Little Sisters Of The Poor Back In Court

The 2016 decision by the Supreme Court was a victory for the Little Sisters of the Poor.  The Supreme Court ruling is not enough for California and Pennsylvania.

“We just want to be able to continue our religious mission of caring for the elderly poor as we have over 175 years,” said Mother Loraine Marie Maguire with the Little Sisters of the Poor, according to Townhall. “We pray that these state governments will leave us alone and let us do our work in peace.”

The Little Sisters of the Poor are returning to court after several states filed lawsuits against the religious exemption from the new Department of Health and Human Services rule, according to Becket, the non-profit law firm representing the Catholic nuns in California and Pennsylvania.

Last month, HHS handed down a new rule with a broad religious exemption for non-profits like the Little Sisters to prevent them from having to make available services in their healthcare plans that violate their faith, like the week-after pill.

California and Pennsylvania filed lawsuits a short time after the new mandate was issued to stop the religious exemption.

California’s lawsuit claims the new rule is unconstitutional because it singles out and harms women, blocking their Fifth Amendment rights to equal protection under the law. The suit also claims the rule change permits employers to discriminate against employees through their religious beliefs, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“Millions of women could be denied needed contraceptive care against the advice of science, public health and medical professionals,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro at a press conference at Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania’s clinic last month, according to The Inquirer.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are requesting the court intervenes to make sure they don’t have to go against their faith when providing healthcare plans.

“Becket has argued all along that the government has many ways to provide services to women who want them as well as protect the Little Sisters,” a case summary states on Becket’s website. “Neither the federal government nor the state governments need nuns to help them give out contraceptives.”

“We just want to be able to continue our religious mission of caring for the elderly poor as we have over 175 years,” said Mother Loraine Marie Maguire with the Little Sisters of the Poor, according to Townhall. “We pray that these state governments will leave us alone and let us do our work in peace.”

In what was hailed as a victory for the Little Sisters of the Poor in May 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ordered lower courts to once again review a case involving Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

The mandate in question required religious groups to pay for birth control and drugs that may cause abortions.

“The Supreme Court said that the Little Sisters are protected from having to pay these massive government fines or choose to violate their religious beliefs, and the Supreme Court accepted the admission from the government that the government can modify to be more respectful of religious liberty,” said Becket attorney Stephanie Barclay at the time.

The high court justices instructed both parties to work out a compromise that would eliminate any faith-based concerns.

Professor Who Told His Class To Erase Pro-Life Chalking To Pay $17,000 And Take Two Hours Of First Amendment Training

Gregory Thatcher is listed as faculty in the Department of Public Health at Fresno State.

If you disagree with pro-life student activists, have a civil conversation with them. Especially if you’re a professor at a public university.

Gregory Thatcher agreed to pay $17,000 to such students and their lawyers to settle a First and Fourteenth Amendment lawsuit against the Fresno State University public-health professor, who is legally a “government official.”

Thatcher had sicced his class on the administration-authorized chalking by the Students for Life chapter this spring, falsely claiming the pro-life students could only chalk in a “free speech zone” eliminated years earlier, according to the suit filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom. He also joined in the de-chalking…

CollegeFix

Video:  Fresno State Students For Life confronted by faculty and wiping out their free speech

Insurers Make Billions off Medicaid (Medi-Cal) In California During Obamacare Expansion

Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.

More than 1 in 3 Californians, or 13.5 million people, are covered by Medicaid — more than the population of Pennsylvania. About 80% of those in California’s program are enrolled in a managed-care plan, in which insurers receive a fixed rate per person to handle their medical care. The goal is to control costs and better coordinate care.

In anticipation of the Obamacare rollout, officials in California and elsewhere boosted their payments to managed-care companies because they expected Medicaid costs to increase as newly insured patients rushed to the doctor or emergency room after going years without coverage. But those sharply higher costs didn’t materialize — and insurers pocketed more money as a result, especially in California. LATimes

W0w -Gigantic Profits!

Medicaid is rarely associated with getting rich. The patients are poor, the budgets tight and payments to doctors often paltry.

But some insurance companies are reaping spectacular profits off the taxpayer-funded program in California, even when the state finds that patient care is subpar.

Health Net, a unit of Centene Corp., the largest Medicaid insurer nationwide, raked in $1.1 billion in profit from 2014 to 2016, according to state data obtained by Kaiser Health News. Anthem, another industry giant, turned a profit of $549 million from California’s Medicaid program in the same period.

Overall, Medicaid insurers in the Golden State made $5.4 billion in profits from 2014 to 2016, in part because the state paid higher rates during the inaugural years of the nation’s Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Last year, they made more money than all Medicaid insurers combined in 34 other states with managed care plans.  LATimes

California: No Longer A Felony To Knowingly Expose Someone Or Blood Supply To HIV

Leftist protect criminals and put others in danger.

