Monday, November 30, 2009

Amoena and Young Survival Coalition Celebrate Breast Cancer Survivors With Contest and Cruise

/PRNewswire/ -- Amoena USA Corporation, the worldwide leader of post-surgery breast care products, is sponsoring the 4th Annual Breast Cancer Survivors Cruise. In 2010, for the first time, Amoena will honor survivors and the people who helped them through their recovery by awarding a cabin for the one with the most inspirational story to tell.

As part of the contest, Amoena wants to hear about young mothers who bravely endured treatments; women who, despite their diagnosis, remain positive and optimistic; friends who were there when a survivor was diagnosed, went to appointments and made the recovery process a little easier. The contest is a celebration of survivorship and friendship.

"Amoena's mission is to help restore dignity and a positive self-image to women who have fought breast cancer and won. No woman can go through the battle alone. They need someone by their side encouraging them," said Malissa Magyar, Marketing Manager for Amoena. "We're inspired by the women who have fought this fight, and we're inspired by those who helped them every step of the way to recovery. This contest is our way of celebrating them."

Amoena approached the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), an organization focused on addressing critical issues of women under 40 diagnosed with breast cancer, to help sponsor the contest and spread the word among its affiliates.

"As a survivor, I know how important it is to have a support system while you undergo treatment and the emotional ups and downs following a breast cancer diagnosis," said Courtney Bulger, Executive Director, YSC, Greater Metro Atlanta. "We're happy to join Amoena in promoting a contest that honors that support system."

Nominations are now being accepted through March 1, 2010. To nominate, write in 500 words or less, the inspirational story of the woman who never gave up and the people who encouraged her to keep fighting. Amoena will select one winner to receive a cabin for two on the 2010 Breast Cancer Survivors Cruise, May 2-8. YSC will cover travel costs for the winner and guest to the cruise's port city, Ft. Lauderdale.

To nominate someone, simply fill out the online form available at www.amoena.com/cruise.

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First-hand Stories from Marine Corps Boot Camp

/PRNewswire/ -- From the rifle range to the mess hall, the obstacle course to swimming, "A Few Good Memories, Tales of Marine Corps Boot Camp" (published by Trafford Publishing) by Marine Bob Taylor shares more than 400 first-hand stories of Marines and their experience during an amazing time of each of their lives -- boot camp.

"My book is a collection of stories collected through my web site in 1999," Taylor said, who also got a chance to spend two weeks in 2000 at camp at Parris Island. "Over the years, I had read many Marine books - most were of the 'blood and guts' variety. I published the web site and requested first-hand humorous stories about Boot Camp from the Marines who experienced them.

"Hardly two months had passed when I had received over a thousand stories," he added. "I began a difficult selection to filter the best. Most were the humorous type I had envisioned, but a few nostalgic and sad stories made the cut because of their quality - and the balance they provided."

Readers are sure to enjoy the first-hand stories of the men and women of the United States who have volunteered to train to be Marines and defend the country against foreign enemies as well as the highly professional Marine drill instructors, who work day and night to produce the best fighting men and women in the world.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Dare to Believe in the Man in the Red Suit': Delivering the True Message of Christmas

/PRNewswire/ -- Thanksgiving is next week and retailers are advertising their merchandise and Black Friday deals everywhere you turn. With the bad economy, many families are feeling the pressure of the holidays and stress of not being able to buy the gifts their children are asking Santa to bring on Christmas morning. Melissa Larsen's "Dare to Believe in the Man in the Red Suit," published by AuthorHouse, helps parents and children remember the true reason for the season and reminds them to focus on the seven gifts of Christmas.

Tabby Mae, the story's main character, starts to question Santa Claus as she notices the stress and tension between her parents. Like many families this year, her parents don't have the money to buy new decorations and host their annual Christmas Eve party. They're left with the dilemma of telling their daughter the truth because they won't be able to afford the presents she wants this year.

