How the Elderly Lose Their Rights


I’m nearing age 61. I say my age because an old Internet friend sent me an article relating to elderly abuse published in The New Yorker. The article could almost be read as a short story of terror except for one mitigating fact. IT IS TRUE!

 

If you are a son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, beloved nephew or niece; YOU need to pay attention! The elders you love in whichever relationship, might be in danger of a complete stranger unilaterally having a court declare your elder loved ones too incompetent to take care of themselves and become declared their guardian. It gets worse! After becoming the legal guardian of your loved elders, they become in charge of all the loved ones’ assets – house, money, expensive furniture, expensive art and so on. Once in charge by order of the courts, the guardian can duly fleece your elders of everything they own for the guardian’s personal gain.

 

This is how my friend introduced the link:

 

This is a must read. People all across the country are using the courts to rob elders and I believe they are willing to kill them. Total strangers claim guardianship responsibilities then commit them to retirement homes or mental health institutions. On the excuse of paying for those services, they take everything they own, bank accounts, homes, furniture, everything!!!

 

Read the true horror.

 

JRH 10/27/17 (Hat Tip: Bob Judge)

Please Support NCCR

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How the Elderly Lose Their Rights

Guardians can sell the assets and control the lives of senior citizens without their consent—and reap a profit from it.

 

By Rachel Aviv

A Reporter at Large

October 9, 2017 Issue

The New Yorker

 

Guardian-Strangers Fleecing ElderlyIllustration by Anna Parini

After a stranger became their guardian, Rudy and Rennie North were moved to a nursing home and their property was sold.

 

For years, Rudy North woke up at 9 a.m. and read the Las Vegas Review-Journal while eating a piece of toast. Then he read a novel—he liked James Patterson and Clive Cussler—or, if he was feeling more ambitious, Freud. On scraps of paper and legal notepads, he jotted down thoughts sparked by his reading. “Deep below the rational part of our brain is an underground ocean where strange things swim,” he wrote on one notepad. On another, “Life: the longer it cooks, the better it tastes.”

 

Rennie, his wife of fifty-seven years, was slower to rise. She was recovering from lymphoma and suffered from neuropathy so severe that her legs felt like sausages. Each morning, she spent nearly an hour in the bathroom applying makeup and lotions, the same brands she’d used for forty years. She always emerged wearing pale-pink lipstick. Rudy, who was prone to grandiosity, liked to refer to her as “my amour.”

 

On the Friday before Labor Day, 2013, the Norths had just finished their toast when a nurse, who visited five times a week to help Rennie bathe and dress, came to their house, in Sun City Aliante, an “active adult” community in Las Vegas. They had moved there in 2005, when Rudy, a retired consultant for broadcasters, was sixty-eight and Rennie was sixty-six. They took pride in their view of the golf course, though neither of them played golf.

 

Rudy chatted with the nurse in the kitchen for twenty minutes, joking about marriage and laundry, until there was a knock at the door. A stocky woman with shiny black hair introduced herself as April Parks, the owner of the company A Private Professional Guardian. She was accompanied by three colleagues, who didn’t give their names. Parks told the Norths that she had an order from the Clark County Family Court to “remove” them from their home. She would be taking them to an assisted-living facility. “Go and gather your things,” she said.

 

Rennie began crying. “This is my home,” she said.

 

One of Parks’s colleagues said that if the Norths didn’t comply he would call the police. Rudy remembers thinking, You’re going to put my wife and me in jail for this? But he felt too confused to argue.

 

Parks drove a Pontiac G-6 convertible with a license plate that read “crtgrdn,” for “court guardian.” In the past twelve years, she had been a guardian for some four hundred wards of the court. Owing to age or disability, they had been deemed incompetent, a legal term that describes those who are unable to make reasoned choices about their lives or their property. As their guardian, Parks had the authority to manage their assets, and to choose where they lived, whom they associated with, and what medical treatment they received. They lost nearly all their civil rights.

 

Without realizing it, the Norths had become temporary wards of the court. Parks had filed an emergency ex-parte petition, which provides an exception to the rule that both parties must be notified of any argument before a judge. She had alleged that the Norths posed a “substantial risk for mismanagement of medications, financial loss and physical harm.” She submitted a brief letter from a physician’s assistant, whom Rennie had seen once, stating that “the patient’s husband can no longer effectively take care of the patient at home as his dementia is progressing.” She also submitted a letter from one of Rudy’s doctors, who described him as “confused and agitated.”

 

The Illuminati of the Subway

 

Rudy and Rennie had not undergone any cognitive assessments. They had never received a diagnosis of dementia. In addition to Freud, Rudy was working his way through Nietzsche and Plato. Rennie read romance novels.

 

Parks told the Norths that if they didn’t come willingly an ambulance would take them to the facility, a place she described as a “respite.” Still crying, Rennie put cosmetics and some clothes into a suitcase. She packed so quickly that she forgot her cell phone and Rudy’s hearing aid. After thirty-five minutes, Parks’s assistant led the Norths to her car. When a neighbor asked what was happening, Rudy told him, “We’ll just be gone for a little bit.” He was too proud to draw attention to their predicament. “Just think of it as a mini-vacation,” he told Rennie.

 

After the Norths left, Parks walked through the house with Cindy Breck, the owner of Caring Transitions, a company that relocates seniors and sells their belongings at estate sales. Breck and Parks had a routine. “We open drawers,” Parks said at a deposition. “We look in closets. We pull out boxes, anything that would store—that would keep paperwork, would keep valuables.” She took a pocket watch, birth certificates, insurance policies, and several collectible coins.

 

The Norths’ daughter, Julie Belshe, came to visit later that afternoon. A fifty-three-year-old mother of three sons, she and her husband run a small business designing and constructing pools. She lived ten miles away and visited her parents nearly every day, often taking them to her youngest son’s football games. She was her parents’ only living child; her brother and sister had died.

 

She knocked on the front door several times and then tried to push the door open, but it was locked. She was surprised to see the kitchen window closed; her parents always left it slightly open. She drove to the Sun City Aliante clubhouse, where her parents sometimes drank coffee. When she couldn’t find them there, she thought that perhaps they had gone on an errand together—the farthest they usually drove was to Costco. But, when she returned to the house, it was still empty.

 

That weekend, she called her parents several times. She also called two hospitals to see if they had been in an accident. She called their landlord, too, and he agreed to visit the house. He reported that there were no signs of them. She told her husband, “I think someone kidnapped my parents.”

 

On the Tuesday after Labor Day, she drove to the house again and found a note taped to the door: “In case of emergency, contact guardian April Parks.” Belshe dialled [sic] the number. Parks, who had a brisk, girlish way of speaking, told Belshe that her parents had been taken to Lakeview Terrace, an assisted-living facility in Boulder City, nine miles from the Arizona border. She assured Belshe that the staff there would take care of all their needs.

 

“You can’t just walk into somebody’s home and take them!” Belshe told her.

 

Parks responded calmly, “It’s legal. It’s legal.”

 

Guardianship derives from the state’s parens patriae power, its duty to act as a parent for those considered too vulnerable to care for themselves. “The King shall have the custody of the lands of natural fools, taking the profits of them without waste or destruction, and shall find them their necessaries,” reads the English statute De Prerogative Regis, from 1324. The law was imported to the colonies—guardianship is still controlled by state, not federal, law—and has remained largely intact for the past eight hundred years. It establishes a relationship between ward and guardian that is rooted in trust.

 

In the United States, a million and a half adults are under the care of guardians, either family members or professionals, who control some two hundred and seventy-three billion dollars in assets, according to an auditor for the guardianship fraud program in Palm Beach County. Little is known about the outcome of these arrangements, because states do not keep complete figures on guardianship cases—statutes vary widely—and, in most jurisdictions, the court records are sealed. A Government Accountability report from 2010 said, “We could not locate a single Web site, federal agency, state or local entity, or any other organization that compiles comprehensive information on this issue.” A study published this year by the American Bar Association found that “an unknown number of adults languish under guardianship” when they no longer need it, or never did. The authors wrote that “guardianship is generally “permanent, leaving no way out—‘until death do us part.’”

 

When the Norths were removed from their home, they joined nearly nine thousand adult wards in the Las Vegas Valley. In the past twenty years, the city has promoted itself as a retirement paradise. Attracted by the state’s low taxes and a dry, sunny climate, elderly people leave their families behind to resettle in newly constructed senior communities. “The whole town sparkled, pulling older people in with the prospect of the American Dream at a reasonable price,” a former real-estate agent named Terry Williams told me. Roughly thirty per cent of the people who move to Las Vegas are senior citizens, and the number of Nevadans older than eighty-five has risen by nearly eighty per cent in the past decade.

 

In Nevada, as in many states, anyone can become a guardian by taking a course, as long as he or she has not been convicted of a felony or recently declared bankruptcy. Elizabeth Brickfield, a Las Vegas lawyer who has worked in guardianship law for twenty years, said that about fifteen years ago, as the state’s elderly population swelled, “all these private guardians started arriving, and the docket exploded. The court became a factory.”

 

Pamela Teaster, the director of the Center for Gerontology at Virginia Tech and one of the few scholars in the country who study guardianship, told me that, though most guardians assume their duties for good reasons, the guardianship system is “a morass, a total mess.” She said, “It is unconscionable that we don’t have any data, when you think about the vast power given to a guardian. It is one of society’s most drastic interventions.”

 

After talking to Parks, Belshe drove forty miles to Lakeview Terrace, a complex of stucco buildings designed to look like a hacienda. She found her parents in a small room with a kitchenette and a window overlooking the parking lot. Rennie was in a wheelchair beside the bed, and Rudy was curled up on a love seat in the fetal position. There was no phone in the room. Medical-alert buttons were strung around their necks. “They were like two lost children,” Belshe said.

 

If we can’t find all the ingredients, we’ll just make something horrible.”

 

She asked her parents who Parks was and where she could find the court order, but, she said, “they were overwhelmed and humiliated, and they didn’t know what was going on.” They had no idea how or why Parks had targeted them as wards. Belshe was struck by their passive acceptance. “It was like they had Stockholm syndrome or something,” she told me.

