House pro-life Dems making a deal?

bart stupak.jpgI'm not getting worked up about this - unless Bart Stupak has lost control of his pro-life band of brothers, in which case they might do something stupid, as The Hill article below suggests some might.

Even if talks are indeed ongoing, affirmation should hinge on a promise (surely written) from a majority of Democrat senators - many of whom are virulent pro-aborts - to replace the current pseudo-pro-life Nelson Amendment with the original Nelson-Hatch Amendment (which was identical to the Stupak-Pitts Amendment) in the House-passed Senate version of Obamacare....

But the abortion lobby would never allow this. The Stupak Amendment got by them once. They won't let it happen again... unless there is a double-cross promise to enact the pro-life amendment only to rescind it. But now I'm sounding too much like a spy novel.

At any rate, The Hill reported this morning:

nick rahall.jpg

Natural Resources Chairman Nick Rahall (D-WV) [pictured right], one of Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-MI) gang of staunch opponents of the Senate abortion language, said they are in discussions with Senators and House leaders to secure such a commitment.

"There could be some kind of commitment from the other body to act on this later... to ensure that the Senate language does not remain law," he said.

Rahall said that securing such an agreement could open up 6-to-10 members, including himself, to voting for the Senate bill and reconciliation language.

He told the Charleston Daily Mail he will vote no unless abortion language is changed.

marcy kaptur.jpg

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) [pictured left] on Thursday hinted that discussions along the lines Rahall mentioned were in the works....

Rahall said the remaining opponents were at this point looking for "some type of language we can rely on in the Senate" and a "promise [from the Senate] to act in the future."

The Chairman would not say whether discussions between Stupak and Senate Democrats have risen to the leadership level, but he did say that he and Stupak are talking to House leaders, including Pelosi.

I don't think this is anything new. Stupak concurred talks are ongoing in an interview with George Stephanopoulos this morning on Good Morning America. Stupak has always maintained a willingness to dialogue with his party leader, which he has to do to maintain credibility. Note in this piece Stupak maintains, as Dan Lipinski did the other day, he has 12 pro-life Dems in his pocket. If Stupak really has 12, it's game over for passage of Obamacare in the House...

Stephanopoulos is a great Democrat lobbyist, don't you agree? But Pelosi in the aforementioned article threw water on this. And I believe her. She took an incredible amount of grief for allowing the Stupak Amendment in the 1st place. What she says here is in keeping with what a source told me she had passed along at a recent Planned Parenthood meeting, that she would rather see healthcare fail than allow a return of the Stupak Amendment...

Pelosi, however, said she is unaware of any such idea. "I haven't heard any of that," she said at a press conference Friday, though she conceded, "There are members who may be talking." Pelosi also indicated that, on abortion and other areas under dispute among Democrats, the legislation will undergo nothing more than "technical" adjustments before the planned vote on Sunday.

"There will be no further changes in the bill," she said.

Pelosi reiterated her case that the underlying healthcare reform bill does not undermine existing law banning federal funding of abortions.

"This bill is about healthcare, not abortion," she said.

Finally, from the same article, Stupak also threw water on this deal. Unless reps are working around him, it is unlikely to happen...

In a Wednesday interview with The Hill, however, Stupak said he was dubious of promises made by any Democrats.

"Right now, they got the trifecta: They got the House, they got the Senate and they got a president," he said. "So basically, they said, 'Your right-to-life amendments are over.' And they've proven that.

"So one of the offers is, 'Why won't you just drop this for now? We're going to work on it later. This thing doesn't kick in till 2018," Stupak continued. "Well, jeez, after you tell us no to our face - 'You're never going to get anything' - why would I suddenly think you're going to give me something now? I'm a little slow, but I'm not that slow."


Comments:

I'm passionately Pro-Life except when it comes to this bill.

Die baby! DIE!

Ooops, "die baby" is a poor choice of words for a Pro-Life blog.

Die you son-of-a-gun! DIE!

Posted by: Ed at March 19, 2010 3:54 PM


There's no abortion funding in this bill. Whether the Stupak language is in there or not.

Posted by: Violet at March 19, 2010 4:01 PM


Violet, you shouldn't say that here. Evidence, even from the bill doesn't matter. The anti-choice people here don't like reason. Look on page 2072 of the bill, which states that no amount of govt. funding will be used for paying for abortions. They're not interested in what IS in there, only what they THINK might be in there.

