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Missouri Family E-News March 22, 2010
Health Care Bill Could Lead to Physician Exodus
A recent survey of active physicians reveals that as many as half of the nation's doctors may consider leaving their practice if proposed federal health care legislation is signed into law.  The survey, which included responses from 1200 physicians, was conducted by the Medicus Firm, a leading physician recruitment company.
The survey showed that nearly 30% of doctors would leave the profession or retire early if the federal health care reform plan is enacted.  That number climbs to nearly 46% if President Obama's proposed "public option" plan were included.    
The New England Journal of Medicine noted the results in their publication.  In an editorial, the Journal stated:  "While a sudden loss of half of the nation's physicians seems unlikely, a very dramatic decrease in the physician workforce could become a reality as an unexpected side effect of health reform."
Kevin Perpetua, managing partner for the Medicus Firm observed:  "The overwhelming prediction of physicians is that health reform...could create a  detrimental combination of circumstances, and result in an environment in which it is not possible for most physicians to continue practicing medicine."
Perpetua added:  "With an average debt of $140,000 and many graduates approaching a quarter of a million dollars in school loans, being a doctor is becoming less and less feasible.  Health care reform and increasing government control of medicine may be the final straw that causes the physician workforce to break down."
40 Days for Life Claims Success in Columbia
The Columbia, Missouri abortion clinic operated by Planned Parenthood is struggling with staffing problems, and pro-life activists claim the reason is the latest 40 Days for Life campaign.
Kathy Forck, the campaign director for 40 Days for Life in Columbia, insists that she has information that the doctor doing abortions there has resigned.  Michelle Trupiano, the public affairs manager for Planned Parenthood, denies that claim.  Yet she admits that no surgical abortions have been performed in the last few weeks because of a shortage of nurses and other staff. 
"We only offer services one day a week, and frankly, sometimes we don't even have anybody who's doing surgical abortions," Trupiano explained.  "If you're nine weeks or under, you can do medication abortions."  Trupiano says the clinic will resume performing surgical abortions in the coming weeks.
Forck believes the 40 Days for Life campaign is the reason for the turmoil at the clinic.  "We've been praying that abortion would end there.  We pray every day for the abortionist and the staff.  We pray for the moms and dads. But we still have to pray for the doctor who gives the RU-486 pill."
40 Days for Life is a dedicated period of prayer and fasting for the end of legalized abortion which is held during the spring and fall.  The current campaign coincides with the Lenten Season, with prayer vigils being held outside abortion clinics in 167 cities.
During the fall campaign, organizers claim they saved the lives of 607 babies.  In addition, two abortion facilities shut down, and nine abortion clinic workers quit their jobs.  The most notable was Abby Johnson, the Director of the abortion clinic in Bryan/College Station, Texas.  Johnson served as the keynote speaker at the recent fundraising banquet held for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Rolla.
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Legislators Seek Prayer to Solve State Budget Woes

Members of the Missouri Legislature have asked for prayer in efforts to tackle the worst budget crisis to face the State of Missouri in decades.  Christian leaders have met with key leaders from both political parties in the General Assembly who have requested a  concentrated prayer effort to help resolve intense  budget challenges they are facing.
"Because of the state's budget shortfall, they recognize that the pending budget cuts will cause pain to many of our Missouri citizens," says Sue Stoltz, Midwest Coordinator for the National Day of Prayer.  "They are looking for wisdom to avoid the painful cuts they are now dealing with in finalizing the state's budget."
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has already cut a total of $850 million in spending from the current year's budget.  Budget officials believe that there is a need to cut an additional $500 million in spending from the budget for the coming fiscal year starting this July.  State revenues are currently nearly 13% below the level of the previous year. It is expected that the following year's budget will be even worse. 
The state budget is currently being held together by $2 billion in federal "stimulus" funds which were used to supplement the 2009 and 2010 budgets.  Once those dollars are gone, state budget officials are facing a herculean task in balancing the budget without substantial cuts in nearly all state programs.  Public elementary and secondary education, which has generally been spared from budget cutbacks, will likely be on the chopping block as well.
Stoltz says that Christian leaders have agreed to mobilize a 40-day prayer and fasting effort ending on May 7th, the date by which the Legislature must adopt a final budget under Missouri's Constitution.  The prayer campaign will be kicked off with a prayer service in the rotunda of the Capitol at noon on Monday, March 29th.
"We want to avoid anything that would divisive or distracting to this thrust of seeking God for solutions," Stoltz explains.  "We want to make sure this is not turned into a political event.  This prayer focus is a bipartisan effort with united support from leaders of both political parties."
Stoltz says the National Day of Prayer Task Force will be working with pastors and churches throughout the state to organize community prayer gatherings.  They will be asking churches to pray daily for all the state representatives and state senators, that they be granted wisdom and patience, and that they will make their decisions based on pure motives.
She is also asking legislators to share with churches the types of public services that may be impacted by potential cuts.  "We can then let the churches know the areas they need to step up to the plate to provide for the people in their communities.  It is Scriptural that the Church be the one providing for the needs of the people and not rely on the government." 
Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network has played a leading role in conversations with legislators that led to the prayer initiative.  He agreed to shepherd the statewide push to enlist prayer warriors on behalf of the General Assembly to help bring dignity and good judgment to the budget deliberations.
Several lawmakers asked for prayers for patience.  "When people of goodwill here work together, we can solve problems," one said.  "But when legislators lose patience with each other, then the problems become insolvable.   When we're faithful and work together, miracles do happen."
"Other states are watching us and seeing how we handle this," Stoltz says.  "We can demonstrate that we are the Show Me State in how we handle a major crisis in government.  If we allow God to have His way and invite Him in our decisions, I believe He will do great and mighty things."
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