Uniting for Life
About This Issue
Religious Pro-Life Groups Object to
Abortion Coverage in President Clinton's Health Plan
The Clinton Healthcare Rationing
Plan - Binding the Consciences of Christians Opposed to Abortion and Euthanasia
Why Clinton's Plan Means Rationing
Speaking of Life- The Proposed Health
Plan is a Killer
NPRC Seeks New Members
About This Issue
On the Clinton Rationing Plan
People "will know that they are not being denied treatment for any
reason other than it is not appropriate - will not enhance or save the quality
Hillary Rodham Clinton, Testimony to the Senate Finance Committee,
Sept. 30, 1993
RELIGIOUS PRO-LIFE GROUPS
OBJECT TO ABORTION COVERAGE IN PRESIDENT CLINTON'S HEALTH PLAN
Since President and Mrs. Clinton revealed the Clinton
Plan for health care reform in this nation, most Americans have begun to form
their opinions of what they believe should happen to solve the problems with the
current health care system. Three major religious pro-life groups, representing
Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists and Lutherans, have made their concerns
known, not only to those in Washington, but, perhaps more importantly, directly
to their faith communities urging them to take action. The United States
Congress is expected to begin action on health care early in 1994.
Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles and Chairman of the National
Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for Pro-Life Activities, is urging
Catholics to participate in a message campaign to Congress on January 23, 1994.
"No government has the right to force us to finance the deliberate destruction
of human lives," Mahony said. Catholics are being asked to send a message to
their congressional representative, senators and the President that abortion
should be kept out of health care reform. "Project Life", sponsored by the
National Committee for a Human Life Amendment, a Catholic grassroots action
group, is expected to generate millions of postcards, mailgrams, letters and
phone calls to Washington officials. The theme of the campaign is simply that
"abortion is not health care... and coercing Americans to pay for abortion would
violate the consciences of millions and jeopardize needed health care reform."
The Christian Life Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention feels a
responsibility to address the health care issue, according to Richard D. Land,
executive director, "because President Clinton is a member of a Southern Baptist
congregation and many Southern Baptists are deeply opposed to the President's
agenda on human life issues." A consultation on health care reform is being
planned for early in 1994 with special attention to the impact of the proposals
on the sanctity of life at all stages of development. Land stated that the
inclusion of abortion on demand must be prevented. "The Christian Life
Commission will educate and involve grassroots Southern Baptists in this
critical battle like we never have on any other issue. We must not fail."
Lutherans For Life, a national pro-life ministry, has written to Lutheran
congregations in the major Lutheran denominations issuing a call to action.
Edward Fehskens, executive director, states, "The witness of the Church for
nearly two thousand years has consistently condemned the destruction of unborn
human life by abortion. A nationally enforced, tax-payer funded regime of
abortion will result in countless more deaths. Such a regime will also force
millions of citizens to violate their consciences, compelling them to
participate in that which is evil. This violation of conscience is unjust."
Lutherans For Life is asking Christians to express to their congressional
representative, senators and the President, their "strongest conscientious
objection" to abortion funding in any national health plan. Request for prayer
is made also.
From the director's Desk: A Christian Pro-Life perspective
HEALTHCARE RATIONING PLAN: BINDING THE CONSCIENCES OF CHRISTIANS OPPOSED TO
ABORTION AND EUTHANASIA
-- Candace Mueller
In the coming months, the United States Congress will consider proposals for
reforming our nation's healthcare system that could threaten the freedom of
conscience of millions of faith-filled Americans. Two major proposals are of
grave concern to those who hold human life, born and unborn, sacred.
Abortion is to be included as a medically necessary service and therefore is
to become part of the basic benefits package.
Lifesaving care is to be denied or "rationed" especially to those facing
end-of-life decisions, people with disabilities, older people or others
determined to be lacking "quality of life".
In short, the Clinton health plan treats lives just beginning as worthless
and lives near the end as too costly.
These proposals are very serious and very wrong. Hopefully, many, if not
most, Americans, Christians and non-Christians alike, will recognize the grave
consequences for the physical as well as the spiritual well being of many of
their fellow citizens.
While abortion on demand has been legal since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court
ruling in Roe v. Wade, and while many citizens have opposed that decision, they
have not been required by law to terminate their pregnancies by abortion. (This
is to say nothing of the possible financial incentives weighted toward abortion
over other necessary care and services for a high-risk pregnancy that could
occur under the Clinton proposal.) However, requiring Christians by law to pay
for abortions through tax monies implicates them in a way that compromises their
beliefs and conscience.
The Clinton administration's proposals will result in governmental policy
that is not only unjust but also evil.
