Stupak tells us that he’s disappointed that Democratic leaders have offered him legislative favors in exchange for supporting Obamacare. “This shouldn’t be a bill where you use hush money,” says Stupak…..
On abortion, Stupak says that the language of the health-care bill must be crystal clear. “There cannot be, in any way, public funding for abortion,” says Stupak. “What the Nelson compromise does is recognize abortion for the first time as a benefit in a federal health plan. It mandates that at least one plan has abortion coverage. Those are drastic changes to the current law.”
Senator Sam Brownback has an editorial in Politico on abortion and health care reform.
Even if the Democrats are able to ram this bill through the Senate, there is still hope that it may founder in the conference with House Democrats. Both abortion rights supporters and anti-abortion advocates on the House side have pledged to vote against the current abortion-funding language in the Reid amendment and called it unacceptable. Since the Democrats are working with a thin margin of support for the bill in the House, it is just possible that the attempt to use health care reform to force taxpayer funding for abortion will end up killing the bill. This is now the central debate in reconciling the differences between the House and Senate Democratic bills. If the issue of abortion funding brings down this bill, it will be a victory for the cause of protecting innocent human life. That would be an irony that Henry Hyde would have greatly appreciated.
You would think that prolife evangelicals and Catholics would read the abortion language in the Senate’s health care reform bill before signing their names in support of it because of language they thought would be added. Unfortunately, numerous liberal prolife evangelicals and Catholics (including Doug Kmiec, Ron Sider and Brian McLaren) decided not to and signed a statement in support of Senator Casey’s amendment to the health care bill.
Casey’s alternative language, which we expect to be available in its final legislative form soon, could ensure that strong provider conscience protections passed in the House bill are maintained; no federal funds pay for abortions in any way; and no premium dollars from individuals who opt out of abortion coverage will be used to fund abortions.None of the above is included in the final version of the Senate’s health care bill.