National Debt Fueling Death Panels

August 26, 2013

us debtRemember way back in 2009 when Governor Sarah Palin fired up backers of Obamacare with this Facebook post:

“The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.”

That post won her Politifact’s 2009 “Lie Of The Year Award” and stirred progressives into a frenzy of personal attacks that would make Tuffy the Clown blush.

Palin’s now-famous death panels claim seems to have had much of the whole world laughing at one point or another, but if University of California – San Diego economics professor James Hamilton is correct, remnants of that laughter may soon be much harder to find.

Hamilton crunched the numbers and concluded that the federal government is drastically underestimating our national debt at $16.9 trillion. The true debt, says Hamilton, is almost four times that amount – a staggering $70 trillion.

According to Hamilton, the government’s tortuous route to the lower figure is paved primarily by ignoring a multitude of unfunded government liabilities including loan guarantees, deposit insurance and actions taken by the Federal Reserve. But the largest federal liabilities lie in the “fiscal stress that will come in the form of an aging population and rising medical expenditures,” says Hamilton.

Fox News reports that David Walker, a former U.S. Comptroller, has made similar claims in the past, including Social Security, Medicare and retiree pensions as additional unfunded liabilities not making it onto the government’s balance sheet liabilities.

In short, if Hamilton’s dire projections are anywhere close to being correct, America’s crushing debt and its disastrous consequences will soon force the government powers that be to take a cold, hard look at one of its top causes: medical care for the elderly.

America’s 2012 election cycle appeared to be less about a vision for the future as it was about cobbling together coalitions who ask the question: what’s in it for me? If the answer to that question is more abundantly sought by a majority willing to throw the elderly, the disabled and the unborn off the lifeboat, we have very rough waters ahead.

The post-World War II baby boomers are growing older. The cost of medical treatment is rising. The debt is swelling. The answers are lacking. And an increasingly secular America – an America that has granted legal sanction to the termination of more than 55 million unborn children — is rapidly approaching a point of yet another milestone decision of who lives and who dies.

Now is the time – not later – to ask the hard questions of our government about care for all our populations. Because no one should be judged by their ‘level of productivity in society’ once the government has reached a fiscal tipping point.

Indiana Right to Life Statement on Legality of Abortion Facility Law

August 22, 2013

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Right to Life President and CEO, Mike Fichter, released the following statement on the legality of Senate Enrolled Act 371 after learning of a lawsuit filed against the bill.
“Today’s lawsuit comes as no surprise because Planned Parenthood wants to protect its abortion business. It’s clear that Planned Parenthood sees any amount of common sense oversight as too much oversight. If Planned Parenthood truly cared about women’s health, they would desire all abortion facilities, even facilities they do not operate, to meet a basic standard.

“The state is well within its bounds on Senate Enrolled Act 371. If Planned Parenthood’s lawsuit advances to any court, we believe any judge will recognize the authority of the state to put this law into effect.”

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Indiana Right to Life Applauds GAO’s Investigation of Planned Parenthood

August 9, 2013

Investigation Will Likely Examine How Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Including Indiana and Kentucky, Spend Federal Money

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirmed this week it is launching an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s use of federal tax dollars. The decision to investigate comes after 69 representatives and senators, including Indiana’s Reps. Todd Rokita (IN-4) and Larry Bucshon (IN-8), requested the GAO to investigate in February.

“We are pleased this independent investigation will take a complete look at how Planned Parenthood is using tax dollars,” stated Mike Fichter, President and CEO of Indiana Right to Life. “In the fiscal year that ended in June 2012, Planned Parenthood received more than half a billion dollars in taxpayer funding. Considering that Planned Parenthood is the nation’s largest abortion provider, doing 333,964 abortions in 2011, it is prudent for the federal government to evaluate exactly how federal dollars are being used by the organization.

“Furthermore, we expect the local affiliate, Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, to fall under the GAO’s investigation as well. Indiana Planned Parenthood sites average a total of more than 5,000 abortions a year, yet they receive tax dollars. We believe that even if Planned Parenthood is technically barred from applying tax dollars to abortions, the flow of tax dollars frees up other revenue to be spent on supporting and expanding its abortion business.

“We believe this investigation will provide critical oversight and accountability for U.S. taxpayers at an important time. Just last month, a Texas-based Planned Parenthood affiliate quietly settled a Medicaid fraud case with the government for more than $4 million.”

The GAO investigation will also examine federal funds used by other organizations including the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the Guttmacher Institute, the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States, the Population Council and Advocates for Youth.

Indiana Right to Life’s mission is to protect the right to life, especially of unborn children, through positive education, compassionate advocacy and promotion of healthy alternatives to abortion.

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Recognizing Indiana’s Safe Haven Law

August 5, 2013

A Granger, Indiana woman awaits trial for a Class A felony neglect charge after police found her newborn dead in a dumpster behind a restaurant in July. Investigators say that the child was born alive and was at least 28 weeks old. The woman has entered a not guilty plea, but she hasn’t spoken publicly about what led her to dispose of her baby in a dumpster, if all reports are true.

The heart wrenching fact is that this mother could have used the Safe Haven Law and the child would likely be alive today. The Safe Haven Law is a lesser known law that many states – including Indiana – have on the books. This law allows a mother or other caregiver to give up a child at a police station, firehouse, or emergency room with no strings attached.

According to the National Safe Haven Alliance Indiana’s law:

  • Allows a distressed parent to give up an unwanted infant safely, legally and confidentially
  • Preserves the parent from arrest or prosecution for abandonment
  • Requires no names or records
  • Permits babies less than 30 days old to be given up at any hospital emergency room, fire station or police station in Indiana
  • Makes medical treatment and social services available to the birth mother
  • Puts the child into the custody of the Indiana Division of Family & Social Services Administration, which places the infant in a foster or pre-adoptive home

According to a July 2013 report in the Purdue Exponent, the Safe Haven Law has only been used four times in Indiana. According to the same article, nationally 2,879 babies have been safely abandoned so they can go to adoptive families. Comparing Indiana’s rate to the national rate, it appears the law is under-utilized in Indiana.

The Safe Haven Law gives children a chance at life when the mother feels she has no other option. It’s worth our time and energy to share the Safe Haven Law with our friends, family and community so that the law can protect future children because their mothers knew they had an option.

Kelsey presents at Friends for Life Boot Camp

Kelsey presents at Friends for Life Boot Camp

At the recent Friends for Life Boot Camp I saw pro-life speaker Monica Kelsey of Save the 1 address students in a breakout session with a plastic doll. First she threw the doll in the trash. Then she handed the doll to a firefighter. She used the illustration to explain the Safe Haven Law, and why the second abandonment was legal. Monica is also a firefighter herself, so she’s trained to accept a child if one is dropped off at her fire station.

The police officer who found the baby in the Granger dumpster will never be able to block that memory out. Likewise, a police officer who answers the door at a police station may never forget being handed a baby without even getting the mother’s name. But let’s pray the second situation is what Hoosier police officers, firefighters and emergency room workers experience the next time a local mother feels she has exhausted all her options.

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