 

Belshe acknowledged that her parents needed a few hours of help each day, but she had never questioned their ability to live alone. “They always kept their house really nice and clean, like a museum,” she said. Although Rudy’s medical records showed that he occasionally had “staring spells,” all his medical-progress notes from 2013 described him as alert and oriented. He did most of the couple’s cooking and shopping, because Rennie, though lucid, was in so much pain that she rarely left the house. Belshe sometimes worried that her father inadvertently encouraged her mother to be docile: “She’s a very smart woman, though she sometimes acts like she’s not. I have to tell her, ‘That’s not cute, Mom.’”

 

When Belshe called Parks to ask for the court order, Parks told her that she was part of the “sandwich generation,” and that it would be too overwhelming for her to continue to care for her children and her parents at the same time. Parks billed her wards’ estates for each hour that she spent on their case; the court placed no limits on guardians’ fees, as long as they appeared “reasonable.” Later, when Belshe called again to express her anger, Parks charged the Norths twenty-four dollars for the eight-minute conversation. “I could not understand what the purpose of the call was other than she wanted me to know they had rights,” Parks wrote in a detailed invoice. “I terminated the phone call as she was very hostile and angry.”

 

A month after removing the Norths from their house, Parks petitioned to make the guardianship permanent. She was represented by an attorney who was paid four hundred dollars an hour by the Norths’ estate. A hearing was held at Clark County Family Court.

 

The Clark County guardianship commissioner, a lawyer named Jon Norheim, has presided over nearly all the guardianship cases in the county since 2005. He works under the supervision of a judge, but his orders have the weight of a formal ruling. Norheim awarded a guardianship to Parks, on average, nearly once a week. She had up to a hundred wards at a time. “I love April Parks,” he said at one hearing, describing her and two other professional guardians, who frequently appeared in his courtroom, as “wonderful, good-hearted, social-worker types.”

 

Norheim’s court perpetuated a cold, unsentimental view of family relations: the ingredients for a good life seemed to have little to do with one’s children and siblings. He often dismissed the objections of relatives, telling them that his only concern was the best interest of the wards, which he seemed to view in a social vacuum. When siblings fought over who would be guardian, Norheim typically ordered a neutral professional to assume control, even when this isolated the wards from their families.

 

Rudy had assured Belshe that he would protest the guardianship, but, like most wards in the country, Rudy and Rennie were not represented by counsel. As Rudy stood before the commissioner, he convinced himself that guardianship offered him and Rennie a lifetime of care without being a burden to anyone they loved. He told Norheim, “The issue really is her longevity—what suits her.” Belshe, who sat in the courtroom, said, “I was shaking my head. No, no, no—don’t do that!” Rennie was silent.

 

Norheim ordered that the Norths become permanent wards of the court. “Chances are, I’ll probably never see you folks again; you’ll work everything out,” he said, laughing. “I very rarely see people after the initial time in court.” The hearing lasted ten minutes.

 

The following month, Even Tide Life Transitions, a company that Parks often hired, sold most of the Norths’ belongings. “The general condition of this inventory is good,” an appraiser wrote. Two lithographs by Renoir were priced at thirty-eight hundred dollars, and a glass cocktail table (“Client states that it is a Brancusi design”) was twelve hundred and fifty dollars. The Norths also had several pastel drawings by their son, Randy, who died in a motorcycle accident at the age of thirty-two, as well as Kachina dolls, a Bose radio, a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a Peruvian tapestry, a motion-step exerciser, a LeRoy Neiman sketch of a bar in Dublin, and two dozen pairs of Clarke shoes. According to Parks’s calculations, the Norths had roughly fifty thousand dollars. Parks transferred their savings, held at the Bank of America, to an account in her name.

 

Rennie repeatedly asked for her son’s drawings, and for the family photographs on her refrigerator. Rudy pined for his car, a midnight-blue 2010 Chrysler, which came to symbolize the life he had lost. He missed the routine interactions that driving had allowed him. “Everybody at the pharmacy was my buddy,” he said. Now he and Rennie felt like exiles. Rudy said, “They kept telling me, ‘Oh, you don’t have to worry: your car is fine, and this and that.’” A month later, he said, “they finally told me, ‘Actually, we sold your car.’ I said, ‘What in the hell did you sell it for?’” It was bought for less than eight thousand dollars, a price that Rudy considered insulting.

 

Rudy lingered in the dining room after eating breakfast each morning, chatting with other residents of Lakeview Terrace. He soon discovered that ten other wards of April Parks lived there. His next-door neighbor, Adolfo Gonzalez, a short, bald seventy-one-year-old who had worked as a maître d’ at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, had become Parks’s ward at a hearing that lasted a minute and thirty-one seconds.

 

Gonzalez, who had roughly three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in assets, urged Rudy not to accept the nurse’s medications. “If you take the pills, they’ll make sure you don’t make it to court,” he said. Gonzalez had been prescribed the antipsychotic medications Risperdal and Depakote, which he hid in the side of his mouth without swallowing. He wanted to remain vigilant. He often spoke of a Salvador Dali painting that had been lost when Parks took over his life. Once, she charged him two hundred and ten dollars for a visit in which, according to her invoice, he expressed that “he feels like a prisoner.”

 

Rudy was so distressed by his conversations with Gonzalez that he asked to see a psychologist. “I thought maybe he’d give me some sort of objective learning as to what I was going through,” he said. “I wanted to ask basic questions, like What the hell is going on?” Rudy didn’t find the session illuminating, but he felt a little boost to his self-esteem when the psychologist asked that he return for a second appointment. “I guess he found me terribly charming,” he told me.

 

Rudy liked to fantasize about an alternative life as a psychoanalyst, and he tried to befriend the wards who seemed especially hopeless. “Loneliness is a physical pain that hurts all over,” he wrote in his notebook. He bought a pharmaceutical encyclopedia and advised the other wards about medications they’d been prescribed. He also ran for president of the residents, promising that under his leadership the kitchen would no longer advertise canned food as homemade. (He lost—he’s not sure if anyone besides Rennie voted for him—but he did win a seat on the residents’ council.)

 

He was particularly concerned about a ward of Parks’s named Marlene Homer, a seventy-year-old woman who had been a professor. “Now she was almost hiding behind the pillars,” Rudy said. “She was so obsequious. She was, like, ‘Run me over. Run me over.’” She’d become a ward in 2012, after Parks told the court, “She has admitted to strange thoughts, depression, and doing things she can’t explain.” On a certificate submitted to the court, an internist had checked a box indicating that Homer was “unable to attend the guardianship court hearing because______,” but he didn’t fill in a reason.

 

I’m ashamed of it all, to be honest.”

 

The Norths could guess which residents were Parks’s wards by the way they were dressed. Gonzalez wore the same shirt to dinner nearly every day. “Forgive me,” he told the others at his table. When a friend tried to take him shopping, Parks prevented the excursion because she didn’t know the friend. Rennie had also tried to get more clothes. “I reminded ward that she has plenty of clothing in her closet,” Parks wrote. “I let her know that they are on a tight budget.” The Norths’ estate was charged a hundred and eighty dollars for the conversation.

 

Another resident, Barbara Neely, a fifty-five-year-old with schizophrenia, repeatedly asked Parks to buy her outfits for job interviews. She was applying for a position with the Department of Education. After Neely’s third week at Lakeview Terrace, Parks’s assistant sent Parks a text. “Can you see Barbara Neely anytime this week?” she wrote. “She has questions on the guardianship and how she can get out of it.” Parks responded, “I can and she can’t.” Neely had been in the process of selling her house, for a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars, when Parks became her guardian and took charge of the sale.

 

The rationale for the guardianship of Norbert Wilkening, who lived on the bottom floor of the facility, in the memory-care ward, for people with dementia (“the snake pit,” Rudy called it), was also murky. Parks’s office manager, who advertised himself as a “Qualified Dementia Care Specialist”—a credential acquired through video training sessions—had given Wilkening a “Mini-Mental State Examination,” a list of eleven questions and tasks, including naming as many animals as possible in a minute. Wilkening had failed. His daughter, Amy, told me, “I didn’t see anything that was happening to him other than a regular getting-older process, but when I was informed by all these people that he had all these problems I was, like, Well, maybe I’m just in denial. I’m not a professional.” She said that Parks was “so highly touted. By herself, by the social workers, by the judge, by everyone that knew her.”

 

At a hearing, when Amy complained to Norheim that Parks didn’t have time for her father, he replied, “Yeah, she’s an industry at this point.”

 

As Belshe spoke to more wards and their families, she began to realize that Lakeview Terrace was not the only place where wards were lodged, and that Parks was not the only guardian removing people from their homes for what appeared to be superficial reasons. Hundreds of cases followed the same pattern. It had become routine for guardians in Clark County to petition for temporary guardianship on an ex-parte basis. They told the court that they had to intervene immediately because the ward faced a medical emergency that was only vaguely described: he or she was demented or disoriented, and at risk of exploitation or abuse. The guardians attached a brief physician’s certificate that contained minimal details and often stated that the ward was too incapacitated to attend a court hearing. Debra Bookout, an attorney at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, told me, “When a hospital or rehab facility needs to free up a bed, or when the patient is not paying his bills, some doctors get sloppy, and they will sign anything.” A recent study conducted by Hunter College found that a quarter of guardianship petitions in New York were brought by nursing homes and hospitals, sometimes as a means of collecting on overdue bills.

 

It often took several days for relatives to realize what had happened. When they tried to contest the guardianship or become guardians themselves, they were dismissed as unsuitable, and disparaged in court records as being neglectful, or as drug addicts, gamblers, and exploiters. (Belshe was described by Parks as a “reported addict” who “has no contact with the proposed ward,” an allegation that Belshe didn’t see until it was too late to challenge.) Family who lived out of state were disqualified from serving as guardians, because the law prohibited the appointment of anyone who didn’t live in Nevada.

 

Once the court approved the guardianship, the wards were often removed from their homes, which were eventually sold. Terry Williams, whose father’s estate was taken over by strangers even though he’d named her the executor of his will, has spent years combing through guardianship, probate, and real-estate records in Clark County. “I kept researching, because I was so fascinated that these people could literally take over the lives and assets of people under color of law, in less than ten minutes, and nobody was asking questions,” she told me. “These people spent their lives accumulating wealth and, in a blink of an eye, it was someone else’s.”

