1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Abortion Provision may Imperil House Health Bill

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    53,246
    Likes Received:
    40,972
    Hadn't heard much about this before but this appears to be a new wrinkle in getting a health care bill passed.

    From the Washington Post

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33597521/ns/politics-washington_post

    Dem split over abortion imperils health bill
    Bloc could withhold support for legislation over fears of governmental role

    While House leaders are moving toward a vote on health-care legislation by the end of the week, enough Democrats are threatening to oppose the measure over the issue of abortion to create a question about its passage.

    House leaders were still negotiating Monday with the bloc of Democrats concerned about abortion provisions in the legislation, saying that they could lead to public funding of the procedure. After an evening meeting of top House Democrats, Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) said, "We are making progress," but added that they had not reached an agreement.

    The outcome of those talks could be crucial in deciding the fate of the health-care bill. Democrats need the vast majority of their caucus to back the bill, since nearly all congressional Republicans have said they will oppose the legislation.

    "I will continue whipping my colleagues to oppose bringing the bill to the floor for a vote until a clean vote against public funding for abortion is allowed," Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) said Monday in a statement. He said last week that 40 Democrats could vote with him to oppose the legislation — enough to derail the bill.

    Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, cast Stupak as "attempting to ban abortion coverage in the private insurance market."

    The abortion dispute centers both on federal subsidies that would be provided for people who cannot afford health-care coverage themselves and the much-debated government insurance alternative, which is included in the House version of the bill but is still being debated in the Senate. Under a 1976 law, federal funds are generally barred from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest or to ensure the life of the mother.

    Democratic leaders early this summer backed a provision that would allow people to use subsidies under the bill to buy insurance plans that cover abortion, but only funds from individual or employer health-care premiums could go toward paying for an abortion. Effectively, insurance companies would be tasked with segregating money from government payments from those coming from private sources, and only the latter could be used for abortion.

    Accounting distinction
    But Stupak and some Democrats, along with congressional Republicans, have criticized this provision as an accounting distinction. They say the federal subsidies and the private payments are combined for a person to buy a health plan; therefore, federal dollars are helping fund insurance plans that allow abortions.

    In July, during the debate on the legislation in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Stupak unsuccessfully tried to insert a provision that would bar any health-care plan that covers abortions from being included in the health-care exchanges the law would set up for people to buy insurance. The Senate rejected a similar effort last month in its bill.

    Conservative groups such as National Right to Life have also blasted allowing the government-insurance option to cover abortions. They say the cost of such abortions would be paid through the government because it would run the plan.

    In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) signed by 183 lawmakers who Stupak helped organize, a group of mainly Republicans wrote: "The U.S. government should not be in the business of promoting abortion as health care. Real health care is about saving and nurturing life, not about taking life."

    Keenan said a provision such as Stupak's would cut abortion coverage from the health plans of women if their employers decided to enroll in the health-care exchange. But after spending many of the past several days on Capitol Hill working on the bill, she said she wasn't sure if there are enough House votes to pass it with the current abortion language in it.

    "It's too close to call," she said.
     
  2. MojoMan

    MojoMan Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Messages:
    7,746
    Likes Received:
    2,153
    If they cannot even pass this bill in the House of Representatives, how are they going to pass it in the Senate?

    Of course, Obama will sign anything that is put in front of him, no questions asked and campaign promises be damned. So that will not be an issue.
     
  3. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    34,013
    Likes Received:
    13,319
    Despite leaning pro-life, I think it is a very bad idea to discriminate against abortion in providing a healthcare plan. If people on the public dole are not covered on abortion, you'll create a social schism between the well-to-do white ladies who can afford abortions with their private insurance, and poor (and often minority) women who have to scrape private funds together to get one. That's a tension we can do without. I'd rather find some other avenue for fighting abortions.
     
  4. Space Ghost

    Space Ghost Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    14,817
    Likes Received:
    6,071
    Is birth control part of a prescription plan? (i really don't know). This is where I have a major problem with the whole public health care bill. I fully understand and sympathize with those who truly can not afford health care and those who get screwed by the private sector over pre-existing situations. Something needs to be done. Pregnancy can be prevented (lets not get into the fringe. segment of rape/incest/ect...)
     
  5. bobrek

    bobrek Politics belong in the D & D

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 1999
    Messages:
    36,288
    Likes Received:
    26,638
    The vast majority of abortions can be considered "elective" surgery (i.e. those where the lives of the mother are not in jeopardy). It's the mother's choice to terminate the pregnancy, it should be the mother's choice to pay for it.

    My personal opinion is that if the "elective" element of abortions are covered, then every elective procedure should be covered.
     
