Texas Right to Life turned Mr. Dunn’s imminent death from metastatic pancreatic cancer into a crusade against the Texas Advance Directive Act (TADA or the Act). The Act is invoked by the attending doctor – not the hospital or ethics committee – when family members demand that he or she perform acts that go against the conscience because they are medically inappropriate, causing the patient to suffer without changing his course.
In this case, the mother and father disagreed with one another about the care plan and the patient was unable to make legally binding decisions. The father agreed with Mr. Dunn’s doctors that the treatment was causing suffering, objected to surgery to place a tracheostomy, and wanted hospice and comfort care. The mother wanted dangerous, painful procedures performed that would not change the medical outlook except to possibly hasten death.
And, unless you read the court records, you wouldn’t know that the judge ruled that Chris was not mentally competent to make his own medical decisions, that the hospital never wanted guardianship and had voluntarily promised to continue care until the guardianship could be settled. In fact all the lawyers, including the Texas Right to Life representatives, signed off on an agreement acknowledging this promise on December 4th. ( The official court records are available to view free of charge online at the Harris County District Clerk’s website as protected pdf images. See Family case number 2015- 69681.)
Inflammatory headlines falsely claimed that “the hospital” had imposed a “death sentence,” and was actively trying to kill Mr. Dunn by refusing to diagnose, treat or even give a prognosis. That same blog post mentioned non-standard treatments that some in the family were demanding.
First of all, of course there was a diagnosis. Several, in fact. From the signed affidavit of Mr. Dunn’s attending physician, filed December 2, 2015 in response to the law suit:
“Based on my education, training, experience, as well as my care of Mr. Dunn, I, and members of my team, have advised his family members that Mr. Dunn suffers from end stage liver disease, the presence of a pancreatic mass suspected to be malignant with metastasis to the liver and complications of gastric outlet obstruction secondary to his pancreatic mass. Further, he suffers from hepatic encephalopathy, acute renal failure, sepsis, acute respiratory failure, multi-organ failure, and gastrointestestinal bleed. I have advised members of Mr. Dunn’s family that it is my clinical opinion that Mr. Dunn’s present condition is irreversible and progressively terminal.”
The primary diagnosis was metastatic pancreatic cancer. The cancer was a mass that blocked the ducts and blood vessels coming from the liver as well as the normal function of the intestines. As liver excretions backed up into the liver and the blood pressure in the liver increased, Mr. Dunn suffered a life-threatening gastrointestinal bleed, fluid buildup in the abdomen and lungs, and sepsis (an overwhelming infection). All of these would aggravate respiratory failure, the necessity of a ventilator and lead to the kidney damage. Liver failure often results in hepatic encephalopathy and variable delirium.
There was definitely treatment given, including tube and IV feedings, antibiotics, the ventilator, and periodic removal of the abdominal fluid. Again, this was all publicly documented in Court documents, in the media and even on the Texas Right to Life blog that claimed that “Houston Methodist has invested no time or effort in Chris’s health, instead exerting their energies into trying to kill him instead.” [sic]
The Intensive Care doctors as well as the Biomedical Ethics Committee, met with the parents to explain Mr. Dunn’s condition and his prognosis. The family was given notice before the Committee hearing and met with the (not at all “nameless” or “faceless”) Committee to discuss their (differing) wants. Thirty days’ worth of medical records, a hospital case worker and assistance in finding alternative care were made available to the family.
Then, there’s the complaint about the limits on visitors and videotaping. It is not unusual to limit Intensive Care Unit visits to specific times and to allow only close family, especially when the patient can’t consent and there is contention among family members. It is certainly standard to prohibit filming in the Unit, since patients are visible from one area to the next, in various states of undress and undergoing constant or frequent *intensive* treatments.
(BTW, one of the lawyers in the TRTL ICU video proves the basis for the rules: he is not compliant with the usual isolation procedures. Former Senator Joe Nixon didn’t wear the protective gown at all correctly, risking the introduction of infectious contamination into the room and/or taking germs home with him.)
It’s very unusual for patients on a ventilator to be conscious because of the severe discomfort associated with the foreign body – the breathing tube – that is necessary in the airways. It’s difficult to believe that anyone would complain about sedating Mr. Dunn in order to bypass his gag reflex.
Finally, the standard of care in advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer is pain relief and palliative support. The surgery to remove a pancreas is extremely dangerous for even healthier patients. As Mr. Dunn had already had an episode of bleeding and both liver and kidney failure, it’s likely that even a biopsy of the pancreatic mass or liver, much less surgery, would have caused more life-threatening bleeding. With liver and kidney damage, he wouldn’t have been able to tolerate trials of radiation or chemotherapy, either.