 

Williams has reviewed hundreds of cases involving Jared Shafer, who is considered the godfather of guardians in Nevada. In the records room of the courthouse, she was afraid to say Shafer’s name out loud. In the course of his thirty-five-year career, Shafer has assumed control of more than three thousand wards and estates and trained a generation of guardians. In 1979, he became the county’s public administrator, handling the estates of people who had no relatives in Nevada, as well as the public guardian, serving wards when no family members or private guardians were available. In 2003, he left government and founded his own private guardianship and fiduciary business; he transferred the number of his government-issued phone to himself.

 

Williams took records from Shafer’s and other guardians’ cases to the Las Vegas police department several times. She tried to explain, she said, that “this is a racketeering operation that is fee-based. There’s no brown paper bag handed off in an alley. The payoff is the right to bill the estate.” The department repeatedly told her that it was a civil issue, and refused to take a report. In 2006, she submitted a typed statement, listing twenty-three statutes that she thought had been violated, but an officer wrote in the top right corner, “not a police matter.” Adam Woodrum, an estate lawyer in Las Vegas, told me that he’s worked with several wards and their families who have brought their complaints to the police. “They can’t even get their foot in the door,” he said.

 

Acting as her own attorney, Williams filed a racketeering suit in federal court against Shafer and the lawyers who represented him. At a hearing before the United States District Court of Central California in 2009, she told the judge, “They are trumping up ways and means to deem people incompetent and take their assets.” The case was dismissed. “The scheme is ingenious,” she told me. “How do you come up with a crime that literally none of the victims can articulate without sounding like they’re nuts? The same insane allegations keep surfacing from people who don’t know each other.”

 

In 2002, in a petition to the Clark County District Court, a fifty-seven-year-old man complained that his mother had lost her constitutional rights because her kitchen was understocked and a few bills hadn’t been paid. The house they shared was then placed on the market. The son wrote, “If the only showing necessary to sell the home right out from under someone is that their ‘estate’ would benefit, then no house in Clark County is safe, nor any homeowner.” Under the guise of benevolent paternalism, guardians seemed to be creating a kind of capitalist dystopia: people’s quality of life was being destroyed in order to maximize their capital.

 

When Concetta Mormon, a wealthy woman who owned a Montessori school, became Shafer’s ward because she had aphasia, Shafer sold the school midyear, even though students were enrolled. At a hearing after the sale, Mormon’s daughter, Victoria Cloutier, constantly spoke out of turn. The judge, Robert Lueck, ordered that she be handcuffed and placed in a holding cell while the hearing continued. Two hours later, when Cloutier was allowed to return for the conclusion, the judge told her that she had thirty days in which to vacate her mother’s house. If she didn’t leave, she would be evicted and her belongings would be taken to Goodwill.

 

The opinions of wards were also disregarded. In 2010, Guadalupe Olvera, a ninety-year-old veteran of the Second World War, repeatedly asked that his daughter and not Shafer be appointed his guardian. “The ward is not to go to court,” Shafer instructed his assistants. When Olvera was finally permitted to attend a hearing, nearly a year after becoming a ward, he expressed his desire to live with his daughter in California, rather than under Shafer’s care. “Why is everybody against that?” he asked Norheim. “I don’t need that man.” Although Nevada’s guardianship law requires that courts favor relatives over professionals, Norheim continued the guardianship, saying, “The priority ship sailed.”

 

When Olvera’s daughter eventually defied the court’s orders and took her father to live at her seaside home in Northern California, Norheim’s supervisor, Judge Charles Hoskin, issued an arrest warrant for her “immediate arrest and incarceration” without bail. The warrant was for contempt of court, but Norheim said at least five times from the bench that she had “kidnapped” Olvera. At a hearing, Norheim acknowledged that he wasn’t able to send an officer across state lines to arrest the daughter. Shafer said, “Maybe I can.”

 

Shafer held so much sway in the courtroom that, in 2013, when an attorney complained that the bank account of a ward named Kristina Berger had “no money left and no records to explain where it went,” Shafer told Norheim, “Close the courtroom.” Norheim immediately complied. A dozen people in attendance were forced to leave.

 

Do you have a seat in business with a view of economy?”

 

One of Shafer’s former bookkeepers, Lisa Clifton, who was hired in 2012, told me that Shafer used to brag about his political connections, saying, “I wrote the laws.” In 1995, he persuaded the Nevada Senate Committee on Government Affairs to write a bill that allowed the county to receive interest on money that the public guardian invested. “This is what I want you to put in the statute, and I will tell you that you will get a rousing hand from a couple of judges who practice our probate,” he said. At another hearing, he asked the committee to write an amendment permitting public guardians to take control of people’s property in five days, without a court order. “This bill is not ‘Big Brother’ if you trust the person who is doing the job,” he said. (After a senator expressed concern that the law allowed “intervention into somebody’s life without establishing some sort of reason why you are doing it,” the committee declined to recommend it.)

 

Clifton observed that Shafer almost always took a cynical view of family members: they were never motivated by love or duty, only by avarice. “‘They just want the money’—that was his answer to everything,” she told me. “And I’m thinking to myself, Well, when family members die they pass it down to their children. Isn’t that just the normal progression of things?”

 

After a few months on the job, Clifton was asked to work as a guardian, substituting for an absent employee, though she had never been trained. Her first assignment was to supervise a visit with a man named Alvin Passer, who was dying in the memory-care unit of a nursing home. His partner of eight years, Olive Manoli, was permitted a brief visit to say goodbye. Her visits had been restricted by Shafer—his lawyer told the court that Passer became “agitated and sexually aggressive” in her presence—and she hadn’t seen Passer in months. In a futile attempt to persuade the court to allow her to be with him, Manoli had submitted a collection of love letters, as well as notes from ten people describing her desire to care for Passer for the rest of his life. “I was absolutely appalled,” Clifton said. “She was this very sweet lady, and I said, ‘Go in there and spend as much time with him as you want.’ Tears were rolling down her cheeks.”

 

The family seemed to have suffered a form of court-sanctioned gaslighting. Passer’s daughter, Joyce, a psychiatric nurse who specialized in geriatrics, had been abruptly removed as her father’s co-guardian, because she appeared “unwilling or (more likely) unable to conduct herself rationally in the Ward’s best interests,” according to motions filed by one of Shafer’s attorneys.

 

She and Manoli had begged Norheim not to appoint Shafer as guardian. “Sir, he’s abusive,” their lawyer said in court.

 

“He’s as good as we got, and I trust him completely,” Norheim responded.

 

Joyce Passer was so confused by the situation that, she said, “I thought I was crazy.” Then she received a call from a blocked number. It was Terry Williams, who did not reveal her identity. She had put together a list of a half-dozen family members who she felt were “ready to receive some kind of verbal support.” She told Passer, “Look, you are not nuts. This is real. Everything you are thinking is true. This has been going on for years.”

 

During Rennie North’s first year at Lakeview Terrace, she gained sixty pounds. Parks had switched the Norths’ insurance, for reasons she never explained, and Rennie began seeing new doctors, who prescribed Valium, Prozac, the sedative Temazepam, Oxycodone, and Fentanyl. The doses steadily increased. Rudy, who had hip pain, was prescribed Oxycodone and Valium. When he sat down to read, the sentences floated past his eyes or appeared in duplicate. “Ward seemed very tired and his eyes were glassy,” Parks wrote in an invoice.

 

Belshe found it increasingly hard to communicate with her parents, who napped for much of the day. “They were being overmedicated to the point where they weren’t really there,” she said. The Norths’ grandsons, who used to see them every week, rarely visited. “It was degrading for them to see us so degraded,” Rudy said. Parks noticed that Rennie was acting helpless, and urged her to “try harder to be more motivated and not be so dependent on others.” Rudy and Rennie began going to Sunday church services at the facility, even though they were Jewish. Rudy was heartened by what he heard in the pastor’s message: “Don’t give up. God will help you get out of here.” He began telling people, “We are living the life of Job.”

 

At the end of 2014, Lakeview Terrace hired a new director, Julie Liebo, who resisted Parks’s orders that medical information about wards be kept from their families. Liebo told me, “The families were devastated that they couldn’t know if the residents were in surgery or hear anything about their health. They didn’t understand why they’d been taken out of the picture. They’d ask, ‘Can you just tell me if she’s alive?’” Liebo tried to comply with the rules, because she didn’t want to violate medical-privacy laws; as guardian, Parks was entitled to choose what was disclosed. Once, though, Liebo took pity on the sister of an eighty-year-old ward named Dorothy Smith, who was mourning a dog that Parks had given away, and told her that Smith was stable. Liebo said that Parks, who was by then the secretary of the Nevada Guardianship Association, called her immediately. “She threatened my license and said she could have me arrested,” Liebo told me.

 

After Liebo arrived, Parks began removing wards from Lakeview Terrace with less than a day’s notice. A woman named Linda Phillips, who had dementia, was told that she was going to the beauty salon. She never returned. Marlene Homer, the ward whose ailments were depression and “strange thoughts,” was taken away in a van, screaming. Liebo had asked the state ombudsman to come to the facility and stop the removals, but nothing could be done. “We stood there completely helpless,” Liebo said. “We had no idea where they were going.” Liebo said that other wards asked her if they would be next.

 

Liebo alerted the compliance officer for the Clark County Family Court that Parks was removing residents “without any concern for them and their choice to stay here.” She also reported her complaints to the police, the Department of Health Services, the Bureau of Health Care, and Nevada Adult Protective Services. She said each agency told her that it didn’t have the authority or the jurisdiction to intervene.

 

At the beginning of 2015, Parks told the Norths that they would be leaving Lakeview Terrace. “Finances are low and the move is out of our control,” Parks wrote. It was all arranged so quickly that, Rudy said, “we didn’t have time to say goodbye to people we’d been eating with for seventeen months.” Parks arranged for Caring Transitions to move them to the Wentworth, a less expensive assisted-living facility. Liebo said that, the night before the move, Rudy began “shouting about the Holocaust, that this was like being in Nazi Germany.” Liebo didn’t think the reference was entirely misguided. “He reverted to a point where he had no rights as a human being,” she said. “He was no longer the caregiver, the man, the husband—all of the things that gave his life meaning.” Liebo also didn’t understand why Belshe had been marginalized. “She seemed like she had a great relationship with her parents,” she said.

