population 2: eligible but not enrolled. This analysis assumes that 228,000 children are eligible but not enrolled in the Healthy Families Program. It also assumes that this population will grow at the same rate over the budget window, meaning it could number as many as 238,000 children by FFY 2012.

The model then applies an enrollment rate to the eligible but not enrolled population to determine how many children would enroll. A range was developed based on possible enrollment scenarios:

  • Low. This assumes an enrollment rate based on a 2006 Lewin Group report, estimating the percentage of the eligible population that would be enrolled due to outreach activities recently undertaken in California. This also assumes that the enrollment due to SB 437—the California Healthy Kids Insurance Program—will occur as budgeted by the Department of Health Services (DHS).32 It then assumes that only small annual improvements in outreach would take place, with enrollment reaching a maximum of 53 percent at the close of the five-year window.
     
  • Midrange. This assumes a midrange enrollment estimate based on the mathematical average between the low and high estimates, reaching a maximum 76 percent enrollment rate at the end of the five-year window.
     
  • High. This approach assumes that an individual mandate is in effect in California, and that 99 percent of all eligible but not enrolled children will be enrolled in the Healthy Families Program. The remaining children are captured as part of Medi-Cal or are assumed to be transitioning between coverage providers in the system.


Base population 3: declining employer coverage. One of the most difficult aspects of this analysis is the potential impact of declining employer coverage rates on Healthy Families Program enrollment. Historically, California has lower employer coverage rates than most states, and these rates continue to fall. A 2005 report by the UCLA Health Policy Center called employer-based insurance the “crumbling” foundation of the health care insurance system. From 2001 to 2005, the rate of employment-based insurance for low-income children fell from 38.9 percent to 28.7 percent, meaning 1.5 million low-income children lost coverage provided through a parent’s employer in that time period.

Given a range of confounding factors, it is difficult to predict where this trend will lead. From 2001 to 2003, California experienced a recession, which could mean this drop is temporary. Also, it is possible that some employers are dropping their coverage in favor of state-subsidized coverage under the Healthy Families Program. Some analysts view the failure of the employer-based health insurance system as inevitable. In contrast, the health care reform efforts being discussed in California could bolster the employer-sponsored system, should they come to pass.

Using 2005 data, the model estimates that 1.2 million children eligible for the Healthy Families Program are currently enrolled in employer-sponsored coverage. It then assumes that this number will fall at a uniform rate for the period of this analysis. The rates used are:

  • Low. Annual 0.75 percent drop in the number of children with employer-sponsored insurance who are otherwise eligible for HFP.
     
  • Midrange. Annual 1 percent drop in the number of children with employer-sponsored insurance who are otherwise eligible for HFP.
     
  • High. Annual 1.25 percent drop in the number of children with employer-sponsored insurance who are otherwise eligible for HFP.

The analysis projects that the weakening employer-based insurance market could add as many as 75,000 children to the Healthy Families Program’s annual rolls by FFY 2012.

Severely Emotionally Disturbed Children
The Healthy Families Program relies on the Department of Health Services to offer SED mental health services to its enrollees. Spending on these programs is projected to total $21.5 million in federal money for SFY 2007. In recent years, program growth has been as high as 30 percent. The forecasting model projects growth will continue at 30 percent, with 25 percent and 35 percent as the low- and high-range estimates.

Children in the Healthy Families Program typically receive basic mental health services through their health plans, while those with more severe needs receive care through the county. Children with basic mental health needs are given up to 30 inpatient and 20 outpatient visits each through their health plans. In addition, plans must provide unlimited inpatient and outpatient visits to children with severe mental illnesses, such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. This benefit is given as part of the per capita plan (the $1,186 cited earlier). Children who may qualify as severely emotionally disturbed are referred to the county mental health department for an assessment. If the county finds that a child is severely emotionally disturbed, then the county, with HFP support, provides services.



Program growth. These programs are anticipated to expand quickly. Over the next five years, the forecasting model estimates federal spending for the program will be between $220 million and $289 million.

California Children’s Services
The CCS program, administered by the Family Health Division at the Department of Health Services, provides specialized services for children in the Healthy Families Program with specific disability or chronic conditions. HFP pays California Children’s Services for providing these services on their behalf. In SFY 2007, CCS services for children in the Healthy Families Program amounted to $78 million of federal Title XXI dollars, an increase of almost 70 percent since SFY 2004. California Children’s Services also provides services to AIM infants linked to the Healthy Families Program, with federal spending on this program more than doubling from $5.5 million to $13.2 million from 2004 to 2007.

Growth rate. With a base of $102 million, the total spending for this category is relatively small. However, for SFY 2006, it increased 44 percent, followed by an estimated 18 percent the following year. Although volatile, the midpoint growth rate for this category is anticipated to be 16 percent in the first year of reauthorization, with growth slowing over time. The low- and high-end estimates are set at a plus or minus 15 percent of the midpoint for a first-year range of 13.6 percent to 18.4 percent with growth slowing over time. This estimate accounts for the influx of new eligible children in the forecasting model.

Program growth. These programs are expected to grow quickly. Over the next five years, federal spending for California Children’s Services is projected to be between $716 million and $803 million.

Estimated Federal Contribution for the Healthy Families Program
This analysis estimates that the Healthy Families Program alone would need $4.7 billion to $5.7 billion in federal funding over the next five years. This amount reflects the federal dollars only, based on HFP costs per child, the growth in enrollment, and the costs for severely emotionally disturbed children and California Children’s Services.

Medi-Cal Associated Programs
To help serve all of California’s children, there is a suite of smaller, targeted programs that operate under several federal authorities, including waivers, operated by the Department of Health Services. Many of these programs are newly established within the past few years and some are still to be implemented. California Children’s Services and severely emotionally disturbed children have already been discussed. The remainder is related to the Medi-Cal program.

Using available flexibility under federal law and in compliance with federal rules, several programs have been created in California to help expand coverage using Title XXI dollars outside of the Healthy Families Program. The programs in this category operate at a current federal cost of $262 million. These associated programs include:
 


  • Prenatal care through Medi-Cal, an explicit option under federal law, which will use an estimated $97 million in SCHIP allotment funding;
     
  • The Child Health Development Program Gateway, which provides temporary coverage through HFP or Medi-Cal with an automated pre-enrollment process at a cost of $69.7 million; and
     
  • Those other programs that generally fall under the categories of outreach programs and operations that smooth the transition for children moving between Medi-Cal and the Healthy Families Program (called Accelerated Enrollment).

Growth Rate
Given the small size of these programs, it is difficult to assess their true costs. In some cases, programs have yet to be implemented, so there is no history upon which to base increases. One obvious approach would be to project cost increases of 8 percent a year, the Medi-Cal growth rate. However, such a rate would be significantly higher than that calculated for the Healthy Families Program. In fact, the Legislative Analyst’s Office assumes that at least some of these measures will not be fully implemented until SFY 2009-2010. Given the lack of more specific information on these programs, the model used here sets a range of estimates, with growth rates of 6 percent, 8 percent, and 10 percent.

