Friday, November 20, 2009

Life Links 11/20/09

Wesley Smith notes a changed clause in Senator Reid’s health care bill could force insurance providers in states where assisted suicide is legal to include assisted suicide in their plans.
If assisted suicide, or even euthanasia, are legally considered forms of “end of life care” in a particular state–as it is now in Oregon, Washington, and Montana–it seems to me that the area’s community health insurance option would be required to provide “access” to it under this clause. How else can the provision be read? And because it would have been passed later in time, this clause could be construed to subsume existing federal law that prevents federal funds from being used in assisted suicide.

According to The Hill, Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) is opposed to the abortion language in Reid’s health care bill.
"We have looked at the language," Nelson told The Hill. "That language is not language that I would prefer."

"I think you need to have it eminently clear that no dollars that are federal tax dollars, directly or indirectly, are used to pay for abortions and it needs to be totally clear. [It’s] not clear enough, I don’t think," Nelson said.

Speaker Pelosi thinks the abortion issue won’t stop healthcare reform legislation and that she has a plan to bring prolife Democrats into the fold.
"I believe that there's plenty area for common ground," Pelosi told NPR's Renee Montagne. "We all agree that there will be no federal funding for abortion."….

When asked whether she had a specific plan to bring moderate Democrats around on the abortion issue, Pelosi said: "Yes ... but if I talk about it on the radio, then I won't be able to make it happen."

Rep. Lois Capps has a weak editorial in Politico attempting to argue that her abortion language is consistent with the federal government's current policy regarding the funding of abortion. She assumes that no insurance policy in the exchange would create a plan with abortion, thinks that not taxing income is equivalent to providing someone with a federal subsidy, and claims (without giving any names - is she refering to pro-choicers Bart Gordon and Zack Space?) that prolifers on the Energy and Commerce Committee rejected the Stupak amendment.

Regarding legislation to provide transparency to embryonic stem cell research in Michigan, the editorial board of the State News (Michigan State's newspaper) has a much wiser take than the Grand Rapids Press. The GR Press editorial is so bad and factually inaccurate that I considered dumping my subscription.

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