 

Belshe showed up at 9 a.m. to help her parents with the move, but when she arrived Parks’s assistant, Heidi Kramer, told her that her parents had already left. Belshe “emotionally crashed,” as Liebo put it. She yelled that her parents didn’t even wake up until nine or later—what was the rush? In an invoice, Kramer wrote that Belshe “began to yell and scream, her behavior was out of control, she was taking pictures and yelling, ‘April Parks is a thief.’” Kramer called the police. Liebo remembers that an officer “looked at Julie Belshe and told her she had no rights, and she didn’t.”

 

Belshe cried as she drove to the Wentworth, in Las Vegas. When she arrived, Parks was there, and refused to let her see her parents. Parks wrote, “I told her that she was too distraught to see her parents, and that she needed to leave.” Belshe wouldn’t, so Parks asked the receptionist to call the police. When the police arrived, Belshe told them, “I just want to hug my parents and make sure they’re O.K.” An officer handed her a citation for trespassing, saying that if she returned to the facility she would be arrested.

 

I don’t like the way women are portrayed in the constellations.”

 

Parks wrote that the Norths were “very happy with the new room and thanked us several times,” but Rudy remembers feeling as if he had “ended up in the sewer.” Their room was smaller than the one at Lakeview Terrace, and the residents at the Wentworth seemed older and sicker. “There were people sitting in their chairs, half-asleep,” Rudy said. “Their tongues hung out.”

 

Rennie spent nearly all her time in her wheelchair or in bed, her eyes half-closed. Her face had become bloated. One night, she was so agitated that the nurses gave her Haldol, a drug commonly used to treat schizophrenia. When Rudy asked her questions, Rennie said “What?” in a soft, remote voice.

 

Shortly after her parents’ move, Belshe called an editor of the Vegas Voice, a newspaper distributed to all the mailboxes in senior communities in Las Vegas. In recent months, the paper had published three columns warning readers about Clark County guardians, writing that they “have been lining their pockets at the expense of unwitting seniors for a very long time.”

 

At Belshe’s urging, the paper’s political editor, Rana Goodman, visited the Norths, and published an article in the Voice, describing Rudy as “the most articulate, soft spoken person I have met in a very long time.” She called Clark County’s guardianship system a “(legal) elder abuse racket” and urged readers to sign a petition demanding that the Nevada legislature reform the laws. More than three thousand people signed.

 

Two months later, the Review-Journal ran an investigation, titled “Clark County’s Private Guardians May Protect—Or Just Steal and Abuse,” which described complaints against Shafer going back to the early eighties, when two of his employees were arrested for stealing from the estates of dead people.

 

In May 2015, a month after the article appeared, when the Norths went to court to discuss their finances local journalists were in the courtroom and Norheim seemed chastened. “I have grave concerns about this case,” he said. He noted that Parks had sold the Norths’ belongings without proper approval from his court. Parks had been doing this routinely for years, and, according to her, the court had always accepted her accounting and her fees. Her lawyer, Aileen Cohen, said, “Everything was done for the wards’ benefit, to support the wards.”

 

Norheim announced that he was suspending Parks as the Norths’ guardian—the first time she had been removed from a case for misconduct.

 

“This is important,” Rudy, who was wearing a double-breasted suit, said in court. “This is hope. I am coming here and I have hope.” He quoted the Bible, Thomas Jefferson, and Euripides, until Belshe finally touched his elbow and said, “Just sit down, Dad.”

 

When Rudy apologized for being “overzealous,” Norheim told him, “This is your life. This is your liberty. You have every right to be here. You have every right to be involved in this project.”

 

After the hearing, Parks texted her husband, “I am finished.”

 

Last March, Parks and her lawyer, along with her office manager and her husband, were indicted for perjury and theft, among other charges. The indictment was narrowly focussed [sic] on their double billings and their sloppy accounting, but, in a detailed summary of the investigation, Jaclyn O’Malley, who led the probe for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, made passing references to the “collusion of hospital social workers and medical staff” who profited from their connection to Parks. At Parks’s grand-jury trial, her assistant testified that she and Parks went to hospitals and attorneys’ offices for the purpose of “building relationships to generate more client leads.” Parks secured a contract with six medical facilities whose staff agreed to refer patients to her—an arrangement that benefitted the facilities, since Parks controlled the decisions of a large pool of their potential consumers. Parks often gave doctors blank certificates and told them exactly what to write in order for their patients to become her wards.

 

Parks and other private guardians appeared to gravitate toward patients who had considerable assets. O’Malley described a 2010 case in which Parks, after receiving a tip from a social worker, began “cold-calling” rehabilitation centers, searching for a seventy-nine-year-old woman, Patricia Smoak, who had nearly seven hundred thousand dollars and no children. Parks finally found her, but Smoak’s physician wouldn’t sign a certificate of incapacity. “The doctor is not playing ball,” Parks wrote to her lawyer. She quickly found a different doctor to sign the certificate, and Norheim approved the guardianship. (Both Parks and Norheim declined to speak with me.)

 

Steve Miller, a former member of the Las Vegas City Council, said he assumed that Shafer would be the next indictment after Parks, who is scheduled to go to trial next spring. “All of the disreputable guardians were taking clues from the Shafer example,” he said. But, as the months passed, “I started to think that this has run its course locally. Only federal intervention is going to give us peace of mind.”

 

Richard Black, who, after his father-in-law was placed into guardianship, became the director of a grassroots national organization, Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship, said that he considered the Parks indictment “irrefutably shallow. It sent a strong message of: We’re not going to go after the real leaders of this, only the easy people, the ones who were arrogant and stupid enough to get caught.” He works with victims in dozens of what he calls “hot spots,” places where guardianship abuse is prevalent, often because they attract retirees: Palm Beach, Sarasota, Naples, Albuquerque, San Antonio. He said that the problems in Clark County are not unusual. “The only thing that is unique is that Clark County is one of the few jurisdictions that doesn’t seal its records, so we can see what is going on.”

 

Approximately ten per cent of people older than sixty-five are thought to be victims of “elder abuse”—a construct that has yet to enter public consciousness, as child abuse has—but such cases are seldom prosecuted. People who are frail or dying don’t make good witnesses—a fact that Shafer once emphasized at a 1990 U.S. congressional hearing on crimes against the elderly, in which he appeared as an expert at preventing exploitation. “Seniors do not like to testify,” he said, adding that they were either incapable or “mesmerized by the person ripping them off.” He said, “The exploitation of seniors is becoming a real cottage industry right now. This is a good business. Seniors are unable to fend for themselves.”

 

And The Crowd Roars

 

In the past two years, Nevada has worked to reform its guardianship system through a commission, appointed by the Nevada Supreme Court, to study failures in oversight. In 2018, the Nevada legislature will enact a new law that entitles all wards to be represented by lawyers in court. But the state seems reluctant to reckon with the roots of the problem, as well as with its legacy: a generation of ill and elderly people who were deprived of their autonomy, and also of their families, in the final years of their lives. Last spring, a man bought a storage unit in Henderson, Nevada, and discovered twenty-seven urns—the remains of Clark County wards who had never been buried.

 

In the wake of Parks’s indictment, no judges have lost their jobs. Norheim was transferred from guardianship court to dependency court, where he now oversees cases involving abused and neglected children. Shafer is still listed in the Clark County court system as a trustee and as an administrator in several open cases. He did not respond to multiple e-mails and messages left with his bookkeeper, who answered his office phone but would not say whether he was still in practice. He did appear at one of the public meetings for the commission appointed to analyze flaws in the guardianship system. “What started all of this was me,” he said. Then he criticized local media coverage of the issue and said that a television reporter, whom he’d talked to briefly, didn’t know the facts. “The system works,” Shafer went on. “It’s not the guardians you have to be aware of, it’s more family members.” He wore a blue polo shirt, untucked, and his head was shaved. He looked aged, his arms dotted with sun spots, but he spoke confidently and casually. “The only person you folks should be thinking about when you change things is the ward. It’s their money, it’s their life, it’s their time. The family members don’t count.”

 

Belshe is resigned to the fact that she will be supporting her parents for the rest of their lives. Parks spent all the Norths’ money on fees—the hourly wages for her, her assistants, her lawyers, and the various contractors she hired—as well as on their monthly bills, which doubled under her guardianship. Belshe guesses that Parks—or whichever doctor or social worker referred her to the Norths—had assumed that her parents were wealthier than they actually were. Rudy often talked vaguely about deals he had once made in China. “He exaggerates, so he won’t feel emasculated,” Belshe said. “He wasn’t such a big businessman, but he was a great dad.”

 

The Norths now live in what used to be Belshe’s home office; it has a window onto the living room which Belshe has covered with a tarp. Although the room is tiny, the Norths can fit most of their remaining belongings into it: a small lamp with teardrop crystals, a deflated love seat, and two paintings by their son. Belshe rescued the art work, in 2013, after Caring Transitions placed the Norths’ belongings in trash bags at the edge of their driveway. “My brother’s paintings were folded and smelled,” she said.

 

The Norths’ bed takes up most of the room, and operates as their little planet. They rarely stray far from it. They lie in bed playing cards or sit against the headboard, reading or watching TV. Rudy’s notebooks are increasingly focussed [sic] on mortality—“Death may be pleasurable”—and money. “Money monsters do well in this society,” he wrote. “All great fortunes began with a crime.” He creates lists of all the possessions he has lost, some of which he may be imagining: over time, Rennie’s wardrobe has become increasingly elaborate and refined, as have their sets of China. He alternates between feeling that his belongings are nothing—a distraction from the pursuit of meaning—and everything. “It’s an erasure,” he said. “They erase you from the face of the earth.” He told me a few times that he was a distant cousin of Leon Trotsky, “intellect of the revolution,” as he called him, and I wondered whether his newfound pride was connected to his conflicted feelings about the value of material objects.

 

A few months after the Norths were freed, Rudy talked on the phone with Adolfo Gonzalez, his neighbor from Lakeview Terrace, who, after a doctor found him competent, had also been discharged. He now lived in a house near the airport, and had been reunited with several of his pets. The two men congratulated each other. “We survived!” Rudy said. “We never thought we’d see each other on the other side.” Three other wards from Lakeview Terrace had died.