Posted by: Kat at March 19, 2010 4:47 PM


Two more liars support the Big Lie. No one actually believes it, but some cowardly Representatives want to use it as cover as they cave to the Botox Queen.

Posted by: Gerry at March 19, 2010 5:06 PM


There's no abortion funding in this bill.
Posted by: Violet at March 19, 2010 4:01 PM

Let's all play along and pretend that Violet is correct. Even if there were no abortion funding in the bill per se, there's still the preventive care loophole via the Mikulski amendment. It empowers HHS to mandate abortion as standard preventive care, after which the cash will necessarily flow more freely.

They're not interested in what IS in there, only what they THINK might be in there. Posted by: Kat at March 19, 2010 4:47 PM

So you would have us disbelieve Senator Mikulski's explanation of her own amendment, Kat? Did she not mention PP specifically? Did she not decline a request to exclude "abortion services" from her amendment?

Posted by: Fed Up at March 19, 2010 6:00 PM


Violet & Kat,

Here is the excerpt from the Senate bill (I believe it's page 2069) that requires every enrollee to contribute a minimum of $1/mo. for abortions:

(D) ACTUARIAL VALUE-

(i) IN GENERAL- The issuer of a qualified health plan shall estimate the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on an average actuarial basis, for including coverage under the qualified health plan of the services described in paragraph (1)(B)(i) [elective abortions].

(ii) CONSIDERATIONS- In making such estimate, the issuer—

(I) may take into account the impact on overall costs of the inclusion of such coverage, but may not take into account any cost reduction estimated to result from such services, including prenatal care, delivery, or postnatal care;

(II) shall estimate such costs as if such coverage were included for the entire population covered; and

(III) may not estimate such a cost at less than $1 per enrollee, per month.

Posted by: Ed at March 19, 2010 6:03 PM


Fed Up:
The Mikulski Amendment is very clear: it only covers "evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force" along with "with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph."

Covering abortion under this amendment would require HHS to include abortion as preventative care in comprehensive guidelines. I can't see any scenario in which abortion would be considered preventative care as part of any guidelines. Preventative care is vaccination and cancer screenings. Not abortion.

As far as Mikuski's statement that PP would potentially be included as a provider under this amendment, she was talking about the 97.3% of PP services that are not abortion-related, which include cancer screenings and vaccination. Unless HHS defined abortion as preventative care -- something I wouldn't support, because it's patently false -- PP would not be able to use any coverage or money for those preventative care services to pay for abortion services.

Ed:
What you're talking about is not federal funding for abortions. It's the provision that allows insurers to be part of the reforms/exchange and provide abortion coverage, and since the federal funds can't be used to pay for the abortion coverage, if you choose a plan that includes abortion coverage, you have to pay a separate premium for that coverage. If you don't want to pay for abortions, you can choose a plan that doesn't cover them. It's that simple.

If you have health insurance right now, it's likely that there is abortion coverage, and thus your premiums already pay for abortions. Even the GOP covers abortions for their staff through health insurance (http://thinkprogress.org/2010/03/19/abortion-odd-logic/) -- and those premiums are paid with donations to the GOP. If you've donated to the GOP, your money has probably paid for abortion coverage.

So, where else in the bill is there funding for abortions?

Posted by: Violet at March 19, 2010 6:16 PM


Okay. Playing along with Violet...

Everyone agrees on these basic facts: Sec. 10503 of the bill authorizes a new “CHC Fund” to
expand funding for the CHC program (which was established by Section 330 of the Public
Health Service Act). More unusually, the Senate bill also directly appropriates its own new
funds for these services, instead of leaving that task to the annual Labor/HHS appropriations bill
that generally funds programs at the Department of Health and Human Services. For Fiscal
Years 2011 to 2015, the bill appropriates $7 billion for services (to be increased to $11 billion under the President’s new proposal), $1.5 billion for construction and renovation of CHCs, and $1.5 billion for the National Health Service Corps. Why will this fund abortions? We have to look at legislative and judicial history.

A long and consistent series of federal court rulings since Roe v. Wade requires
that broad statutory mandates for provision of health services must be construed to include
mandated provision of abortions, unless the statute specifies otherwise. I can certainly provide very detailed information to back this fact if requested, but to save time and space, I will leave it out just now.