In fact, the doctors and nurses gave excellent treatment all along, as shown by his survival beyond the average for patients who presented in such a precarious state and acknowledged by Mrs. Kelly in her statement after Chris’ death.
The truth is that Methodist never made plans to “kill” Mr. Dunn. Mr. Dunn was never in danger of the hospital “pulling the plug.” The real problem was a disagreement between Mr. Dunn’s divorced parents over who would legally make medical decisions. That rift is bound to have been made worse by TRTL and the lawyers turning Chris’ illness into a public political battle. The accusations about euthanasia, killing and murder may cause other future patients harm, if they are reluctant to seek care because of these stories.
James Taranto’s Best of the Web Today distinguishes between the comments of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio and the “reporters” that covered them. The truth is worse than a set of “When did you stop beating your wife” questions: the reporters inserted words and assertions that weren’t voiced by the candidates.
From November 20th’s “More Hillary than Hitler:”
Further, the atrocious idea of “a database or system that tracks Muslims in this country” didn’t come from Trump but from either Hillyard or Yahoo! News’s Hunter Walker.
ThinkProgress’s headline: “Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather to Be ‘Inspired’—Not Just Mosques.” But Rubio didn’t say Muslims, he said radicals. ThinkProgress thereby takes the position that there is no distinction between radicals and Muslims more generally.
I’ve seen high praise and strong condemnation for both men, based on the falsehoods “reported” in the news – or in the headlines of articles slanted by those “reporters.” I’m not surprised at the bias from sites such as “ThinkProgress” or even “Yahoo.” However, I’m deeply disappointed in the voters and, especially, the conservative bloggers and voters who take the headlines at face value.
Please read the link – or at least the entire quote I’ve pasted here – before commenting.
The immigration debate and its ability to divide the Republican Party and split the Conservative vote is not new. Here’s a commentary about the dispute in light of the 2012 Presidential election, written in 2011. (Scroll down the page to “On Immigration,” Saturday, May 21, 2011.)
Dr. Jerry Pournelle has served our Nation in many capacities (including serving in the Army during the Korean War), but he’s probably best known, to those who know his name at all, as the author of Science Fiction written from a conservative, libertarian-leaning viewpoint. I strongly recommend his essays, including this one from 2011:
“We aren’t going to deport them all, and no Congress or President will do that, nor could even if it were thought desirable. The United States is not going to erect detention camps nor will we herd people into boxcars. We can’t even get the southern border closed. Despite President Obama’s mocking speech, we have not built the security fence mandated a long time ago. We probably could get Congress to approve a moat and alligators, although there are likely more effective means. We can and should insist on closing the borders. That we can and must do. It won’t be easy or simple, but it’s going to be a lot easier than deporting 20 million illegals. Get the borders closed. We can all agree on that.
“That leaves the problem of the illegal aliens amongst us. We can and should do more to enforce employment laws; but do we really want police coming around to demand “your papers” from our gardeners and fry cooks and homemakers?”
This is not a trivial point. I advocate for the necessity of identifying illegal aliens and would prefer that the process begin in the country of origin. However, in practical terms, how would the “Maria” Dr. Pournelle describes, who was brought here as a child, “begin the process?”
Defense and security requires that we secure the border and that we identify as many who are here illegally as possible. A first step would be to better track people who enter on Visas: what are all those computers at border entry spots for?? We should also cease the fiction that our schools don’t know which families with children are undocumented. We should hold employers accountable, but be very careful about instituting new government papers and government computer lists of eligible workers.
We must determine common ground for the sake of success. As pointed out four years ago by Dr. Pournelle, errors will be used against us, with the hard cases like “Maria” will be splashed across media and social networks. Without common ground, and with emotional demands to “deport them all,” we’ll still be debating this four years from now. And our citizens – and the illegal aliens – will remain at risk from the violent and criminal, if not from the terrorist.
And stop “sharing” them!
Remember who the real opponents are: the Dems!
No matter how juicy the gossip, consider waiting a few hours for the rest of the story to come out.
(BTW, this is a test of my mobile app.)
Posted from WordPress for Android. Typos will be corrected!
Shame on Breitbart Texas and Bob Price for this luke-warm, back-handed slap at the Governor. Reality isn’t based on media wish lists or election cycles.