Estimated Federal Contribution for Med-Cal Associated Programs
The forecasting model estimates that the DHS-operated SCHIP programs would need $1.6 billion to $1.8 billion in federal dollars over the next five years. This amount is based on the growth in the Medi-Cal associated programs.

Access for Infants and Mothers
California has exercised its option under federal law to provide prenatal care to pregnant women through Access for Infants and Mothers using Title XXI funds. This section provides a cost estimate for this population by using the same basic methodology applied in the Healthy Families Program cost section.

Per-Person Cost
Base payment rate. This analysis assumes a base rate for AIM enrollees of $9,541 per person per year. Of this amount, the federal government matches $8,587.

Growth in payment rates. In recent years, Access for Infants and Mothers costs have grown faster than those for the Healthy Families Program. For the past four years, AIM payment rates have consistently increased between 7 percent and 8 percent. Using past annual rate increases as an indicator, this analysis assumes the annual per child health benefit costs will increase 7.5 percent a year for the midpoint estimate. This rate is varied by plus or minus 15 percent annually to account for changes in factors such as utilization, medical inflation, and changes in national trends (for a range of 6.34 percent to 8.63 percent).

Other adjustments. There are three necessary adjustments to these costs:

  • Administrative costs. AIM administrative costs are slightly higher than for the Healthy Families Program at $4.19 per person per month for enrollment operations, a total of $50.28 per person per year. For purposes of this analysis, administrative vendor costs are considered to be flat over time.

  • Crowd-out adjustment. Under an agreement with the federal government, there is a 10 percent reduction in the per capita amount that is match-able to reflect that some program participants may have private insurance and are enrolled in Access for Infants and Mothers based on the high deductible in the private plan.
     
  • Patient contribution. Like the Healthy Families Program, AIM requires some cost sharing. (The amount, equivalent to $593 per woman per year,46 is held flat for this analysis since any increase would require a change in state law.) These contributions offset program costs and, by federal law, cannot be matched.

Annual per-person cost. The model used here estimates the total cost per person is between $11,746 and $13,037 during Year 5 of the reauthorization.

Enrollment Growth
The enrollment projection for Access for Infants and Mothers is not as complex as that used for the Healthy Families Program. This is because information is not available to guide an analysis of the eligible-but-not-enrolled population, nor of the loss of employer-sponsored coverage that may occur in favor of AIM.

The AIM population has been highly variable over recent years. In SFY 2005, AIM enrollment increased 10 percent, and it spiked 23 percent during SFY 2006. It is projected that at the end of FFY 2007, about 12,100 women will be enrolled in Access for Infants and Mothers. This serves as the base for calculating future enrollment. This model estimates that by the end of FFY 2012, this population is likely to number as many as 25,755.

Estimated Federal Contribution for AIM
The forecasting model estimates that Access for Infants and Mothers would need a total of $566 million to $695 million in federal funding over the next five years. This amount is based on the growth in payment rates and enrollment.

Possible Healthy Families Program Expansions
California will very likely undertake expansions of the HFP-eligible population. Any SCHIP reauthorization would need to account for these expansions.

Expansion From 250 Percent to 300 Percent FPL
The governor and others in California have proposed expanding the Healthy Families Program to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. According to the Lewin Group, this would increase enrollment by 117,000 children, assuming no other changes in current law. The analysis presented here assumes that some employers who offer coverage for children will drop it in favor of SCHIP coverage.

Using the midpoint assumptions for per-child cost and population growth, as well as assuming full implementation in Year 1 of the reauthorization, expanding coverage to this population would require $497 million in federal funding over the next five years.



Elimination of the Five-Year Ban for Immigrants
Under federal law, federal matching funds cannot be used for coverage of otherwise eligible immigrant children if they have been in the United States for less than five years. The authors estimate about 48,000 California children in this population would be eligible for the Healthy Families Program, assuming no other changes in current law. The program now uses state funds to cover about 15,000 children who would be eligible but for the five-year ban. A policy change here would involve the federal government rescinding the ban.

Using the midpoint assumptions for per-child costs and population growth, as well as assuming full implementation in Year 1 of the reauthorization, eliminating the five-year ban would require $203 million in federal funding over the next five years.

Estimated Federal Contribution for Possible HFP Expansions
The forecasting model estimates that proposed expansions would require a total of $701 million over the next five years. This amount reflects federal dollars only, and is based on the projected growth in payment rates and enrollment, both for the expansion to 300 percent FPL and the five-year ban on immigrant children.

How SCHIP Reauthorization Could Affect Children
About 1.5 million children could lose health care coverage under SCHIP reauthorization, based on the number of children who are projected to rely on all of California’s SCHIP-funded programs at the end of the five-year reauthorization process (in FFY 2012). This projection includes:

  • The base enrollment;
     
  • The entire number of children projected as eligible but not enrolled;
     
  • Those likely to enroll due to loss of employer-based coverage; and
     
  • Those who could be enrolled under the expansions proposed here.

This projection also assumes a take-up rate at the upper end of the trend to capture the maximum possible impact. For all these children, reauthorization will determine whether they have health care coverage.

California’s Funding Needs
Over the next five years, not counting possible eligibility expansions, California will need between $6.7 billion and $8.1 billion to fund existing SCHIP programs. As shown in Table 2, this is $2.8 billion and $4.1 billion, respectively, above the baseline set by the Congressional Budget Office.

Beyond the five-year analysis, it is also important to understand the projected federal need year-by-year, which is given in Table 3.



Table 2: Projected Five-Year Federal Costs for California’s SCHIP Programs, Current Eligibility Rules
Numbers in Millions; May Not Add Due to Rounding

Five-Year Projected Cost

Low-Cost Range Mid-Cost Range High-Cost Range
Healthy Families Program $4,591 $5,109 $5,673
Health Coverage Costs
   Eligible and Enrolled
   Eligible but Not Enrolled
   Declining ESI Rates
   Severely Emotionally Disturbed Children
   California Children’s Services
$3,274
$338
$42
$220
$716
$3,341
$652
$105
$252
$759
$3,409
$979
$194
$289
$803
Other Title XXI Programs $2,134 $2,290 $2,458
Medi-Cal Associated Programs $1,568 $1,663 $1,763
Access for Infants and Mothers $566 $627 $695
Projected Spending $6,726 $7,399 $8,130
Projected Spending Above Baseline $2,771 $3,444 $4,175

Source: Harbage Consulting


Table 3: Projected Year-by-Year Federal Costs for California’s SCHIP Programs, Current Eligibility Rules

Numbers in Millions; May Not Add Due to Rounding
 
FFY 2008 FFY 2009 FFY 2010 FFY 2011 FFY 2012 Total
High            
Total $1,323 $1,457 $1,607 $1,778 $1,965 $8,130
Above Baseline $532 $666 $816 $987 $1,174 $4,175
Mid            
Total $1,240 $1,348 $1,467 $1,601 $1,744 $7,399
Above Baseline $449 $557 $676 $810 $953 $3,444
Low            
Total $1,159 $1,245 $1,337 $1,439 $1,546 $6,726
Above Baseline $368 $454 $546 $648 $755 $2,771

Source: Harbage Consulting

This analysis also addresses the possible costs of expanded eligibility. As shown in Table 4, the proposed expansions would add about $701 million over five years in federal contributions. This means that the total federal funding requirement for California would be between $7.4 billion and $8.8 billion—$3.5 billion and $4.9 billion above the baseline assumed by the Congressional Budget Office.