 

Rennie has lost nearly all the weight she gained at Lakeview Terrace, mostly because Belshe and her husband won’t let her lounge in her wheelchair or eat starchy foods. Now she uses a walker, which she makes self-deprecating jokes about. “This is fun—I can teach you!” she told me.

 

In July, Rennie slipped in the bathroom and spent a night in the hospital. Belshe didn’t want anyone to know about her mother’s fall, because, she said, “this is the kind of thing that gets you into guardianship.” She told me, “I feel like these people are just waiting in the bushes.”

 

Two days after the fall, Rennie was feeling better—she’d had thirteen stitches—but she was still agitated by a dream she had in the hospital. She wasn’t even sure if she’d been asleep; she remembers talking, and her eyes were open.

 

“You were loopedy-doopy,” Scott Belshe, Julie’s husband, told her. They were sitting on the couch in their living room.

 

“It was real,” Rennie said.

 

“You dreamed it,” Scott told her.

 

“Maybe I was hallucinating,” she said. “I don’t know—I was scared.” She said that strangers were making decisions about her fate. She felt as if she were frozen: she couldn’t influence what was happening. “I didn’t know what to do,” she told Scott. “I think I yelled for help. Help me.” The worst part, she said, was that she couldn’t find her family. “Honest to God, I thought you guys left me all alone.” ♦

____________________

This article appears in the print edition of the October 9, 2017, issue, with the headline “The Takeover.”

 

Rachel Aviv joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 2013.

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Republicans Break Faith With America


I believe medical insurance reform is essential. I also believe the Obama/Dem effort at reform was a debacle of lies to Americans. Obamacare/ACA must be completely scraped to rebuild an actual affordable medical insurance plan. Justin Smith has the critique.

 

JRH 10/2/17

Please Support NCCR

**************

Republicans Break Faith With America

A System Going South

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 10/1/2017 1:23 AM

 

Americans need insurance plans that translate into real affordable health care and solutions for the mess created by Obamacare, which cannot be found in more Republican nonsense and Obamacare Lite bills, like Graham-Cassidy. More spending and continued regulation only moves America one-step closer to a nationalized single-payer health care system, and if Republicans truly believe Obamacare has harmed America, as often asserted, they have a duty to revitalize the free market segment of health care insurance, through a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

 

No matter how many welfare dollars Congress pours into these fabricated markets or any amount of price fixing they set, the exchanges are unsustainable, and Graham-Cassidy offered a permanent drain on this already strained system and the U.S. treasury. It also added a $700 billion dollar deficit next year to America’s $20 trillion dollar debt, without repealing a single Obamacare insurance regulation.

 

The only real solutions exist in a clean slate and a full repeal of Obamacare, ripping it up by the roots. At least a full repeal would save over a trillion dollars in spending over the next decade, instead of trying to save pennies on the dollar and leaving a poor health care system largely intact, through a bad bill like Graham-Cassidy.

 

Fortunately, Graham-Cassidy failed to be presented for a vote in the Senate, during the last week in September. It failed, after Susan Collins (R-ME), John McCain (R-AZ) and Rand Paul (R-KY) made it clear they would vote “no”, keeping it from the 51-vote threshold in a reconciliation vote.

 

Only Senator Rand Paul held the moral high ground in his decision. On September 20th, Senator Paul told Real Clear Politics: “That [Graham-Cassidy] is not what I promised voters. I promised repeal [of Obamacare]. … Block granting Obamacare doesn’t make it go away.”

 

Described as “a lousy process”, the New York Times (September 26th, 2017) quoted Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska stating: “The U.S. Senate cannot get the text of a bill on Sunday night, then proceed to a vote just days later, with only one hearing — and especially not on an issue that is intensely personal to all of us.”

 

Senator John McCain complained Republicans should have worked with Democrats, to restructure America’s $3 trillion per year health care system, which is simply asinine, in light of the fact, Obamacare is an entirely Democrat partisan piece of legislation, and it widely restructured a vital part of the national economy. These same Democrats destroyed dozens of governing norms through their lies, and they manipulated the Congressional Budget Score, in order to coerce every American’s participation.

 

Perhaps, once the problems associated with Obamacare compound themselves or Obamacare actually collapses, the Democrats will make an honest effort to compromise on substantive changes, rather than seek more spending and regulatory controls on consumer choice. However, to date, these Commie Travelers have had millions of ideas on how to expand the welfare state and not a single one to save Americans from it.

 

Many Americans should already have the option of circumventing Obamacare through the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). This act enables people to buy inexpensive insurance across state lines, by joining an insurance group or co-op through one’s workplace; and, it proves the U.S. really doesn’t need such an expansive program as Obamacare, which makes people pay for many services they don’t want or need, like abortion.

 

Americans want freedom of choice on their health insurance plans and plans with less comprehensive coverage than Obamacare allows, which would reduce the cost of premiums. They want the expansion of health savings accounts and an end to mandate taxes and penalties. And if possible, most of us would truly appreciate Medicaid reform.

 

Currently, the Alexander-Murray stabilization package offers subsidies to insurance companies to reimburse them for reducing out-of-pocket expenses for low income people and more freedom for sates to restructure their insurance markets. While the Democrats see the subsidy payments as essential, most Republicans, especially in the Freedom Caucus, see the subsidies as bailouts for insurance companies that would prop up Obamacare. Sensible leaders will not readily burn more of the taxpayers’ money in a system going south.

 

President Trump has the full authority to place a sunset deadline on the Obama administration’s unconstitutional subsidy payments, which it created to keep Obamacare from imploding, and he should do so immediately. Let the Democrats howl “sabotage”. There is not any political, policy or moral reason for the GOP to continue the payoffs.

 

The recent request for a twenty-three percent rate hike by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina [Blog Editor: BCBS asked for an updated a reduction to 14.1% 8/2/17] further illuminates the corruption within the current system. The company acknowledges that it would have asked for only an 8.8 percent increase, if President Trump had agreed to fund the federal subsidies through 2018, and so, the U.S. taxpayer gets raked over the coals and robbed blind by Obamacare once more.

 

Premium prices have doubled and quadrupled, and doctors are harder to find. Barack Obama promised Obamacare would boost the economy, but across America, small and large businesses report Obamacare impedes their ability to expand and hire.

 

One must wonder how much of the Republican Party’s reluctance to fully repeal Obamacare lies with lobbyist efforts and donations to Republicans. Records show that between 2011 and 2016, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received a total of $424,650 from Kindred Healthcare, Humana and Blackstone. Sen. Orrin Hatch received $133,500 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Cancer Treatment Centers of America, while Sen. Lamar Alexander took $61,100 from Blue Cross Blue Shield and Community Health Systems in Franklin, Tennessee. And the list goes on.

 

After seven years of promises, where are the voices in the Senate offering passionate arguments for repeal? Where is the unified effort from the Republicans to speak for millions of Americans, who currently suffer under Obamacare’s spiking premiums and decreasing choices? It has all seemingly vanished, since repeal became a possible reality.

 

America’s well-being is more important than any political party’s legacy and any insurance company’s bottom line, and so, Republicans must not allow this abominable and failed Obamacare “law” to be prolonged and continue to hurt the American people in despicable fashion. The next Democratic administration will surely expand its reach and push towards a single-payer system, if it is not soon repealed, as suggested by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT).

 

The Republicans and America really do not have any reason to save a failed Obamacare, and they certainly cannot afford to let it become more entrenched, while it cuts a liberty destroying path through our society. Until Republicans gather the backbone to counter the ACA or fully repeal it, the Republicans have broken faith with the American people.

 

By Justin O. Smith

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All text enclosed by brackets and All source links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

Extreme LGBTQ Minority Crazy Political Clout


John R. Houk

© September 17, 2017

 

The ungodly LGBTQ must be concerned if sentient non-earth people will be offended if a Family/Biblical values person heads NASA. Apparently, the homosexual lobby fears space aliens might be influenced in the space exploration of the final frontier.

 

Rep. Jim Bridenstine’s (R-OK) NASA nomination is being opposed because he is wise enough to not agree with a Gay lifestyle. Of course, the Leftist MSM is lining up behind the godless LGBTQ. How can a group of people who ONLY represent 4.1% of the population (Pew Research 2016) have that kind of political clout? If you can’t agree that the LGBTQ is a special Rights group of people you must be a racist evil homophobe. As if homosexuals are a race of people rather than a group of people that chose a deviant lifestyle.

 

Yup, I said “deviant”. I don’t care if Medical organizations, Psychologist organizations, and/or Psychiatric organizations were essentially pressured decades ago into normalizing homosexuals rather than keeping with their original analysis that same-sex relations is deviant.

 

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) was harassed by political pressure rather than scientific data to end the mental deviancy listing of homosexual practices:

 

They [i.e. Rogers H. Wright and Nicholas A. Cummings] got established and revered practitioners to write chapters which explore these important issues. The following regarding the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in 1973 was written as a matter of verifiable fact:

 

“The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association yielded suddenly and completely to political pressure when in 1973 it removed homosexuality as a treatable aberrant condition. A political firestorm had been created by gay activists within psychiatry, with intense opposition to normalizing homosexuality coming from a few outspoken psychiatrists who were demonized and even threatened, rather than scientifically refuted. Psychiatry’s House of Delegates sidestepped the conflict by putting the matter to a vote of the membership, marking for the first time in the history of healthcare that a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis was decided by popular vote than by scientific evidence”(page 9) The truth on how homosexuality was removed from the DSM by APA – Commentary on Dr Yik’s response to Lawrence Khong; POSTED BY CONCERNEDSGCITIZEN; Homosexuality and Science; 9/14/13

I can’t blame the article writer using a pseudonym. Homosexual activists use both defamation – to shame – and violence – to strike fear – against truth tellers to silence them from the American public.

 

Here is a brief description when science was abandoned for submission to political pressure:

 

  • 1973 – Board of Trustees of The American Psychiatric Association (APA) approves the deletion of homosexuality from the DSM-II and substitutes a diagnosis of “sexual orientation disturbance.” Intense discussion and debate followed.

 

  • On Dec 15 1973, the Board of Trustees of the APA voted to delete homosexuality altogether from the DSM. Opposition from several psychiatrists immediately followed. A referendum on the Board’s decision was called.