The report is a report on reporter’s association of events with election cycles, which completely disregards the actual legislative cycle. There is no mention of our State’s biennial budget cycles. And not one word about the necessity of the Governor or any leader to win the support of Legislators or the austerity imposed by our State’s Constitution when we had to balance the budget in spite of the 2003 and 2011 budget crises.
We learned that reporters were concerned that two of Texas’ law enforcement surges focused “only” on the Del Rio sector, but Mr. Price couldn’t spare the words to mention that the sector is the southern-most region of the Texas-Mexico border and includes the cities of McAllen-Pharr, Harlingen, Mission, Brownsville, and Corpus Christi – and close to half of Texas’ international bridges.
Security of the international border is a Federal responsibility. The Feds refuse to allow States to turn back illegal immigrants at the border or round up people who over-stay their visas. They sue us for any effort they deem to encroach on ICE or Border Patrol, while burdening us with the consequences of their failure to secure the border or track visas.
It’s true that we in Texas, led for 14 years by Governor Perry, did not “secure the border.” However, we – and he – did everything we could, including using Texans’ taxes to back up what the Feds were doing, even when we faced cuts elsewhere.
Edited to add second figure – BBN
Wells Fargo is celebrating “diversity” in their new ad showing two women learning sign language. The story reveals that the women are a lesbian couple, about to be the “new mommies” to an adopted girl who is deaf.
(Oh, look! The gay couple are doing such a good thing! Celebrate their goodness! Ignore the political and spiritual realities! And attack anyone who points out those realities!)
Wells Fargo could have simply depicted a traditional married couple, a man and woman, a doing the same thing — perhaps even learning a language in order to do mission work. Instead, they went out of their way to celebrate a small population that a much larger population considers to be practicing a sinful lifestyle.
How I wish the company had used their advertising dollars to give attention to Samaritan’s Purse, an organization that is “Helping others in Jesus’ name.” Talk about diversity! Take a look at how they are helping mommies around the world.
Groups profiled by the Democracy Alliance, with funding amounts. The number of Democracy Alliance partners supporting each organization is in parentheses.
America Votes: $3.16 million (24 partners supporting)
American Constitution Society $1.19 million (18 partners supporting)
Black Civic Engagement Fund: $900.000 (3 partners supporting)
Brennan Center for Justice: $2.6 million (32 partners supporting)
Catalist, LLC: $1.18 million (9 partners supporting)
Center for American Progress: $3.3 million (26 partners supporting)
Center for Community Change: $2.15 million (17 partners supporting)
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: $1.91 million (27 partners supporting)
Common Purpose Project: $130,000 (5 partners supporting)
Fund for the Republic: $1.39 million (14 partners supporting)
Latino Engagement Fund: $1.89 million (15 partners supporting)
Media Matters for America: $2.7 million (33 partners supporting)
New Media Ventures: $330,000 (14 partners supporting)
New Organizing Institute: $440,000 (13 partners supporting)
Organizing for Action: $650,000 (10 partners supporting)
Progressive Majority: $600,000 (13 partners supporting)
ProgressNow: $1.8 million (31 partners supporting)
State Engagement Initiative: (created through a partnership with the Committee on States)
State Voices: $1.44 million (20 partners supporting)
Youth Engagement Fund $240,000 (14 partners supported)
The Women’s Equality Center was also highlighted, although it did not receive money during 2013, with the addendum that “[g]oing forward, DA staff will work with WEC to set annual goals and report back to Partners on its performance and impact.”
Asked about the possibility that Perry could be mulling the opposite move, spokesman Travis Considine noted his comment to the magazine came after Perry was asked where he would live if he could live in any state other than Texas.
“I would live in California if I could afford it,” Perry said according to a partial transcript of the interview with Leibovich, which Considine provided Tuesday. “Why wouldn’t you want to live out here? Seriously?”
Considine added that Perry “posed a rhetorical question, which he has answered many times by noting how California’s high cost-of-living is a contributing factor to why people move away from such a beautiful state.”
“That, they say, violates President Obama’s pledge that if you like the insurance you have, you can keep it.
“Mr. Obama clearly misspoke when he said that.”
Who’s surprised that the abortionists aren’t concerned about sterile instruments, monitoring patients’ heart rates or keeping up with their life saving skills or equipment? They’re not in the business of saving life. They kill.
The October 3 inspection at Whole Woman\’s Health of Beaumont turned up potential health issues.
The report says the facility failed to provide a safe environment for patients and staff. The suction machines which were used on patients had numerous rusty spots which, \”had the likelihood to cause infection.\”
The report also says, \”the facility failed to have the EKG monitoring equipment ready if an emergency situation occurred…\”
Fatima Gifford, the spokeswoman for Whole Woman\’s Health, said Tuesday that at this time, the clinic did not have a comment
At least this news organization reported on the local facility. You won’t find much coverage, even among the “journalists” who are all over the lawsuit news.
