James Madison vs. Barack Obama on Funding Planned Parenthood

Dr. Paul G. Kengor, FloydReports.com

With a critical vote in its state Senate, North Carolina has voted to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Republicans hold a huge majority in the Senate—meaning, as a Republican majority usually does, that the Senate is pro-life. The governor of the state, Bev Perdue, is a Democrat—meaning, as a Democrat chief executive usually does, that the governor is “pro-choice,” and favors funding Planned Parenthood. Enough Republicans exist in the legislature to over-ride Perdue’s veto.

Prior to this vote, North Carolina infused Planned Parenthood with $434,000 annually, directed at state “family-planning programs.” That money was to go to “non-abortion services;” that is, “non-abortion services” by the nation’s largest abortion provider.

Most significant, North Carolina’s action signals a potential trend among states. It is the third state to vote to de-fund Planned Parenthood, following measures by legislatures in Indiana and Kansas, where the governors are Republicans and supportive. In Kansas, the governor is the solidly pro-life Sam Brownback, a gigantic change from Governor Kathleen Sebelius, who is now President Obama’s point-person to revamp America’s healthcare system. In Indiana, the governor is Mitch Daniels.

In all three states, North Carolina, Kansas, and Indiana, we see yet again how the Republican Party has become the pro-life party and the Democratic Party—the party of my family’s roots—has continued in the opposite direction.

The next key thing to watch is how the Obama administration reacts to North Carolina. In recent weeks….

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Obama’s Dr. Death Tells Indiana to Fund Planned Parenthood

Steven Ertelt, LifeNews.com

The Obama administration today denied Indiana’s use of its new state law that would deny millions in taxpayer dollars to the Indiana affiliate of the nation’s largest abortion business.

Governor Mitch Daniels signed the law, which would cut off anywhere from $2 million to $3 million the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives in federal funds via the Indiana government through Medicaid.

Daniels said that “any organization affected by this provision can resume receiving taxpayer dollars immediately by ceasing or separating its operations that perform abortions.”

However, the Obama administration has told the state it can’t implement the new law, with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick denying a request to deny funds saying the federal Medicaid law stipulates that states can’t exclude providers based on the services they provide.
National Journal. “We assume this decision is not unexpected.”

Berwick also said the law makes it so states can’t prohibit access to family planning, which is provided under federal law. His department released a memo advising states that they can’t exclude abortion providers from receiving taxpayer funds via Medicaid.

“Medicaid programs may not exclude qualified health care providers — whether an individual provider, a physician group, an outpatient clinic or a hospital — from providing services under the program because they separately provide abortion services,” Center for Medicaid Director Cindy Mann wrote in the memo.

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How They Stack Up: A Look at the 2012 GOP Field (So Far)

Floyd and Mary Beth Brown, FloydReports.com

It has been a busy week in presidential politics. With Barack Obama gaining only a minimal boost from the slaying of Osama bin Laden, it is now obvious to Republicans considering a run that he is vulnerable.

Republicans have a crowded field, but an impressive group of candidates. Here is our ranking of their prospects and the latest news.

We believe that if he chooses to run, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee is the odds on favorite to win the Republican nomination. Huckabee has been quiet, but some impressive reports have surfaced.

First, it is reported that if he runs, Ronald Reagan’s confident and 1984 campaign manager, Ed Rollins, has signed on as manager and chief strategist. Huckabee, who came in second to John McCain four years ago after winning the Iowa caucuses, will be well served by an experienced manager like Rollins. Rollins has eluded that he has a team of experienced people on standby for Governor Huckabee.

Also this week, the new website prayforhuckabee.com went online. On the website Governor Huckabee sounds more like a candidate….

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Mitch Daniels’ ObamaCare Problem

Michael F. Cannon, National Review

Mitt Romney isn’t the only Republican presidential hopeful with an Obamacare problem: Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, were he to become the GOP’s nominee, could also undermine the repeal campaign that has united the party’s base and independent voters.

To be sure, Daniels’s Obamacare problem is less obvious than Romney’s; the law that Romney signed as governor of Massachusetts in 2006 is essentially identical to Obamacare. It sent insurance premiums higher and left Massachusetts struggling with runaway Medicaid spending. Romney’s stubborn “no apology” stance on his own law could sink the repeal effort by making it appear unprincipled and political. President Obama is already laying the groundwork, most recently by reminding the National Governors Association that Romney remains “proud” of Romneycare.

But Mitch Daniels’s record also bears similarities to Obama’s, and his approach to Obamacare as governor has been an anchor on the repeal movement. Like Obama, Daniels increased cigarette taxes to expand government-run health care. Whereas Obamacare requires states to open their Medicaid programs to families of four earning $31,000 (138 percent of the federal poverty level), Daniels expanded Indiana’s Medicaid program to families of four earning $44,000 (200 percent of poverty). From 2008 to 2010, Indiana’s Medicaid enrollment spiked: Adult enrollments grew 21 percent, a rate nearly double the national average. By 2010, Daniels had enrolled another 62,000 Hoosiers in government-run health care.

Daniels and his conservative fans make much of the fact that this “Healthy Indiana Plan” (HIP) offers high-deductible coverage combined with a taxpayer-funded health savings account, whereas Obamacare simply expands traditional Medicaid with its notoriously lousy access to care. But that’s just another way of saying Daniels made Medicaid more attractive: Under his plan, the government hands out coverage plus something a lot like cash.

Conservatives should not consider it a selling point, then, that 94 percent of HIP enrollees are satisfied with the program, or that HIP enjoys a much higher retention rate than the regular Medicaid program, or that HIP’s waiting list is now 50,000 Hoosiers long. Health savings accounts are supposed to reduce dependence on government. Daniels is using HSAs to expand dependence on government.

Also like Obamacare, HIP is fiscally unsound and pushes states’ Medicaid costs onto federal taxpayers. Every $1 Indiana spends on HIP triggers at least $2 of spending by the federal government; no matter what state you call home, you’re paying for Mitch Daniels’s government-run health-care plan. Even so, an independent review found that Daniels’s cigarette-tax hike hasn’t kept pace with Indiana’s share of the spending, and further cost overruns may be on the horizon. If Obamacare remains on the books, Daniels wants to put all new Medicaid enrollees into HIP, with the feds paying 100 percent of the cost.

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