LB599 Veto Override: NE Senators Better Think It Over

UPDATED Thursday @6:39pm

Unfortunately, the NE Unicameral voted 30 to 16 to override the Governor’s veto on LB599 this afternoon between 4-5pm.

We will be publishing the roll call on this vote this evening, along with other information

NE Senators to Vote Wed., April 18, Last Session Day LB599 Veto Override

Will our legislators vote to expand Nebraska Medicaid (again!), create a whole new program, invite irresponsibility, and roll out the welcome mat for illegal immigrants?

If you have not yet contacted your Senator, consider firing off an email before 8:30am

  • Click here to find your Senator, here for list of Senators
  • Feel free to cut & paste something from this article to make sending quicker! OR
  • Note that you can email, print, or otherwise share this article with others! (See the bottom)
  • We’ve heard all of the arguments (we think) and tried to handle them — and then some

LB599 is NOT a Pro-Life Bill

  • To be “Pro-life”, in the traditional sense, has been, first and foremost about stopping abortions
  • This bill moves beyond preventing or stopping abortions to opening the door for government to affirmatively legislate the quality of life, rather than protecting the RIGHT TO LIFE ITSELF[1. One of the best arguments we've seen on this subject appeared by way of a comment on the Leavenworth Street site on April 15 @9:25pm, which responded to a the particular statement by Nebraska Right to Life State Director Julie Schmit-Albin's statement, "Opponents to LB 599 have abandoned the pro-life position on this particular issue." Macdaddy replied,  "Julie, you are absolutely wrong. Somehow you got it into your head that the pro-life movement is a socialist movement. It is not. It is a movement to keep babies from getting sucked out of the womb and tossed in the incinerator. There used to be an argument that was used to say that welfare is awesome and shouldn’t be cut otherwise women will opt for abortion. But you aren’t arguing that providing this will decrease abortion because you know that that argument is false. Now you are arguing that a baby will come out healthier and that the pro-life thing to do is have government provide some services for free. This is an argument for socialism and is the same argument underpinning Obamacare. Your logic leads directly to a totalitarian government. Do you let children ride bicycles? Hundreds die in bike accidents every year. You aren’t pro-life. Do you let kids ride in cars? Thousands die every year. You aren’t pro-life. Do you allow a religious exemption to skip vaccines? You absolutely aren’t pro-life, hell, that’s even child abuse. Pools should be outlawed. Fat should be outlawed. Refined sugar. Guns, knives, bats, husbands. If you don’t go to the dentist twice a year, you should go to jail. Your logic leaves absolutely nothing off-limits to the reach of the government. Oh, wait. How many people die due to government mistakes each year? This is not a pro-life bill. It is a pro-socialism bill. I thank the government (sic) for vetoing it." Macdaddy references government involvement in what people eat - think that's nuts? A dietician testified in support of LB599 on March 16, 2011, but also advocated for strengthening of the bill's language to include "medical nutrition therapy services for pregnant mothers" (hearing transcript p. 14-15) ].

In addition, regarding a coherent, comprehensive PRO-LIFE policy:

  • LB599 advocates seem purposefully blind to the fact that government’s increasing expansion into the health care economy – for which many of them have been consistent advocates – has directly contributed to ratcheting cost, putting “affordable” health care further out of reach for low income people
  • Prior Medicaid expansions – for which many advocates previously pushed – by States were significant contributors to a Federal take over of the health care economy
  • The health care law (PPACA) necessarily entails rationing[2. In addition to the article linked, "Obama's Health Rationer-in-Chief", readers should note rationing in health care will occur through health care provisions buried in the Stimulus bill (February 2009), as explained by former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey in February 2009, in her editorial, "Ruin Your Health With The Obama Stimulus Plan"], which endangers the LIVES, particularly of the old and the feeble