The statute establishing the CHC program has the same kind of broad mandate for providing
health services that Medicaid does. In some ways it presents an even more clear-cut case.
The statute defines a “health center” in the program as an entity that provides, at a minimum,
“required primary health services” to certain low-income populations. 42 USC § 254b(a)(1)(A). “Required primary health services” are defined to include “health services related to family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, or gynecology that are furnished by physicians” (and by other medical professionals where appropriate), as well as “voluntary family planning services.” 42 USC §254b (b)(1)(A). Thus, to be considered as eligible centers at all, centers in the program must provide the same broad categories of services that triggered the abortion mandate in Medicaid, and some that are even more specific (e.g.,gynecology services). The only thing that prevents CHCs from currently providing abortion is the Hyde Amendment. And we move to the third point:

The new funding appropriated for community health centers by the Senate health care bill is not covered by the Hyde amendment. This should be clear from the wording of the Hyde amendment itself: “None of the funds appropriated in this Act” may be used for most abortions (referring to the annual Labor/HHS appropriations act). The Senate bill’s new funds are not appropriated in the Labor/HHS appropriations act, so Hyde does not cover them. Therefore, we can reasonably expect CHCs to provide abortion.

Finally, the Senate health care bill itself contains no relevant provision to prevent the
direct use of federal funds for elective abortions. The House bill did, the Senate bill does not. By appropriating new funds not covered by Hyde, and by failing to include any relevant abortion limitation of its own, the Senate health care bill as presently worded would disburse billions of dollars in federal funding that no one could prevent from being used for elective abortions.

Now, Violet, you may continue to declare "this bill does not fund abortion," but policy analysts, congressional reps, and even mainstream media disagrees with you.

Posted by: Nerina at March 19, 2010 7:04 PM


Regarding CHCs, here is the statement from the National Association of Community Health Centers: "Existing Health Centers, funded by Section 330 of the PHS Act (also called Federally-qualified health centers, or FQHCs), do not provide abortions to any of their patients, and we are not aware of any that have ever done so. Health Centers do not plan to, nor are they seeking to, become providers of abortion. On the contrary, last year health centers provided prenatal, perinatal, and post-natal/post-partum care to 1 of every 8 children born in the U.S."

In addition, the CHC funding is governed by another set of laws, as I have said previously, starting with 42 C.F.R. § 50.303 (http://cfr.vlex.com/vid/50-303-general-rule-19796938), which unequivocally mandates that "Federal financial participation is not available for the performance of an abortion in programs or projects to which this subpart applies" except under specified circumstances. These specified circumstances are limited to those in which the life of the woman would be endangered, 42 C.F.R. § 50.304, or in cases of rape or incest, 42 C.F.R. § 50.306. The provisions are identical to the Hyde Amendment.

Not to mention that fact that CHCs received a grant from the economic stimulus that wasn't under the Hyde Amendment, and no one seemed to care then. Right now, without any health reform bill passing, only 20% of their funding falls under the Hyde Amendment, and they still don't provide abortion services (and aren't planning on it) -- probably because that federal funding that doesn't fall under Hyde is covered by 42 C.F.R. § 50.303.

What CHCs do provide is prenatal, perinatal, postnatal, and postpartum care for 1 in 8 children born in this country. Without the services they provide, 1 in 8 children may not have ever been born because their mothers, without access to medical care throughout the pregnancy and after birth, could easily have chosen abortion because of the prohibitive expense of pregnancy, labor, and perinatal/postnatal care. Providing this funding to CHCs will allow them to serve 15 million new patients, and that translates to millions more women with access to services that can make the difference between choosing abortion and keeping their babies. Doesn't that seem like something you should be supporting? Fewer abortions? Sounds great to me, since I want to see fewer abortions, too.