 

  • 1974 – the entire membership of the APA was polled for their support or rejection of the Board’s decision. žOf the 10,000 voting members, nearly 40% opposed the Board’s decision to normalize homosexuality. Decision was hardly unanimous. (Controversially, a survey conducted in 1979 asked 10,000 psychiatrists if they felt homosexuality “usually represented a pathological adaptation.” ž69% of respondents said “yes,” and 60% said homosexual men were less capable of “mature, loving relationships” than heterosexual men.)

 

The author of Destructive Trends in mental health was right to conclude:

 

“Diagnosis today in psychology and psychiatry is cluttered with politically correct verbiage, which seemingly has taken precedence over sound professional experience and scientific validation.” (Ibid.)

 

Since the APA barely removed homosexuality as a deviant mental disorder, the American Left and Homosexual Activists were well armed with the needed propaganda to slowly persuade the American public to accept ungodly homosexuality.

 

Even a recent scientific study revealed by Life Site circa November 2016 show homosexuality is not normal:

 

Those who are setting our so-called “values”, such as the small but powerful group of academics, mainstream media, and homosexual activists, do so by attempting to impose strange myths and ideas that have no scientific basis.

 

These myths include the one that homosexuals are “born that way”, can’t change, and must be accepted for “who they are”. Further, those claiming they are a different gender than that with which they were born, i.e. the transgendered, who “feel” they belong to other than their gender at birth, must be accepted as such.

 

The public is supposed to put aside its intelligence and common sense, and respectfully bow collectively in obeisance to these “expert” opinions. These opinions, however, are complete and utter hogwash.

 

… However, the myth-makers attempt to force their nonsense on us by the heavy hand of the law, claiming that it’s “discrimination” to refuse to accept the myths as truth.  Jurisdictions which don’t obey their rulings are economically punished, parents are forbidden to protect their children from the monstrous “bathroom” laws that permit males to use girls’ showers, lockers and change rooms.  It’s all a fraud based on propaganda with no scientific legitimacy.

 

Bombshells Explode The Myths

 

 

The first bombshell was a landmark study published in The Journal – The New Atlantis, (August 23, 2016). The Journal is a well-known journal of science, technology and ethics based in Washington D.C.  This article analysed [sic] the scientific evidence of LGBT issues published to date in scientific journals.

 

… Dr. Mayer stated he supports every sentence in this report without reservation since it is about science and medicine.  He also stated he was alarmed to learn during his review of over 500 scientific articles that the LGBT community bears a disproportionate rate of mental health problems compared to the population as a whole.

 

  • The other author is Dr. Paul McHugh, one of the leading psychiatrists in the world. … These scientists reviewed hundreds of peer reviewed studies on sexual orientation and gender identity from the biological, psychological and social sciences.  Their conclusions were as follows:

 

  • The belief that gender identity is an innate, fixed human property independent of biological sex – so that a person might be a ‘man trapped in a woman’s body’ or ‘a woman trapped in a man’s body’ – is not supported by scientific evidence.

 

  • Only a minority of children who express gender-atypical thoughts or behaviour will continue to do so into adolescence or adulthood. There is no evidencethat all such children should be encouraged to become transgender, much less subjected to hormone treatments or surgery.

 

  • Non-heterosexual and transgender people have higher rates of mental health problems (anxiety, depression, suicide), as well as behavioral and social problems (substance abuse, intimate partner violence), than the general population. Discrimination alone does not account for the entire disparity.

 

The second bombshell was exploded by a top researcher for the American Psychological Association (APA), lesbian activist, Dr. Lisa Diamond, co-author-in-chief of ‘the APA Handbook’ of sexuality and psychology and one of the APA’s most respected members.  She admitted that sexual orientation was “fluid” and not unchangeable.  By doing so, Dr. Diamond confirmed that the myth that “homosexuals can’t change” is now a dead-end theory.  She summarized the relevant findings in a lecture at Cornell University stating that abundant research has now established that sexual orientation – including attraction, behaviour and self-identity – is fluid for both adolescents and adults for both genders. (The LGBT fraud has been exposed, and they’re definitely not happy about it; By Claire Chretien; Life Site News; 11/15/16 1:37 pm EST)

 

The Multiculturalist Left and the lying Homosexual activist-lobbyists have been brainwashing Americans for decades. Even now I am guessing NO one has heard the recent science confirming the brainwashing lies.

 

ERGO, the reality of the Will of God found in His Word shows the purpose of the Creator of one male and one female is the standard He intends for His creation. If God’s Word calls same-sex relations an abomination in His sight, then it is so – Leviticus 18: 22; 20: 13 NKJV:

 

22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

 

13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

 

God in Christ is no less approving –Romans 1: 18-19, 26-27 NKJV:

 

God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness

 

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

 

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

 

And yet, it is not God’s will that any human should perish in eternal separation from His Presence. All humanity is born in a sin nature. That is the reason the Almighty emptied Himself of Divine prerogatives and became fully human to born as a perfect human to be the sacrificial lamb for Adam’s hereditary disobedience.

 

Jesus the infant was conceive in the womb of a human female by the power of the Holy Spirit (not human copulation as the Muslims erroneously believe). The infant Jesus became a man. Jesus as the Son of God and the son of man simultaneously, ministered His Divine purpose for three years then became the Lamb of God dying for humanity’s sin nature so that all that believe in the Resurrection of Jesus are re-united with God Almighty in spirit now and in our resurrection from the dead our natural appearance will be changed spirit, soul and body –Galatians 3: 10-14 NKJV:

 

The Law Brings a Curse

 

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”[a] 11 But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”[b] 12 Yet the law is not of faith, but “the man who does them shall live by them.”[c]

 

13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”[d]), 14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

 

I have no idea how those of the Jewish faith handle the brutal punishments of the Law in this modern era, but for Christians the punished prescribed in the Law in this life has eternally been paid for by the Lamb of God. That includes the numerous sin punishments that is also applied to heterosexuals and as to the subject of this post, those who have made the choice of a homosexual lifestyle.

 

I am fairly certain that homosexual apologists and Leftist Multiculturalists will try to disarm God’s Word by attempting to twist it to bend to human academics to fit their world view. That is unfortunately the problem with Humanist thinking. Humanism intentionally dismisses the Divine paradigm because world order darkness blinds Humanists unable to see the Light of Salvation of Jesus Christ the Son of God/Lamb of God that can Redeem those stuck in Humanist darkness.

 

That is the plus of Rep. Jim Bridenstine, President Trump’s nomination to lead NASA. If Bridenstine is a good Christian, he will not make a person blinded in homosexual darkness suffer for their social choices but rather direct them according to merit. That is probably unlike a virulent homosexual that would make it their life’s aim to persecute a Christian employee for their beliefs with shaming or worse – violence.

 

In essence, the Left and Homosexual activists are actually attempting to utilize a religious test to disqualify Jim Bridenstine from being the next NASA Administrator. I like the observations made by Mark Whittington on the Bridenstine nomination:

 

However, it appears that Bridenstine is being subjected to a religious test for the position that he has been nominated for. Many people oppose some items on the LGBT agenda out of sincere religious conviction. Bridenstine’s private and political beliefs are being used as a disqualifier for becoming head of NASA, even though those views would not affect his conduct as administrator. The space agency has no influence whatsoever on whether or not people of the same sex have the right to marry. That issue was decided by a ruling of the Supreme Court and is now the law of the land.

 

One wonders if these questions are going to come up during the hearings when they finally take place. Bridenstine will likely reply that he will follow the law, as he is obligated to do, and perhaps openly wonder what these issues have to do with returning to the moon and re-establishing American dominance in space. (Now Jim Bridenstine is in trouble with the LGBT community; By Mark Whittington; Blasting News; 9/14/17)

 

The LGBTQ ungodly nuts are trying to same political muscle they used way back in 1973 to disqualify Jim Bridenstine in 2017. The Left-Wing Washington Post actually has a news story of those that are supportive of the Bridenstine nomination largely due to the fact his Congressional record demonstrated a huge support for NASA’s space exploration agenda with the addition of private capital cooperation:

 

 

Bridenstine’s nomination comes as NASA is increasingly relying on the private sector to perform tasks that were once the exclusive domain of the government. …

 

Now, under Trump, the growing private sector is looking to capitalize on its momentum and partner with NASA to go even farther — to the moon and deep space. And it regards Bridenstine as someone who would be good for business.

 

“NASA needs dedicated and inspired leadership, and Representative Bridenstine is an outstanding choice to provide precisely that,” said S. Alan Stern, chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry group representing many space companies and start-ups.

 

The Coalition for Deep Space Exploration, representing many of the big legacy contractors, said it also welcomed the nomination, saying Bridenstine “has been an active and vocal advocate for space on Capitol Hill.”

 

 

NASA is poised to ask the private sector for proposals to develop a lunar lander that could take experiments and cargo to the surface of the moon, with flights starting as early as 2018. Bridenstine, who serves in the Navy Reserve, has advocated a return to the moon, writing in a blog post last year that “from the discovery of water ice on the moon until this day, the American objective should have been a permanent outpost of rovers and machines, with occasional manned missions for science and maintenance.”

 

 

In addition to backing work with younger, entrepreneurial firms, Bridenstine has also voiced his support for the traditional industrial base, made up of behemoths such as Lockheed Martin and Boeing. They want to ensure that programs such as the Space Launch System, the massive rocket being developed by NASA, and the Orion crew capsule continue …

 

 

Mike Gold, the chairman of a commercial space advisory committee for the Federal Aviation Administration, said that Bridenstine would be able to unite the industry with “his support for a diverse array of activities such as deep-space exploration, private-sector partnerships, Earth science and technology development.” (Support builds for Bridenstine to lead NASA despite past skepticism on climate change; By Christian Davenport; WaPo; 9/11/17)

 

WaPo gravitates to the Left so it is unsurprising that the article continues by stating that in Congress Bridenstine was critical of Obama spending more on Climate Change than on weather forecasting.

 

The Senate will be involved in the confirmation hearings for Bridenstine. The Multiculturalist Dems in the Senate were extremely displeased that Bridenstine does not share the concerns of the immediacy of a doomed earth from constantly fudged statistics pointing toward Climate Change disasters.

 

Between Homosexual activists and Leftist Eco-Marxists, Bridenstine at the very least can be grilled by Leftist Senators about issues that have zero to do with the science of space exploration.