While it’s true that AIDS no longer is an automatic death sentence, it’s still deadly. In 2014, the last year for which I could find data, 6,721 died directly from AIDS, and there are tens of thousands of new infections. Legal Insurrection 

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.

The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.

Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.

“Today California took a major step toward treating HIV as a public health issue, instead of treating people living with HIV as criminals,” Wiener said in a statement. “HIV should be treated like all other serious infectious diseases, and that’s what SB 239 does.”  LATimes

Diabetes-Related Amputations Up By A Shocking 31 Percent in California – And San Diego More Than Twice That

In the U.S. foot and leg amputations for diabetics have been declining since the mid-1990s.   Even as rates of the disease were rising in the United States, fewer foot and leg amputations were being performed on people with diabetes.

“It’s impossible to pinpoint a specific reason for the drop in major amputations. We do know that better foot and ankle treatment is a part of it though,” stated Dr. Phinit Phisitkul, an assistant clinical professor at the University of Iowa department of orthopedics and rehabilitation. MedicalExpress

Between 2009 and 2014 the CDC noticed an increase of 27 percent nationally in the rate of amputations among people with diabetes.  Previously, the numbers had been declining.

In California the numbers are shocking  – diabetic amputation increased statewide more than 31%.  There has been an increase by 66.4% in San Diego County of diabetic amputations.

Clinicians are amputating more toes, legs, ankles and feet of patients with diabetes in California – and San Diego County in particular – in a “shocking” trend that has mystified diabetes experts here and across the country.

Statewide, lower-limb amputations increased by more than 31 percent from 2010 to 2016 when adjusted for population change. In San Diego County, the increase was more than twice that: 66.4 percent.

Losing a foot, ankle or especially a leg robs patients of their independence, hampers their ability to walk and makes them more vulnerable to infection. It also can shorten their lives.

This trend, which inewsource documented with state hospital data, is one physicians, surgeons and public health officials are at a loss to explain, though many have theories.

Edward Gregg of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the California numbers are worrisome.

Public health officials consider amputations to be an important indicator of a region’s diabetes care because diabetes and its complications can be prevented, said Gregg, chief of epidemiology and statistics for the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation.

“If we see it going down, then it’s a good sign, because so many aspects of good diabetes care are in theory affected. And when you see it going up, that’s a concern,” he said…

The increase also could be attributed to inadequate attention to diagnosing and managing the disease in some populations, he said, adding that in some populations, there may be less attention to diagnosing and managing the disease.

But those reasons together don’t explain the stark increase in such a short period of time, he said.

The CDC and other experts are stumped at the increase of diabetic amputations in California.  There are many theories – aging population, more people being diagnosed, managing the disease in some populations…

Lack of covered treatment

Jonathan Labovitz, a Pomona foot and ankle surgeon and podiatry researcher affiliated with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, said some of the blame likely can be traced to 2009 when the state stopped paying for outpatient podiatry services for patients under Medi-Cal, California’s health program for the poor.

State health officials confirmed that Medi-Cal excluded podiatry services as of July 1, 2009 because of the state’s budget shortfall, but said podiatry services are covered when provided by primary care physicians, federally qualified health centers, rural health centers and tribal clinics, and are covered by some Medi-Cal managed care plans. State officials declined to comment on whether the change resulted in an increase in amputations.

Read full article at CBS8

Judicial Watch: California Has 11 Counties With More Voters than Voting-Age Citizens

Questions of voter fraud emerged in the last two elections as a major issue. Messy accurate voter rolls have the  potential for widespread fraud.

“California’s voting rolls are an absolute mess that undermines the very idea of clean elections,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said.

The counties include Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog organization, has sent a letter to California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on behalf of the Election Integrity Project, noting that there are 11 counties in the state with more registered voters, and alleging that the state may be out of compliance with Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA).

The letter reads, in part:

NVRA Section 8 requires states to conduct reasonable list maintenance so as to maintain an accurate record of eligible voters for use in conducting federal elections.1 As you may know, Congress enacted Section 8 of the NVRA to protect the integrity of the electoral process. Allowing the names of ineligible voters to remain on the voting rolls harms the integrity of the electoral process and undermines voter confidence in the legitimacy of elections.…

As the top election official in California, it is your responsibility under federal law to coordinate California’s statewide effort to conduct a program that reasonably ensures the lists of eligible voters are accurate.

Judicial Watch lays out the specifics: “[T]here were more total registered voters than there were adults over the age of 18 living in each of the following eleven (11) counties: Imperial (102%), Lassen (102%), Los Angeles (112%), Monterey (104%), San Diego (138%), San Francisco (114%), San Mateo (111%), Santa Cruz (109%), Solano (111%), Stanislaus (102%), and Yolo (110%).” The letter notes that the percentage in L.A. Country may be as high as 144%.