After overhearing her parents' conversation, the little girl goes to bed and prays for her parents and to help them have the best Christmas. An angel suddenly appears and helps Tabby Mae to recall all of the wonderful Christmas memories stored in her heart and recreated all of the child's favorite family traditions and decorations for her to see. In the middle was the man in the red suit.

Suddenly, Tabby Mae sees the man in the red suit kneeling beside a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. She overhears Santa praying to the baby Jesus explaining that he delivers small presents to people each year as a reminder of the gifts Jesus gives us each year and the red suit represents Jesus' love and life.

The angel explains to the little girl that the man is St. Nick and that to focus on the seven gifts of Christmas: hope, peace, faith, joy, comfort, love and knowledge. Tabby Mae was then able to realize the true meaning of Christmas and what it means to believe in the man in the red suit.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Attorney General Holder Reveals Aggressive Gun Control In Response to Ft. Hood Terror Attack

/PRNewswire/ -- Before the Senate Judiciary Committee November 18th, 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder revealed a stunningly broad and aggressive anti-gun agenda.

"The President of the United States asked that politicians not use the Ft. Hood attack to engage in 'political theater.' It appears those committed to attacking gun owners and the Second Amendment simply can't help themselves and are engaged in blaming guns and gun owners on the heels of this terrorist attack. Sadly it looks like 'politics as usual,'" said LEAA's spokesperson, Ted Deeds.

After explaining and defending his decision to give enemy combatants constitutional protections and the right to public trial in civilian courts, Attorney General Holder revealed his support for a national gun owner registration scheme and authorizing the government to ban firearm possession for any person by merely adding that person's name to the terror watch list.

Drawing reasonable conclusions from what Holder publicly said, we now know:

-- Holder wants a national, permanent gun registration system
administered by law enforcement. A registration of honest citizens
that have cleared the federal background check for gun purchases with
those records permanently retained by and shared among law
enforcement.

-- Holder wants new federal authority to prohibit any person on the
federal watch list (reported to be 400,000 names) from buying guns and
supports confiscating guns from those on the list who possess them.


Transcribing General Holder: "The position of the Administration is that there should be a basis for law enforcement to share information about gun purchases." "... [It's not] inconsistent to allow law enforcement agencies to share that kind of information, for that information to be retained and then to be shared by law enforcement." "It seems incongruous to me that we would bar certain people from flying on airplanes because they are on the terrorist watch list and yet we would still allow them to posses weapons." {Emphasis added}

LEAA's Executive Director Jim Fotis said, "Those behind the badge don't believe more restrictions on honest gun owners is a reasonable, practical or constitutional response to acts of terrorism. As a retired officer, I know that America's men and women in blue want to fight terrorism, to stop terrorists; not waste time keeping records on innocent gun owners!"

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"Reels for Radicals" is Back on November 22!

The Georgia Tea Party(TM), a non-partisan advocacy group focused on impacting public policy by teaching the principles of individual liberty and constitutionally-limited self-government, will present the documentary film, America: Freedom to Fascism, at the AMC Theater Barrett
Commons 24, Sunday, November 22 at 3:00 pm.

The film, which challenges the legality and constitutionality of the income tax and the Federal Reserve System, is a chilling expose of the increasingly frequent attacks on our freedom by our own government. The film also explores controversial issues such as terrorism, the Patriot Act, immigration, IRS tactics and privacy, and concludes that the responses to these issues are
driving the country toward something that is not American, but could be better defined as fascism.

A Time for Choosing, Ronald Reagan's famous speech to the 1964 Republican Convention, will also be shown as an added feature. The audience will be amazed that the topics and logic of
Reagan's speech are even more relevant now than they were 45 years ago. Healthcare,
Social Security, big government, welfare and unemployment are all covered in the manner typical of the "Great Communicator." It's a classic that we should never forget.