I have consistently seen the pro-life community focusing on complicated and unlikely scenarios that could possibly in some universe lead to some abortions being paid for with federal money, instead of looking at the many millions of women who, with these reforms, would have access to all kinds of health services that will not only improve the quality of prenatal/perinatal/postnatal/postpartum care, but give those women the security they need to know that choosing to have their babies and keep them won't bankrupt them, because they won't have to pay 100% of the costs. Providing them with insurance, as well as access to care through CHCs and other measures (like grants for families in need to cover prenatal and early childhood care, and provisions that ensure if you have your baby at a birth center with a midwife, it will be covered), will lead to fewer abortions and more babies being born that might otherwise be aborted. Why am I not hearing and reading about these positives? Why aren't pro-life groups talking about all of the ways that this bill will help the women and children that you are fighting for? Why is the pro-life movement so fixated on stopping this bill at any cost that you can't see all the good it would do and all the ways it supports your stated goals?

Posted by: Violet at March 19, 2010 8:30 PM


Violet, If there is no abortion funding in the bill then why did they give Nelson the cornhusker kickback? Why not just take the real health care and fork over your own $500 to Planned Parenthood when you need to have your babies kille? If abortion funding is really not in there then what do you have to lose by accepting the Stupak language and moving on with health care?

Posted by: truthseeker at March 19, 2010 10:59 PM


truthseeker: I'm not a congressperson or a senator. I can't tell you why they gave Nelson kickbacks -- I wasn't there when it happened.

As far as "Why not just take the real health care and fork over your own $500 to Planned Parenthood when you need to have your babies killed?" -- That's exactly what women will have to do under this bill, unless they select an insurance plan with abortion coverage (which, of course, would not be federally funded). And that's exactly what many women already do, because they don't have insurance at all.

What do we have to lose by accepting the Stupak language? The small amount of non-federally-funded abortion coverage by health insurance that the current plan would leave. The Stupak language would require people to purchase a separate abortion rider if they want abortion coverage, which is dependent on insurance companies to offer the rider in the first place. It's feared that under the amendment most insurance companies would decide not to offer the rider, and when there is no abortion coverage, low-income women are affected disproportionately. The end result of the Stupak amendment would be to limit access to abortion services further, and as the bill already bans federal funding of abortions, there is no reason to add the Stupak language.

At least, that's how I see it, and what I've read. I can't speak for anyone else, including the democratic congresspeople and leadership. And it's not like anything I say here makes a difference or changes anyone's mind, anyway.

Posted by: Violet at March 19, 2010 11:39 PM


Violet and or Kat: please let me know how my analysis is incorrect:

http://thelastdemocrat.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/march-19-house-reconciled-health-care-reform-will-have-us-all-paying-surcharge-into-abortion-coverage-fund-federally-mandated-abortion-coverage-access-may-be-reality-soon/

Posted by: Row1 at March 20, 2010 12:19 AM


Violet,
Most people wouldn't want to purchase abortion coverage, so it is likely correct to say that most insurance companies would decide not to offer the abortion rider (it would be market driven). You say that the Stupak amendment will cut off non-federal funding of abortions.

Tell me, what are these non-federal dollars you are referring to that would otherwise subsidize poor peoples abortions? Where do they come from?

Posted by: truthseeker at March 20, 2010 12:28 AM


Violet,
The Stupak amendment means that we don't live in a society with neighbors who subsidize women killing their babies. If he and his group stand together then Kindness and compassion rule the day.

But on the other side they spread confusion and deception by telling women that their baby is just a blob of cells. It would be a dark and painful existence in a society where when your neighbors offer to subsidize killing your baby.

I am glad congressman Stupak is bringing the sanctity of life issue into the spotlight. And I am grateful to God for His pro-life children in the Democratic party.


Posted by: truthseeker at March 20, 2010 2:15 AM


The Mikulski Amendment is very clear:

Perhaps, but you don't appear to understand it, Violet.

it only covers "evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of ‘A’ or ‘B’ in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task Force"

Can you show me where the bill or the amendment defines preventive services as only those which have an A or B grade? The paragraph you cite states that evidence-based A and B services are to be provided at no cost-sharing, meaning the patient has no copayment and that insurance shall at a minimum cover these A and B recommendations. I see nothing in the amendment or the bill that defines preventive care as only A or B graded services.

along with "with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph."

The additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph 1 are care and screenings that do not have an A or B rating. This indicates that preventive services for women merely have to be provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph. And what is the purpose of this paragraph? To establish minimum coverage of preventive services with no cost-sharing (copays). Mikulski refused to explicitly exclude abortions. Notice too that "women" isn't defined as adult women. One of my concerns is how this may apply to adolescent females.

