Twenty-four more bills have passed out of the Appropriations Committee of the California State Assembly and have been sent over to the state's Senate. Of these, sixteen deal with health issues while the remainder involve education or workforce development. Workforce development and training is tied to education. So far only three of those 16 bills have been set for a hearing in the upper chamber.
AB769, Nancy Skinner, (D), Sales and Use Taxes: Exemption: Clothes Washers. Location: Senate Governance and Finance Committee. 6/11/14. Phone: 916-651-4119.
“Exempts from the sales and use tax laws the gross receipts and the sales price that do not exceed a specified amount from the sale of, and the storage, use, or other consumption of, a qualified efficient clothes washer purchased for installation and use in the State.
This is interference in private business disguised as concern over potential drought problems and manipulation of one industry. Why did she leave out dishwashers, toilets, shower heads, etc?
SB 500, Ted Lieu, (D), Medical Practice: Pain Management. Location: ASM. Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee. Hearing date: 6/10/14. Phone 916-319-3301. Every 5 years the state Medical Board is required to update its pain control standards. Bill requires an outside task force be developed to submit changes and recommendations. Concern here is in the treatment or use of narcotics to suppress pain in end-of-life cases. There is currently in California and across the country, an aggressive promotion and advertising campaign by agencies promoting comfort care only for those patients judged to be within a year or so of death from disease or illness, while removing all curative care.
In the last two weeks I have heard radio ads on San Francisco AM stations KGO-810 and 740-KCBS for two for-profit large corporate residential care facilities, Vitas Hospice and Pathways Hospice. These facilities offer residential and in-home care and supervision for terminal and near-terminal citizens.They take private but mostly Medicare patients. Near-terminal can mean up to a year prior to a disease or disability potentially ending a life.
Hospice, these days, can mean several things all the way from curative and palliative care to a type of palliative care that can mean comfort-only to both the patient and the family. Many hospices start a patient off with a mix of curative and palliative care and then slowly withdraw the curative portion of care until it is palliative or comfort only - no nutrition/hydration, no curative medications.
Here is a quote contained in an excellent 300 page critical analysis of patient care, authored by Ron Panzer, Director of the Hospice Patients Alliance entitled Stealth Euthanasia: Health Care Tyranny in America (available on line): “ Vitas [Hospice] was instrumental in leading a bipartisan effort to add hospice to the healthcare payment system. As a result of these efforts, Medicare pays for hospice services. Many states have established Medicaid coverage for hospice, and virtually all private insurers and managed care plans provide coverage for hospice care.” www.vitas.com (see: endnotes).
This is why bills like SB 500 are of concern. We don’t know what ethics or what organizations will be represented on outside advisory boards. How many people will represent the death-and-dying lobbies versus the traditional respect for human life in all its strengths and frailties? I have also heard an incredible radio spot paid for by the California Nurses Association ridiculing the very thing they support legislatively. It depicts a hospitalized patient who is calling for his nurse, while some one representing “best practices” in online data information diagnosing is trying to convince the patient that he has bronchitis. In comes a nurse saying “No, it’s arrhythmia. The ad concludes with advising people to look toward their nurse rather than technology to care for them.
None of these groups ever had to advertise before the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) put them into competition with each other.
AB 1523, Toni Atkins, (D-San Diego), Residential Care Facilities: Elderly. Requires Residential Care Facilities - RCFE - to carry up to $3,000,000 in bonded coverage against abusive treatment to residents or injury lawsuits. This is opposed by one group alone, the Community Residential Care Association of California which represents residential care facilities for 6 or fewer residents. They claim that the costs of providing this coverage will result in financial loss to them requiring them to stop accepting some patients or close their doors. These are the neighborhood care facilities scattered throughout communities. There is sufficient concern that the for-profit, large elder care corporations are attempting to suppress these local, private facilities. Location: Senate Committee on Human Services.6/10/14 916-651-1524.
Note: Organizations, using letterhead stationary can be officially listed on record with a support or oppose position. One requirement is that the letter be in the proper committee one week prior to the hearing. Individuals who phone the committees will be listed as “x number of individuals.” To track bills yourself go to www.leginfo.ca.gov.
Regarding the up-coming election, pro-life and other groups are putting out voter’s guides that feature candidate information, which in their view indicates who is pro-life and who is not. But what criteria are being used? There has been almost no legislation dealing directly with the life or death issues for there to be any record of votes for in-office candidates so we have only their statements that they are “pro Life.” Also, In listening to some of the new candidates for office it becomes obvious that they know nothing about the bills being debated in Sacramento.
Something happens when a newly elected member enters the halls of the legislature. We see “good” i.e. conservative, pro-life, legislators voting for things that are inimical to family and moral life and religious liberty, even while they receive approval ratings on pro life voter’s guides. They even get support due to these votes from the California Catholic Conference, especially regarding a living wage, immigration assistance and welfare support and health care. They certainly are not mounting any opposition to the flood of bills set to manage everyone’s everyday lives. Most often what we see is a listing of “not voting” after the names of, mainly, Republicans.
(Ron Panzer speaks at 2010 Pro-Life conference)
The sad truth is that the provision of abortion and contraceptive services to one and all is seen as a right and a duty in California even on Catholic college campuses. Listen to a presentation given by a Planned Parenthood Director to Loyola/Marymount College students on May 17, 2014. See video at the top of the page or at: YouTube
The legislators, non-profits, foundations, religious organizations, and individuals such as Bill Gates of Microsoft and Marc Zuckerberg of Facebook, have formed partnerships to “manage” the lives of the students who did manage to be born, from womb to tomb. This is now being portrayed as the proper pro-life ethic by these very groups.
Spero columnist Camille Giglio is an observer of California politics and issues relating to euthanasia, healthcare, and abortion.
See: Hospice Patients Alliance