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Study: Every GM Vehicle Sold Costs Taxpayers $12,200

/PRNewswire/ -- The American taxpayer has put up $12,200 for every General Motors vehicle sold through the beginning of 2011, and $7,600 for every Chrysler vehicle sold as well, according to a new report issued by the 362,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU).

The report, The Auto Bailout - A Taxpayer Quagmire, authored by NTU Adjunct Scholar Thomas D. Hopkins, Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, does the math on what the government bailout of the auto industry - including General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC - actually means to American taxpayers, including how much each taxpayer has contributed to the auto industry since December 2008 and how much each vehicle is costing us.

"Every time someone in your neighborhood drives home in a shiny new Chevy Silverado, remember that it cost American taxpayers more than $12,000," said Pete Sepp, NTU Vice President for Policy and Communications. "Between this and GM's plan to payback their bailout debt with other taxpayer funds, I wonder if all those Americans without work right now could think of any better ways to spend that money. This is a play out of the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme playbook, and would be the equivalent of paying your Master Card bill with your Visa."

The study found that the average American taxpaying family has invested roughly $800 in the auto bailouts so far. Moreover, the study found, the government support poured into General Motors, Chrysler, and GMAC - the financing subsidiary that supports sales at both - now stands at a towering $78.9 billion. Given that figure, and an estimate of how many vehicles GM and Chrysler will sell through the end of 2010, the study finds that each vehicle one of the bailed-out companies sells costs taxpayers $10,700.

Finally, breaking down the costs by company, the study reports that every Chrysler vehicle sold costs taxpayers $7,600, and every GM vehicle sold costs taxpayers $12,200.

The research is based upon a November study released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), entitled "Continued Stewardship Needed as Treasury Develops Strategies for Monitoring and Divesting Financial Interests in Chrysler and GM," a follow-up report on the "Troubled Asset Relief Program," as well as statements and reports released from the U.S. Treasury.

Additional Findings Include:
-- GMAC receives government guarantees not available to most private
firms. Coincidentally, these are the same private firms that are
forced to compete with GMAC's taxpayer-assisted bank, Ally Bank.
These guarantees save GMAC about $500 million annually in interest
costs.
-- During the first ten months of 2009, GM and Chrysler sales fell
further than other major auto producers, down 33.4 percent and 38.9
percent, respectively.
-- While the prospect of repayment of GM and Chrysler loans might be
expected, after bankruptcy the vast majority of the bailout funds are
no longer legal obligations of the newly-structured GM and Chrysler.
-- If Americans are to believe public officials' claims that the
government will eventually reprivatize the auto industry, the
necessity of a thoughtful exit plan is essential. However, at this
time no such plan exists, making it likely that the Treasury will not
recover its investment.

"[T]he bailout has created moral hazard problems, inadvertently handicapping the progress of stronger, non-subsidized producers," Professor Hopkins concluded. "The problems extend beyond just the auto industry, as favored status for one financial company and its bank necessarily complicates prospects for non-subsidized rivals. The time has come to stop such bailouts, and in an orderly way, to seek at least some recovery for taxpayers."

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Doctors and Patients Rally in Atlanta This Saturday

/PRNewswire/ -- Doctors for Patient Care rally across America to host physicians, allied health professionals and patients who demand responsible and meaningful healthcare reform - opposed to the current plans of government overhaul.

WHO: Doctors for Patient Care and Talk Show Host Mike Gallagher

WHAT: The leading voice of physicians fighting the government takeover of healthcare will rally with other concerned citizens to express problems with the current proposal and other options in the healthcare debate.

DATE: Saturday, November 21

TIME: 1:00 - 2:30 PM

WHERE:
Georgia State Capitol
206 Washington Street
Atlanta, GA 30334

Doctors for Patient Care is an organization of concerned physicians committed to the establishment of a health care system that preserves the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, promotes quality of care, supports affordable access to all Americans, and protects patients' freedom of choice. They urge patients and physicians to get involved in order to preserve the good qualities of our healthcare system, address the problems, while preventing its bureaucratic destruction.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No Treaty? No Problem! Obama Plans to Push Ahead With Cap-and-Trade

/PRNewswire/ -- President Obama's plan for an international cap-and-trade agreement negotiated at the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference to go into "immediate effect" may violate the Unites States Constitution, claim representatives of the No Cap-and-Trade Coalition (see www.NoCapAndTrade.com).