Considering the possible expansions discussed here, the need for federal dollars increases by $701 million over the first five years. The cost to the federal government of adding groups to the Healthy Families Program, such as parents of enrolled children, which is not addressed here, would be significantly higher.

The baseline concept is vital to understanding how much is needed from the federal government to cover its equal share of the SCHIP program. The Congressional Budget Office is responsible for determining the cost of government programs for Congress. The budget baseline is the amount of money that is already assumed to be spent by the federal government. Under current CBO rules, SCHIP, as a mandatory program, is assumed to be reauthorized and to have a baseline set at the final year of its spending, or $5 billion. This means, for a five-year reauthorization, $25 billion ($5 billion each year for five years) is assumed to be included in the baseline.

As such, the total SCHIP payment needed from the federal government would be the total projected spending over five years, less $25 billion. It is worth noting that baseline levels are typically referred to as assumptions and subject to change. This analysis consistently presents an estimate of total required spending, which is followed by an estimate of additional federal dollars that would be needed above the baseline, as determined under current rules. It is common practice at the federal level to state only new budget spending because baseline spending is assumed to occur.

Table 4: Projected Five-Year Federal Costs for California’s SCHIP Programs, Expanded Eligibility Rules
Numbers in Millions; May Not Add Due to Rounding

Five-Year Projected Cost

Low-Cost Range Mid-Cost Range High-Cost Range
Projected Spending On Existing Program
(From Table 2)
$6,726 $7,399 $8,130
Possible Expansions $701 $701 $701
Expansion from 250% to 300% FPL $498 $498 $498
Elimination of Five-Year Ban for Immigrants $203 $203 $203
Projected Spending For Base and
Expansion Programs
$7,427 $8,100 $8,832
Projected Spending For Base and
Program Expansions Above Baseline
$3,472 $4,145 $4,877

Source: Harbage Consulting
 

Policy Implications
Among policymakers in Washington, D.C., a wide range of funding levels is under discussion. President Bush has proposed expanding SCHIP funding by $4.8 billion over five years,53 while others have discussed adding $60 billion in federal spending over five years (again, above the baseline). This most likely represents the full range of outcomes that could occur under reauthorization.

The additional $60 billion over five years sought by national stakeholders represents new spending on both SCHIP and Title XXI Medicaid expansions that occurred in other states. At least $35 billion over five years (an additional $7 billion per year) of the additional $60 billion requested by national advocates would need to be dedicated to SCHIP. At lower levels of federal spending, it is more likely that California would have to pursue a greater share (more than the current 16 percent) of the total SCHIP allotment to fund its existing programs. This would require changes to the funding formula.

Impact on expanded eligibility. Under this analysis, an additional $60 billion probably would make it possible to expand coverage for children, including legal immigrants, to 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Again, at lower levels of spending, it is more likely that California would have to pursue a greater share (more than the current 16 percent) of the total SCHIP allotment to fund its existing programs.

The president’s plan. The proposal outlined in the president’s budget could force California to dis-enroll children in the Healthy Families Program by setting a cap on eligibility at 200 percent FPL. California is one of 16 states with an income cap at 250 percent FPL. California is also one of five states where prenatal care is offered to women through SCHIP funds under federal option.58 This coverage is clearly at risk under the president’s plan.

Table 5: Projected California SCHIP Funding Shortfall Under President’s Budget
 

FFY 2008 FFY 2009 FFY 2010 FFY 2011 FFY 2012
High          
Shortfall $391,572,600 $621,839,426 $574,222,097 $745,413,066 $932,339,203
Children Affected 382,308 715,477 635,016 792,252 952,310
Mid          
Shortfall $239,007,652 $519,051,033 $445,662,885 $586,946,150 $739,179,724
Children Affected 287,552 603,302 500,415 636,652 774,490
Low          
Shortfall $160,893,095 $421,728,321 $326,345,650 $442,491,158 $566,093,391
Children Affected 194,560 495,206 372,094 489,877 608,505

Source: Harbage Consulting
 

In addition, the president has called for $4.8 billion in additional SCHIP spending starting in FFY 2009 and for a faster redirection of allotment dollars held by states. Not all of the details of the president’s plan have been released—including whether the $4.8 billion would simply be targeted to states with funding shortfalls. According to the assumptions in this model, 609,000 to 952,000 children could be denied Healthy Families Program coverage in FFY 2012 due to federal under-funding, as shown in Table 5.

Comparison to Other Estimates
Several other analysts have released estimates of the SCHIP shortfall nationally and in California. The findings presented in this paper are slightly higher than, but consentient with, those of other analysts.

The Congressional Research Service has found that the funding shortfall nationally would be about $12.1 billion over five years. Similarly, the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) found a shortfall of $12.3 billion to $13.4 billion over five years. The primary difference between the two approaches is that the Congressional Research Service assumes an annual growth rate of about 6 percent to 7 percent while CBPP uses states-specific growth rates based on historical growth, which then converge on an annual growth rate of 5 percent to 7.5 percent. There are also California-specific estimates from CBPP and the California Budget Project (CBP). As shown in Table 6, the analysis presented in this paper projects a higher need than does the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

The difference in 2008 is primarily because this estimate does not take into account the possibility of redistributed funds from other states. Such analysis is beyond the scope of this report because it requires several assumptions about the spending in all states and how much of allotments may be left available for redistribution. If redistribution funds are available from other states, those dollars would reduce the need for new federal funding.

In addition, growth in need for the CBPP analysis regresses toward a national mean, whereas this report is based on specific events in California and uses assumptions that go beyond historical growth. While other approaches, as published, use flat rates of growth to project costs over time, this analysis adopts a more dynamic model of program growth, especially around program enrollment. The more specific approach to budget analysis given here allows for factors to be evaluated on their specific spending patterns. For example, the approach in this report reflects that some items, such as spending on severely emotionally disturbed children, are growing two and three times faster than the baseline program. And changes such as SB 437 mean that growth in California will occur faster than historical trends would indicate.

Table 6: Comparison of CBPP and CHCF Projections for California’s Federal Need
Numbers in Millions
 

FFY 2008 FFY 2012
CBPP Annual Need, Moderate Estimate $213 $781
CHCF Annual Need, Moderate Estimate $449 $953
Difference $236 $172
Percent Difference 111% 22%

Source: Harbage Consulting
 

The differences in methodology can also be seen in the differences between this analysis and that of the the California Budget Project, as shown in Table 7.