 

My fellow Okies, write, email or phone Senators Inhofe and Langford to make a stir about the real issues that Jim Bridenstine should be judged as a capable Administrator of NASA.

 

JRH 9/16/17

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Americans Demand Full Repeal


 

Obamacare (mislabeled the Affordable Care Act) is a debacle on affordable healthcare that was based on lies to gullible Americans ready to believe any Dem propaganda coming from the likes of the un-American President Barack Hussein Obama.

Justin Smith shows why Obamacare should be completely scrapped with a true affordable healthcare reform to replace the Obama debacle. Here are some intro words from Justin to me in submitting this editorial:

 

There is an expanse of convoluted information on even the limited scope of this piece, which looks at repealing the ACA, rather than replacing it. All the double talk these politicians are doing is going to have to catch them one day. Soon I hope.

 

JRH 7/24/17

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Americans Demand Full Repeal

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent: 7/23/2017 10:55 AM

 

Experience hath shown that, even under the best forms of government, those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.” — President Thomas Jefferson

 

Americans elected a Republican majority to Congress in 2016, in large part, to repeal Obamacare and find solutions that would make health care more affordable for all. We didn’t send Republicans to D.C. to give concessions to Democrats, who advocate for a single-payer communist system and didn’t care two-cents about Republican concerns in 2009. We didn’t vote for Obamacare-lite and more bailouts for insurance companies, or earmarks for special interests. We don’t want “repeal and replace”. Americans want to reduce the cost of health care for all Americans, and Americans demand a full repeal.

 

One might think that repealing the corrupt, failed Obamacare racket would be a fairly straightforward and necessary matter. However, on July 17th, many Republicans, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, proved themselves to be no better than con-men and liars, along the same lines of Democrats, who promised Americans an affordable health care system that allowed them to keep their doctors, when Republicans attempted to bring a bill to the floor, that left much of Obamacare intact and the Medicaid expansion in place through 2024. They also created a $50 billion market stability fund nearly identical to the Obamacare “risk corridors”, rightly described as “bailouts” by some conservative Republicans, such as Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul.

 

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) demanded $1.32 billion from the Stability Fund for Alaska in exchange for her vote on the 17th. And, the South Dakota Purchase guarantees Indian Health services clients a 100 percent federal Medicaid match, which is currently only allowed through the Indian Health Service Department.

Shortly after Senator Mitch McConnell decided to pull this bill, Senator Rand Paul stated: “… the new bill is the same as the old bill except for it leaves in place more taxes, increases taxpayers subsidies to buy insurance, and adds $70 billion to the insurance bailout superfund. I don’t see anything in here remotely resembling repeal. And I’ve said for some time now that the bill has to look more like repeal to get my vote. I can’t support it at this point.”

 

One is left wondering, about the Republican’s political will to do the right thing and set America’s health care system back on a free choice, free market path, that will allow it to succeed. The House passed a Senate repeal bill by a vote of 219 to 212 in March 2010, which Obama didn’t sign; and yet, the Republicans chose not to defunded Obamacare, when they could have.

 

Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Shelley Capito (R-WV) both voted for a pure repeal bill in 2015, but now object to voting for a similar bill. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) also stated that she wouldn’t vote to advance a pure repeal.

 

What health care legislation and reforms would these Senators support, if they had to live under it too, without their current exemptions?

 

On July 19th, President Trump called on the U.S. Senate to “repeal and replace” Obamacare once again, when he should have been giving a speech on the wonderful virtues of the free market. He missed a key opportunity to explain that communism fails every time.

 

America’s health care left the free market after the 1929 Baylor University experiment with some Dallas, TX school teachers and Blue Cross, and by the end of the 1930s, a health insurance model that swept away excellent cost effective health care arrangements was created by the American Medical Association, which called those arrangements “commercial” and “unethical”. This AMA creation evolved into a miserable mixture of government and private sector power for insurers, that drove costs sky-high, even before Obamacare, because federal tax policy and subsidies encouraged doctors to charge exorbitant rates and rewarded companies for providing employees with medical insurance.

 

Both the 1965 Medicare program and the 2010 ACA incorporate the misguided logic of extending the influence of health insurance companies over health care, supervising physicians and regulating medical care, all in the name of controlling costs. This is a socialist and crony-capitalist model that has failed Americans, and it must be eradicated, while immediately implementing structural changes that create a real world free market for both health insurance and health care.

 

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study released on May 23rd, 2017 revealed average annual premiums increased from $2784 in 2013 to $5712 on Healthcare.gov in 2017. This is a 105 percent increase.

 

Too many Americans mistakenly believe that they can take more money out of the system, while receiving top-of-the-line treatment and care, with minimal wait times and less money going into the system in the form of premiums, co-pays and deductibles. They seek a fantasy, rather than real solutions that provide the most good for all Americans.

 

When Senate Republicans sought negotiations with the Democrats this spring, Senators Tim Kaine of Virginia and Tom Carper of Delaware wanted funding (tax payer dollars) to offset larger than expected insurance claims for health insurance companies participating in the state and federal insurance exchanges. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) wouldn’t even agree to a meeting, without an upfront Republican agreement to no per capita Medicaid block grants to the states and no rollback in Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion.

 

Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) told NBC (Tues-July 18th) that he was “not interested in bailouts for insurance companies alone without reforms”. He specifically dismissed any plan for guaranteed cost sharing reduction payments, which are considered to be insurers most important demand.

 

During the first GOP debate, candidate Donald Trump said, “What I’d like to see is a private system without the artificial lines around every state. … Get rid of the artificial lines (50 state insurance commissions) and you will have yourself great plans. And then we have to take care of the people that can’t take care of themselves … through a different system.”

 

Of course, the President and Congress should take a few more actions to lower costs and create a real health care free market. It must be made legal again for a person to buy any health insurance plan suited to one’s specific needs and choices, because people shouldn’t have to pay for items they don’t need, like abortions, addictions and sex change operations, in order to fund other people’s health care. Congress must end all federal government subsidies to health insurance companies, doctors and medical facilities, and also start tort reform. And a strong free market will emerge to provide and guarantee great health care at good prices.

 

Most importantly, anyone who really loves their family must fight with every last ounce of their intestinal fortitude to ensure our healthcare is maintained in a free environment, free from the arbitrary high-handed authoritarian decisions of some Washington bureaucrat. Cost becomes irrelevant, if a bureaucrat under a government operated system can deny a person treatment, like the U.K. did in little baby Charlie Gard’s life and death case. Let’s keep all health care services attainable for all Americans.

 

America is at a crossroads, and the Republican fight to repeal Obamacare is worth having, in order to halt any movement towards a catastrophic single payer system, by Democrats who are unwilling to accept any significant conservative reforms. Republicans have a brief window in time, to undo the damage to our health care system and stop Americans from being hurt further by the ACA, and great legislative leaders would not hesitate in the face of a hard task.

 

Failure to fully repeal Obamacare is unacceptable and a crime against America.

 

By Justin O. Smith

______________________

Edited by John R. Houk

All source links are by the Editor

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Yurki Shares AFA & NPLA Emails


Yurki1000 sent a cross post to a Stand4Life email that was supportive David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt who are being prosecuted in California for exposing Planned Parenthood use of live birth killing of babies to use their body parts for research.

 

Since then Yurki1000 has commented twice on the post.

 

The first comment is AFA alert on boycotting Target on their support for Transgender bathroom rights and homosexual marriage.

 

The last comment is a Pro-Life issue sent out by NPLA. The issue an unborn child, two-days before his due date, was killed by a drunk driver. There was no prosecution because the baby was not considered a person. Hence the NPLA supports the Life at Conception Act. An unborn child is as much a person as any man or woman.

 

Below are two comment he has posted to date.

 

JRH 4/13/17

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Yurki Shares AFA & NPLA Emails

Posted April 12, 2017

 

April 11, 2017 at 9:11 AM

 

Thanks John 😊

 

AFA sends me email:

 

– Dear Jyrki,

 

In April 2016, Target Corporation announced its stores would begin allowing men free access to the same restrooms and changing rooms as little girls. American Family Association immediately launched a boycott Target pledge which has garnered nearly 1.4 million signatures.

 

Target’s decision is unacceptable for families, and their dangerous and misguided policy continues to put women and children in harm’s way.

 

It is urgent the Target boycott reach 1.5 million signers by the end of April. At that point, I will personally return to Minneapolis with an additional 500,000 names. I will then discuss how Target can invite 1.5 million AFA supporters back to their stores by having a common sense bathroom and dressing room policy that links use of these rooms to a person’s biological sex.

 

Help us reach the 1.5 million signature mark.

 

If you haven’t signed the boycott pledge, please sign it today!

 

If you have signed the pledge, please forward this email to your family and friends.

 

Most important: Share this information with your Sunday School class and encourage them to sign the pledge at http://www.afa.net/target.

 

If our mission resonates with you, please consider supporting our work financially with a tax-deductible donation. The easiest way to do that is through online giving. It is easy to use, and most of all, it is secure.

 

Tim Wildmon, President
American Family Association –

https://www.afa.net/target

 

More:

 

http://ubiquitous8thoughts.over-blog.com/article-massachusetts-family-campaign-getting-global-attention-123801053.html

 

http://www.massresistance.org/

 

https://afajournal.org/2007/july/0707agenda.asp

 

http://www.bibleprobe.com/homosexuality.htm

 

VIDEO: “What ‘gay marriage’ did to Massachusetts — Update!”

 

Posted by MassResistance

Published on Oct 18, 2013

 

This is the update to the blockbuster report and video done previously by MassResistance. Most people don’t know what REALLY happens when same-sex “marriage” is imposed. The effects on society are outrageous and far-reaching.

 

Blessings
Jyrki

+++

April 12, 2017 at 4:36 PM

 

From NPLA:

 

– Dear Jyrki,

 

Little Brady Surovik was the long awaited 8 pound 2 oz. child of Heather Surovik, but tragically little Brady’s life was suddenly snuffed out by a drunk driver in Colorado on July 5th, 2012.

 

Under Colorado law the drunk driver would normally be charged with vehicular homicide.

 

Yet Colorado prosecutors refused to bring any charges against the driver.

 

Why you ask?

 

You see Brady was two days away from birth.

