Liberty Univ. Can Continue Challenging Obamacare
Weekly summary of world news
Norm Olson November 27, 2012
Another challenge to the Affordable Care Act (2010), or “Obamacare,” can continue, the Supreme Court ruled last Monday, reports The Christian Post. Liberty University, a private Christian university in Lynchburg, Va., founded by the Rev. Jerry Falwell, sued over the law’s requirements that certain employers provide health insurance and that most individuals carry health insurance on religious freedom grounds. Liberty University is represented by Liberty Counsel, which was also founded by Falwell. “I am very pleased with the high court’s ruling. Today’s ruling breathes new life into our challenge to ObamaCare. Our fight against ObamaCare is far from over,” said Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel and dean of Liberty University School of Law. “Congress exceeded its power by forcing every employer to provide federally mandated insurance. But even more shocking is the abortion mandate, which collides with religious freedom and the rights of conscience.”
- A Christian historian and author has concluded that Barack Obama is “bizarrely confused” on a range of moral and religious issues, and that the current administration “poses the greatest threat to religious liberty in American history,” reports onenewsnow.com. Dr. Jefrey Breshears has published a new book that examines the factors that shaped President Obama’s understanding of Christianity. The Gospel According to Barack: Where Did Barack Obama Get His Ideas About Christianity? analyzes the religious elements that have informed the president’s views on a wide range of social and moral issues including same-sex marriage, abortion, and the relationship between church and state. Breshears is president of the Areopagus Christian Study Center, based in Marietta, Ga. “I was motivated to write the book by the comment that President Obama made back in May of that it was his Christian faith that inspired him to publicly support same-sex marriage,” explains the author, in reference to the president’s explanation that his views on the matter had “evolved.” “I thought a comment like that deserved an appropriate response,” Breshears continues, “because frankly nothing could be more indefensible than misusing [and] misrepresenting the Christian faith in order to promote a practice that’s so obviously unbiblical.”
- Parents in Ontario, Canada, apparently have no right to learn what their children are being taught about homosexuality, notes onenewsnow.com, reporting on a situation that occurred in Hamilton, Ontario, during a recent assembly led by the Gay-Straight Alliance, an event that is required in the schools. Laura Wolfson, who identified herself as a lesbian and youth worship leader at a synagogue, was the guest speaker. “This lady came into the school and spoke against Catholic teaching and spoke against Judeo-Christian beliefs around the issue of homosexuality,” reports Dave Quist of the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada. “The very surprising thing is even though she was in a public school, taxpayer funded, when requests were made to see her speech, all efforts to do that were rebuffed.” Parents were repeatedly refused access, and the information and privacy commissioner recently upheld the decision to keep it under lock and key. But such action regarding topics like the environment, homosexuality and other moral issues are not just a problem in Ontario. “People are being seen as experts on a particular issue, brought in to speak, and parents are either not notified or legally not able to take their children out of class during that particular time,” Quist explains. “It is an issue that is going before the courts in the next while, but it is a sad statement on freedom of choice for parents in the education system right now.” This case involves a parent who is asking to be notified about what types of sex education are being taught and when it is taking place. The school system has refused to disclose that information and will not allow him to take his child out of the class.
