Today's News & Views


APRIL 2007
Vol. 34, No. 4

Fight over veto is near:
President and Congressional Democratic Leaders Face Off on Embryo-Killing Research

WASHINGTON (March 29, 2007)—During the second half of April, the leaders of the congressional Democratic majorities in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House intend to force a showdown with President Bush over legislation that would mandate federal funding for the kind of stem cell research that would require the killing of human embryos.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) will bring the legislation to the Senate floor on April 10.

Reid is the chief sponsor of the Senate version (S. 5) of the bill that would overturn a policy adopted by President Bush in 2001, which prohibits federal funding of stem cell research that requires harming human embryos. The Reid bill would mandate federal funding of the type of stem cell research that requires the killing of human embryos in order to harvest their stem cells. The embryos would be those authorized by the parents to be “donated from in vitro fertilization clinics, [and that] were created for the purposes of fertility treatment.”

The Senate has agreed to spend 20 hours debating the issues surrounding stem cell research.

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Partisan Attacks on Private Fee-for-Service Plans Debunked

Editor’s note. On page one of the March issue of NRL News, we discussed how NRLC has long recognized that the involuntary denial of lifesaving medical treatment is a form of involuntary euthanasia. Therefore NRLC has opposed government rationing of health care. In 1997 and 2003, NRLC successfully fought to amend Medicare by allowing older people the right to use their own money to obtain unrationed care. Shockingly, under the new leadership of Congress that right is now at risk. Part of that attack is to attempt to demonize private fee-for-service Medicare. But keeping private fee-for-service Medicare is essential if ordinary citizens enrolled in Medicare are to obtain unrationed health insurance.

In a world of managed care and a declining number of providers willing to accept fee-for-service patients under the traditional government Medicare program, private fee-for-service Medicare plans provide a critically important mechanism through which older Americans can voluntarily add their own money to get unrationed health insurance. But if you read a spate of recent press attacks, you’d think these plans were nothing more than diabolical consumer frauds cooked up by profiteering insurance companies.

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Vol. 34, No. 4


From the President

Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

BY Wanda Franz, Ph.D.

Former Senator Alfonse D’Amato, the New York Republican, was first elected in 1980.  He was reelected in 1986 and in 1992.  Senator D’Amato managed to do this in liberal New York in spite of a solid pro-life record in the Senate: he voted pro-life 85 times on 89 roll calls.

When Senator D’Amato stood for reelection in 1998, he ran into opposition from some pro-lifers who considered him not pro-life enough or disliked him.  Some misguided pro-lifers actively worked against him, others simply refused to vote for him in the general election—it was a matter of “principle,” and Senator D’Amato didn’t match their notion of a pro-life candidate.

Senator D’Amato lost to a Democrat who had previously been in the House of Representatives where he (1) was a shrill promoter of abortion, (2) co-sponsored the infamous “Freedom of Choice Act” that would have established abortion on demand under a federal law, (3) co-sponsored the “Reproductive Health Equity Act” that would have required federal funding of all abortions in any federal program, and (4) had voted 97 out of 100 times for the pro-abortion side.  In other words, the Democratic candidate was the “ideal” pro-abortion candidate.  And his pro-abortion zeal was gratingly expressed: as one senator observed, “There is no more dangerous place than between Senator Schumer and a TV camera.”  Yes, we are talking about the very same Senator Chuck Schumer who now proudly basks in the glory of having organized the Democratic takeover of the Senate in the 2006 election.

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