The letter contains a threat to sue the Secretary of State if Padilla does not remove from the rolls “persons who have become ineligible to vote by reason of death, change in residence, or a disqualifying criminal conviction, and to remove noncitizens who have registered to vote unlawfully.” It gives Padilla 14 days to respond, and 90 days to correct alleged violations of the law.  BreitBart

Map GatewayPundit

The Price Tag On A California Single Payer Health Plan Is Bigger Than The State Budget

A government heath plan can be two of these — universal, affordable, quality.

If universal and quality then not affordable (would bankrupt the government).

If affordable and quality then not universal.

If universal and affordable then low quality.

The price tag for California universal health care plan – $400 Billion.  This year’s state budget in California is about $180 billion.

It would cost $400 billion to remake California’s health insurance marketplace and create a publicly funded universal health care system, according to a state financial analysis released Monday.

California would have to find an additional $200 billion per year, including in new tax revenues, to create a so-called “single-payer” system, the analysis by the Senate Appropriations Committee found. The estimate assumes the state would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state and federal funding it currently receives to offset the total $400 billion price tag. sacbee

California plan high cost, high taxes, loss of jobs.

California’s proposal is particularly expensive because it’s not just a single-payer proposal, but a generous one. As Vox details, “the state would pay for almost all of its residents’ medical expenses—inpatient, outpatient, emergency services, dental, vision, mental health, and nursing home care—and Californians would not have any premiums, copays, or deductibles.” Undocumented immigrants would be covered too.

Even in the state that spends the most money each year, the $200 billion increase is asking for a lot. Californians pay an average of 11 percent of their income in state and local taxes, the sixth highest of any state, according to the Tax Foundation, a Washington, D.C.,-based think tank that favors lower tax rates, and the state’s top income tax rate of 13.3 percent is already the nation’s highest.

“Needless to say, doubling California’s tax burden would give them the highest taxes in the country by far,” Joe Henchman, vice president of state projects for the Tax Foundation, told Reason on Tuesday.

The proposal “will cost employers and taxpayers billions of dollars and result in significant loss of jobs in the state,” warns the California Chamber of Commerce. reason

Other states that have attempted single-payer health care plans.

Just last week, we reported on a similar single-payer proposal in New York State, which would require doubling (and possibly quadrupling, depending on which projection you believe) the state’s tax burden. Vermont’s attempt to implement a single-payer health care system collapsed in 2014 because the costs were too high. Colorado voters rejected a proposed single-payer system in 2016 when faced with the prospect of increasing payroll taxes by 10 percent to meet the estimated $25 billion annual price tag. reason

Photo by Kevin Cortopassi

Illegal Alien Deported 15 Times Arrested In Crash That Hurt 6-Year-Old Boy

Horrific!

An illegal immigrant – who had been deported 15 times – is accused of seriously injuring a 6-year-old boy in a Saturday night drunken driving hit-and-run crash, authorities said.

Constantino Banda-Acosta, a 38-year-old Mexican citizen, was kicked out of the U.S. 15 times in the past 15 years, with his most previous deportation coming Jan. 18, federal officials told The San Diego Union-Tribune.

Banda-Acosta is accused of running a stop sign in the San Ysidro hit-and-run. He was taken into custody, about a half hour after the crash occurred, along with another man who was also an illegal immigrant.

The injured boy, Lennox Lake, was coming home from Disneyland with his family on Saturday, and the group was about a block from their home when the collision happened.

When he was found in the wrecked vehicle, Lennox was unconscious, bleeding from several head wounds and not breathing. He had a major head injury and, as of Tuesday night, had already undergone two surgeries, The Union-Tribune reported. Lennox’s family expects him to make a full recovery.

Right now he has a lot of swelling and can’t open either of his eyes so he’s scared about why he can’t see,” his father, Ben Lake, told FOX5. “I just really care about bringing him home and making sure he’s happy again.” NYPost

‘We Were Ambushed,’ Say Claremont Colleges’ Jewish Students After Senate Passes Pro-BDS Motion on Passover, Easter Sunday

The vote on the pro-bds motion was on April 16 – a date marking Easter Sunday and the Jewish holiday of Passover.  22 yes votes, 4 abstained, 0 were opposed, and 17 were absent from the meeting, reported the Claremont Independent campus news.

Jewish student leaders at the Claremont Colleges told The Algemeiner they felt “ambushed” by an unexpected vote on a pro-boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) motion in the student senate on Sunday, which was Passover’s sixth day and Easter…

Deena Woloshin, who sits on the executive board of CPIA, said the group was given “no forewarning” of the vote and the timing effectively “silence[d] the Israeli narrative.”