- An Oklahoma-based physician is questioning the right to healthcare under Obamacare and the role of physicians who are paid little to provide it. With President Obama’s re-election, many are enthusiastic about their coming access to healthcare. But Dr. Keith Smith, an Oklahoma-based board-certified anesthesiologist, ponders upon the quality of care patients will receive. He explains that come 2014, patients will have to prove that they have insurance, or they will be forced to pay a minimum of $95 that will climb to nearly $700 if they choose to opt out. So he believes many will likely be handed a Medicaid card under Obamacare. “Often times, somebody that has a Medicaid card or even a Medicare card in their wallet, they have trouble with access just by virtue of having that card,” the anesthesiologist explains. “A lot of physicians are not willing to see Medicare or Medicaid patients due to the hassles . . . the red tape . . . the low payments and the price controls that are involved.” Dr. Smith tells OneNewsNow he stopped doing cardiac anesthesia because half of his patients were under Medicare, and payment for his services was far below what it should have been. So he asserts that more doctors will refuse Medicaid and Medicare patients or be forced by the government to work. “The people waving their cards saying, I’ve got insurance—that doesn’t mean that they’re going to get care,” Smith warns. “If anything, it means they probably will be discriminated against if they have a government card, because there will have to be price controls associated with these new cards.” How many people voted for Obama’s second term because they thought Obamacare would kick in and health care would be free? asks bighealthreport.com: “Sure, after subsidies paid for by their fellow citizens, health insurance may be ‘free’ for some (and for the rest of us it’s already more expensive), but it’s still going to cost them. Things like annual well visits are covered with no co-payment, but suppose someone brings up a new health problem during that ‘free’ well visit? Dr. Peter Weiss explains that those patients will have to schedule a new appointment because new problems aren’t covered in well visits under Obamacare. Some patients are asking him to break the law, but he’s not about to do that.” Bighealthreport.com also reports that the Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems. The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on Match.com. Sixteen states—most of them governed by Republicans—have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead. Another five states said they want a federal-state partnership, while four others are considering partnerships. It’s a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written. The law assumed states would create and operate their own exchanges, and set aside billions in grants for that purpose.
- Pediatricians should actively counsel teens about “emergency contraception” and even provide them with prescriptions or products ahead of time, to ensure they have the pills if they need them, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a policy statement released online Monday, reports washingtontimes.com. AAP members also are urged to advocate lifting the age restriction for these products. Currently, girls 16 and younger need a prescription to obtain the morning-after pill, as these products are sometimes called.
- The African nation of Uganda has done something “that would horrify most politicians and bring out the ACLU, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation in record numbers. The president of the nation called for a national day of repentance,” reports politicaloutcast.com. Uganda’s national newspaper New Vision said that “President Yoweri Museveni made history when he openly repented of his sins and the sins of Uganda, a move that has excited many religious leaders.” There were times in America’s early history when presidents called on the nation to pray and repent for personal and national sins, but nothing like the prayer that President Museveni made at the National Jubilee Prayers in Namboole, Uganda: “Father God in heaven, today we stand here as Ugandans, to thank you for Uganda. We are proud that we are Ugandans and Africans. We thank you for all your goodness to us. I stand here today to close the evil past and especially in the last 50 years of our national leadership history and at the threshold of a new dispensation in the life of this nation. I stand here on my own behalf and on behalf of my predecessors to repent. We ask for your forgiveness. We confess these sins, which have greatly hampered our national cohesion and delayed our political, social and economic transformation. We confess sins of idolatry and witchcraft which are rampant in our land. We confess sins of shedding innocent blood, sins of political hypocrisy, dishonesty, intrigue and betrayal. Forgive us of sins of pride, tribalism and sectarianism; sins of laziness, indifference and irresponsibility; sins of corruption and bribery that have eroded our national resources; sins of sexual immorality, drunkenness and debauchery; sins of unforgiveness, bitterness, hatred and revenge; sins of injustice, oppression and exploitation; sins of rebellion, insubordination, strife and conflict. These sins and many others have characterised our past leadership, especially the last 50 years of our history. Lord, forgive us and give us a new beginning. Give us a heart to love you, to fear you and to seek you. Take away from us all the above sins. We pray for national unity. Unite us as Ugandans and eliminate all forms of conflict, sectarianism and tribalism. Help us to see that we are all your children, children of the same Father. Help us to love and respect one another and to appreciate unity in diversity. We pray for prosperity and transformation. Deliver us from ignorance, poverty and disease. As leaders, give us wisdom to help lead our people into political, social and economic transformation. We want to dedicate this nation to you so that you will be our God and guide. We want Uganda to be known as a nation that fears God and as a nation whose foundations are firmly rooted in righteousness and justice to fulfil what the Bible says in Psalm 33:12: ‘Blessed is the nation, whose God is the Lord. A people you have chosen as your own.’ I renounce all the evil foundations and covenants that were laid in idolatry and witchcraft. I renounce all the satanic influence on this nation. And I hereby covenant Uganda to you, to walk in your ways and experience all your blessings forever. I pray for all these in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
- The participation rate in the food stamp program has skyrocketed under President Obama—one in seven Americans now receives food stamps, reports townhall.com. To keep up with the demands of the burgeoning program, spending has thus “doubled from roughly $39 billion in 2008 to an estimated $85 billion in ,” and nearly quadrupled since 2000. According to Heritage, “Today, the food stamps program is one of the largest and the fastest growing of the roughly 80 welfare programs funded by the federal government.”
