NRLC President Carol Tobias: “Elections do matter”

Editor’s note. Editor’s note. While my family and I are on vacation, we are running some of our favorite NRL News Today stories from the last four months, entries from our “Roe at 40″ series, and an occasional update. The following remarks were delivered at a Friday General Session at the 43rd annual NRLC convention titled, “Winning for Life in 2014”

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias

Do you remember a few years ago, when Nancy Pelosi was talking about President Obama’s health care initiative and she said, “We have to pass the bill so you can find out what’s in it.”?

Well, they passed the bill, many people are finding out what’s in it, and they don’t like it.

A Fox News poll released two days ago found that 58% of voters favor repealing some or all of Obamacare, while 38% favor keeping or expanding the scope of the law.

An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released earlier this month found that 49 percent of Americans say they believe the Affordable Care Act is a bad idea compared to 37 percent who say the plan is a good idea.

And in a Gallup poll released yesterday, 34% said they think the new law will make the health care situation in the U.S. better while 47% said they think it will make things worse.

We know that for unborn children and the medically vulnerable, things will get worse.

NRLC vigorously opposed enactment of the Obamacare law in because of its multiple provisions allowing federal mandates that would expand abortions and that would authorize federal subsidies for abortion insurance.

If Obamacare is allowed to go fully into effect, tens of millions of Americans will receive federal subsidies to help purchase health plans that will cover all abortions, a massive departure from the principles of the Hyde Amendment that has governed federal health programs for decades.

We also opposed enactment of the Obamacare law because of the multiple provisions that will result in involuntary denial of life-saving medical treatment.

Much attention is given to the authority of the Independent Payment Advisory Board over Medicare reimbursement rates, but little attention has been given to their role in being able to restrict the right of Americans of all ages to obtain life-preserving health care after 2015.

This Board is to make recommendations to limit what all Americans are legally allowed to spend for their health care so as to hold it below the rate of medical inflation. The health care law then authorizes the federal Department of Health and Human Services to implement these recommendations by imposing so-called “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers.

What happens to doctors who violate a “quality” standard by prescribing more lifesaving medical treatment than it permits? They will be disqualified from contracting with any of the health insurance plans that individual Americans will be mandated to purchase. Few doctors would be able to remain in practice if subjected to that penalty.

This means that treatment a doctor and patient deem advisable to save that patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health — but which exceeds the standard imposed by the government — will be denied even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it. Repeal of Obamacare is critically important to prevent this rationing of life-saving medical treatment.

Jay Leno: If the Republicans want to do away with ObamaCare, they should endorse it as a conservative non-profit and let the IRS take it down.

That might be the easy way out, but we know that we get what we need by hard work.

If we are going to make substantial changes to Obamacare so that abortion is not subsidized or that health care isn’t rationed, we have to– we HAVE to– make a difference in the elections next year.

When we met this time last year in Washington DC, my hope and my prayer was that, when we gathered for the convention this year, we would have a different president in the White House. That was not to be.

The biggest success we did have in last year’s election was making sure that the U.S. House remained in pro-life hands, and helping to ensure pro-life leadership in the House.

In the elections next year, we want to send reinforcements to our wonderful pro-life leaders like Chris Smith and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Trent Franks and Marsha Blackburn. We want to make sure that House leadership remains in pro-life hands like Speaker John Boehner’s and Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s.

But our biggest job next year will be sending reinforcements to help pro-life senators like Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz.

Last week, we saw passage of landmark legislation that would prevent abortions on unborn children who can feel pain. We will try to get a vote in the Senate, but it will likely be difficult with Harry Reid standing in the way. He won’t want to make his Senators answer the question – should unborn babies who can feel pain be killed by abortion?

But we can ask the question. EVERY candidate running for United States Senate next year must answer the question, “Should unborn babies who can feel pain be protected from being killed by abortion?”

Candidates then have to answer, “Yes, unborn children who can feel pain should be protected from abortion,” or “No, unborn children who can feel pain should not be protected from abortion.” Some will try to say, “That’s not an easy question” or “there’s no simple answer.” Yes, it is an easy question. Yes, there is a simple answer. Should this country continue to allow the killing of unborn children who can feel pain?

Everywhere Senate candidates go– townhall meetings, meet and greets, press conferences– they must be asked if they support the killing of unborn children who can feel pain.

As we often hear, elections do matter. We have 16 months until the next election. Let’s make a difference.