For comparable trends, the CHCF estimate has a slightly higher overall federal funding requirement than the California Budget Project. A final methodological difference is that the analysis assumes a high level of growth based on full enrollment of children in the Healthy Families Program, something not done in other analyses.

Given the health reform discussion taking place in California, it seems appropriate to understand the maximum enrollment level possible and the associated costs. The CBP paper uses an approach very similar to CBPP in that it considers very low, low, and moderate rates of growth. As a result, this report has a significantly higher upper bound than the other analyses.

Overall, the budget forecast here would seem consistent with, but higher than, both CBPP and CBP. Further analysis would be useful to understand specific differences.

Table 7: Comparison of CBP and CHCF Projections for California’s Federal Need Five-Year Estimate
Numbers in Millions
 

Very Low Low Moderate High
CBP Estimate $2,011 $2,484 $2,988 Not Given
CHCF Estimate Not Given $2,771 $3,444 $4,175
Difference $287 $456
Percent Difference 12% 15%

Source: Harbage Consulting
 

Conclusion

THE FEDERAL SCHIP PROGRAM AND THE FUTURE of children’s health coverage are at a crossroads. Nearly two-thirds of the funds supporting California’s Healthy Families program, as well as several other health programs for low-income and vulnerable children and women, come from SCHIP. The reauthorization of this program, currently under debate in Congress, may have far-reaching consequences for California’s ability to provide coverage to children.

This report concludes that an additional $60 billion in federal dollars over five years, as is being sought by key stakeholder groups from Congress for SCHIP reauthorization, probably would be sufficient for California to meet the needs of its programs. More specifically, it finds that California will need between $6.7 billion and $8.1 billion in federal dollars over the next five years to maintain existing state programs funded by SCHIP. This is $2.8 billion to $4.2 billion above the baseline set by the Congressional Budget Office. In total, the health insurance coverage of over 1.5 million Californians is at issue during this debate.

Over the next five years, funding California’s existing SCHIP programs—including possible expansions—will require an additional $700 million in support (between $7.4 billion and $8.8 billion over five years). These amounts are $3.5 billion to $4.9 billion above the Congressional Budget Office baseline. The budget request for an additional $60 billion in federal funding over five years probably would support these expansions.

This federal partnership in SCHIP funding has allowed California to significantly reduce the percentage of uninsured children over the past nine years. This analysis, like those by others examining this issue, illuminates the important federal funding needed to sustain these programs and continue California’s notable success.



Appendix A:

SCHIP Funding and Healthy Families Program Spending Projections

Actual Allotments and Expenditures

FFY 1998 FFY 1999 FFY 2000 FFY 2001 FFY 2002
Nationwide Title XII Allotment $4,295 $4,275 $4,275 $4,275 $3,150
CA Title XXI Allotment
Carry over Funding
$855
$851
$853
$766
$1,636
$705
$2,003
$528
$1,903
Total Federal Funds Available $855 $1,704 $2,402 $2,708 $2,431
Child Benefit Costs
Child Administration Costs
-$2
- $62
- $6
- $169
- $18
- $278
- $19
- $406
- $48
Subtotal Child Costs - $2 - $68 - $187 - $297 - $454
Presumptive Eligibility Claiming
Prenatal Care
Option Retained FFY 98 for Outreach

- $144

Total Expenditures - $12 - $68 - $187 - $311 - $454
Balance of Available Funds
Federal Allotment Unspent/Redistributed
$853
$1,636
$2,215
- $212
$2,397
- $494
$1,977
- $372
Final Balance—Carried Forward $853 $1,636 $2,003 $1,903 $1,605
FFY 98 Allotmentt
FFY 99 Allotment
FFY 00 Allotment
FFY 01 Allotment
FFY 02 Allotment
FFY 03 Allotment
FFY 04 Allotment
FFY 05 Allotment
FFY 06 Allotment
FFY 07 Allotment
– $853 – $785
– $851
– $386
– $851
– $766
– $75
– $357
– $766
– $705


– $372
– $705
– $528

Estimate is for Illustrative Purposes Only
 

FFY 1998 FFY 1999 FFY 2000 FFY 2001 FFY 2002 TOTAL
Unspent California Allotment
Unspent Allotment Redistributed to Other States
Unspent Allotment Retained by California
Percentage of Allotment Retained by California
$598
– $212
$386
65%
$851
– $494
$357
42%
$744
– $372
$372
50%
$512
– $256
$256
50%
$122
– $122

 
$2,827
– $1,456
$1,371
49%

 



Actual Allotments and Expenditures
 
FFY 2003 FFY 2004 FFY 2005 FFY 2006 FFY 2007
Nationwide Title XII Allotment $3,150 $3,150 $4,050 $4,050 $5,000
CA Title XXI Allotment
Carry over Funding
$549
$1,605
$534
$1,333
$667
$1,083
$647
$990
$791
$486
Total Federal Funds Available $2,154 $1,867 $1,750 $1,637 $1,277
Child Benefit Costs
Child Administration Costs
-$519
- $46
- $559
- $36
- $650
- $40
- $1,036
- $49
- $772
- $75
Subtotal Child Costs - $565 - $595 - $690 - $1,085 - $847
Presumptive Eligibility Claiming
Prenatal Care
Option Retained FFY 98 for Outreach

- $67

- $70

- $66

- $82
- $136
Total Expenditures - $565 - $662 - $760 - $1,151 - $1,065
Balance of Available Funds
Federal Allotment Unspent/Redistributed
$1,589
- $256
$1,205
- $122
$990
$486
$212
Final Balance—Carried Forward $1,333 $1,083 $990 $486 $212
FFY 98 Allotmentt
FFY 99 Allotment
FFY 00 Allotment
FFY 01 Allotment
FFY 02 Allotment
FFY 03 Allotment
FFY 04 Allotment
FFY 05 Allotment
FFY 06 Allotment
FFY 07 Allotment



– $256
– $528
– $549





– $549
– $534






– $323
– $667








– $486









– $212

Source: Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board
(www.mrmib.ca.gov/MRMIB/HFP/FedFundChart0611.pdf), based on November 2006 estimate
  1. California Title XXI allotments through FFY 07 are actuals. Actual California allotments are not available until each year’s Title XXI
    appropriation is available.
  2. California HFP Expenditure Projections are limited to federal funding costs.
  3. FFY 06 expenditures were updated to reflect actual data. The actual expenditures include Prenatal and AB 495 actual expenditures.
  4. FFY 07 expenditures were updated to reflect the 2006 November estimate. These estimated expenditures do not include expenditures for the Prenatal Care Option, which are reflected.
  5. Per CMS claiming instructions, reflects 50% Medicaid FMAP applied to SCHIP allotment for those children who are not Title XXI eligible. Reflects 65% Medicaid FMAP applied to SCHIP allotment for those children who are Title XXI eligible.
  6. Actual FFY 2006 prenatal expenditures are included in the Child Benefit/Child Admin Actual expenditures.