Quoted in a Reuters news story today, Obama said, "Our aim is not a partial accord or a political declaration but rather an accord that covers all of the issues in the negotiations and one that has immediate operational effect."

"Today President Obama exhibited the arrogance commonly associated with dictators and tyrants," said Jeff Davis, executive director of NoCapAndTrade.com. "It's hard to believe that a former constitutional law professor could forget that treaties require Senate ratification."

President Obama made the remarks amid heavy criticism from Europe about the lack of progress in the U.S. toward cap-and-trade legislation and the expected failure of the imminent Copenhagen negotiations.

But such "immediate operational effect" is impossible, said Davis.

"Article II of the Constitution requires that treaties are approved by two-thirds of the Senate, so President Obama can't just sign up the U.S. and then start enforcing treaty provisions," observed Davis. "Additionally, the cap-and-trade bill now in the Senate isn't anywhere close to having the 60 votes necessary to avoid filibuster -- trying to get 67 votes for a climate treaty looks pretty unlikely right now," Davis added.

President Obama might have been thinking of using the EPA to regulate carbon when he made his statement. The EPA has proposed to designate carbon dioxide as a hazard to the public welfare and to regulate it under the Clean Air Act.

"If President Obama signed an agreement in Copenhagen and then tried to implement it through the EPA and Clean Air Act," observed JunkScience.com's Steve Milloy, "the President would immediately be at war with Congress, including almost a two dozen Democratic Senators who are concerned about the harm cap-and-trade would do to the economy."

The German magazine Der Spiegel criticized President Obama this week, asserting he'd been "lying to" and "betraying" Europe in failing to advance cap-and-trade in the U.S.

"President Obama is Europe's last hope for ensnaring and crippling the U.S. with cap-and-trade," said Milloy. "His desperate statement today indicates he's feeling that pressure."

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Friday, November 13, 2009

Apocalypse Time Again

The end of time as we know it is certainly food for thought, and for some, it's a way of life. As the new movie about the alleged apoclypse in a couple of years comes out, it's time to revisit some of the great apocalyses that, well, didn't happen.

Read more...

Ten Notable Apocalypses That (Obviously) Didn’t Happen
Apocalyptic predictions, such as those warning of global destruction in 2012, are nothing new – they have been around for millenia
By Mark Strauss

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Judicial Watch Appeals to U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Lawsuit Challenging Hillary Clinton's Constitutional Eligibility to Serve as Sec. of State

/Standard Newswire/ -- Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that on November 3rd it filed a "Notice of Appeal" as a first step to ask United States Supreme Court to consider its lawsuit filed on behalf of U.S. Foreign Service Officer David C. Rodearmel challenging Hillary Clinton's constitutional eligibility to serve as Secretary of State [Rodearmel v. Clinton, et al., (Civil Action No.09-171) (D.D.C.)].Following oral argument on September 16, a special three-judge panel of the U.S.
District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed the challenge on October 29th, ruling that Mr. Rodearmel lacked "standing" to bring the lawsuit. The panel did not rule on the constitutional merits of the lawsuit.

Judicial Watch's lawsuit, filed on January 29, 2009, maintains that the "Ineligibility Clause" of the U.S. Constitution prohibits Hillary Clinton from serving as Secretary of State and that Mr. Rodearmel cannot be forced to serve under the former U.S. Senator, as it would violate the oath he took as a Foreign Service Officer in 1991 to "support and defend" and "bear true faith and allegiance" to the Constitution of the United States.

