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David Ripley: Planned Bullyhood

December 29th, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

It seems like a decade has passed since the raging controversy over Komen’s reversal on funding Planned Parenthood. The truth is, that drama is less than a year old. A new book by a central character in the political theater orchestrated by Planned Parenthood argues that it was actually an opening salvo in the president’s re-election effort.

Karen Handel has decided to tell her side of the story. She was the Republican Vice-President of the Komen Foundation in charge of Public Policy. She was also the victim of a dark public relations campaign by the Abortion Industry and their allies in the Democrat Party. The book is entitled, Planned Bullyhood: The Truth About the Planned Parenthood Funding Battle With Komen.

She describes the coordinated attack made on Komen by Planned Parenthood, the Obama Administration, members of Congress and the National Democratic Committee. But before going into that political story, it is important to hear what Handel has to say about the reasons Komen decided to end grants to Planned Parenthood in the first place:

“The grants to Planned Parenthood – about $700,000 in 2011, or less than one-tenth of one percent of Planned Parenthood’s $1 billion annual budget – were not high quality grants. Planned Parenthood did not provide mammograms. Their educational programs were duplicative and there was virtually no way to determine what, if any, tangible, meaningful results were achieved. The decision to stop the Planned Parenthood grants had been months, even years, in the making.” (p.2)

Thus, the leadership of Komen sought to end its controversial financial support of Planned Parenthood for the very best of reasons: The organization was not materially advancing the fight to protect women from breast cancer – Komen’s central mission.

Handel relates that the majority of grants to Planned Parenthood were repeat grants – with local organizations receiving money year after year, many on the same vague grant proposal. For example, one PP affiliate had received years of funding from Komen for providing “free clinical breast exams” to women and girls coming to their clinics. Yet Planned Parenthood was providing those exams as part of its basic gynecological exams.

Even more alarming – such services were reimbursable under Medicare guidelines.

Another PP affiliate claimed its grant proposal to Komen that the money they provided would “save 450 women from dying of breast cancer”. As ridiculous as it seems, this unprovable claim was enough to justify years of funding from Komen.

In other words, Komen had a fiduciary responsibility to its donors to end the waste of their money to subsidize an organization which was not delivering measurable services to women in need.

In addition, the Komen leadership were under increasing pressure from the pro-Life community over the relationship. (Remember the scandal of the New Jersey Planned Parenthood employee helping a pimp gain abortion services for his teenage prostitute?) That was hurting Komen’s fundraising efforts.
Handel began to assert her view in 2010 that Komen must tighten its grants guidelines, and needed to find a way to disengage from the abortion fight: As she states numerous times in her book, Komen had no business being part of the abortion fight.

Part of her discomfort came from Handel realizing that, despite public claims to the contrary, Komen grants could, in many cases, be used to support the general administrative costs of maintaining Planned Parenthood clinics and operations – a direct subsidy to its primary operation of killing preborn children. (p 71).
Yet the internal discussions around this issue demonstrate that much of the staff and leadership in Komen was (and is) very supportive of Planned Parenthood’s agenda. The Vice President of Communications, for example, is reported to have argued that Komen could not end funding of Planned Parenthood since the latter organization was under intense public pressure because of things like the New Jersey scandal. Withdrawing now would be a “body blow” to Planned Parenthood.

Despite this internal opposition, the decision was made to end grants to Planned Parenthood for the reasons outlined above. Sensing the public relations controversy which might ensue, Komen reached out to Planned Parenthood months ahead of time. Handel claims that a “gentle ladies” agreement was reached to cooperate in the public relations effort to demonstrate that the policy change was an amicable break.

We know that it became anything but. Planned Parenthood unleashed a ferocious public attack on Komen and Handel – sufficiently ugly to cause Komen to reverse its position and accept Handel’s resignation.

Handel documents a close, historical relationship between Planned Parenthood and Komen officials. It is her contention that those relationships lay the groundwork for a well-planned public attack to seriously undermine Komen’s credibility.

We will talk in more detail about that campaign in our next update.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Pennsylvania Says NO

December 13th, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

A day after Governor Otter announced his decision to voluntarily implement ObamaCare, the governor of Pennsylvania declared that he would not.
Gov. Tom Corbett declared that it would be “irresponsible” to establish a state insurance exchange.

“Health care reform is too important to be achieved through haphazard planning,” Corbett is quoted as saying. “Pennsylvania taxpayers and businesses deserve more.”

Seeing a Democrat state reject ObamaCare makes Otter’s decision all the more difficult to accept.

And Corbett’s comments raise a profound problem with Otter’s decision: By agreeing to chase the federal government around the table – awaiting word on its ever-changing decrees – Otter has assumed responsibility for making ObamaCare work. That would be difficult under the best of circumstances. But the ideological numbskulls running Washington make “success” impossible to imagine.

Even more disturbing is the simple fact that Idaho can no longer pursue meaningful and effective reforms of the health care system, especially market-based reforms which might produce economies and increased individual power. Otter’s regrettable decision to implement ObamaCare means a huge loss of opportunity for Idaho to lead the nation in a completely different direction.

Perhaps the Legislature can persuade Governor Otter to reconsider.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Say It Ain’t So

December 12th, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Governor Butch Otter publicly threw in with his with friend Bill Deal and key allies at IACI to support creation of a state insurance exchange. They persuaded him, despite an absence of objective fact or clear congressional authority, that Idaho would be best served by “being at the table”.

Governor Otter correctly states that the federal take-over of health care is “onerous, unwiedly and fraught with unknowns”.