LB599 Will NOT Save Money

  • The whole “savings” excuse rests on the presumption that these children will be born and will remain on the dole their entire lives, which may or may not prove true.
  • Subsidize something and you get more of it.
  • Without the LB599 subsidy and others like it, the affected women and their partners would be more likely to “plan” parenthood without ignoring financial considerations as they now do.
  • A U.S. Census report shows that women who are dependent on public assistance are approximately three times more likely to give birth than women who are not[3. See page 7 of this report].
  • This census data is consistent with what we’re seeing here in Nebraska. About 12 to 14 percent of Nebraskans are currently receiving Medicaid. BUT they account for an average of 43 percent of all the births that have occurred in Nebraska over the last six years[4. According to data collected by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NE-DHHS) for the fiscal years indicated, the percentage of Nebraska births paid for by Medicaid fee-for-service and Medicaid Managed Care are as follows: 2000, 26.9%; 2001, 29.3%; 2002, 36.6%; 2003, 39.2%; 2004, 39.7%; 2005, 41.5%; 2006, 44.1%; 2007, 44.2%; 2008, 46.9%; 2009, 43.4%; 2010, 42.5%; and 2011, 37.7%. Nebraska's Vital Statistics reports, according to NE-DHHS, do not adequately differentiate between Medicaid fee-for-service (traditional Medicaid) and Medicaid Managed Care payments, which can look like and are often classified by Vital Statistics as a private insurance payments.].
  • Remove the subsidy, and having a family you can’t afford might actually appear to be the irresponsible, unfeasible, and unwise decision that it truly is.
  • By encouraging prospective parents to make the responsible decision to delay conception, when their child or children are born, the entire cost of pregnancy, birth, and medical costs into the future will be borne by the parents, not one dime being financed by each of us with state funds.
  • Now, that would be a REAL savings.

Is there any relationship between State Senators’ welfare expansionist policies and a chaotic child welfare system?

  • Nebraska has an inordinate number of children in the child welfare system, and, an inordinate number who are removed from their homes.
  • Given the data quoted above – the percentage of women on welfare programs who have children – are our policies encouraging people who are not adequately prepared to be parents to have more children?

QUESTIONABLE PROCESS Ignores Nebraska’s “Second House”

  • The Nebraska Unicameral, as marketed by favorite son George Norris, was supposed to increase the input of Nebraskans – what is that Second House saying – and are Senators listening?
  • Following an upsurge in constituent contacts, *2 more Senators* voted FOR the legislation[5. First round vote, April 3, results: 30 YAY, 16 NAY, 1 Present and not voting, 1 Absent and not voting, 1 Excused and not voting; Second round vote, April 4, results: 29 YAY, 16 NAY, 2 Present and not voting, 2 excused and not voting;  Third round vote, April 11, results: 31 YAY, 15 NAY, 3 Present and not voting], rather than against, begging the question: Who ARE they listening to? Lobbyists or constituents?
  • LB599 came up very late in the session, with little fanfare, giving constituents little lead time or awareness. The first reading and debate did not occur until Day 47 – April 3 – at about 8pm, and then a second round of debate and voting occurred the very next day.
  • LB599 had no hearings this year - constituents had no opportunity to have input other than by contacting their Senators.

Nebraska Senators Who Vigorously Support LB599 Have Apparent Conflicts of Interest

Perhaps the most egregious action of all comes from Speaker Mike Flood…

  • Flood moved the scheduled 60th and final day of the Unicameral session from the previously scheduled Thursday, April 12, to Wednesday, April 18, precisely in order to provide Senators an opportunity to override the Governor’s veto
  • Smacks of the health care law’s “deem and pass” maneuvering – why not play it straight?

Advocate Bedfellows…Some Confused, Some Disturbing

Confused

  • This bill has been aggressively advocated for by the Catholic Conference and Catholic Bishops Conference[8. March 16, 2011 hearing transcript pages 23-25], although some Catholics argue that advocacy for such public policy is a confusion of Catholic Doctrine.

“By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.”

  • “The principle of subsidiarity…meaning government closest to the people governs best…Through our civic organizations, through our churches, through our charities, through all of our different groups where we interact with people as a community, that’s how we advance the common good.[9. Quotes from Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.]“
  • It seems ironic that any Catholic entity would not be re-thinking its advocacy for government encroachment into private life following the recent debacle at the federal level regarding contraception coverage. How’s that lobbying for government intervention working out for the Catholic Church?
  • But Catholic officials and organizations are not alone in advocating for “social justice” via government welfare expansion – at the March, 16, 2011 hearing for LB599, Presbyterian Reverend and Social Justice Chair for a 53 Iowa / Nebraska Presbytery (pages 19-20), Reverend Chuck Bentjen, Director of Manna and Mercy Center for Faith in Public Life (pages 12-14), Omaha Together, One Community -a “faith-based organization” (pages 20-21), testified in favor of LB599
  • Unfortunately, Nebraska Right to Life, and other such pro-life organizations have stepped beyond the bounds of their mission, failing to look at the big picture[10. Nebraska Right to Life testimony can be found on March 16, 2011 transcript pages 31-31]. (see above – “LB%99 is NOT a Pro-Life Issue”)

Disturbing

  • The brochure from the “Symposium on Maternal Health in Nebraska” co-sponsors noted provides a checklist of LB599 advocates.
Click to view entire set of documents

Click to view entire set of documents

Two Nebraska entities participating in the Symposium testified in support of LB599 at the March 16, 2011 hearing for the billthe page number where the testimony can be found on the transcript is noted next to the entity.