Covering abortion under this amendment would require HHS to include abortion as preventative care in comprehensive guidelines.

Yeah, that's the point of the whole bill. HHS is composing nearly every guideline and overseeing most authority structures created by the bill. Mikulski is giving HHS a way to include non-evidence based preventive services for women as an essential covered benefit AND giving HHS authority to define what constitutes preventive services for women. Notice that services for women don't even have to meet the evidence-informed criteria set forth in paragraph 3 for infants, children, and adolescents. No evidence basis for women's preventive care guidelines? Where are the feminists?

I can't see any scenario in which abortion would be considered preventative care as part of any guidelines.

Proabort groups seem to disagree with you. This from NRLC: "It is also noteworthy that when Senator Mikulski offered a similar amendment in the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, it was backed by a long list of proabortion advocacy groups, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Catholics for Choice, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Medical Students for Choice. A July 8, 2009 letter from these groups asserted that by allowing the Health Resources and Services Administration to issue binding guidelines on preventive services, the "unique preventive health needs of women" would be addressed."

Preventative care is vaccination and cancer screenings. Not abortion.

I agree with you that abortion isn't preventive care. NARAL et al disagree with us. By giving HHS authority to determine what is or isn't considered elective care for women, Mikulski shows how subjective and politicized women's health care will become. Every HHS secretary is a partisan appointee beholden to the party in control of the White House. I don't care if it's a Democrat or a Republican. A political hack with a cadillac insurance policy is not likely to have the health issues of the American public foremost in mind. That's my biggest objection to Obamacare. Too much power over the average person's health care is centralized in the hands of partisan appointees.

As far as Mikuski's statement that PP would potentially be included as a provider under this amendment, she was talking about the 97.3% of PP services that are not abortion-related, which include cancer screenings and vaccination.

"Potentially?" Violet, she explicitly included PP. No doubt she intends to cover the services you mention. She also made it crystal clear that the amendment "would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or appropriate" and she refused to exclude abortion from that definition. Because the amendment eliminates the need for an evidence-based determination in creating guidelines, what prevents HHS from creating a guideline stating that elective abortion is "necessary or appropriate" for any woman who wants one?

Because Mikulski gives HHS discretion to include abortion as a preventive service, insurance plans may be forced to cover it. And every incentive in the bill to promote and increase access to preventive services therefore has the potential to promote and increase access to abortion.

Due to the backroom haggling in DC, we don't know what the final bill will say. Harry Reid's last minute manager's amendment to the Senate bill restricts HHS from defining abortion as an essential insurance benefit. But it didn't undo the authority Mikulski gives HHS to define abortion as a "preventive" service that must be covered. The House reconciliation bill says that preventive care would be an essential benefit. So whether abortion has to be covered remains to be seen. Whether HHS will have authority to define abortion as preventive care seems to be settled. Unfortunately.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 20, 2010 2:01 PM


truthseeker:

Tell me, what are these non-federal dollars you are referring to that would otherwise subsidize poor peoples abortions? Where do they come from?

They premiums paid for insurance plans with abortion coverage, just as abortions covered by insurance are paid for today. The current bill requires that those premiums are paid for with separate checks and can't be covered by any federal subsidies.

Do you have insurance right now? Does you insurance cover elective abortions?

Posted by: Violet at March 20, 2010 2:12 PM


Row1 -- I have posted a comment on your blog regarding your analysis. If you have questions, please let me know.

Posted by: Violet at March 20, 2010 3:45 PM


Fed Up:

A few things, because for the most part I think we are actually in agreement here.

Can you show me where the bill or the amendment defines preventive services as only those which have an A or B grade?

I'm sorry, I didn't intend to imply that the bill defined preventive services that way. I was rushing to get some work done yesterday and didn't take enough time composing my comment.

Notice too that "women" isn't defined as adult women. One of my concerns is how this may apply to adolescent females.

Can you explain your concerns in more detail? Are they limited to abortion, or do you have other concerns about "women's preventative care" being extended to adolescent girls?

A July 8, 2009 letter from these groups asserted that by allowing the Health Resources and Services Administration to issue binding guidelines on preventive services, the "unique preventive health needs of women" would be addressed.