Appendix B:

Timeline of Critical Changes in the Healthy Families Program

The Healthy Families Program provides comprehensive health care coverage, including medical, dental and vision care, to California’s uninsured children. Over the years, California has implemented a number of innovations designed to increase enrollment or improve the quality of coverage.

  • 1998: The Healthy Families Program is implemented in July. HFP and Medi-Cal establish a fee to pay community-based organizations to provide application assistance to families whose children might be eligible for the programs. By year end, Healthy Families Program enrollment is at 56,000 children.
     
  • 1999: California receives federal approval to extend enrollment to children in families with incomes up to 250 percent FPL. HFP and Medi-Cal reduce the size of the joint application to four pages and establish a single point of entry to review applications and to forward them to the appropriate program. By year end, enrollment is at 200,000 children.
     
  • 2000: The Healthy Families Program issues the results of its first consumer satisfaction survey, the Consumer Assessment Health Plan Survey, which was conducted in five languages. The survey found high satisfaction levels with participating plans. By year end, enrollment is over 362,000 children.
     
  • 2001: California develops one of the first Web-based applications in the country. Health-e-App immediately determines preliminary eligibility for Medi-Cal and Healthy Families.65 HFP, in conjunction with the RAND Corporation, develops the first consumer satisfaction survey for dental services. HFP also issues its first report on HEDIS scores for the program, presenting scores for 1999, 2000, and 2001 by plan and for the program as a whole. By year end, enrollment is over 506,000 children.
     
  • 2002: At year end, enrollment is over 621,000 children.
     
  • 2003: California creates a coverage gateway under which the state provides presumptive eligibility in Medi-Cal or the Healthy Families Program for two months to potentially eligible children who see a provider in the state health screening program, Child Health Development Program. In addition, the federal government allows four counties to use SCHIP funds to cover children up to 300 percent FPL. Despite major fiscal problems, the state maintains eligibility levels for the Healthy Families Program. Outreach funds, however, are eliminated. SB 24 is signed into law, establishing an electronic Prenatal Gateway and presumptive eligibility guidelines to simplify enrollment of pregnant women and certain newborn infants into Medi-Cal. By year end, enrollment is over 683,000 children.

  • 2004: Infants born to mothers in AIM are automatically enrolled in the Healthy Families Program up to age 2 and 300 percent FPL. HFP again procures its administrative vendor contract and achieves significant savings, as well as major customer service improvements. By year end, enrollment is over 697,000 children.
     
  • 2005: California receives permission to use SCHIP funds to cover pregnant women in AIM and undocumented pregnant women in Medi-Cal. Even with continuing state fiscal problems, the state reestablishes part of its outreach program and maintains eligibility levels. By year end, enrollment is over 742,000 children.
     
  • 2006: Outreach funding is fully restored. SB 437 is signed into law, establishing self-certifying simplifications, presumptive eligibility, and an accelerated enrollment process. By year end, enrollment is over 770,000 children.


Appendix C:

Assumptions Made in Cost Projections

Healthy Families Rate of Growth Projected Range in Year Five
Current Year Low Mid High Low Low High
Cost Perl Child $1,196 3.1% 3.7% 4.2% $1,431 $1,468 $1,506
Administrative $49 Held Flat   $49  
Client Premium Offset* $92 Held Flat   $92  
Federal Spending for HFP Children
Enrolled in Severely Emotionally
Disturbed (SED) Children
$21,469,000 25% 30% 35% $65,518,188 $79,712,894 $96,267,714
Federal Spending for HFP
Children Enrolled in California
Children’s Services

$102,382,000

14%

16%

19%

$169,933,135

$184,859,267

$200,809,575

Number of Children in HFP Core Program 787,000 0.7% 0.8% 0.9% 810,242 814,570 818,918
Eligible and Not Enrolled† 228,000 0.7% 0.8% 0.9% 235,035 236,291 237,552
Enrollment Increase from ESI‡ Unknown 0.8% 1.0% 1.3% 45,000 60,000 75,000
Total HFP Enrollment   30% 65% 99% 1,090,227 1,110,861 1,131,469

Source: Harbage Consulting
* Spending here is aggregate and not per child.
= Rates vary over the five-year window. These are first-year rates.
‡ From a base of 1.2 million.

 

Other Title XXI Programs Rate of Growth Projected Range in Year Five
Current Year Low Mid High Low Low High
Med-Cal Associated Programs
Federal Program Spending*
$262,455,600 6% 8% 10% $470,018,007 $566,621,956 $680,742,234
Access for Infants and Mothers
Cost Per Participant Per Year
$8,637 6.3% 7.5% 8.6% $11,746 $12,378 $13,037
Total Administrative Costs $50 Held Flat   $50  
Premium Offset $593 Held Flat   $593  
Number of Program Participants $12,097 13% 15% 17% 21,378 23,485 25,755

Source: Harbage Consulting

* Spending here is aggregate and not per child.
= Rates vary over the five-year window. These are first-year rates.
‡ From a base of 1.2 million.

 
 
Program Expansions Rate of Growth Projected Range in Year Five
Current Year Low Mid High Low Low High
Expansions from 250% to 300% FPL Total Cost Per Child $1,186   3.7%     $1,458  
Number of Children in Base Program 117,000   0.8%     121,314  
Take-up Rate     100%        
Elimination of Five-Year Ban for Immigrants Cost Per Child Per Year $1,186   3.7%        
Number of Children in
Base Program
48,000   0.8%     $1,458  
Take-up Rate     100%        

Source: Harbage Consulting
* Spending here is aggregate and not per child.
= Rates vary over the five-year window. These are first-year rates.
‡ From a base of 1.2 million.

 

Endnotes

  1. As explained later in the paper, failure to reauthorize would mean that existing carry-over funds would remain available to states, but no new allotment dollars would be awarded.
     
  2. Through letters to the Congressional Budget Committee, many stakeholder groups have called for an additional $60 billion over five years above the federal funding baseline for SCHIP reauthorization, including the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and a coalition of over 60 stakeholder groups such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Health Law Program, and Families USA. For more information, see the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center for Children and Families SCHIP portal at ccf.georgetown.edu/schip.html.
     
  3. The $60 billion includes funding through both SCHIP and Medicaid programs. To be certain that the $60 billion is adequate, stakeholders need to clarify how much would be dedicated to SCHIP versus Medicaid.
     
  4. “Baseline funding” is a technical term for the amount of money that is assumed will be allocated to SCHIP over the next five years. Currently, the Congressional Budget Office assumes SCHIP will be reauthorized at baseline funding levels—$25 billion over the next five years. This means that only funding above this $25 billion level would count against federal pay-as-you-go budget requirements.
     