 

Colorado state law prevented charging the drunk driver because the law stated Brady was not yet “a person.”

 

For the lack of a mere two days, the drunk driver literally got away scot-free.

 

You and I know there is no difference between an unborn and a born baby; just differences in size and weight.

 

Though this drunk driver may have got away with taking one innocent life; abortionists have been getting away with taking over a million lives every year for 44 years.

 

Of course laws against drunk driving will never completely end the slaughter on the highways. But together you and I can end the long lived slaughter that is abortion.

 

That is why your National Pro-Life Alliance is committed to passing a Life at Conception Act in Congress to overturn Roe v. Wade and define that life begins at conception.

 

Again I thank you for all you do.

 

For Life,
Martin Fox, President
National Pro-Life Alliance –

http://www.prolifealliance.com/

 

More:

https://oneway2day.wordpress.com/tag/npla/

 

Bury Obamacare


Justin Smith has some thoughts on Free Market insurance care as opposed to government single payer insurance.

 

JRH 3/27/17

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*****************

Bury Obamacare

 

By Justin O. Smith

Sent 3/26/2017 2:13 PM

 

Americans cannot gain affordable healthcare through the U.S. government and laws like the disastrous Obamacare or the Ryancare fiasco. They must look towards private sectors, free market based solutions and patient controlled healthcare plans that move Americans far away from an unsustainable, terribly inefficient and rapidly approaching government controlled single payer system. And Congressmen and Senators and any U.S. President, current or future, must remove all roadblocks to this course, if, as many profess, affordable healthcare for Americans is truly their goal.

 

America didn’t have $2.6 trillion when Obamacare passed, and it doesn’t have the $2.3 trillion that Ryancare demanded. It is immoral and bad leadership to put such a debt on the backs of American taxpayers, since most of the money goes to the bureaucracy, does not provide timely or even good healthcare and too often never makes it to the patients in need. Overspending, in such a manner, for a healthcare insurance program that does not deliver real care is not a solution.

 

Initially in 2010, Republicans promised to repeal Obamacare, but gradually their promise evolved to “repeal and replace”. Forget replacing Obamacare. Congress must repeal Obamacare completely. Bury Obamacare.

 

With health insurance deductibles averaging approximately $7000, 6.5 million Americans decided to pay the penalty last year. Millions of other Americans pay premiums but don’t go to the doctor due to high deductibles; and now millions more of Americans will soon be left without any insurance, because the Obamacare exchanges are imploding as insurance companies abandon them.

 

Ryancare [American Health Care Act] didn’t offer much improvement over Obamacare, so it was fortunate that it failed to gain complete Republican support, which forced its withdrawal on March 24th, after five hours of discussion. The AHCA replaced the individual mandate and tax penalty with a thirty percent insurance premium surcharge for anyone buying insurance after a lapse in coverage. The AHCA simply placed Obamacare’s unreasonable and odious Cadillac Tax on hold until 2025. It also offered another form of income redistribution called “tax credits”. And in the end, Ryancare achieved no improvement in access to health care for Americans.

 

But government provided health insurance is not a right. Under Article I Section 8 of the Constitution, there isn’t any federal power or duty to ensure “universal health care coverage”.

 

However, as a start, let the free market fill the void and work for all. Advocate for the removal of cost prohibitive federal and state insurance regulatory mandates and all impediments to purchase health insurance across state lines. This will create competition, that will drive the cost of insurance and healthcare down and improve the quality of services, benefitting all and opening doors for any American who wants real Health Care.

 

Privately insured Americans must also end their practice of filing health insurance claims for every little sniffle they experience. When the majority of Americans use their health insurance to pay for only real medical necessities and emergencies, lowering the cost to companies, health insurance will become more affordable for all Americans.

 

And, since ninety percent of Americans spend less than $5000 on healthcare annually, people should comparative shop for health insurance and healthcare plans just like they would for a car. Self-paying patients are regularly charged 25 to 90 percent less than insured patients, so always ask any provider for the lowest possible price for someone un-insured.

 

Another option is Direct Primary Care (DPC). Under this model, a patient pays a fixed monthly amount, often as little as $50, and receives a high level of access to their regular doctor. They receive diagnostic testing and preventative and minor emergency procedures. The DPC model also arranges for other services that have been deeply discounted and pre-negotiated, like an MRI for $400. The DPC is quality health care for the average American that even provides specialists at a fraction of the cost of an insurance model.

 

Our government, however benevolent it may seem, is incapable of identifying who should qualify for free medical services, even if that was a proper government role. Obamacare’s expansion of Medicaid reveals the veracity of this assertion.

 

According to the original 1965 law, Medicaid was designed to be a state administered program for those “unable to support … their medical needs“. But Obamacare now allows able-bodied poor and young Americans to utilize this program, even though it is currently very near bankrupt. The quality and availability of the healthcare received through its networks is also inferior.

 

Those Americans opposed to repealing Obamacare often ask, “What will happen to people with pre-existing illnesses?”

 

Anyone with pre-existing conditions could not be denied medical treatment under U.S. law prior to Obamacare, and many received care through “high risk pools” available in 35 states. If they cannot afford non-group health insurance, they will still not be denied medical attention after Obamacare is repealed, which leaves them to pay a medical bill or seek charity.

 

Americans will receive care one way or another; no one person should lose sleep over this. Americans turn themselves inside out to help each other. Hope Clinic [Murfreesboro, TN], and Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital bear testament to this, among many others.

 

When did Americans become so dependent on Uncle Sam? Can we no longer act independently for ourselves — take care of ourselves?

 

Top of the line affordable health care is within the reach of all Americans, but if we are to take hold of it, we must quit paying any price insurance companies demand for premiums and doctors and hospitals demand for services, negotiating cheaper health care prices across the board. We must use our uninhibited creative energy to ensure timely access to quality care programs, as we also remove government obstacles to innovation from our health care system. And through free market initiatives healthcare costs will dramatically drop, efficiency within the system will increase and a new surplus of funds will provide care for our needy.

 

By Justin O. Smith

__________________

Edited by John R. Houk

Source links are by the Editor.

 

© Justin O. Smith

 

Norma McCorvey is with Jesus


norma-mccorvey-quote-undoing-roe-v-wade

John R. Houk

© February 19, 2017

 

Roe v. Wade legalized baby-killing as a form of birth control in America in 1973. In case you didn’t know it, Roe was a pseudonym for Norma McCorvey. At the time McCorvey was 23 when she wanted to end an unwanted pregnancy. Because of Texas law against abortion she ended up giving birth but gave the child up for adoption.

 

The American took up McCorvey’s case to legalize baby-killing for birth control and won for Roe-McCorvey two-years later before the Supreme Court in a 7-2 decision favoring “privacy” over an unborn child’s right to life.

 

In 1989 McCorvey publicly made known she was the “Jane Roe” of Roe v. Wade – still a proponent of baby-killing.

 

In 1995 Norma McCorvey came under the influence of Reverend Philip (“Flip”) Benham and understood that killing an unborn child was murder. She then became a Pro-Life champion to save the lives of unborn children from legalized genocide. Rev. Benham first came to prominence as an Anti-Abortion activist via Operation Save America (OSA) and lately the Leftist Multiculturalists hate him for his pro-Biblical views that agrees with God that the LGBT lifestyle is an abomination.

 

rev-benham-baptizing-norma-mccorvey-1995

Rev. Benham baptizing Norma McCorvey 1995

 

Norma McCorvey has passed in this life on February 18, 2017 and now resides with Jesus Christ the Son of God and Savior.

 

Here is the Christian Newswire article that outlines the life of the redeemed.

 

JRH 2/19/17

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***************

The Death of Roe

 

Contact: Rev. Flip Benham, 980-722-4920; 

Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, 254-715-3134

Sent February 18, 2017 3:38 PM

Sent from Christian Newswire

 

“O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory” (1 Corinthians 15:55)

 

WACO, Texas, Feb. 18, 2017 /Christian Newswire/ — Right after Norma McCorvey’s conversion to Christ, she wrote, “I’m Norma McCorvey, the former Jane Roe of the Roe v. Wade decision that brought legal child killing to America. I was persuaded by feminist attorneys to lie; to say that I was raped, and needed an abortion. It was all a lie. Since then, over 50 million babies have been murdered. I will take this burden to my grave. Please, don’t follow in my mistakes.”

Operation Rescue/Operation Save America is pleased to report that she did not go to the grave with that burden. She went to the grave with the salvation of her Lord. He took the burden, her debt of sin upon Himself and through His crucifixion and resurrection, redeemed Miss Norma’s guilt-ridden soul. The old Norma died (Pre Roe) and a new Norma emerged (Post Roe).

When she struggled with the overwhelming guilt of her involvement with abortion, Rev. Flip Benham, who baptized her, gave her this reassuring Scripture, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalms 34:4, 5)

Rev. Flip Benham, former National Director of OR/OSA, states, “The three people most instrumental in ushering us into the era of Roe v. Wade, Dr. Barnard Nathanson (founder of NARAL), Sandra Cano (Jane Doe of Doe v. Bolton), and Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade), are now all in the great cloud of witnesses cheering us on as we continue to fight for the lives of our Lord’s precious preborn babies. All three lied or were lied to, to give us this damnable law. All three were sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. All three, in their Christian years, did their very best to undo the lies that gave us Roe v. Wade. All three are today more alive than they have ever been. All three have run their lap of the race. It is our turn now! Good night for now Miss Norma – we will see you in the morning!”

Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas, current National Director of OR/OSA states, “Looking back on how the Lord has used this ministry, we rejoice in the thousands of lives that have been spared, the souls that have been saved, like Miss Norma, and the many death camps that have been shut down. We pray the death of Roe (Miss Norma) prophetically signals the death of Roe vs. Wade. May the destroyer of men made in the image of God be destroyed in Jesus’ mighty name!”

 

For those interested in Miss Norma’s reflections, here is her poem called Empty Playgrounds: afterabortion.blogspot.fr/2003/05/empty-playgrounds-poem-by-miss-norma.html

 

For her full story, check out her book Won by Love, www.amazon.com/Won-Love-Norma-McCorvey/dp/0785286543

______________

Norma McCorvey is with Jesus

John R. Houk

© February 19, 2017

______________

The Death of Roe

 

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