According to Article I, section 6 of the U.S. Constitution: "No Senator or Representative shall,
during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States, which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been encreased during such time." The text of the provision is an absolute prohibition and does not allow for any exceptions. However, as Judicial Watch notes in its complaint for Mr. Rodearmel, "the 'compensation and other emoluments' of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Mrs. Clinton's tenure in the U.S. Senate, including as many as three times during the second, six-year term to which she was elected."

Congress attempted to circumvent this constitutional provision by "rolling back" compensation for the position of Secretary of State to the level in effect on January 1, 2007. Judicial Watch's complaint maintains: "This [fix] does not and cannot change the historical fact that the 'compensation and other emoluments' of the office of the U.S. Secretary of State increased during Mrs. Clinton's tenure in the U.S. Senate."

With respect to the issue of standing, Judicial Watch contends that Mr. Rodearmel "has demonstrated that he is being injured in his employment by being required to serve under, take direction from, and report to a constitutionally ineligible superior, Mrs. Clinton" and that he has "been placed in a position where he either must violate his oath of office or risk substantial,
adverse consequences to his employment."

The "Ineligibility Clause" is seen by many as designed by our Founding Fathers to protectagainst corruption, limit the size of government, and ensure the separation of powers among the three branches of government. At least two other presidential appointees, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Army Secretary John McHugh are also ineligible to serve in their positions under the "Ineligibility Clause."

The lawsuit was reviewed on an expedited basis by a special three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Under applicable law, any appeal goes directly to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Our client's goal is to vindicate the U.S. Constitution," said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "The Constitution clearly prohibits Hillary Clinton from serving as Secretary of State until 2013. We hope the Supreme Court assumes jurisdiction over this matter and puts a stop to this attempt to do end-run around the Constitution."

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran-led Peer Support Combats Suicide

/PRNewswire/ -- Last month in Washington, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki made a staggering announcement: more veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Coming within weeks of the release of the US Army's suicide prevention guidebook, the VA Secretary's statement underscores the commitment to teaching service members and veterans the methods for overcoming combat stress.

While for many the manual will be an important tool, veteran-to-veteran peer support is often the best way to stay mentally healthy during and after wartime service.

For more than a decade, Survivor Corps has helped thousands of military and civilian survivors of war to recover and move beyond their combat trauma. Now, thanks to a committed group of American veterans, the organization is implementing their international expertise here at home.

In 2006, US Army Captain (Ret.) Scott Quilty lost his right arm and right leg to an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Iraq. Today, he is the US Program Manager for Survivor Corps.

"I quickly learned at Walter Reed that isolation will kill me," says Quilty. "After months of rehabilitation I started to sleep more and interact less. The only thing that motivated me to get out of bed for the first time in days was the news that my friend just arrived and lost both his feet."

Survivor Corps partners with the Massachusetts Statewide Advocacy for Veterans Empowerment (SAVE) to implement a pioneering veteran peer support program.

Earlier this year, outreach workers from SAVE attended Survivor Corps' peer support training program, where they learned advanced techniques to identify mental health issues and reduce rates of suicide. Since the training, SAVE has reached over 7,000 veterans and service members.

Cameron Macauley, Survivor Corps' Health Education Specialist, conducted the peer support training in Massachusetts. "From our experience in post conflict countries around the world, it is clear that peer support is key to combating the social isolation felt by survivors. When we adapted our program to help veterans here in the United States we provided special training to our outreach workers in order to properly recognize the signs most commonly associated with suicide, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI)."

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Congress Afraid of Pelosi? And Not Afraid of the Voters?

Speaking volumes yet again are the actions of Speaker Pelosi....