  5. A recent California Budget Project report estimated that maintenance of SCHIP baseline funding only (with no increase) would mean a shortfall that “could result in more than 700,000 California children losing health coverage in FFY 2012.” The estimate presented here considers the full extent of all children who could be affected by a failure to reauthorize Title XXI funding for FFY 2012.
     
  6. Holahan, John, and Arunabh Ghosh. The Economic Downturn and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage, 2000-2003. Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, September 2004 (www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411089_HealthInsCoverage.pdf). See also: Mann, Cindy, Jocelyn Guyer, and Joan Alker. A Success Story: Closing the Insurance Gap for America’s Children Through Medicaid and SCHIP. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families, July 2005 (ccf.georgetown.edu/pdfs/success.pdf).
     
  7. Statehealthfacts.org based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, March 2005 and 2006. Viewed January 19, 2007.
     
  8. The California Health Information Survey was conducted by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy in 2001, 2003, and 2005. This data represents children ages 0 to 18 under 300 percent FPL.
     
  9. States that had already expanded coverage had the option to expand coverage to the higher of 200 percent FPL or to 50 percentage points above their pre-SCHIP coverage levels. States also have the authority to use “income disregards” to expand coverage levels.
     
  10. National Health Policy Forum. SCHIP: The Basics. Washington, D.C.: April 27, 2004.
     
  11. Federal law provides $400 million to U.S. territories for SCHIP in the current year.
     
  12. In 2000, Congress approved a measure to allow states to retain part of their unspent funds from the beginning of the program until September 30, 2002.
     
  13. Congressional Research Service. SCHIP Original Allotments: Description and Analysis. Washington, D.C.: October 31, 2006 (updated); 8-9.
     
  14. More specifically, from FFY 1998 to FFY 2007, California will have lost $1.5 billion in unspent federal SCHIP funds to other states. Numbers here do not add due to rounding.
     
  15. Since FFY 2002, California has overspent its allotment and has needed to use accumulated carry-over funds.
     
  16. The state’s FFY 2007 SCHIP allotment was $791 million, as stated in SCHIP Title XXI Funds: Total Healthy Families Spending Projection based on November 2006 Estimate, MRMIB, May 2006.
     
  17. Lambrew, Jeanne M. The State Children’s Health Insurance Program: Past, Present, and Future. New York, N.Y.: The Commonwealth Fund, February 2007 (www.cmwf.org/publications/publications_show.htm?doc_id=449518).
     
  18. Woolridge, Judith, et al. Congressionally Mandated Evaluation of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program: Final Report to Congress.Washington, D.C.: Mathematica Policy Research and the Urban Institute, 2005.
     
  19. Shone, Laura P., et al. 2005. “Reduction in Racial and Ethnic Disparities after Enrollment in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Pediatrics 115 (6); e697-e705.


  1. Seid, Michael, et al. 2006. “The Impact of Realized Access to Care on Health-Related Quality of Life: A Two-Year Prospective Cohort Study of Children in the California State Children’s Health Insurance Program.” Journal of Pediatrics 149 (3); 354-361.
     
  2. State of California. 2006 November Estimate for the Healthy Families Program and Access for Infants and Mothers Program and the County Health Initiative Matching Fund Program for Fiscal Years 2006-2007.
     
  3. Ibid.
     
  4. National growth rate discussion is based on National Health Expenditure data (www.cms.gov).
     
  5. HFP data is based on the average statewide premium increase across all managed care providers. The National Health Expenditure data is based on an analysis of national cost trends conducted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of the Actuary.
     
  6. State of California. 2006 November Estimate.
     
  7. The administrative vendor contract expires in December 2008, with an option for two one-year extensions.
     
  8. State of California. 2006 November Estimate.
     
  9. Authors’ analysis based on population growth statistics from the California Department of Finance.
     
  10. Authors’ conversation, MRMIB Budget Office, January 2007. This analysis accepts the assumptions used by MRMIB. Others, including the Legislative Analyst’s Office, have suggested that MRMIB sometimes overstates enrollment projections. For the current year, we have concluded that MRMIB’s enrollment projections appear to be on track.
     
  11. The Lewin Group. Estimated Cost and Coverage Impacts of Four Proposals to Expand Health Insurance Coverage for Children in California. Falls Church, VA: April 20, 2006. These findings are consistent with those of other analysts. For more information, see UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, More than Half of California’s Uninsured Children Eligible for Public Programs But Not Enrolled, October 2006.
     
  12. The Lewin Group. Estimated Cost and Coverage Impacts.
     
  13. The Schwarzenegger administration released an analysis of SB 437, signed into law in 2006, which shows that the bill will increase HFP program enrollment by 94,700 children.
     
  14. California Department of Insurance. Priced-Out: The State of California Health Care. 2005.
     
  15. Brown, E.R., S.A. Lavarreda, T. Rice, J.R. Kincheloe, and M.S. Gatchell. The State of Health Insurance in California: Findings from the 2003 California Health Interview Survey. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, 2005.
     
  16. Authors’ analysis of California Health Interview Survey data for children ages 0 to 18 and under 300 percent FPL. Results statistically significant at the 95 percent level. The rate of employer-sponsored coverage fell each survey year (2001, 2003, and 2005).
     
  17. From 2001 to 2003, California’s unemployment rate increased from 5.4 percent to 6.8 percent, according to the California Department of Labor.
     
  18. The president of the Service Employees International Union, Andy Stern, has referred to America’s employer-based system as “dead” (for more information, see transcript of the Brookings Institution-New America Foundation Forum, “Employment-Based Health Insurance: A Prominent Past, but Does it Have a Future?” held June 16, 2006). Others, including Len Nichols of the New America Foundation, have said the employer system will continue to operate under strain with more employers dropping in the future (for more information, see Len M. Nichols, Outline of the New America Foundation Vision for a 21st Century Health Care System, New America Foundation, January 2006).
     
  19. This is based on applying the take-up rate for the eligible but not enrolled population to this population.
     
  20. Based on authors’ conclusion of technical assistance provided by the California Department of Health Services.
     
  21. All information in this paragraph is taken from: California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board. 2004 Healthy Families Program Mental Health Utilization Report. MRMIB Board Meeting Agenda Item 8.j, 7/19/06.
     
  22. Based on authors’ conclusion of technical assistance provided by the California Department of Health Services; number is less SED costs, which were already discussed.
     
  23. Advocates have expressed concerns that enrollment innovations like Accelerated Enrollment should not be applied to the SCHIP allotment for children ultimately enrolled in Medi-Cal. A discussion of this matter is beyond the scope of this paper.
     
  24. Legislative Analyst’s Office. California’s Fiscal Outlook, Projections 2006-07 Through 2011-12. November 2006.


  1. State of California. 2006 November Estimate.
     
  2. Ibid.
     
  3. Ibid.
     
  4. Ibid.
     
  5. The Lewin Group. Estimated Cost and Coverage Impacts.
     
  6. This is based on the Lewin Group estimate that there are 79,000 legal immigrant children in California. The authors assume that 60 percent of these children are otherwise eligible for HFP.
     