  6. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    34,013
    Likes Received:
    13,319
    Neither of you are speaking to the class-disparity that I'm concerned about. Sure, we'd rather not incentivize using abortion as a form of birth control. But, I'd like to discourage abortions among all strata of society.
     
  7. GladiatoRowdy

    GladiatoRowdy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2002
    Messages:
    16,596
    Likes Received:
    494
    Do current private insurance plans cover abortion? Every woman who I have ever known to have had an abortion paid for it or had the father pay for it or some combination thereof.

    I wouldn't have a problem stripping the abortion provision from the bill, with the appropriate caveats (rape, incest, pregnancy threatens the woman's life), because I was under the impression that insurance didn't cover abortions as a rule.
     
  8. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 1999
    Messages:
    61,043
    Likes Received:
    28,539
    "I don't want the government telling me what I can do with my body . . . but i definately want them to pay for my choice!"

    Is that about it?

    honestly. beyond abortion . . I think getting folx covered is more important
    than playing politics and trying to make a definative statement on Abortion.

    Rocket River
     
  9. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    34,013
    Likes Received:
    13,319
    I can't readily tell looking at my own insurance. Google seems to indicate that most do not. My objection is more abstract, though. If private insurance won't insure it, then the government needn't worry about it. If they follow the industry's lead, they won't cover it. If the private industry changes course in the future, however, the government won't be able to follow, causing an artificial distortion in the market. Making a rule around this issue is too paternalistic to me: private insurance can do what it wants, but people getting government handouts must be supervised or else they might all get abortions all the time.
     
  10. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    42,526
    Likes Received:
    38,964
    Abortion is rarely covered by an insurance plan. It is an elective surgery, treated much the same as breast implants.
     
  11. Rashmon

    Rashmon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2000
    Messages:
    19,076
    Likes Received:
    14,184
    Agreed. Abortion is not always elective. If it is a necessary medical procedure, it is covered. And should be.
     
  12. justtxyank

    justtxyank Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    Messages:
    42,526
    Likes Received:
    38,964
    It is usually elective though, and "necessary medical procedure" covers only a small portion of abortions performed in the United States. That's why the vast majority of them aren't covered. When little 19 yr old Susie goes down to the clinic to try and keep her mom from finding out she got knocked up, she is paying out of pocket.

    I definitely agree with the democrat who's trying to oppose this. No federal funding of abortions.
     
  13. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 1999
    Messages:
    34,013
    Likes Received:
    13,319
    If elective abortion isn't covered by private insurance, why are we going to such extremes to make sure federal dollars don't pay for abortions? If the feds subsidize a plan for poor people with a private insurer, the abortion won't be covered. If the feds provide their own policy, they could simply follow the industry standard and not cover abortion. Why would it need to be explicit in the legislation when it is unlikely to happen anyway?

    And, hopefully, where it is necessary -- like the mother will die if she brings a baby to term -- a government plan would cover it.
     
  14. YallMean

    YallMean Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    14,277
    Likes Received:
    3,807
    "Class-disparities" will always be present in a society running on capitalism.
    The question is whether it is appropriate for LAW to eliminate some of these disparities.
    I think at this stage, neither the legislature nor the Court is prepared to announce abortion is a fundamental right that should be guaranteed by the gov't like the right to vote or the right to be educated. Abortion is rather legally recognized as a right that is free of gov't abdication within a time frame. State and Federal is free to promote abortion or restrict abortion for health reasons.
    So I don't think class-disparity is of any relevance in this discussion.
    However the result of the bill, it's a choice of political process, and unfortunate or fortunately, it is how this country is run.
     
  15. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    53,246
    Likes Received:
    40,972
    Do you have any proof of this?
     
  16. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Messages:
    18,316
    Likes Received:
    5,087
    The courts have defined the legalities of the issue and is open for petitions to change ... fine settled. Insurance doesn't pay for elective procedures. So, you the doctor make the call of medical necessity and the mother make her call of choice of treatment. Done.

    This is a BS issue that will be the next Faux News teabagging roadblock to getting something done. They will blow it up as big as they can.
     
  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    Messages:
    53,246
    Likes Received:
    40,972
    All though you can't rule out there are cases where the life of the mother is threatened. I don't know enough about the provision if it has a health exception but I would hope that an insurance plan would cover a medically necessary procedure even if it is relatively rare.

    Taking a different tact I presume that health insurance would cover care in case of an abortion where the mother was injured. Following JuanValdez's argument it seems to me that in a situation where poor people have to pay out of their pocket for abortions they are likely to go the cheapest possible provider which might not be the safest. In that case government subsidies or a public ooption might end up paying for the results of that and likely more than if it was a procedure already covered.
     

Share This Page