From LifeSite News, here’s the rest of the story:
Whole Women’s Health facilities all over Texas failed inspections for the last two years, time and again. There were holes in the cabinets, rust on machines used during the procedures, and the staff didn’t know the proper method of sterilization or checking that supposedly sterile tools actually are sterilized in the autoclave. Where they were found to be lacking last year, they made no changes, no improvements.
Their focus and skills lie in taking life, not preserving or saving it.
If I were being exceptionally kind, I’d interpret Texas Democratic Governor candidate (and portable urinary catheter user) Wendy Davis’ position on abortion restrictions as, “Whatever the Supreme Court rules is good enough for me.” When not so generous, I’d say she’s not answering the question.
What Wendy Davis said,
“Davis, while addressing the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Aug. 5, 2013, was asked, “Could you discuss what legal limits on abortion you do support?”
She replied, “You know, the Supreme Court has made that decision. And it’s one of the protected liberties under our Constitution. And I respect the constitutional protections that are in place today.”
So in her response in Washington, Davis signaled that she both accepts letting states limit abortions after the first trimester and limit or ban abortions after fetuses are viable, unless the mother’s life is at risk.
How refreshing it would be if one of the “fact-checkers” actually asked the hard questions of a pro-abortion Dem!
What might have been missed in all the emotional media coverage about the troubles people are having with the ObamaCare exchanges and the news that the IRS official shared tax information with the WhiteHouse:
Hall Ingram said a key piece of the healthcare law’s new infrastructure — the federal “data hub” — is working well.
When consumers apply for insurance and tax subsidies through an exchange, the exchange uses the data hub to draw information from several state and federal agencies to confirm applicants’ identity and calculate the subsidies they can receive.
Exchanges have successfully pinged the IRS’s servers to request income information about applicants, and the IRS has been able to respond, she said.
“As far as we can tell, and we are looking on a daily basis, it\’s operating well,” Hall Ingram said.
And BOR is a much better acronym than anything I could make up.
The Burnt Orange Report is Texas’ own quintessential leftist blog, spinning and twisting any stories or facts to make conservatives look bad.
Good little far-left Democrat media tool that the BOR is, it seems almost superfluous to note that the blog is pro-abort. However, the reason I’m bringing BOR to your attention is Part 1 and Part 2 of “Why Texas Women Need Access to Later Term Abortions by someone named Natalie San Luis.
The BOR enjoys bold exaggeration in its fonts, to highlight the most emotional rants. There are the usual facetious arguments that women need abortions after 5 months such as, “wealthy women who have the means can jump over the barriers, but more and more women can’t” and “Amniocentesis, which tests amniotic fluid for fetal abnormalities and genetic problems, is sometimes performed as late as 22 weeks.” (The babies of less than wealthy women and their mothers deserve protection, too. And amniocentesis is usually done much earlier and is still legal, just as it is at 30 weeks or 35.)
Ms. San Luis would also have us develop sympathy for doctors who fear the liability of making a decision about whether a baby’s birth defect is compatible with life.
After. 20. weeks.
Because: ” Accounting for factors like the woman’s health history and future complications, it is almost impossible to accurately guess the likelihood of fetal survival in each of these cases. “
(Maybe that’s why they can’t get local hospital privileges.)
While I can mock the poor logic of the author, it’s better to catch her repeating easily checked, but false “facts.”
The founder, President and CEO of the San Antonio Abortion facility, Whole Woman’s Health, Amy Hagstrom Miller, is quoted as saying, “We’ve seen a 10 percent increase in second trimester abortions just since the sonogram bill has passed,”.
Besides the fact that there’s only one year of data available “since the sonogram bill has passed” and went into effect in late 2011, the numbers don’t back up that statement, unless it’s local to the San Antonio facility. According to numbers from the Texas Department of State Health Services, there were 136 fewer 2nd trimester abortions in Texas in 2012 than in 2011.
Year Total Abortions 2nd Trimester Abortions 1st Trimester Abortions %1st
2012 66098 5204 60882 92.1
2011 72470 5340 67121 92.6
2010 77592 5542 72042 92.8
(I couldn’t resist showing the steady decrease in abortions in Texas, even though it horrified me to put those large numbers into the calculator.)
Did anyone else notice that there’s no obvious way to make comments on BOR?