  7. Based on monthly eligible’s who could be enrolled in the program in five years. Obtaining a count of unduplicated program enrollees is difficult for several reasons, particularly since existing state data systems are not conducive for this type of analysis.
     
  8. If SCHIP is not reauthorized, California would still have the option to cover these children through Medicaid at the regular match rate. However, given that California did not choose to expand coverage through Medicaid when given the option originally, and given that California’s budget situation may make it difficult to fund SCHIP at the regular match rate, it seems reasonable to assume that all currently covered children are at risk of losing coverage.
     
  9. There is no state baseline set by the Congressional Budget Office. In order to discuss California’s need compared with federal need, this paper assumes that California’s baseline is 16 percent of the $5 billion in annual baseline spending.
     
  10. Budget of the United States Government. Analytical Perspectives: Aid to State and Local Governments, Fiscal Year 2008. 103-104. More specifically, the president’s budget calls for $277 million in new spending in FFY 2009, with $1.512 billion in new spending in each of FFY 2010, FFY 2011, and FFY 2012. The president’s budget also calls for redistributing unspent funds by limiting the availability of annual allotments to one year, instead of three years.
     
  11. See Endnote 2.
     
  12. For a discussion of the budget being sought by national groups, see ccf.georgetown.edu/schipdocs/chgletter.pdf. At least some of the $60 billion in additional funding is for Title XXI Medicaid spending that occurs in other states. The analysis in this report shows that at least $35 billion over five years in additional funding is needed for California to have sufficient funding.
     
  13. As discussed earlier in the paper, the state would continue to have the option to use income disregards to cover higher-income children in Medicaid at the regular match rate in the president’s budget.
     
  14. Georgetown University Health Policy Institute, Center for Children and Families. States Affected by Proposals to Reduce SCHIP Coverage Options. Washington, D.C.: February 7, 2006.
     
  15. Ibid.
     
  16. White House Office of Management and Budget. Just the Facts, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). 2007 (www.whitehouse.gov/omb/pubpress/2007/factsheet_schip.pdf).
     
  17. Park, Edwin, and Matthew Broaddus. SCHIP Reauthorization: President’s Budget Would Provide Less than Half the Funds That States Need to Maintain SCHIP Enrollment. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 22, 2007 (www.cbpp.org/2-22-07health.htm).
     
  18. Assumptions used with reference to the president’s budget are the same as those given in the beginning of this section. Under the president’s plan, California could still convert to a Medicaid program or could use state funds only for health coverage. This assumes that AIM would always provide prenatal care using Title XXI funds. The rapid growth in AIM prenatal spending is one reason so many children would be affected by the president’s budget; spending on AIM dollars helps to crowd out dollars on HFP spending.
     
  19. As discussed in the next section, other analyses have included the impact of re-allotment from other states. In fact, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has found that for FFY 2008 there should be sufficient re-allotment dollars under the president’s policy to hold states harmless. Such an analysis is beyond the scope of this paper.
     
  20. Chris Peterson. SCHIP Original Allotments: Description and Analysis. Congressional Research Service, October 31, 2006 (updated).
     
  21. Broaddus, Matt, and Edwin Park. Freezing SCHIP Funding in Coming Years Would Reverse Recent Gains in Children’s Health Coverage. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 22, 2007 (www.cbpp.org/6-5-06health.htm).
     
  22. Presently, the electronic application is only used by trained community-based organizations and counties. In 2008, the state will make it available to the public.


School Health Centers

Where are California

EUGENICS

On Monday, August 7th, Father Linus Clovis, a parish priest from the Diocese of Saint Lucia in the West Indies presented his research on the practice of Eugenics in certain Third World countries to a group of pro life people in Contra Costa County.

Fr. Linus’ trip , speaking to religious and pro life groups throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, was hosted by The Population Research Institute, Steven Mosher, Director. www.pop.org.

Fr. Linus’ talk centered on the importance of the family as the stabilizing factor to under gird respect and dignity for human life. When governments allow or even encourage attacks on the family as they have in many Third World countries, much of the social and cultural structure of a country begins to deteriorate resulting in an increase in sexual diseases, drug use, immorality and a degrading of the value of the individual human being, especially women. . He also mentioned the writings and research of Margaret Mead who presented her findings on the sexual mores of remote populations as a cultural tradition not as a moral foundation.

He brought his talk up to date with mention of the United Nations and a very aggressive group within the UN referred to as CEDAW - Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/cedaw.

According to Father, this anti-family, pro f feminist group operating within the UN, along with others outside the UN, has the

Governor Calls for more School Health Centers

Statewide Association Says Governor’s Call for More School Health Centers Would Increase Student Access to Health Care

07/24/2006 - LOS ANGELES, CA - (MARKET WIRE) -  While Governor Schwarzenegger’s new proposal to increase school-based health centers may address his goal of making health care more affordable, the California School Health Centers Association (CSHC) thinks its greatest impact will be in increasing access to health care, which will also enhance the health and academic performance of California students.

 Want to read more about it?
http://www.marketwire.com/mw/iwprf?id=147080

The Gates-Buffett Marriage, Part 2

Here’s a short list from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation website at www.gatesfoundation.org of all its Planned Parenthood donations in recent years. Hope this helps. — Allyson:

Date Rank  Title
Jun 21, 2006 31% Reproductive and Maternal Health Backgrounder
Wise use of family planning services can help improve the health of mothers and children, as well as the social and economic wellbeing of a community. But often services are not available in the developing world.

The Gates-Buffett Marriage, Part 1

The combination of the money of the two richest men in the world will produce fewer men and women the world over.

Steven W. Mosher
President

PRI Weekly Briefing
June 30, 2006
Vol. 8, No. 25
The Gates-Buffett Marriage, Designed Not to Bear Fruit
By Joseph A. D’Agostino

Two fanatically anti-people billionaires–the two richest men in the world–have announced that they will combine their enormous fortunes into one charitable foundation. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway plans to give securities currently valued at about $37 billion to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which has already had its coffers swollen to $29 billion by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The poor Ford Foundation, once the world’s largest, has only $11 billion. Gates has even let slip that the motivation behind reproductive health programs is actually population control, as PRI has argued for years (see below). Both men are dedicated to population control in the Third World, and now they have created an unfathomably large organization that will join the United Nations, the U.S. government, the European Union, and many private organizations in continuing the disastrous effort to reduce the Earth’s population.

An exagerration? Hardly. As readers of this column know very well, population control has been a huge success in almost every corner of the world. Birthrates have dropped dramatically in the past few decades and continue downward. Not only developed countries, but now many Third World countries have birthrates below replacement level. In a few years, most Third World nations will have socially suicidal birthrates, not having enough children to maintain their populations in the long term. Even Latin America, once the region of large Catholic families, has a birthrate of only 2.4 today, down from 4.5 just 30 years ago. Mexico’s is already below replacement, which is generally reckoned at about 2.1 children per woman in her lifetime. Most Third World nations now face rapid population aging over the next few decades and a dearth of young people to work and pay taxes, just as First World nations do–but without First World nations’ wealth or social security systems. Sub-Saharan Africa is the only region of the world that still has consistenly high birthrates, and it needs them to replace populations decimated by wars, famines, and epidemics such as AIDS.