The proposals inflict an injustice because the unjust killing of human
beings, born and unborn, is subsidized, and it unjustly requires all taxpayers
to participate in that subsidy, including those opposed to abortion and
The proposals inflict great evil upon our taxpaying citizens by using their
money for the destruction of innocent human life.
THE CHRISTIAN AND CONSCIENCE
For Christians, the matter of right conscience is controlled by strong
feelings based on knowledge gained from the Word of God. Millions of Christians
know that abortion is wrong and that the Word of God as well as the statements
of the historic Christian Church confirm this. They also confirm the wrongness
of actively promoting cost-saving measures that result in involuntary euthanasia
or physician assisted suicides by means of the rationing of lifesaving care.
To act against these conscientious beliefs, even when required by law, is a
sin committed by a Christian who has full knowledge of the wrong-doing. Thomas
Jefferson said that "to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the
propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical..."
Christians should not stand by and allow our nation's government to contribute
to this spiritual peril for many Americans.
THE RESPONSE OF CHRISTIAN CITIZENS
A Christian is bound by conscience to disobey an order or a law which
violates God's will. (Acts 5: 29). Therefore, through the democratic process,
Christians must use all legal and judicial means available to prevent these
objectionable policies from being enacted.
THE CALL FOR CHRISTIAN COMPASSION
Christians are the beneficiaries of God's loving care (1 Peter 5:7) and,
as Christians, we respond to His love by touching the lives of people who are
hurting in an uncaring world. Christian care-givers are available and ready to
help women and families who are struggling with a problem pregnancy. Carrying
the burdens of others as they suffer disease or discomfort is also demanded of
Christians. We cannot, in good conscience, pay for the elimination of these
problems by abortion or deliberate death. Such proposals must be defeated.
Candace Mueller serves as NPRC's director.
WHY CLINTON'S PLAN
1) Hillary Rodham Clinton told the Senate Finance
Committee Sept. 30, 1993 that under the proposal, "[P]eople will know that they
are not being denied treatment for any reason other than it is not
appropriate - will not enhance or save the quality of life [emphasis
added]." In short, she admits that poor "quality of life" will be a basis for
2) Clinton's proposal imposes "hidden rationing." There will be no
government boards openly mandating such rules as "no kidney dialysis for people
over 65." Instead, the Clinton Health Care Rationing Plan will force individual
health plans to ration because of drastic limits on the health insurance
Americans will be allowed to purchase.
3) Premium caps will rise far less than health care cost inflation.
The law will require you to buy a "comprehensive benefits package," normally
through a quasi-governmental bureaucracy called a "regional Alliance." Caps will
be imposed on the average premium for the packages in the region. Each year,
these caps will be permitted to rise only at levels considerably below health
care cost inflation.
4) The resulting cost squeeze will force rationing. Each year the
health plan you select to provide you the "comprehensive benefits package" will
have less money in "real" dollars (the value of the dollar adjusted for health
cost inflation). But it will be responsible for providing the same types of
health care to the same number of people as the year before. Something will have
to give - the health plan will have to cut down more and more each year on the
treatments it makes available.
5) Consider the salary analogy. If the government prohibited your
salary from rising more than 2% a year, regardless of inflation,
your buying power would decrease steadily. Over time, as inflation ate away at
the value of the dollar, your standard of living would slowly but significantly
fall. Under the Clinton Rationing Plan, the same will happen to the value of the
medical treatments your insurance will be able to buy.
6) The Clintons claim that the shortfall can all be made up from
eliminating waste and fraud is wildly unrealistic. Robert Shiels of the
respected econometric firm Lewin-VHS notes that to maintain the current level of
health care under the premium caps Clinton would impose would require
productivity increases by health care providers every year at five times
the annual productivity increase in American manufacturing!
7) Health plans are authorized to deny treatments they consider
"inappropriate" or outside their "practice guidelines." If health plans must
offer the comprehensive benefits package, how can they legally ration? If they
are allowed to deny treatment they consider "inappropriate" or that is outside
their "practice Guidelines." This effectively allows denial of treatment when,
in the words of the First Lady, it will not "enhance or save the quality of
8) Backup insurance to protect your family from rationing would be
illegal. You could buy supplemental insurance for categories outside
the comprehensive benefits package, such as certain dental benefits. But the
bill prohibits selling supplemental insurance that "duplicate" categories
inside the package -- precisely the ones that would be rationed.
9) Specialists would be drastically limited. Specialists trained by
medical schools would be limited to 45% of all doctors - roughly half the
current number. This will reduce the number of those specially trained to
diagnose and treat complex illnesses, leading to rationing due to the lack of
availability of specialists. It will also devastate medical research, which is
largely conducted by specialists.