Edit 10/10/13 – correcting punctuation, removing my own redundancies — BBN
After explaining his “history,” of posturing and hiding unpopular legislation by attaching it to another Bill, President Obama truly stumbles:
“And you know, we don’t get to select which programs we implement or not.”
Iguess it depends on the meaning of “select,” because as the article notes,
I’ll let you read the translation byJames Taranto’s Best of the Web Today (in the Wall Street Journal) of this little bigoted “memo” against the Republicans, the Tea Party and Evangelicals sent out by “Democracy Corps'” Stan Greenberg and James Carville on your own ( The “memo” is also available for download online in pdf) , but you probably won’t have too much trouble anticipating it from this excerpt:
We expected that in this comfortable setting or in their private written notes, some [participants] would make a racial reference or racist slur [sic] when talking about the African American President. None did. They know that is deeply non-PC and are conscious about how they are perceived. But focusing on that misses how central is race to the worldview of Republican voters. They have an acute sense that they are white in a country that is becoming increasingly \”minority,\” and their party is getting whooped by a Democratic Party that uses big government programs that benefit mostly minorities, create dependency and a new electoral majority. Barack Obama and Obamacare is [sic] a racial flashpoint for many Evangelical and Tea Party voters.
How could anyone take seriously a memo co-authored by these two men? Especially one that is supposed to explain Republicans, using “word cloud” graphic, featured above? Mr. Taranto didn’t, but found at least one author on Bloomberg who did.
If you aren’t a subscriber, consider signing up for the free daily email from The Best of the Web.
It’s not just that this is the first time that US citizens have been barred from the Lincoln Memorial due to a government shutdown, the National Parks service is barring us from scenic drives and overlooks on public and state highways, open beaches and the waters around them, and private businesses that are paying tenants of “government” lands and waters.
One former Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, flatly states that these decisions are political and most likely being made in the White House.
Perhaps, instead of blaming one Party or another (or increasing government involvement in something as vital and intimate as the delivery of medical care), it’s time to decide whether our government is responsible enough to own and control so much of our lands.
Update: more closings
1. The City Tavern in Philadelphia, because the Feds own the building, not the business.
2.Nauset Knoll Motor Lodge, which leases land in Cape Cod National Seashore.
3. All sorts of fishing, rafting and hiking. Search the news on any of these topics – there are too many to post.
Edited Oct 4, 2013 at 2 PM to change the picture to one that I own.
Texans paid for this study by the University of Texas College of Liberal Arts, Texas Policy Evaluation Project, founded to “evaluate” the effect of the 2011 State budget cuts on Family Planning, ignoring the deep cuts on everything else the State funded. (Speaking of ignoring: the website hasn’t updated the information on Family Planning since the 2013 Legislature added over $200 Million dollars to the program.)
Tx-PEP, as they call themselves, got some publicity on a San Antonio radio station, WOAI, today, complaining that women will have to “go without” elective abortions.
A pro choice activist group says the strict new abortion restrictions which were approved by the Texas Legislature in July will result in more than 22,000 Texas women per year being unable to undergo an abortion, 1200 WOAI news reports.
“Women particularly in rural areas and outside of cities who want to terminate a pregnancy, will have no recourse because there will be no late term providers left,” Jody Jacobsen of the Texas Policy Evaluation Project, told 1200 WOAI news.
Elective abortions are “elective.” These are not abortions to save the life of the mother. They are abortions due to “choice.”
Of course, the Texas Policy Evaluation Project doesn’t admit that none of the current abortionists are in rural areas. In other words, anyone seeking an elective abortion today must go to a big city and may be inconvenienced.
Forget any pretense at impartiality:
The laws do not cover women who are less than twenty weeks gestation, and abortions will still be available to them.
But Jacobsen says it’s all a matter of personal freedom.
“Who is Rick Perry to tell me what decisions I should or should not have made, or what any other woman should or should not have made,” she said.
How do they justify the extra people to close the WATER around Padre Island?
“Technically, they can’t even fish in park waters, we’ll have rangers on patrol to make sure that people know the waters as well as the land that’s under are jurisdiction is closed,” he added.
Be sure and look at the bottom of the page in this USA Today story for the “By the Numbers,” graphic, showing that the free school breakfast and lunch programs, as well as food stamps (SNAP) are not shut down (deemed equivalent to panda cams). No wonder the Democrats are comfortable in still demanding all or nothing.
House and Senate Republicans had offered short-term funding plans to keep open national parks, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and other government services in the nation’s capital.
uneffected edited — BBN
Harry Reid is sauntering toward a Federal gov’t shutdown at midnight, tonight.