The amendment stated that “Student Activities Funds shall not be used to make payment on goods and services from any corporation or organization associated with the unethical occupation of Palestinian territories. Products include those products from corporations and organizations delineated in the boycott list maintained by bdsmovement.net…” That list includes a number of major brands such as Sabra Humus, Ahava Dead Sea products, SodaStream, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard (HP). Algemeiner

California Leads List With 6 Of The Top 10 Most Polluted U.S. Cities Again

The cities with the strongest environment taxes and regulations and the most advocates for clean air are the worst in air pollution.

Californian cities dominate the list of cities with the worst air pollution, according to a report from the American Lung Association, citing data from 2013-2015.

California’s smoggy reputation appears to be deserved: Six of the USA’s 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in the Golden State, according to a new report.

Bakersfield, Calif., again holds the dubious distinction of having the USA’s most days of highly polluted air, based on data from 2013-2015, the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report released Wednesday found.

In addition to the worst spikes of short-term pollution — led by Bakersfield — the report also lists the cities with the worst overall year-round pollution — led by Visala/Hanford, Calif.— and the worst ozone pollution, led by the Los Angeles/Long Beach area.

California’s soaring population and topography allow air pollution to overcome the state’s strict environmental laws, said Paul Billings of the American Lung Association. The boom in people brings with it an increase in cars and trucks on the roads, and many of those people live in valley and basins, right where pollution tends to settle.

Nearly year-round sunny skies also don’t help: Those picture-perfect days are a major factor in high levels of ozone pollution, he added. USAToday

California Issues 806,000 Driver’s Licenses To Illegal Immigrants In Two Years

How many illegal immigrant votes did Democrats get this election?

In 2014, state officials estimated the licenses would cost California $141 million over the next three years.

California has issued more than 800,000 driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants in the two years since the state implemented a law allowing for issuance without proof of legal presence.

The Mercury News reports that in the two years since AB 60 took effect the California Department of Motor Vehicles issued driver’s licenses to 806,000 undocumented immigrants — 14,000 of which the department issued just last month…

There are an estimated three million undocumented immigrants in the state, according to The Mercury News…

AB 60 or AB 1461 — a law that, beginning next year, will automatically register California drivers to vote. DailyCaller

Update: Teachers Union Threatens To Sue Student For Recording Professor’s Anti-Trump Craziness

Update:  After the video stopped filming  the professor allegedly asked Trump backers to stand during class.

Tanner Webb and Noah Faerber told KCBS-TV other things Cox said during class — when video wasn’t secretly rolling — were particularly intimidating. Such as asking Trump backers in the room to stand up.

“She was saying dehumanizing things about Trump supporters,” Webb told KCBS, “and nobody felt like they could stand up. Me, in fear of my grade. And then she said, ‘I bet none of you will stand up because you’re embarrassed for yourselves. The rest of the class should look out for them and know who to protect themselves from.’”

“Students shouldn’t be shamed for their political beliefs,” Faerber added to the station, “or who they vote for.”

“Nobody wants to stand up and be publicly humiliated by a teacher who holds the power in the classroom like that,” Webb noted to KCBS.  The Blaze

The Young Republican club (YRC) have filed a formal complaint with college administrators.

“The unions are acting like thugs, like bullies themselves,” said attorney Shawn Steel, a Republican National Committee member who volunteered to represent the Republican club. “Every student knows it. If you stand up to your professor, 90 percent of the time the professor’s going to punish you,” he added.

A teachers union is threatening “legal action” against a student for filming and posting a rant by an instructor in which she described the election of Donald Trump as “an act of terrorism” and accused him of being a “white supremacist.” The union decried the video exposing the instructor’s egregious bias and bullying as an “illegal recording” and warned that the “student will be identified” and may face a lawsuit.

The instructor, Olga Perez Stable Cox, is a human sexuality teacher at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, where she has taught for 30 years.

“Our nation is divided. We have been assaulted. It is an act of terrorism,” Cox declared to her students. Those who support Trump, she suggested, are guilty of “committing assault” and are “among us.”

“One of the most frightening things for me, and most people in my life, is that the people who are committing the assault are among us,” she said. “It is not some stranger from some other country coming and attacking our sense of what it means to be an American and the things that we stand for and that makes it more painful because I’m sure that all of us have people in our families and our circle of friends that are part of that movement and it is very difficult … We are way beyond Republicans and Democrats and we’re really being back to being at civil war — I don’t mean that in a fighting way but our nation is divided as clearly as it was in Civil War times.”

These people “committing assault,” she alleged, have elected a “white supremacist and a vice president that is one of the most anti-gay humans in this country.” (Full  transcript of rant at DailyWire)