The “public option” would pay for abortion

The government-run insurance plan that would compete with private carriers in the proposed health care legislation would cover abortions.

Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.

Federal funds for abortions are now restricted to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the health of the mother. Abortion opponents say those restrictions should carry over to any health insurance sold through a new marketplace envisioned under the legislation, an exchange where people would choose private coverage or the public plan.

Abortion rights supporters say that would have the effect of denying coverage for abortion to millions of women who now have it through workplace insurance and are expected to join the exchange. . . .

A compromise approved by a House committee last week attempted to balance questions of federal funding, personal choice and the conscience rights of clinicians. It would allow the public plan to cover abortion but without using federal funds, only dollars from beneficiary premiums. Likewise, private plans in the new insurance exchange could opt to cover abortion, but no federal subsidies would be used to pay for the procedure.

“It’s a sham,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for National Right to Life. “It’s a bookkeeping scheme. The plan pays for abortion, and the government subsidizes the plan.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Carl Vehse

    The senators and representatives who vote for this abortion legislation (and the president who signs it) should be the first ones among thousands to undergo indictment, trial, and conviction in a U.S.-established Nuremberg-style trial for genocidal crimes against humanity and treason.

  • Carl Vehse

    The senators and representatives who vote for this abortion legislation (and the president who signs it) should be the first ones among thousands to undergo indictment, trial, and conviction in a U.S.-established Nuremberg-style trial for genocidal crimes against humanity and treason.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    If this goes through should the conscientious Christian do something to demonstrate their opposition to this state-sanctioned form of murder? And what should that look like?

    I also think this form of legislation is criminal. It is the state-sponsored institutionalized breaking of the majority of the commandments of God. It teaches and legislates nothing good. We should all be ashamed to have educated and then elected anyone who could even look at this abhorrent legislation with a straight face. What a sick society we live in!

  • Bryan Lindemood

    If this goes through should the conscientious Christian do something to demonstrate their opposition to this state-sanctioned form of murder? And what should that look like?

    I also think this form of legislation is criminal. It is the state-sponsored institutionalized breaking of the majority of the commandments of God. It teaches and legislates nothing good. We should all be ashamed to have educated and then elected anyone who could even look at this abhorrent legislation with a straight face. What a sick society we live in!

  • DonS

    Even for those having pro-life views who may be predisposed to supporting some form of universal or government delivered health care,this would seem to be unsupportable.

  • DonS

    Even for those having pro-life views who may be predisposed to supporting some form of universal or government delivered health care,this would seem to be unsupportable.

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    The apostle Paul used his Roman citizenship to appeal to Caesar when he was getting an unfair trial. Peter tells us to submit to the government (1 Pet 2:13-14).
    However, let’s recognize that the US government is primarily run by (and elected by) godless people. As a result there is no fear of God and no biblical (Christian) worldview driving the government or its policies.
    I struggle to understand how to submit to the government which endorses the holocaust of the most innocent–babies in the womb.
    The only way I can think of to turn things around in the US is for people in government (and outside of it) to be changed from the inside, one person at time by the Gospel. They must be born again.

  • http://barrybishop.blogspot.com/ Barry D. Bishop

    The apostle Paul used his Roman citizenship to appeal to Caesar when he was getting an unfair trial. Peter tells us to submit to the government (1 Pet 2:13-14).
    However, let’s recognize that the US government is primarily run by (and elected by) godless people. As a result there is no fear of God and no biblical (Christian) worldview driving the government or its policies.
    I struggle to understand how to submit to the government which endorses the holocaust of the most innocent–babies in the womb.
    The only way I can think of to turn things around in the US is for people in government (and outside of it) to be changed from the inside, one person at time by the Gospel. They must be born again.

  • http://beholdingthebeauty.blogspot.com Steven Carr

    Barry,

    Preaching Christ and Him crucified is the surest way to turn the world upsidedown. Our Churches aren’t doing this anymore, though. Many of our politicians still attend Church, but many of them are getting a Christless Christianity. Is it any wonder our country is in the state that it’s in?

  • http://beholdingthebeauty.blogspot.com Steven Carr

    Barry,

    Preaching Christ and Him crucified is the surest way to turn the world upsidedown. Our Churches aren’t doing this anymore, though. Many of our politicians still attend Church, but many of them are getting a Christless Christianity. Is it any wonder our country is in the state that it’s in?

  • texan

    democrats are agents of satan.

  • texan

    democrats are agents of satan.

  • Rose
  • Rose
  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Why not?

    Kill the unborn.

    Kill the elderly.

    Then kill the infirm.

    And save a few bucks in the process, not to mention how much less CO2 would be in the atmosphere.

    Oh those crever Lefties. They have all the answers.

    You got a problem wit dat!!??

    I’ll report you to:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Why not?

    Kill the unborn.

    Kill the elderly.

    Then kill the infirm.

    And save a few bucks in the process, not to mention how much less CO2 would be in the atmosphere.

    Oh those crever Lefties. They have all the answers.

    You got a problem wit dat!!??

    I’ll report you to:
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/Facts-Are-Stubborn-Things/

  • CRB

    At the start of the Reformation, Dr. Martin Luther said,
    “My conscience is captive to the Word of God.” The question
    for all Christians regarding this proposed evil is, “What Does This Mean?” (another Luther question). In other words,
    “what are we as Christians going to do about this?”
    Scripture would have us ask, “Do we obey God or man?

  • CRB

    At the start of the Reformation, Dr. Martin Luther said,
    “My conscience is captive to the Word of God.” The question
    for all Christians regarding this proposed evil is, “What Does This Mean?” (another Luther question). In other words,
    “what are we as Christians going to do about this?”
    Scripture would have us ask, “Do we obey God or man?

  • Nathan

    What exactly, is a “beneficiary premium”?

    ~Nathan

  • Nathan

    What exactly, is a “beneficiary premium”?

    ~Nathan

  • Ben

    Doesn’t Christianity also say that we must care for those who are poor? I know that Catholicism asserts health care is a basic human right and not the privilege of only those who can afford a form of privatized care – one that often chooses profit over people. What are we supposed to do with the 47 million uninsured Americans if they have no public option? Are we supposed to let them fend for themselves while those who are wealthy enjoy the benefits of expensive doctors and hospitals? Sounds like Social Darwinism to me – weeding out the weak and the poor to the benefit of those who are strong and wealthy.

  • Ben

    Doesn’t Christianity also say that we must care for those who are poor? I know that Catholicism asserts health care is a basic human right and not the privilege of only those who can afford a form of privatized care – one that often chooses profit over people. What are we supposed to do with the 47 million uninsured Americans if they have no public option? Are we supposed to let them fend for themselves while those who are wealthy enjoy the benefits of expensive doctors and hospitals? Sounds like Social Darwinism to me – weeding out the weak and the poor to the benefit of those who are strong and wealthy.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    The proposal currently on the table would subsidize the cost of insurance for those who cannot afford it. They too would have either a public or a private option of which insurance to buy, using the government money. Ben, if the problem is taking care of the poor people–and I agree that it is–why not target a plan to help them, rather than, in addition, taking over everybody’s health care? That’s what I don’t understand.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Veith

    The proposal currently on the table would subsidize the cost of insurance for those who cannot afford it. They too would have either a public or a private option of which insurance to buy, using the government money. Ben, if the problem is taking care of the poor people–and I agree that it is–why not target a plan to help them, rather than, in addition, taking over everybody’s health care? That’s what I don’t understand.


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