Even though the House passed a compromise Continuing Resolution (no longer defunding Obamacare, simply delaying it) just after midnight yesterday (Sunday) morning, Harry refused to allow the Senate to gather until 2PM, DC time, today (Monday).
Then, he made his motion to table the House CR. The motion passed along strict Party lines, 54-36. Then . . . might as well wait for it . . . he announced “debate” until 4PM, DC time.
If you only read the headlines and first paragraphs of – or the inflamed comments on – the media coverage of the debate over the Federal budget, you might believe that Republican leaders in the Senate are caving to the Democrats on funding Obamacare. In fact, Senators Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn and Senate Republicans recognize and support the House Continuing Resolution which fully funds the Federal government while defunding Obamacare.
There aren’t just two sides to the story. In fact, the media reports obscure that there are three factions: Harry Reid’s Dems, Republicans who support for the House continuing resolution, and In fact, there are three factions: Harry Reid’s Dems, the Republicans who are garnering support for the House continuing resolution, and the Republican efforts led by Senator Ted Cruz to block even the House Bill by filibuster. Hopefully, Senator Cruz will acknowledge that the House CR makes his filibuster unnecessary.
The House Continuing Resolution is a good Bill, allowing the continuation of the Federal government into December. It’s true that the whole budget debate will continue — but wouldn’t it any way?
In case you missed it, the AP corrects it’s correction of Obama’s geography gaff:
Charleston, Savannah and Jacksonville are not Gulf ports. It wasn’t known if the president was suggesting they were. The AP should not have added the phrase in an effort to clarify his statement.A corrected version of the story is below:Obama plugs deeper Ga., SC, Fla. harbors on LenoObama uses Leno appearance to plug need for deeper harbors at Ga., SC and Fla. ports.
By RUSS BYNUM
The AP reporter, Russ Bynum most certainly should not have changed the quote. The question we should all be asking — and we should all be questioning — is why did Bynum do it in the first place?
Peggy Fikac once again proves that she’s not a reporter, and most certainly not anything like a fair and balanced media representative.
From the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of events in Austin, today:
“Obamacare is the wrong prescription for American health care, and I will never stop fighting against it,” Abbott said, joined by small business people and a doctor who also oppose the law at a company, the Texas Mailhouse.
One reason that Abbott gave for fighting the law came in response to a doctor who asked him from the audience about what Texas could do to keep the federal law from interfering with doctors’ judgment about the best way to treat their patients.
“You’re raising one of the more challenging components of Obamacare, and a hidden component in a way, and that is government is stepping in between the doctor-patient relationship and trying to tell you what you can and cannot do, interfering with both your conscience and your medical oath to take care of your patient,” said Abbott, who is campaigning to succeed Gov. Rick Perry.
That is similar to arguments raised against tighter abortion restrictions approved in special session, including a ban on the procedure at 20 weeks, along with stricter regulations on clinics and abortion-inducing drugs.
I am that doctor from the audience. Ms. Fikac is correct that I voiced concern over the Federal interference between the patient and the doctor. She’s flat wrong about Texas regulation of medicine by bring abortionists up to standards being equivalent to the
I prefaced the question by noting that it is the State of Texas that properly regulates Texas Doctors and medicine. At the State level, patients and doctors have more influence on our elected officials and the people they appoint to write regulations and enforce the law than we do on the Federal level.
I also noted that because of the increasing interference over the years by Medicare, I am concerned about the reach that this new set of regulations will have, including ever-invasive micro-reporting of patient’s private medical conditions. (I named the upcoming move to the ICD-10, which will be a nightmare, requiring doctors to make distinctions between medical conditions, out to five (5) decimal places.
As bad as the bureaucracy of the Office of the Inspector General for the Federal Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have been in the past, I don’t look forward to the additional layer of IRS income verification, audits and enforcement.
We could stick closer to home, with the Texas Health and Human Services, the Texas Medical Board, and the Texas Insurance Commission!
The $1.4 Million previously reported was the part that Texas will receive, not the total. Can you guess how the (very few) media reports (if you can find them) are playing the story?
From the July 30, Houston Chronicle:
Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Tuesday settled a whistle-blower lawsuit that alleged the Houston nonprofit engaged in fraudulent Medicaid billing for $4.3 million – nearly $3 million more than was announced last week by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Yes, Planned Parenthood is quoted as claiming that the settlement for the AG’s finding that they are guilty of over $30M in fraud is “baseless” and simply a way to end harassment and to avoid turning over the (altered) medical records of patients. But the spin on the story is that Texas’ Attorney General, Greg Abbott, didn’t report the total and sent out his announcement before the settlement was signed by all parties.
