Health care bill restricts abortion, so some liberals oppose it

Some liberal Democrats would rather not have a health care bill than have one that restricts abortion. From Some Democrats to fight abortion amendment in health bill – washingtonpost.com:

President Obama and Senate Democrats sought on Sunday to generate momentum from the House's passage of health-care legislation, even as a new hurdle emerged: profound dismay among abortion-rights supporters over antiabortion provisions inserted into the House bill.

The House passed its version of health-care legislation Saturday night by a vote of 220 to 215 after the approval of an amendment that would sharply restrict the availability of coverage for abortions, which many insurance plans now offer. The amendment goes beyond long-standing prohibitions against public funding for abortions, limiting abortion coverage even for women paying for it without government subsidies.

The abortion issue had been rumbling within the House Democratic caucus for weeks, but Saturday's votes revealed the depths of the fault lines. The amendment passed with the support of 64 Democrats, roughly a quarter of the party caucus.

But abortion-rights supporters are vowing to strip the amendment out, as the focus turns to the Senate and the conference committee that would resolve differences between the two bills.

Although House liberals voted for the bill with the amendment to keep the process moving forward, Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) said she has collected more than 40 signatures from House Democrats vowing to oppose any final bill that includes the amendment — enough to block passage. . . .

The amendment would prohibit abortion coverage in the government-run plan and any private plan on the new marketplace that accepts people who are using government subsidies to buy coverage.

Under that language, abortion coverage would be unavailable not only to working-class women buying coverage with government subsidies, but probably also to women buying coverage on the new marketplace without federal assistance. The amendment suggests that women could buy separate “riders” covering abortions, but abortion-rights supporters say it is offensive to require a separate purchase for coverage of a medical procedure that for most women is unexpected.

I’d trade out-and-out socialized medicine for an abortion ban. Not that this is a ban, but it would force women to use their own money to get an abortion. Just as I object to my tax money going to pay for such homicide, I also object–now that I think of it–to my insurance premiums being put in the pool that pays for abortion. This amendment would surely save some lives. And yet, I’m sure it will be stripped out of the Senate version, such is the power of the abortion fundamentalists.

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.

  • Rose

    We all can ask our employers to choose a carrier that doesn’t include abortion coverage. It was added in the 80s by the carriers to reduce their costs. It is the only coverage that does not meet their criteria of medical necessity.

  • Rose

    We all can ask our employers to choose a carrier that doesn’t include abortion coverage. It was added in the 80s by the carriers to reduce their costs. It is the only coverage that does not meet their criteria of medical necessity.

  • Daniel Gorman

    Insurance companies will not voluntarily remove abortion coverage because it reduces their overall cost. This bill may be our only chance to end abortion coverage. In the next House election, Republicans will likely defeat many of the pro-life Democrats who forced this amendment.

    The abortion ban may be stripped out of the Senate version; however, the House is unlikely to go along with the change. Pro-death democrats in the House don’t have the votes. So pro-death democrats in the Senate will have to decide: No Reform or Reform that ends abortion coverage.

  • Daniel Gorman

    Insurance companies will not voluntarily remove abortion coverage because it reduces their overall cost. This bill may be our only chance to end abortion coverage. In the next House election, Republicans will likely defeat many of the pro-life Democrats who forced this amendment.

    The abortion ban may be stripped out of the Senate version; however, the House is unlikely to go along with the change. Pro-death democrats in the House don’t have the votes. So pro-death democrats in the Senate will have to decide: No Reform or Reform that ends abortion coverage.

  • DonS

    So, if the House version of healthcare reform were to become law, and the Stupak amendment were truly airtight enough to essentially prevent insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in their health care plans (and I’m not convinced it’s that airtight), then this thing would go straight to the courts, on the grounds that the fundamental constitutional right to an abortion was being unduly restrained by this overbroad law, preventing not just federal money from funding abortion, but private money (paid premiums) as well. There’s a good chance such a suit would be successful. Then we’d have socialized medicine and no restrictions on federally funded abortions.

  • DonS

    So, if the House version of healthcare reform were to become law, and the Stupak amendment were truly airtight enough to essentially prevent insurance companies from offering abortion coverage in their health care plans (and I’m not convinced it’s that airtight), then this thing would go straight to the courts, on the grounds that the fundamental constitutional right to an abortion was being unduly restrained by this overbroad law, preventing not just federal money from funding abortion, but private money (paid premiums) as well. There’s a good chance such a suit would be successful. Then we’d have socialized medicine and no restrictions on federally funded abortions.

  • http://somewebsite.somedomain.com Christian Soldier

    IT will ‘slid’ back in..
    We cannot allow this THING to be passed…
    C-CS
    LA LFL

  • http://somewebsite.somedomain.com Christian Soldier

    IT will ‘slid’ back in..
    We cannot allow this THING to be passed…
    C-CS
    LA LFL

  • Daniel Gorman

    None of the Reform plans are socialized medicine. They are all big tax giveaways to drug companies, hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies. The insurance companies are against Reform only because they think the Republicans can deliver them even bigger tax giveaways (e.g., Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, etc.) without risking their monoplies.

    The Stupak Reform plan will pass constitutional muster as other similar previous restrictions on abortion have. However, the so-called pro-life Republicans are against its passage. Why? Because they put political correctness above saving the lives of the unborn?

  • Daniel Gorman

    None of the Reform plans are socialized medicine. They are all big tax giveaways to drug companies, hospitals, doctors, and insurance companies. The insurance companies are against Reform only because they think the Republicans can deliver them even bigger tax giveaways (e.g., Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, etc.) without risking their monoplies.

    The Stupak Reform plan will pass constitutional muster as other similar previous restrictions on abortion have. However, the so-called pro-life Republicans are against its passage. Why? Because they put political correctness above saving the lives of the unborn?


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