Thursday, November 12, 2009

Abortion Debate in Heathcare not Over

The House of Representatives passed a healthcare bill on Saturday which includes an amendment (Stupak amendment) explicitly stating that no insurance that is purchased through a public option or through subsidies from the government can cover abortion. If a person wants abortion coverage, they may purchase it at their own expense in the form of a rider.

This seems perfectly consistent with the idea all along. Many government leaders including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and President Obama have intoned in the past that the legislation was prevented from paying for abortion due to the Hyde amendment so the Stupak amendment was unnecessary. They claimed that expressly forbidding abortion funding was redundant.

In an interview with ABC on Monday night, President Obama said that the abortion funding question in the House bill “needs work” and he wanted to guarantee that the status quo is maintained. Apparently he thinks that the healthcare bill that passed goes too far; which is odd since it’s modeled after the Hyde amendment (the one that the President said applied to the bill anyway).

If they Hyde amendment wasn’t a problem before, why is the Stupak amendment all of a sudden an issue when they use very similar language?

Others, like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz who is a senior Democrat in the House of Representatives, said in no uncertain terms that the Stupak amendment will be removed later on.

"I am confident that when it [H.R. 3962] comes back from the conference committee that that language [the Stupak amendment] won't be there. . . . and I think we're all going to be working very hard, particularly the pro-choice members, to make sure that's the case."
This inconsistency makes it hard to trust our leaders. They spent a lot of time making promises that abortion will not be covered but yet they want the part of the bill forbidding coverage removed.

Why is that?

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