- Planned Parenthood used Black Friday to offer an abortion deal, reports freedomoutpost.com. Planned Parenthood of South Florida and the Treasure Coast offered the special, saying, “Visit our West Palm Beach or Kendall Health Center for special after Thanksgiving savings on Friday, November 23rd.” “It appears that one would have been able to save $10 on the murder of one’s unborn child. It makes things a bit easier, doesn’t it?” commented the report. “After all, who doesn’t want ‘cheap and easy’ for discarding the unborn? We might as well get it done between our trip to Starbucks and our Black Friday shopping. You’ll be back to ‘normal’ by Christmas, no problem.” LifeSiteNews also reported, “The Centers for Disease Control released new national abortion figures this week, and the mainstream media has essentially ignored the fact that the number of women dying from legal abortions has doubled.”
- Investors are jumping ship on J. C. Penney in droves in response to CEO Ron Johnson’s new “every-day-low-prices” strategy, reports patriotupdate.com: “However, Johnson inherited a company that was already in trouble, and the trouble had nothing to do with pricing. J. C. Penney’s trouble actually began when it ignored the values of its customer base and began supporting the radical homosexual agenda. Former CEO Michael Francis decided to make a statement about same-sex marriage and use the prestige of J. C. Penney to give his statement validity. He could not have done a worse job of anticipating the unintended consequences of his actions, actions that cost J. C. Penney investors millions of dollars and threatened to drive the company into bankruptcy. Michael Francis misjudged both his customers and the effect of the media on them. He hired comedienne Ellen DeGeneris, a homosexual and same-sex marriage advocate, as the company’s national spokesperson. On Mother’s Day 2011, J. C. Penney shocked its customer base—people who, for the most part, still hold to traditional American values—with an intentionally provocative, same-sex marriage ad featuring a family with two moms. Then in spite of a tidal wave of protests from customers, the retail giant obstinately ran a similar ad on Father’s Day featuring a family with two dads. Francis quickly learned what happens when businesses ignore sound business practices in favor of political ideology. Customer response to J. C. Penney’s in-your-face endorsement of homosexuality was hard for even the most ardent ideologue to ignore. Following the controversial ads, the company posted a $163 million loss, saw its stock price drop by 8.8 percent, and endured a 10 percent decline in customer traffic. CEO Michael Francis was fired for ignoring a rule retailers learn in Business 101: Know your customer. J. C. Penney has always appealed to a conservative, middle-American customer base. The store was founded on traditional America values, and the majority of its customers still subscribe to those values. When J. C. Penney walked away from its founding values, customers who still subscribe to those values walked away from J. C. Penney. A new CEO, Ron Johnson, was brought in to fix the problem, but he quickly learned that his predecessor’s misguided support of the radical homosexual agenda had left him with a larger than expected mountain to climb. Another truth that every business leader must understand—and apparently Ron Johnson didn’t—is that when a business gets at odds with its customers, the disgruntled customers talk to friends and they, in turn, talk to friends and soon the “piling-on effect” comes into play. There is a lesson in this for other businesses that feel the need to pander to the radical homosexual movement.