Pelosi to House caucus: You can’t go home again

Byron York and the Washington Post agree on Nancy Pelosi’s plan to vote on her health-care bill this Saturday — she can’t afford to let Democrats go home to their districts before the vote. In fact, as John McCormack notes, she can’t even afford to keep her promise to have the bill on line for 72 hours before the vote so that their constituents can know what they’re doing. If they went home to face their constituents, Pelosi knows that they would never vote for her massive spending...http://hotair.com/archives/2009/11/06/pelosi-to-house-caucus-you-cant-go-home-again/

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Books-A-Million to Host Sarah Palin in Birmingham, AL and Jacksonville, FL

Sarah Palin sign copies of her new book, Going Rogue.

Monday, November 23, at 7 p.m. Central
Brookwood Village Books-A-Million
757 Brookwood Village
Birmingham, AL 32509
(205) 870-0213

Tuesday, November 24, at 12 Noon Eastern
Orange Park Mall Books-A-Million
1910 Wells Road
Orange Park, FL 32073
(904) 215-2300

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Books-A-Million (NASDAQ:BAMM):

One year ago, Sarah Palin burst onto the national political stage like a comet. On September 3, 2008, Alaska Governor and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin delivered a speech at the Republican National Convention that electrified the nation and instantly made her one of the most recognizable women in the world. In this eagerly anticipated memoir, Palin paints an intimate portrait of growing up in the wilds of Alaska; meeting her lifelong love; her decision to enter politics; the importance of faith and family; and the unique joys and trials of life as a high-profile working mother. She also opens up for the first time about the 2008 presidential race, providing a rare, mom’s-eye view of high-stakes national politics—from patriots dedicated to "Country First" to slick politicos bent on winning at any cost. Going Rogue traces one ordinary citizen's extraordinary journey and imparts Palin’s vision of a way forward for America and her unfailing hope in the greatest nation on earth.

Additional information: Line numbers for the Birmingham event will be distributed beginning at 12 noon on Sunday, November 22, at the event location. Line numbers for the Jacksonville event will be distributed beginning at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 23, at the event location.

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Doctor-Led Coalition Stunned by AMA Decision to Endorse Government-Run Healthcare…Again…

-(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dr. Donald Palmisano, spokesman for the Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights and former president of the American Medical Association (AMA), issued the following statement after learning the American Medical Association had decided to endorse H.R. 3962 just days before the AMA House of Delegates was scheduled to meet and discuss the Bill:

“I am absolutely shocked. It is unfathomable that the AMA leadership wouldn’t wait for the House of Delegates meeting this weekend to have a full, open, and honest debate on whether the AMA should support this piece of legislation.

“AMA leadership knows that the membership is opposed to continued government-expansion into medicine and it is long-standing AMA policy. And they also know the massive rank-and-file movement to debate health system reform legislation at the upcoming House of Delegates meeting. Current AMA policy is to support fixes in problems that exist in the health financing system and keeps patients in control of their care. H.R. 3962 thwarts that principle and should not have been supported by the AMA Board.

“What’s even more stunning is that at its last meeting in Chicago, shortly after President Obama spoke to the AMA membership, the House of Delegates specifically eliminated language to ‘support public option alternatives’ under certain circumstances. It was vigorously debated and voted down. Today, for the second time since that meeting less than six months ago, AMA leadership has gone behind closed doors and behind the backs of membership to support government-run healthcare.

“The current bill has disaster in the details.

“It cuts more than $500 billion from Medicare, costing seniors they healthcare they deserve. It also cuts billions in hospital payments, forcing hospitals to layoff essential personnel or even worse, close their doors. And it introduces a Medicaid-for-all government-run public insurance plan that will fix prices so low that patients won’t be able to get the care they need.

“I hope that the AMA leadership reconsiders its support of the bill and, instead, listens to its membership to oppose further government intrusion into the practice of medicine. The last thing patients need – when their life is on the line – is a government bureaucrat telling physicians what they can and cannot do or prescribe.”

