First the issue of abortion de-testicled the public option. Then it tormented the House vote. Finally Democrats agreed to pass an anti-choice amendment offered by Bart Stupak (D-MI), because hey, sometimes you gotta compromise minority interests for the greater good. (Before you say it: Yes, women are more than half the population. But they tend to be smaller than men, so they aren't more than half the nation's total mass.)
Now the Stupaked-up bill heads for the Senate, where some people want to be sure its provisions stay in…
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid found his health reform efforts seriously complicated Monday by the explosive issue of abortion, as key centrist senators said they wanted to see airtight language in the bill blocking federal funding for the procedure.
[Stupak] prohibits public money from being spent on any plan that covers abortion even if paid for entirely with private premiums. Therefore, no plan that covers abortion services can operate in the [public] Exchange unless its subscribers can afford to pay 100% of their premiums with no assistance from government "affordability credits." As the vast majority of Americans in the Exchange will need to use some of these credits, it is highly unlikely any plan will want to offer abortion coverage.
Seriously? Even though 87% of current employer health plans offer abortion coverage? You know, this reminds me of a powerful editorial I read a few months ago, entitled "We need to reform the reform." Here's the best part:
Instead of expanding coverage to the uninsured, the legislation upends the current employer-sponsored insurance system, ends patients' choices, and puts a bureaucrat between you and your doctor.
Thank you, Sen. Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire! I look forward to hearing you make this exact same argument on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.
Tags: Abortion, Bart Stupak, Democrats, Health Care, House of Representatives, Judd Gregg