What the Senate did with abortion in the Health Care bill

To placate pro-life Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the Senate worked out this compromise in the Health Care Reform bill:

Under the new abortion provisions, states can opt out of allowing plans to cover abortion in the insurance exchanges the bill would set up. The exchanges are designed to serve individuals who lack coverage through their jobs, with most receiving federal subsidies to buy insurance. Enrollees in plans that cover abortion procedures would pay with separate checks — one for abortion, one for any other health-care services.

This was an effort to comport with the 32-year prohibition against federal funding for abortions, but the Nelson compromise is a softening of the House language, which was written by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.). The Stupak amendment forbid any insurer in the exchange "to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion" — a position that abortion rights advocates suggested would have led to many insurance providers dropping abortion coverage.

Neither pro-lifers nor pro-deathers are happy.

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.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    Nice that our hope and change, transparent, no special interests government representatives of the people in the Senate was able to work out some secret backroom deals in time to take a vote at 1:30 AM on a Monday morning during the Christmas rush.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    Nice that our hope and change, transparent, no special interests government representatives of the people in the Senate was able to work out some secret backroom deals in time to take a vote at 1:30 AM on a Monday morning during the Christmas rush.

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    What is interesting to me in all of this is how tangled the language gets. I certainly don’t want federal funding for abortions. However, I know of women who’ve had missed miscarriages — often titled missed abortions in medical terminology — who have needed procedures to remove the baby that had already died, and haven’t been able to get their insurance to cover it because of the “abortion.”

  • http://jen-lehmann.livejournal.com Jen

    What is interesting to me in all of this is how tangled the language gets. I certainly don’t want federal funding for abortions. However, I know of women who’ve had missed miscarriages — often titled missed abortions in medical terminology — who have needed procedures to remove the baby that had already died, and haven’t been able to get their insurance to cover it because of the “abortion.”

  • J

    Veith, your opposition to abortion is admirable but your opposition to health care for those who can’t afford it costs 120 American lives every day, 44,000 each year. That makes you a pro deather.

  • J

    Veith, your opposition to abortion is admirable but your opposition to health care for those who can’t afford it costs 120 American lives every day, 44,000 each year. That makes you a pro deather.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    “your opposition … to health care … costs 120 American lives every day…”

    J, your support for abortion and a communist takeover of America makes baby Jesus cry.

  • http://mesamike.org Mike Westfall

    “your opposition … to health care … costs 120 American lives every day…”

    J, your support for abortion and a communist takeover of America makes baby Jesus cry.

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    When neither side is happy, you probably got the best possible compromise…

  • http://www.scyldingsinthemeadhall.blogspot.com The Scylding

    When neither side is happy, you probably got the best possible compromise…

  • Joe

    Well if J is right then the debate is over. We have to enact anything and everything that is labeled “health care reform.” To heck with analyzing the bill, its long term impact of the bill on our entire theory of governence, whether it will actually save costs, what the unitended consequences might be – just enact it now!!!! Stop thinking and act already.

  • Joe

    Well if J is right then the debate is over. We have to enact anything and everything that is labeled “health care reform.” To heck with analyzing the bill, its long term impact of the bill on our entire theory of governence, whether it will actually save costs, what the unitended consequences might be – just enact it now!!!! Stop thinking and act already.

  • Kimett N Geist

    Agree with you Joe, let’s all suspend disbelief, in the words of Hillary Clinton and the truth be damned. The liberal left expects total compliance and allegiance. The Lord have Mercy!

  • Kimett N Geist

    Agree with you Joe, let’s all suspend disbelief, in the words of Hillary Clinton and the truth be damned. The liberal left expects total compliance and allegiance. The Lord have Mercy!

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    No, J, I’m not a pro-deather. I am not opposed to health care for those who can’t afford it. I don’t see how this particular bill is going to do that much to that end. We have a health care program for those who can’t afford it. It’s called Medicaid. Perhaps the program needs to be expanded or improved. But I don’t see how taking over the health care of those who CAN afford it will do that much for those who can’t. Couldn’t we zero in on the actual problem, making health care more accessible for those in need, rather than taking over everybody’s health care? Especially when the result may be restricting everyone’s access to health care, both those who can’t afford it and those who can?

  • http://www.geneveith.com geneveith

    No, J, I’m not a pro-deather. I am not opposed to health care for those who can’t afford it. I don’t see how this particular bill is going to do that much to that end. We have a health care program for those who can’t afford it. It’s called Medicaid. Perhaps the program needs to be expanded or improved. But I don’t see how taking over the health care of those who CAN afford it will do that much for those who can’t. Couldn’t we zero in on the actual problem, making health care more accessible for those in need, rather than taking over everybody’s health care? Especially when the result may be restricting everyone’s access to health care, both those who can’t afford it and those who can?


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