While abortion is the most discussed and visible cause of pro-choice groups and activists, it is not the only concern. Reproductive choice encompasses (and this is not a complete list): contraception, family planning, access to medical services including regular gyn exams, pap smears, cervical cancer screenings, prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Anything that can affect a woman's ability to choose the manner, timing, and conditions in which she has (or doesn't have) children falls under the banner of reproductive choice and is a concern of the organizations that you list. Preventative care is an important part of it, and I am not at all surprised that these groups are coming out in favor of this amendment.

I am starting to be of the opinion that groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, Catholics for Choice, Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Medical Students for Choice should step back and stop endorsing the aspects of this health plan that they support, because it seems like every time they speak up it triggers a mass panic that there is secret abortion funding somewhere in that part of the bill.

In any case, I still see it as unlikely that abortion would ever be defined as preventative care -- and I have a strong feeling that if this amendment is in the final bill, a lot of pro-life groups are going to be watching closely to make sure that HHS does not include abortion in their recommendations. I would really hate to see the necessary preventative care that is included in this amendment be tanked because of this particular concern. If I was Mikulski, I would probably have accepted the additional language excepting abortions from being included. I can't explain why she didn't.

I am also wondering if any federal funding under this particular amendment would be covered by the same separate HHS laws that prevent the CHC funds from being used for abortion (I think I quoted them in another comment above). I'm not sure.

In conclusion, you're correct that -- assuming that the HHS laws I just mentioned don't apply -- if abortion was defined as preventative care, it appears this amendment would mandate that it be covered by insurance. Not sure how that would mesh with the Hyde Amendment, but I can see how that scenario might lead to abortion funding. However, I do see that as a big IF -- because I have a hard time seeing HHS defining abortion as preventative care, especially with the pressure that would undoubtedly be coming from pro-life groups as those recommendations were being written.

Posted by: Violet at March 20, 2010 4:04 PM


They premiums paid for insurance plans with abortion coverage, just as abortions covered by insurance are paid for today. The current bill requires that those premiums are paid for with separate checks and can't be covered by any federal subsidies.
Posted by: Violet at March 20, 2010 2:12 PM

Violet,
Poor people won't be paying for premiums, the government does. So you can't have government paying into plans that cover abortion, or you have my tax dollars funding to kill poor peoples babies. And this bill would tax me to fund their atrocities and defile my God. Violet, if you could see my blood boil; you would see that I will not allow this to stand. I will be in jail before I give you a penny to kill poor peoples children.

Posted by: truthseeker at March 20, 2010 5:05 PM


Connnect the DOTS Violet. BHO is in bed with Planned Parenthood and Kathleen Sebelius would be overseeing the doling out of the funds.

Posted by: truthseeker at March 20, 2010 5:11 PM


I think we are actually in agreement here.

We agree that abortion isn't preventive care. I suspect we agree on little else :)

Are they limited to abortion, or do you have other concerns about "women's preventative care" being extended to adolescent girls?

My concern is government interference in parental decisions about preventive care for their kids. The bill puts a big emphasis on promoting and increasing access to preventive care. If abortion, birth control, plan b, gardisil, etc are considered preventive care, I am concerned about these things being promoted in school-based clinics or other ways that undermine parental authority.

While abortion is the most discussed and visible cause of pro-choice groups and activists, it is not the only concern.

Agreed. However I am not naive enough to believe proabort groups will be anything less than zealous in getting abortion and abortifacients defined as preventive care. They'll be only too happy to remind the prez that he promised to sign FOCA as his first act.

A 2009 publication cosponsored by the National Abortion Federation, Providing Abortion Care, explicitly stated that " APCs [ Advanced Practice Clinicians] are especially well positioned within the health care system to address women's need for comprehensive primary preventive health care that includes abortion care."--LifeNews

it seems like every time they speak up it triggers a mass panic that there is secret abortion funding somewhere in that part of the bill.

Perhaps. But because of Obama's background, there was never any doubt there'd be loopholes for abortion funding in the bill even if those groups had been quiet as church mice. My beef with them is that their support of the bill shows their hypocrisy. They support Mikulski in saying that preventive services for women can be recommended without review of evidence. That's promoting good health care for women? They also claim that abortion is a private matter between a woman and her doc. You can't make that claim and support a bill that puts HHS in the middle of every aspect of the health care delivery system and puts every woman's medical history in the hands of the feds.

In any case, I still see it as unlikely that abortion would ever be defined as preventative care

And I disagree with you.

