This Decision Does Not Protect Women

Yesterday The National Review posted an article about the recent Supreme Court decision regarding Louisiana’s law regarding doctors at abortion clinics. The law in question required doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges. Because women can die from legal abortions, hospital admitting privileges are important. The Supreme Court struck down this requirement, putting the lives of women at risk. Chief Justice Roberts was the deciding vote on the issue, disappointing many Americans who expected him to be a conservative voice on the Court.

The article reports:

The conservative legal establishment has long been particularly enamored of this ideal: the umpire calmly calling balls and strikes. It is a very important virtue. But it is not the first virtue. An umpire who can be cowed by the crowd will not call the same strike zone for both teams. Without courage, good ideas about the law are just empty words on a page. Without courage, even the clearest-written rights are empty promises, the plainest limitations on power are easily overwhelmed, and the entire project of rule by written law becomes just another hollow formality.

Two of today’s Supreme Court decisions, on abortion and separation of powers, are further evidence of this. Chief Justice John Roberts has yet again shown the absence of courage that has so often undermined his Court. Roberts’s repeated demonstrations of lack of courage are rapidly becoming a threat to the Court itself, and to the conservative legal project.

First up, we have June Medical Services L.L.C. v. Russo, which by a 5–4 vote struck down a Louisiana abortion-clinic regulation challenged by the clinics. Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, and Neil Gorsuch would have upheld the Louisiana law, but Chief Justice Roberts sided with the Court’s four liberals, claiming that his hands were tied by precedent.

In the 2016 case Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, the Court ruled 5–3 against a Texas abortion law that required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. States routinely impose such requirements on the practice of medicine, especially invasive or surgical procedures. As Justice Gorsuch observed, the Louisiana law “tracks longstanding state laws governing physicians who perform relatively low-risk procedures like colonoscopies, Lasik eye surgeries, and steroid injections at ambulatory surgical centers.” The Court in both Whole Woman’s Health and June Medical ruled that “unnecessary health regulations that have the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion impose an undue burden on the right” to an abortion. Yet what the Court defines as an “unnecessary” requirement would be uncontroversially legal for any other medical procedure under the sun, and the “constitutional right” itself is, of course, nowhere even vaguely mentioned in the actual Constitution.

Chief Justice Roberts has been a disappointment almost from the beginning. His ruling on Obamacare was questionable at best. Please follow the link to the article to read further details regarding the contradictions between the decision on the Louisiana law and the previous opinion written by Chief Justice Roberts

A Balanced Approach To The Coronavirus

On Friday, Townhall posted an article by Guy Benson about the coronavirus.

The article includes a number of tweets by Scott Gottlieb, MD, that provide some perspective on the coronavirus.

This is the content of the tweets:

1. Your risk of contracting in the U.S. is still low. While it may be spreading, there are likely still a small number of cases. This could change, but it is likely the case right now.

2. We have capacity to contain small outbreaks, and, where we can’t, mitigate impact of spread. We have best public health system in the world, best infection control procedures, a vast healthcare system with substantial capacity, well equipped hospitals, and skilled providers.

3. The development of vaccines and therapeutics is actively underway and, in time, we could have a treatment or preventative medicine that could substantially lessen the impact of this virus.

4. This could be a long fight that will require shared sacrifice. There may not be a start and finish to the spread of this virus. It may become something that we need to manage for a period of time until we can develop a therapeutic backstop.

5. The best thing Americans can do is be vigilant, take responsible precautions, and follow the advice of our great public health professionals at CDC and local health authorities.

The doctor concludes:

We have faced many infectious threats in our history. This one is sinister, but we have never been better equipped to mitigate its impact. We will preserve life, and prevail.

We don’t know what the future holds in terms of this illness. We do know that steps are being taken to prevent an epidemic. We know that we have extremely good health care in America. It is time to take seriously the advice to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we cough or sneeze. In the end, God is in control, and He will see us through this.

Those Nasty Unintended Consequences

On Monday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial detailing the impact of ObamaCare on doctors.

The editorial reports:

A year before ObamaCare became law, an IBD/TIPP Poll warned that it would lead to doctor shortages because many would quit or retire early. New evidence shows that our warnings were dead on.

A recent report from the Association of Medical Colleges projects doctor shortages of up to 121,300 within the next 12 years. That’s a 16% increase from their forecast just last year.

Not only are medical schools having trouble attracting doctors (New York University plans to offer free tuition to its med students), but current physicians are cutting back on patient visits, retiring early or switching careers.

An article in a recent issue of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings says that nearly one in five doctors plan to switch to part-time clinical hours, 27% plan to leave their current practice, and 9% plan to get an administrative job or switch careers entirely.

The editorial cites one possible reason for the declining number of doctors:

One of the big drivers of doctor exits, by the way, is the Obama administration’s “electronic health records” mandate, which was supposed to vastly improve the quality and efficiency of care.

It’s had the opposite effect. A Mayo Clinic survey found that the EHR mandate is reducing efficiency, increasing costs and paperwork hassles, and pushing more doctors to quit or retire early.

A Harris Poll found that 59% of doctors say the current EHR system foisted on them by the Obama administration needs “a complete overhaul,” and 40% say it imposes more challenges than benefits.

ObamaCare continued what had been a long and sorry trend in health care. Government-imposed rules designed to fix some problem in the system instead generated mountains of new administrative work.

The result has been that while the number of physicians in the country has climbed modestly over the past three decades, the number of health care administrators exploded.

This is an illustration of the consequences of government interference in the free market. The free market isn’t perfect, but it is the best way to keep prices down, innovation up, and industries (and professions) moving forward.

The Double Standard At Work

There is a really ugly scandal evolving about New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez. It seems that he had a close friendship with a major Democratic donor named Dr. Salomon Melgen. The two of them frequently flew on the Doctor’s private jet to the Dominican Republic where the Senator spent time with underage prostitutes.

The story can be found at Breitbart.com and in the Daily Caller. Recently the Doctor’s offices were raided by the FBI and records removed from the office. So what is this all about? News reports state Menendez has denied published reports he improperly lobbied on behalf of Melgen’s interest in a Dominican Republic Port security contractor.

To be very honest, this scandal is going nowhere. (I would love to be wrong about this.) The Senator did something gross outside of the country, and I don’t even know if what he did is illegal in the Dominican Republic. There is an ethics violation if he accepted free flights, but that will be corrected by paying for the flights. Essentially, I believe that this is much ado about something that will actually have no impact on anything. Unfortunately this man was legally elected to the Senate and the cronyism in the Senate (particularly among Democrats and the media) will keep his dishonesty and shameful behavior from causing him any problems.

Until we elect honorable men to Congress and the press actually reports the news accurately, this sort of thing will continue unpunished.

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