My news search yields some op-eds and stories by Texas’ newspapers and a few more on pro-life sites.
In the meantime, doctors who still accept Medicare (not hospitals or other “providers”) are facing decreased payments and increased hassles.
As President Barack Obama’s health care law moves from theory to reality in the coming months, its success may hinge on whether the best minds in advertising can reach one of the hardest-to-find parts of the population: people without health coverage.
The campaign won’t come cheap: The total amount to be spent nationally on publicity, marketing and advertising will be at least $684 million, according to data compiled The Associated Press from federal and state sources.
Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune only sees the political debate behind both HB2’s restrictions on abortion and Medicaid expansion.
The state didn’t expand its Medicaid program, and you’ll still find legislators across the spectrum thinking about the consequences, good or bad.
This summer’s debate on abortion restrictions turned entirely on politics. It wasn’t about the money.
Lay aside the silliness that any Conservative considers abortion simply about the money or politics. Let’s look at the Medicaid debate. Rather than the TT’s simplistic view of “9 Federal dollars for every 1 dollar the State spends,” remember that the operative word in “Medicaid expansion” is “expansion.”
Under the expansion, the only criteria would be income. Any asset test or obligation to look for work would be forbidden by Federal law.
Healthy men and women who choose not to work, not those on disability – and even those whose employers offer some sort of health insurance would have come under the State’s Medicaid. Many more would find it “cheaper” to quit work or avoid work and go under Medicaid and other benefits.(Back when I was delivering babies, I had several two-income families who found it better for mom to quit work after she became pregnant, since Medicaid picked up the cost of insurance and co-pays for her and the kids.)
I remember a tall, healthy-appearing (I’m qualified to judge, BTW) 30-year-old man who testified against HB2 and all its precursors. He not only showed up for repeated Committee meetings, he was there every time there for the House and Senate hearings. He loudly claimed to be a Texas law school graduate who is (STILL!) unemployed – and criticized and ranted at our Legislators for not “giving” him a job and benefits. Who wants to pay his Medicaid?
The expansion wouldn’t significantly cut the oft-quoted high rate of uninsured in Texas, even according to TT’s own numbers. Over 1/2 of Texas’ uninsured make too much money for Medicaid, and 1/3 make more than $50,000 a year. Lawbreaking immigrants (someone’s bound to be insulted if I use the term “illegal immigrants”) make up 1/4 of the uninsured, but they wouldn’t be covered without breaking a few more laws. The disabled, low-income mothers and children and the elderly in nursing homes would have continued to be covered under current programs – at least as long as the money holds out.
A question for @GregAbbott_Tx: When will charges be filed?
Planned Parenthood has been found to be guilty of Medicaid fraud including altering medical records and even making taxpayers pay for abortions! History from California in 2004, New York in 2008, others in New Jersey and Washington state. And now, a settlement for $1.4 Million in 2013 in Texas.
“[W]hat are we to make of a consistent pattern of overbilling and fraud across several states, involving millions upon millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money? Given the impenitent attitude of the Texas affiliates and the Planned Parenthood central command, perhaps it is time to inform Cecile Richards & Co. that orange is the new black.”
“Success in life comes not from the ability to choose between the four presented answers, but from the rather more difficult and painfully acquired ability to formulate the questions.” Mamet, David (2011-06-02). The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (p. 28). Sentinel Trade. Kindle Edition.
I’m reading “The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture,” by David Mamet. Those of you who follow me on FaceBook or Twitter have probably seen a few quotes that I’ve shared.
I’m afraid that I might be indulging in the same thing Mr. Mamet accuses the Liberal Left of doing: surrounding myself with like-minded thinkers and writers. If so, Mr. Mamet at least expresses himself differently than most of the Conservative writers I read.
As an example, I was struck by his description of the new love story, in which two people who don’t even like each other are thrown together by fate and somehow decide they are meant for each other. This is in contrast to the traditional love story in which a couple first falls in love but are separated by outside forces, finally triumphing by their will to be together. (Compare “Sleepless in Seattle” with the movie it references, “An Affair to Remember.”) The difference is subtle, but one of fatalism vs. making a deliberate, conscious choice.
Mr. Mamet is critical of Liberal Arts education, socialism, “change” and “hope.” He explains why Conservatism is better than Liberalism in phrases that go far beyond sound bites and the bumper sticker he sometimes refers to.
