Thursday, March 25, 2010

Life Links 3/25/10

The White House has posted President Obama’s executive order on abortion in health care. It’s titled, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Consistency with Longstanding Restrictions on the Use of Federal Funds for Abortion.”

My question is if “The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges” then why is it “necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services”?

That’s basically the same thing Jake Tapper was trying to get to when he questioned Robert Gibbs yesterday (about a third of the way down).
Q Can I ask one other question about the executive order the President is signing today? Does the President think that this executive order is necessary? Does he think that there was ambiguity in the law? Or does he think that there wasn’t any ambiguity but this was just done because people like Bart Stupak wanted it done?

MR. GIBBS: Well, I would say the President believed that the law -- the President has always believed that health care reform should be about that, not about other issues. The President did not, in health care reform, believe we did change the status quo and believes that this reiterates that it’s not changed.

Q So he doesn’t think it’s necessary, it’s just reiterating what is already in the law?

MR. GIBBS: I mean, it’s an executive order so this isn't -- I mean, it’s not a frivolous thing, Jake.

Q No, of course not. But does this executive order change anything that the law already didn't do?

MR. GIBBS: It ensures that health care, the law the President signed yesterday, maintains the status quo of the federal law prohibiting the federal use -- the use of federal dollars for abortion.

Q So it is needed, that the law was not clear enough?

MR. GIBBS: The President reiterated that in the executive order.

Q So all he’s doing is repeating what’s in the law?

Q So it’s just -- I mean, you can’t have it both ways. Either the executive order is needed to clarify something that’s not --

MR. GIBBS: No, I -- again, I would refer you to the executive order and the statements that we made about this over the weekend.

Q I read the executive order, and it says that’s a reiteration of what already exists.

MR. GIBBS: Well, there you go.

Stupak is claiming prolife groups are hypocrites because they applauded President Bush’s 2007 executive order on stem cell research but are opposed to health care legislation with President Obama’s executive order. It’s like Stupak thinks all executive orders are equal with regards to intent and consequences.

The article also has this tidbit about how Stupak thinks Pelosi had the votes before the executive order agreement and allowed some Democrats to vote “no” once the Stupak coalition acquiesced.
It was that or nothing, he insisted, saying he knew for a fact that Pelosi released certain House Democrats from voting for the bill after he and his bloc of six or seven votes swung into the yes column.

“A number of them came up and thanked me … said, ‘Thanks for getting us off the hook,’” Stupak said. “I’ve been around here long enough to know that the speaker, Democrats or Republican, always carries a few votes in their pocket.”

“So I had a choice: to come up empty-handed and a bill passes with language that I totally disagree with, or I do the next best thing.”

However, Pelosi told a group of liberal columnists during an interview Tuesday that she did not let any Democrats off the hook from voting for the bill.

“I never give passes,” she said, according to David Corn, of Mother Jones magazine.

The Washington Times has an editorial calling Stupak a coward.

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