What he fails to cite is an objective basis for concluding that Idaho will have any real impact on the specifics of how ObamaCare is implemented, or how much it costs the taxpayers and businesses of Idaho. The claim by proponents that a state-based exchange is the ticket to protecting Idaho’s rights seems the definition of circular reasoning: The only way a state exchange will qualify for federal approval is if it meets the demands of the federal government.

It would seem the best that Idaho might hope for is the kind of “flexibility” we are granted by the feds in running Medicaid: You take our money, you take our rules.

Otter’s decision is a real disappointment. He had the chance to join some 20 other states in defying the federal government’s demand that he submit to this disastrous and immoral scheme. With his leadership, Idaho might have pushed the cart toward a critical mass of defiance – whereby the federal government would be faced with a majority of states unwilling to put their credibility and public credit at risk. Now the most Republican state in the Union has surrendered to Obama, giving the president a serious public relations boost. That is downright discouraging.

In fairness to Governor Otter, it has been abundantly clear that he does not support ObamaCare and harbors great reservations about his decision.

Nevertheless, the bottom line is that the cry for “states’ rights” has been reduced – once again – to mere rhetoric, suitable for discussion at conservative gatherings, but nothing worth going to battle over. The price of liberty, it seems, has gotten too expensive.

Our understanding is that Otter has directed Bill Deal to go get a bag of money from the feds to help pay for the initial set-up costs, although no one in America actually knows what those costs will be. Within weeks, the Idaho Legislature will convene. That body will have ample opportunity to review the governor’s decision. They will have to authorize the expenditure of public funds received from the Obama regime. And they will probably have to create the legal framework for this undefined government expansion through legislation.

And then they will have the thorny problem of resolving the blatant conflict with Idaho’s Health Freedom Act – signed into law by Governor Otter just two years ago. That law actually makes it illegal for state and local officials to use their public offices to enforce any part of ObamaCare against an Idaho citizen or business.

Will there be an attempt to actually repeal this law? Or will there be a slight of hand in which legislators are granted a clever legal pass by the Attorney General’s office?

Needless to say, a great deal of intrigue lays ahead. The opportunity for Idaho citizens to affect this great debate has by no means passed. We will have much more to say about this matter in the days ahead.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics, Taxes | No Comments »

David Ripley: Glimpse of the Future – Britain Rations Care of Babies

December 5th, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Want to know what ObamaCare will bring to America? Take a close look at the way health care works in Great Britain. Those of us who have been fretting over Obama’s plans to remake America have taken note of the health care rationing used in England to cut costs. You’ve probably heard of seniors and the disabled being forced to wait months, years for treatment. In a number of cases, they are denied treatment in lieu of some pain regimen. In others, they are channeled toward “hospice care” and encouraged to accept premature death.

The shocking news broke this week that such callous disregard for human life is not limited to the aged and disabled.

A British doctor – whose identity was withheld – published an article in the prestigious British Medical Journal, admitting that he had personally participated in starving ten newborn babies to death over the last year. Turns out, the British health care system regularly withdraws food and water from babies they deem “unworthy” of life. In many cases, parents participate in the decision, after being pressured into accepting the premise that their child won’t enjoy a very high quality of life. They are told it is merciful and quick.

But the reality is much different. Parents and staff are horrified to see the small person shriveling in agony over the course of many days.

Is this the barbarity awaiting America?

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Presidential Politics | No Comments »

David Ripley: Continued Defiance of Obamacare

December 1st, 2012 by Halli

Idaho Chooses Life

Idaho’s Governor Otter has until the middle of next month to notify the federal government whether he will become its partner in the biggest expansion of government since the New Deal. Many powerful interests in Idaho have been pushing for him two years to submit. The fact that Otter has yet to comply surely indicates his great reluctance to embroil Idaho in Obama’s health care takeover.

There is still hope that ObamaCare can be defeated – or at least greatly tamed – through a determined and coordinated effort by Congressional Republicans and the nation’s 30 Republican governors.

Since the general election, a number of key Republican governors have announced that they will not mortgage their states by partnering with Obama: Jan Brewer of Arizona is the latest. That makes 17 so far who will not mortgage their states. They have wisely chosen to leave the responsibility for costs and inevitable failure with Obama and his congressional allies.

In addition, we are encouraged by the fact that opposition to ObamaCare has, if anything, grown since the general election. Gallup just announced that 57% of Americans are opposed to a government-run health care system. (Apparently a number of people who voted for Obama did so under the delusion that someone else would save them from the president’s scheme).

And then there is the widespread litigation going on across the country. We have learned that there are some 36 federal lawsuits moving around the country on the abortion mandate issue alone. This is just the beginning of massive litigation over the taxing, privacy and quality issues which permeate the entire socialist scheme of national health care.

Winston Churchill once said that in defeat, we should embrace defiance. We lost the general election, but we have no choice but to continue our battle against ObamaCare.

We must begin this phase of our struggle by encouraging Governor Otter to refuse his cooperation with an insurance exchange. Idaho should become the 18th state refusing to serve as ObamaCare’s administrator.

One analysis shows that the growing resistance by the states will greatly impede the implementation of ObamaCare. The Socialist Triumvirate of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama never contemplated that they would actually have to make ObamaCare work. They truly believed that states would leap to the promise of federal money and federal control.

We also urge our readers to contact local legislators – particularly House members – in support of Speaker Lawerence Denney’s bid for re-election as Speaker. He and Rep. Mike Moyle have publicly declared themselves opposed to Obama’s agenda for Idaho. They are the right leaders for this critical time in Idaho’s history.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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