Nebraska Appleseed (hearing transcript p.29-31)[11. On it's "About Page", Nebraska Appleseed states that it is a "non-partisan, public interest law firm".]

Building Brighter Futures (hearing hearing transcript p. 25-26)

Voices for Children (NE Appleseed passed out Voices for Children literature during hearing testimony)

National Association of Social Workers – Nebraska Chapter (NASW-NE)

Planned Parenthood of Nebraska

In addition, it’s disturbing to note the funding organizations and other co-sponsors:

United Nations Foundation

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

United Nations Association of the United States of America & Nebraska Chapter

Symposium Speakers: (Hearing testifiers, in purple)

Kathy Bigsby Moore, Voices for Children

Kyle Carlson, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

Sarah Ann Kotchian, Building Brighter Futures

Jennifer Carter and Becky Gould, Nebraska Appleseed

Robert Haller, United Nations Association of Nebraska

Valda Boyd, Center for Human Diversity

  • One World Clinic – the clinic which previously lost $500,000 in Medicaid funding – also lobbied for LB599′s passage – (hearing transcript pages 15-16)

Important questions about these disturbing advocates:

  • How many – besides One World Clinic – receive any significant portion of their funds from GOVERNMENT? (Hint: more of them than you want to know)
  • Is the world a bit off-kilter when government employees spend a day receiving indoctrination from taxpayer-funded lobbies?

Advocates claim the mantle of compassion, of care and concern for life, and all that tends to tug on the heartstrings, but are they really, at the end of the day, showing love for their fellow man?

“By not having big government crowd out civic society, the preferential option for the poor, which is one of the primary tenets of Catholic social teaching, means don’t keep people poor, don’t make people dependent on government so that they stay stuck at their station in life. Help people get out of poverty out onto a life of independence.” (see footnote 4)

[jbox color="white" shadow="3" width="600" content_css="font-size: 24px; color:#575757; font-variant: small-caps; letter-spacing:  3px;" icon="http://grassrootsne.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/camera.ico"]Image Credit & Copyright Notice[/jbox]

Images:

Blank stop sign image from Wikimedia

UN Symposium on Maternal Health in Nebraska cover image snapped from documents available on GiN’s Scribd account, which were obtained through gracious assistance of the group Grass-roots Patriots of LaVista, Nebraska

Copyright Notice:

Permission is granted to individuals to copy/paste portions of this article for their personal use only and/or for forwarding by email and sharing links on social media online. All other rights reserved – contact for republishing terms by using this form.

[jbox color="white" shadow="3" width="600" content_css="font-size: 24px; color:#575757; font-variant: small-caps; letter-spacing: 3px;" icon="http://grassrootsne.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/book.ico"]Footnotes, References & Citations[/jbox]

Shellinda

About Shellinda

4 Responses to “LB599 Veto Override: NE Senators Better Think It Over”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. JIm Mason says:

    I watched the session on Wednesday. All day. I was steaming mad while watching the senators address the assembly before the votes are taken. I was still upset yesterday getting out comments to facebook pages, this website and others. My concern that the Republican Party appeared to be weak was confirmed. One Senator, at the end of her address, said voting to override the Governors veto was a must because the main responsibility of the Unicameral was to “protect the children”. When she said that, I was immediately struck with a different version. That the main responsibility of the Senate should be, ‘To keep the State of Nebraska strong, so it can protect the children.’ It isn’t going to be able to if it continually adds more spending, more programs, more requirements, just more, because it means the taxpayers have to pay for it. Nebraska is not nearly as bad as say California, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan and many other states are. Those are lessons learned. We understand that the state has to spend money and have an operating budget, but the Senators seem to be considering other aspects of this bill outside of the facts that are connected to it. Probably the most important is that the vast majority of their constituents are opposed to financially supporting illegal aliens in this state and the nation.
    But listening to the Senators, the one thing that seemed to guide them the most was the old, letting themselves be swayed by feelings and emotions for this constant demographic that the left uses to open the door for future support requiring more legislation. Basing a decision on feelings and emotions is the tactical realm of the Democrats. Nebraska needs to draw the line in the sand now and say. “Sorry, but we’re not sorry, you are here illegally and you qualify for nothing. If you wish to seek a better life here, then do it like those immigrants who followed the steps set out by the government to become a citizen. But NO MORE FINANCIAL SUPPORT!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] side of issues as it did when the politically influential Nebraska Right to Life organization  choose to support taxpayer-funded benefits for illegal aliens, by lobbying legislators to override the Governor’s veto on [...]

  2. [...] secure funding. Another questionable relationship we’ve pointed out before is the fact that Senator Kathy Campbell works at Cedars, which provides youth and family services in cooperation with the Lancaster County Heath [...]



Leave A Comment...

*