The Coalition to Protect Patients’ Rights supports reform that will help improve the healthcare system. The Coalition has made the follow points with Member of Congress and their staffs on health system reform:

1. The U.S. has the best healthcare in the world and any reform must enhance that care, not weaken it, and it must keep the patient in control.
2. The government-controlled public option is bad policy and divisive to the overall debate. If passed, it would lead to substandard care, waiting lines to see a doctor, and an end to medical innovation. It should be taken off the table.
3. Medicare currently reimburses doctors and hospitals less than the cost of providing many services. Any more cuts could affect seniors’ care. There shouldn’t be any cuts to Medicare.
4. Affordable access to healthcare for the uninsured must be expanded. There are market-based approaches that can accomplish this goal without a complete government overhaul.
5. The quickest way to slow the healthcare cost curve is through comprehensive medical malpractice reform.

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tort Reform, Pelosi Style

Seen this little nugget in the Affordable Health Pelosi Style? Read page 140 of H.R. 3962.

Pelosi’s Gift to Insurance Companies: Immunity from Lawsuits

Buried in the thousands of pages of the health care bills drafted by Democrats in the House and Senate is a provision to protect insurance companies from legal accountability for benefit decisions that cause injury or death to patients, Republicans warned on Wednesday......http://biggovernment.com/2009/11/05/pelosis-gift-to-insurance-companies-immunity-from-lawsuits/

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New Abortion Funding Amendment in Health Bill a Sham and Should Be Rejected

/PRNewswire/ -- Reports that Congressman Brad Ellsworth (D-IN) is proposing a so-called abortion funding "compromise" in order to draw pro-life Democrats to support the health care bill should not mislead the American people, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said today.

Perkins, who spoke at today's "House Call" rally noted that the latest draft of the "Affordable Health Care for America Act" would authorize federal funding for elective abortion. Perkins made the following comments:

"We are very disappointed that someone who claims to support the protection of unborn children would offer language designed to ensure the government pays for elective abortions behind smoke and mirrors. However cleverly worded the proposal might be, Rep. Ellsworth's plan would authorize a government run public option to fund elective abortion and subsidize private plans that cover elective abortion.

"The Ellsworth language creates a ruse by appearing to offer a restriction on the use of 'federal funds' for abortion, while leaving in place the key legal authority which says 'nothing in the Act' should be interpreted to 'prevent the public health insurance option from providing for ....coverage of' elective abortion.'

"This abortion funding sham is exacerbated by additional language that requires the public option to hire contractors to ensure that money paid into the government option will be used to pay for elective abortions. Medicare contracts with private business to handle claims, but no one in their right mind would say Medicare payments are 'private' payments. Ellsworth's language is a hoax intended to mislead pro-lifers, and still requires that federal funds pay for all elective abortions.

"Apparently, Rep. Ellsworth has been co-opted by his pro-abortion colleagues who would rather see the health care bill fail if it doesn't fund abortion, rather than see it pass without abortion funding. We strongly urge Members to keep the status quo on abortion funding by supporting Congressman Bart Stupak's (D-MI) amendment to keep abortion out of the health care legislation. FRC Action will score against any vote for the Rule if Speaker Pelosi does not allow an up-or-down vote on the Stupak amendment."

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Voters Soundly Reject Radical Social Agenda in New Jersey, Virginia, and Maine

/PRNewswire/ -- Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins released the following statement in regards to Tuesday's election results:

"Jon Corzine and Creigh Deeds trumpeted a common theme and touted a common goal: a far left social agenda and a goal to advance big government liberalism. Clearly, voters were fed up with that kind of 'change' and chose candidates whose traditional values and economic conservatism make simple good sense.

"Governor Corzine said his race was also a referendum on same-sex 'marriage,' and even chose as his running mate the author of New Jersey's same-sex 'marriage' legislation. But he was unable to overcome the strong support for man-woman marriage within his traditional base of support. Our friends at the New Jersey Family Policy Council pointed to several recent polls* that link the governor's support for same-sex 'marriage' to his underperformance among minority voters.