10) Research and development will be curtailed. The premium caps,
together with special oversight on the pricing of "breakthrough" drugs, will
greatly reduce the incentive to private investors to gamble on the development
of new drugs and other treatments. In addition the number of trained specialists
qualified to conduct research will be severely curtailed by law.
11) Choice of doctors curtailed. Although theoretically people could
select health plans that do not limit their choice of doctors, most health care
economists agree that the severe premium caps and other disincentives will make
such plans economically infeasible. You could be forced to use an abortionist to
deliver your baby, or a doctor who didn't think her life was worth living to
treat your mother.
12) The Clinton Health Care Rationing Plan will cause "slow
strangulation." It will gradually, year by year, strangle our ability to
save the lives of members of our families when they need the care the most -
when faced with a costly life-threatening condition.
(reprinted from NRL News, January, 1994)
(Paid for by the National Right to Life Committee, Inc.)
Speaking of Life -
THE PROPOSED HEALTH PLAN IS A KILLER
-- Dr. Jean Garton
NEWSWEEK captioned a photo of the First Lady with the words: "Hillary
Clinton: Putting a Face on Health Care Reform." But as she and others market the
Health Plan, its face appears to be one of deception, rejection and selection.
DECEPTION because it proposes a "basic benefits" package that would not
benefit unborn children.
Existing health insurance would be replaced with a plan that includes
abortion as a basic benefit.
It deceptively avoids the word "abortion," hiding it, instead, under the
category of "medically necessary reproductive health services."
The "face" of the health plan is also one of REJECTION. It would deny needed
therapy and other benefits to tens of thousands of people, many of them children
- who suffer from cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and other congenital and
The plan would cover therapy following an illness or accident but not therapy
for children born with a birth defect because the plan does not consider that
child either ill or injured.
The "face" of the health plans is also one of SELECTION. It would cover the
abortion of a child - who was discovered before birth to have a congenital
defect - but would not cover that same child for long-term therapy if it was
allowed to be born.
The decision to abortion could be greatly influenced by the financial
assistance available to parents of such a child.
No state can long endure the weakening of its power over life and death. It
finds some way to reclaim its authority. In this case, abortion-on-demand is
becoming abortion-by-demand... not openly or obviously but deceptively and
This health plan has a face all right, but it's the face of a killer.
This column is one of the daily radio commentaries by Dr. Garton,
President of Lutherans For Life, broadcast over the Jubilee Network. For
information, call: 1-800-325-6333.
Religious Groups Prepare for 21st Annual March For
Life in Washington, DC
Prior to the March For Life that begins at noon on Friday, January 21,
1994 at the Ellipse, religious groups are holding prayer services.
Beginning the night before, the National Prayer Vigil for Life takes place in
Washington at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
for the Roman Catholic community.
Orthodox Christians for Life are holding a pre-March Orthodox prayer service
at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, Washington, DC, starting at 9:00 a.m. Friday
The Taskforce of United Methodists on Abortion and Sexuality is holding its
annual service of worship in the Simpson Memorial Chapel of The United Methodist
Building, located on Capitol Hill, at 9:30 am.
The National Pro-Life Religious Council (NPRC) is sponsoring its second
annual ecumenical Christian prayer service for the March at Mount Olivet
Lutheran Church, downtown Washington, that begins at 10:00 am and will end with
a procession to the Ellipse for the March. Representatives from twelve
denominations and fellowships in NPRC's membership will assist in leading the
service. The Rev. Dr. John Brown, United Church of Christ pastor and president
of the NPRC, will preach.
NPRC SEEKS NEW MEMBERS
This is your opportunity to join with other Christian
pro-life leaders to help restore legal protection to the unborn child.
The National Pro-Life Religious Council, Inc. (NPRC) is a Christian pro-life
coalition which acknowledges Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and is called to
witness to and affirm the biblical standard of the value, dignity and sanctity
of human life.
NPRC's Board of Directors consists of leaders of pro-life religious groups or
pro-life groups with a religious outreach.
Associate membership is open to any individual, church, or group which
subscribes to NPRC's principles.
NPRC currently has members working within pro-life groups associated with the
following denominations or churches: American Baptist, Catholic, Disciples of
Christ, Episcopalian, Evangelical (member denominations of the National
Association of Evangelicals), Lutheran, Orthodox, Presbyterian, Southern Baptist
Convention, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist.
Please join NPRC today and help us end the tragedy of abortion!
The IRS has granted 501(c)3 status to the NPRC, allowing your
contributions to aid in the work of NPRC to be tax deductible.
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