Star Parker

"America, America, God shed His grace on thee."

Many demoralized souls felt over recent months that this famous appeal in "America the Beautiful" had been falling on deaf ears.

But we've had a miracle. The socialized medicine freight train, chugging down the track with seeming insurmountable inevitability, has been, for the moment, derailed.

And, miraculously, the derailment has occurred because of values as well as economics.

Conservative Democrats have parted company with their liberal colleagues because the health care legislation in process will bust our federal budget and deliver new federal abortion funding.

Subsidized health care delivered through a proposed government insurance plan would inevitably mean abortion funding in the standard benefits package. The only way around this would be explicit language to prohibit it.

Attempts by Republicans in three House committees to insert such language were defeated, despite a handful of conservative Democrats joining them.

Now a broad coalition of pro-life organizations has initiated a campaign to fight any health care legislation permitting new government abortion funding.

President Obama has called this an attempt to "micromanage" health care benefits. Planned Parenthood has echoed these sentiments.

Is the concern of these pro-life groups legitimate? You bet it is.

Pro-abortion forces have been forever calling abortion health care. Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, defines its business as providing "reproductive health care."

Or consider our president's thinking.

Then Senator Obama stated his disagreement with the Supreme Court decision banning partial birth abortion because it "departs from previous precedents safeguarding the health of pregnant women."

Partial birth abortion is a procedure in which a doctor kills an infant near birth by smashing its skull and sucking out its brains. The Supreme Court acted in 2007, thank God, to make this illegal. The decision permits the procedure if the life of the mother is danger.

Yet this is unacceptable to our president. He wants vaguely defined health considerations, beyond the question of the life of the mother, to permit what is essentially murder.

For pro-aborts, murder, if the victim is an unborn child at any stage of development, is health care.

So, yes, we can be sure that, without specific prohibiting language, legislation that directs new federal funding to individuals for health care will cover abortions.

There is particular irony that Obama and others championing health care reform insist that it's unrelated to abortion concerns.

We hear a lot of talk about eliminating waste and having more preventative health care. But the most powerful health care initiative we could get is the last thing they will propose: Traditional family values. The same values undermined by the liberal abortion regime and moral relativism they promote.

A wide array of studies shows married individuals physically and mentally healthier than singles.

Among the 47 million uninsured that we hear so much about, two thirds are unmarried.

And, according to a recent study on the uninsured published by the Employment Policies Institute, "lack of health insurance is not likely to be the major factor causing higher mortality rates among the uninsured." The higher mortality rates tie more closely to behavior that leads to poverty, such as poor education and dysfunctional lifestyles.

Let's capitalize on the miracle that has occurred with a truth initiative about our health care crisis.

New government bean counters, programs, taxes, spending, and subsidies are not the answer.

For those currently on private plans, we need less, not more government. More competition and health savings accounts.

For the uninsured, break the cycle of poverty with school choice and rebuilding families in poor communities.

Health care is not about bureaucrats but about individual human behavior. We should be talking about a culture of life and the traditional values that sustain it.


Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.