“The Good Causes of the Left may generally be compared to NASCAR; they offer the diversion of watching things go excitingly around in a circle, getting nowhere.”
“The essence of socialism is for Party A to get Party B to give something to Party C.”
“. . . Wrights, Cyrus McCormick, Henry Ford, Tesla, Tom Edison, Meg Whitman, Bill Gates, Burt Rutan, and Steve Jobs. How would they and American Industry have fared had Government gotten its hands upon them at the outset—if it had taxed away the capital necessary to provide a market for their wares; if it had taxed away the wealth, which, existing as gambling money, had taken a chance on these various visionaries? One need not wonder, but merely look around at the various businesses Government has aided.”
“Government itself, where waste is the end product.”
Mr. Mamet’s central point is that culture is the unconscious and pre-verbal adaptation of people that creates predictability, allowing us to get along with one another. When we throw out our culture and try to create a new one, the “change” leads us to uncertainty and the necessity to weigh each new stimulus because we don’t know what it means under the new conditions.
“The tool of culture is the capacity to predict the operation of the social environment—a property right little different from a right in land or wealth. This cultural right exists not limitlessly—for any property right is limited, by chance, death, inflation, erosion, theft, laws, confiscation, etc. but, as with a material property right, founded upon an abstract concept: predictability, which differs from omniscience, but is of immeasurably greater worth than ignorance. Culture exists and evolves to relegate to habit categories of interactions the constant conscious reference to which would make human interaction impossible.”
(Mamet, David (2011-06-02). The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (pp. 12-13). Sentinel Trade. Kindle Edition.)
He compares the new situation to “The First Night in A New Home,” where each creak or thump is unfamiliar, and could mean danger or nothing. No one gets any rest, many will get angry, and far too many will simply stop evaluating those noises for themselves. In societies, those who stop questioning and wish only for peace, end up ceding their will and ability to innovate and create to the herd.
Kindle will let you read the first chapter, free. (I don’t profit from promoting the book.)
Louisiana has many of the same restrictions on the books, but they passed with few significant fights in the Legislature and none of the massive protests. The state has added nearly any legal limit it can find on abortion — and several that courts have said weren’t legal.
As they have added new statutes, the bills passed with overwhelming and bipartisan support and with Louisiana lawmakers acknowledging that they hope to lower the number of abortions with each restriction.
Unlike in Texas, Louisiana’s debates don’t showcase a deep divide between Republicans and Democrats. A handful of Democrats oppose the abortion restrictions, but often far more of Louisiana’s Democrats vote to support the measures. A few individuals show up to committee hearings to complain about the latest proposed abortion restrictions, but the bills don’t attract widespread outrage.
Evidently, there were men who tried to enter the Senate Gallery ith tampons. Sounds suspicious to me!
“The possession of these and other items is not a crime, and therefore, there was no basis to arrest and detain visitors who possessed such items; however, they were denied access unless they discarded the items,” McCraw wrote. “The Department never took possession of these items and had no justification to do so.”
No officer questioned by the San Antonio Express-News or the Texas Tribune could confirm they had confiscated feces or urine or that they had any knowledge of such items being in the Capitol.
McCraw explained the basis for which officers did not allow feminine hygiene products including tampons and sanitary napkins into the gallery.
“The arbitrary prohibition of feminine hygiene products, for example, on its face would seem absurd,” McCraw wrote. “However, the Department received reports that some visitors planned to throw feminine hygiene products onto the Senate floor. One woman attempted to enter the Senate gallery with approximately 100 feminine hygiene products and she was denied access, as were two men who possessed approximately 50 feminine hygiene products each.”
He also said names of visitors with “suspicious jars or other items” were not documented because they did not commit a crime by possessing them and ”it would be unreasonable to document names of visitors based on what they might or might not do.”
Howard responded to McCraw’s with “disappointment with the lack of clarity that he provides.”
“At the end of the day, we are still left with unsubstantiated claims, allegations of suspicious jars but no actual evidence,” she said. “The lack of onsite documentation or eyewitnesses — either from officers or members of the public — seems to undercut the assertions laid out in DPS’ original press release and now their response letter. To be frank, it doesn’t pass the smell test. ”
McCraw added to the list of items that were confiscated and discarded by police including ”paint, confetti, glitter, bottles of bubbles, bags of balloons (not inflated), handheld air horns, a bag full of tomatoes” and two bricks, which were being used to prop doors open and were not going to be used as projectiles, he said.
The Express-News has requested records from the Department of Public Safety regarding the July 12 searches and items discarded.