-- and I have a strong feeling that if this amendment is in the final bill, a lot of pro-life groups are going to be watching closely to make sure that HHS does not include abortion in their recommendations.

So what if they watch? HHS is going to care? HHS has no obligation to take anyone's opinion into account. No need to even take any evidence into account, remember?

If I was Mikulski, I would probably have accepted the additional language excepting abortions from being included. I can't explain why she didn't.

I can reasonably conclude that the intent is to provide HHS with authority to define abortion as preventive care.

I am also wondering if any federal funding under this particular amendment would be covered by the same separate HHS laws that prevent the CHC funds from being used for abortion (I think I quoted them in another comment above). I'm not sure.

I looked into that because HHS will have a separate prevention fund. I pulled up all kinds of statutes. I concluded that it could be, but I am not a lawyer.

HHS defining abortion as preventative care, especially with the pressure that would undoubtedly be coming from pro-life groups as those recommendations were being written.

Do you think HHS will make that process transparent? If they go against the will of the majority in passing the bill, are we to believe that once it's passed our input means anything?I am not that naive.

I'll leave you with this, Violet. If you believe that you, me, prolifers, or anyone but special interest groups will have meaningful input once this bill passes, go through and check out how many times the bill states sections aren't subject to administrative and/or judicial review. This isn't an input-oriented bill. It's a top-down authoritarian bill.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 20, 2010 5:41 PM


The only way out of paying would be to quit paying taxes cause they would be hiring 17,000 new IRS workers to collect any money they deem you owe them.

Posted by: truthseeker at March 20, 2010 6:54 PM


I just do not trust any of these people.

Posted by: Bill Stevens at March 20, 2010 8:15 PM


truthseeker:
Poor people won't be paying for premiums, the government does. So you can't have government paying into plans that cover abortion, or you have my tax dollars funding to kill poor peoples babies.

The whole point of having two payments for premiums -- one check for the main premium and one for the abortion coverage -- is to handle exactly that situation. The subsidy cannot be used to pay for the abortion part of the coverage. That must be a separate check coming out of the personal funds of each person. And would only be required for people that choose plans that contain aboriton coverage.

Again, no federal money paying for abortion.

Posted by: Violet at March 20, 2010 9:58 PM


And would only be required for people that choose plans that contain aboriton coverage Posted by: Violet at March 20, 2010 9:58 PM

Actually there is some vagueness in the language on that. But since it's just smoke and mirrors accounting anyway, it's not worth getting into.

It's still possible that prolifers will be compelled to pay the abortion fee. HHS has discretion to place high risk individuals into a temporary pool that has no requirement to offer a no-abortion plan.

And the notion of choosing plans is a joke if the abortion issue matters to you, whether you're prolife or proabort. If only 1 plan per state is required to accomodate each side, then any state with only one plan for that side compels those individuals to purchase whatever plan HHS decided to approve. Wonder how many proaborts are going to be pleased if only one plan in their state accomodates them? Especially if the prolife plan would have otherwise been their preference.

Posted by: Fed Up at March 21, 2010 12:44 AM


Violet,
You seem to have some kind of mental block on this. "Poor people won't be paying for premiums, the government does. So you can't have government paying into plans that cover abortion, or you have my tax dollars funding to kill poor peoples babies."

The way you are describing it with seperate checks to pay for abortionist services is just a shell game with the funds. The Stupak language stops my tax dollars from funding businesses that provide abortions. And that is precisely why they won't accept the Stupak language. Because there would be no abortion services allowed by providers who take government funds. Do you think I should have to fund Planned Parenthood with my tax dollars because they would only use the money to build an abortuary and not to pay the abortionist? Playing shell games with my funds does not change the fact that you would be using my funds to facilitate murdering the children of poor people. It is more important to BHO and Nancy Pelosi that they have an open checkbook of tax-payer monies to use to fund Planned Parenthood, then it is to pass health care reform. Otherwise this vote and this health care reform would have passed months ago.

Posted by: truthseeker at March 21, 2010 2:07 AM


Violet,
The Catholic Bishops say ir better than I can:
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/u.s._bishops_final_plea_to_congressmen_do_not_pass_pro-abortion_health_care_bill/

Posted by: truthseeker at March 21, 2010 3:06 PM