"Similarly, Creigh Deeds attacked Bob McDonnell for his pro-life, pro-family record. He even combed through McDonnell's two decades-old graduate writings to try to paint him as 'anti-woman.' Thankfully, Virginians did not buy into this shabby effort to discredit a fine man.

"In contrast, both Christie and McDonnell throughout the campaign stood firm in support for life and marriage. During his victory speech last night, McDonnell reaffirmed his commitment to protect 'life and liberty and property in the pursuit of happiness here in the commonwealth of Virginia.' Ken Cuccinelli never ran from his core values despite vicious attacks by The Washington Post which called him a 'bigot' and an 'embarrassment' because of his views on homosexual behavior.

"The blame for the loss in New York's 23rd congressional district lays squarely on the Republican Party bosses who wasted almost a million dollars by funding liberal candidate Dede Scozzafava who eventually removed her Republican mask by endorsing Democratic candidate Bill Owens. The election results would have been very different had the party funded a candidate who actually supported the Party's own platform and reflected the values of the district."

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Twenty Surgical Groups Say Senate Health Legislation Will Threaten Patient Access and Harm Quality

/PRNewswire/ -- Twenty surgical organizations, led by the American College of Surgeons, sent a letter to the U.S. Senate today stating they are prepared to oppose the Senate's health care reform bill because it will threaten patient access and harm quality. Surgeons state that as the legislation currently stands, it fails to address some of the fundamental problems that plague the health care system.

"We strongly support health care reform that will expand access to quality surgical and medical care to as many Americans as possible, but we cannot support legislation that puts at risk both quality of care and patient access," said A. Brent Eastman, MD, FACS, chair of the American College of Surgeons' (ACS) Board of Regents and chief medical officer, Scripps Health. "Our system is badly in need of reform but if the legislation does not address these concerns, it will do little to fix its underlying problems and may make it worse."

The surgical groups said they plan to oppose the Senate health care reform bill if a number of provisions that were included in the Senate Finance bill are retained. In addition to failing to permanently fix Medicare's broken physician payment system and to include any meaningful proven medical liability reforms, the surgical community opposes a number of the bill's provisions including:

-- The legislation establishes a Medicare Commission that would shift the
responsibility for making difficult Medicare payment and coverage
decisions to an unelected Executive branch agency without appropriate
checks and balances.
-- The legislation includes mandatory participation in the seriously
flawed Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) - a program
through which CMS is still attempting to address systemic problems
dating back to 2007.
-- The legislation attempts to improve patient access to certain
physician services through reimbursement changes, but funds these
changes through payment cuts to all other physicians - thereby
exacerbating workforce shortages, including general surgeons.


"The result of these serious deficiencies will make it more difficult for the American people to receive the surgical care they will need in the future. We will work with the Senate to improve the legislation, but if these shortcomings remain in the final Senate bill, we will have no choice but to urge Senators to vote no," Dr. Eastman added.

The American College of Surgeons met with policymakers over the past year to educate them about programs that would improve quality, reduce costs and increase patient access. One such program, the ACS National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP), is helping to prevent thousands of surgical complications each year. Each hospital in the program, on average, is seeing 250 to 500 fewer complications and thus an annual reduction of $3 million in costs. Nine of the top 10 private hospitals in the nation, along with more than 240 additional hospitals, use ACS NSQIP. The ACS believes that these types of quality programs, if supported by Congress, could save the health care system a minimum of tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.

"There are ways to improve quality, cut costs and increase patient access - but the Senate isn't hearing those of us who are closest to the patient and work in the system every day," Dr. Eastman said.

The surgical groups that signed the letter include:

American College of Surgeons
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
American Academy of Ophthalmology
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
American Association of Neurological Surgeons
American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
American College of Osteopathic Surgeons
American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics
American Society of Anesthesiologists
American Society of Breast Surgeons
American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons
American Society for Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Urological Association
Congress of Neurological Surgeons
Society for Vascular Surgery
Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons
Society of Gynecologic Oncologists

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