Regardless of how one might feel about Sen. Santorum’s politics, it’s hard not to find his baby girl, Bella, adorable! Tomorrow is her her 4th birthday – one she was not expected to achieve, yet she is here and she has touched many, many people with her strength and love. I pray God allows her many more years to change the hearts and minds of abortion supporters by living a purpose-filled life in site of her health issues. God’s best to the entire Santorum family! Thank you all! ~ B
POSTED AT 8:52 PM ON MAY 11, 2012 BY ELIZABETH SANTORUM
Sunday is an important day in the Santorum house. On May 13th, we’ll be celebrating a birthday. My little sister, Bella, is turning four. As some of you can imagine, having seven kids in my family, we do a lot of birthday parties. Various sweets, party hats, and re-used gift bags are always floating around the house, waiting to be used in the next celebration. Our house is a happy one, full of life. That being said, Bella’s birthday is always uniquely joyful and the cause of grateful reflection. I say this because every year with Bella is a gift. Bella was born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18. Of the 10% of babies with Trisomy 18 who survive birth, 90% won’t make it to their first birthday. When she was born, the prognosis was bleak. The odds were simply stacked against her.
Ten days after she was born, Bella came home from the hospital. As doctors explained to us how to best prepare for her death, we chose to celebrate her life. And we did, every, single day. I remember when we first brought Bella home; we hung a sign in our living room. It read, “Happy 1-Week Birthday Bella.” As the weeks went by, we changed the sign from 1 to 2 to 3 weeks. Eventually weeks turned into months and now, thanks be to God, years. We fought for her each step of the way, giving her every opportunity to do well. She beat the odds and has been doing so ever since.
As I reflect on this last year of her life, it has been amazing to see how many people Bella has touched and the issues that have been discussed in the public sphere as a result of her condition. In the middle of winter, when the world found out that Bella had been hospitalized, the response was overwhelming. Our inboxes and mailboxes were flooded with notes of encouragement, prayer, and support. People in all walks of life from around the country united around the witness of a three-year-old little girl. We even got notes that said, “I don’t agree with you politically, but thank you for being a voice for the special needs community.” She brought unity and refocused us on what was really important in the midst of a heated primary season.
When her hospitalization hit the news networks, commentators started discussing important issues surrounding the special needs world, such as the legal struggles that occur when special needs children aren’t given fair medical treatment or any treatment at all. A whole host of issues were brought to the forefront of the debate, dealing with families, the pro-life movement, the special needs community, and so much more. It was as though people realized that the pro-life movement doesn’t end at birth, but it continues at the bedsides of the disabled, the elderly, and the vulnerable. Bella put a face to the helpless, those whom society looks upon as “useless.” When did we become so utilitarian that we measured worth in terms of “ability?” Bella is able to do the most important thing in life more perfectly than I will ever be able to: love.
As people started to learn more about Bella, we discovered that more and more people were bringing their special needs kids to our campaign events. We even met several beautiful children with Trisomy 18. They talked to us about their struggles, and all were different, but there was a common thread in all of their experiences: the irreplaceable joy and love their child brought into their lives. In a world too often focused on instant gratification and personal satisfaction, it is no wonder that these lives are considered “inconvenient.” Joe Klein talked about just that in an article he wrote for TIME several months ago: “I am haunted by the smiling photos I’ve seen of Isabella with her father and mother, brothers and sisters. No doubt she struggles through many of her days — she nearly died a few weeks ago — but she has also been granted three years of unconditional love and the ability to smile and bring joy. Her tenuous survival has given her family a deeper sense of how precious even the frailest of lives are. …. I also worry that we’ve become too averse to personal inconvenience as a society—that we’re less rigorous parents than we should be, that we’ve farmed out our responsibilities, especially for the disabled, to the state—and I’m grateful to Santorum for forcing on me the discomfort of having to think about the moral implications of his daughter’s smile.” MORE HERE
NOTE: The point has been made that this is the fallout from the debt ceiling negotiations last summer. Remember how medicare was supposed to be slashed AND defense budget cuts. Well, ok, I’ll buy that EXCEPT, there is sufficient waste within the DOD – surely the cuts could have fallen in other places – other than the laps of our enlisted service members. AND … so WHERE ARE THE MEDICARE CUTS to balance the defense budget cuts? The overall object is to at some point in the believable future to achieve a balanced budget and stop spending beyond out means!!!!!
In a blatant act of hypocrisy the Obama Administration plans to cut health benefits for active duty and retired military personnel but leaving unionized defense workers at current levels.
Gertz also said,
“The proposed increases in health care payments by service members, which must be approved by Congress, are part of the Pentagon’s $487 billion cut in spending. It seeks to save $1.8 billion from the Tricare medical system in the fiscal 2013 budget, and $12.9 billion by 2017.”
This is a plan that is sure to enrage Congressional Republicans and cause a big fight on Capital Hill.
Military personnel would see their annual Tricare premiums increase anywhere from 30 – 78 percent in the first year, followed by sharply increased premiums “ranging from 94 percent to 345 percent—more than 3 times current levels.”
“According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048,”
Pharmaceutical benefits for military personnel would also increase under the proposed plan.
Although military families have long had to deal with low salaries and rough working conditions, solid health care benefits has always been a draw to career soldiers. The military is worried this is going to hurt recruitment and retention.
John Hayward of Human Events adds:
“Veterans will also be hit with a new annual fee for a program called Tricare for Life, on top of the monthly premiums they already pay, while some benefits will become “means-tested” in the manner of a social program – treating them like welfare instead of benefits for military service. Naturally, this is all timed to begin next year and “avoid upsetting military voters in a presidential election year,”
Next month there are going to be hearings about the new health care rules and opposition to the policies is already building. The VFW, one of the largest military organizations in the country, has “called on all military personnel and the veterans’ community to block the health care increases.”
Others are concerned about the double standard being set between uniformed military personnel – who are not unionized – and civilian defense workers who belong to public sector unions.
According to a Congressional Aide,
“We all recognize that we are in a time of austerity. But defense has made up to this point 50 percent of deficit reduction cuts that we agreed to, but is only 20 percent of the budget. The administration is asking troops to get by without the equipment and force levels needed for global missions. And now they are going to them again and asking them to pay more for their health care when you’ve held the civilian workforce at DoD and across the federal government virtually harmless in all of these cuts. And it just doesn’t seem fair,”
Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee said,
“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population. We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more,”
McKeon will be joined by some 5 million members of 32 military service and veterans groups, according to retired Navy Capt. Kathryn M. Beasley of the Military Officers Association of America, who called the plan “a breach of faith.”
Do you think the Obama Administration is showing a real double standard in the way they treat unionized and non-unionized workers?