So why are the world’s elites still so bent on population control? Why aren’t they trying to prevent continued falling birthrates and massive population aging instead? This is, I think, a spiritual question.

In any case, the Associated Press and some other media picked up on the dismay of pro-life organizations when Buffett announced his gift. AP quoted PRI and some other pro-life groups which, instead of hailing this tremendous foundation gift, had to criticize it. Both Buffett and the Gates Foundation have a long history of subsidizing abortion and population control. Claiming the money is for services other than abortion, the Gates Foundation gives millions to Planned Parenthood. But I called this position dishonest, because giving money to one wing of an organization frees up funds to be used for other activities–in this case, for abortions.

Someone who read my comments e-mailed me the following: “I was disgusted and sickened by your comments regarding the Gates Foundation. Your comment that the foundation’s position ‘is simply dishonest’ shows your ignorance,” he wrote. “This foundation is one of the best organizations at helping people, yet you attack them. This blatant attack is just yet another example of the extremism inherent in the anti-abortion movement. Your group does nothing but attempt to take choices away from women. Who made you (and POP) the decision-makers? I am well-educated and completely able to make my own decisions without your input. Instead of focusing on making the world change to your personal view, why not look inward and stop the hate you have for others.”

First of all, let me acknowledge that the Gates Foundation does much good work. It funds research into disease eradication and many legitimate Third World health programs. In addition, it funds educational alternatives to our utterly catastrophic public school system, even venturing into school choice programs. But when a foundation also subsidizes the killing of unborn children and the ongoing destruction of Third World societies, it is not extremism to condemn it, even if such activities account for a relatively small part of the foundation’s funding.

How small? It’s difficult to say, since so much money spent on reproductive health and HIV prevention (condoms) has the effect of reducing population. But certainly, there is plenty of evidence of the anti-people inclinations of Gates and Buffett. And it’s especially shameful that Gates uses the profits from his near-monopoly on business operating systems to fund abortion. Large numbers of pro-life people are forced to buy his products. Why can’t Gates restrict himself to funding charitable activities that everyone can agree on?

“The one issue that really grabbed me as urgent were issues related to population… reproductive health,” Gates told PBS “Now” interviewer Bill Moyers, May 9, 2003 (all ellipses in original PBS transcript). “And maybe the most interesting thing I learned is this thing that’s still surprising when I tell other people which is that, as you improve health in a society, population growth goes down. You know I thought it was…before I learned about it, I thought it was paradoxical. Well if you improve health, aren’t you just dooming people to deal with such a lack of resources where they won’t be educated or they won’t have enough food? You know, sort of a Malthusian view of what would take place.” So it would seem that Gates favors reproductive health programs, and maybe health programs in general, because they reduce population–exactly the argument against reproductive health programs that PRI makes (we’re not against health programs in general). Gates added, “My dad was head of Planned Parenthood.”

Gates has put his money where his mouth is. His foundation gave $2.25 million to Johns Hopkins to train Third World experts in population control in 1997. In 1998, his foundation–which is controlled by Gates, his wife, and his father–gave $1.7 million to a United Nations Population Fund program for controlling population growth.

Buffett has given millions to pro-abortion and population control efforts over the years, and has even funded the anti-Catholic Catholics for a Free Choice. But how much of a priority is it for him? Reported the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Nov. 13, 1997, about his wife’s foundation, “One of the foundation’s directors, Mr. Buffett’s daughter, Susie, told The Chronicle that she did expect that population control would be the foundation’s top priority. ‘That’s what my father has always believed was the biggest and most important issue, so that will be the focus,’ she said. ‘I feel as his child that it’s important to carry out his wishes. It’s his money.’”

In fact, the foundation, named after Buffett’s late wife Susan, funded clinical trials of the RU-486 abortion pill in the 1990s. Helping to create a whole new way to kill children–that’s committment.

There is no telling how much Buffett will end up giving to the Gates Foundation. He intends to give 5% a year, and his overall fortune could continue to grow year-by-year despite these gifts. It could be much more than $37 billion.

Buffett helped launch the human pesticide, RU-486. The Gates Foundation is working on its own sinister plans. On its website is an article by Gates’ wife Melinda that first appeared in Newsweek, May 15, 2006. Here, not only the anti-people agenda but the feminist agenda is on display. “For many women, marriage is a risk factor for AIDS because of their husbands’ dangerous behavior,” she wrote. “Worldwide, 80% of women newly infected with HIV are practicing monogamy within a marriage or a long-term relationship. This shatters the myth that marriage is a natural refuge from AIDS…. Through our foundation, my husband, Bill, and I are working to develop tools that can put the power to prevent AIDS into the hands of women. Microbicides are one exciting new prevention tool in development. These are colorless, odorless gels that a woman could apply vaginally—without her partner’s knowledge—to prevent sexual transmission of HIV. Microbicides may also prevent other sexually transmitted infections, such as syphilis and gonorrhea, and some act as contraceptives as well.”

Notice that last clause. “Contraceptives.” And, without their husbands’ knowledge–driving yet another wedge between family members in a world bent on driving wedges between them. And will the women be told that the microbicide gels they receive contain contraceptives, or will they be deceived by their government-run “reproductive health” programs as women in Peru, Mexico, China, the Philippines, Africa, and countless other places have already been?

Given the odds against transmitting HIV through normal heterosexual intercourse, such microbidices will likely do little to prevent the spread of HIV, though they could assist against other diseases. Wouldn’t America and Europe be suffering from a heterosexual AIDS epidemic if it were otherwise? The source of the African AIDS epidemic lies elsewhere, such as in the reuse of needles in the poorly run reproductive health clinics set up all over Africa with First World money.

Warren Buffett’s biographer, Roger Lowenstein, has written that Buffett once–still does?–had “a Malthusian dread that overpopulation would aggravate problems in all other areas—such as food, housing, even human survival.” Malthusian, the same attitude as Gates. The Anglican Rev. Thomas Malthus predicted in the late 18th Century that human population growth would outpace food production increases, thus leading to massive famines and death. Other, similar doomsayers have made similar predictions. Of course, it’s more than 200 years later, the Earth’s human population has growth enormously, and none of these predictions has ever come true. But for some reason, smart men such as Gates and Buffett continue to believe.
Joseph A. D’Agostino is Vice President for Communications at the Population Research Institute.


 
 
Take away God, all respect for civil laws, all regard for even the most necessary institutions disappears; justice is scouted; the very liberty that belongs to the law of nature is trodden underfoot; and men go so far as to destroy the very structure of the family, which is the first and firmest foundation of the social structure.
- St. Pius X, Jucunda Sane, March 12, 1904