The pivotal Washington health care summit is about many things and much of it is political posturing. Maybe most. By both parties. What’s getting little attention is the persistent issue of abortion at the core of both House and Senate versions, and how the politicians in Congress are handling it.
The day before the much-hyped event, at least the WSJ re-framed the picture.
Abortion was one of the final matters to be resolved in December when the Senate created its version of the health-care bill, with a carefully crafted compromise that left neither side in the debate happy. If a final bill is to clear the House, Democrats will have to find a way to finesse the problem again. One idea being floated involves inserting more-restrictive language later into a spending bill.
At issue is whether health-insurance policies people would buy with federal subsidies established by the legislation could offer abortion coverage.
When the House debated its health bill last year, antiabortion Democrats led by Rep. Bart Stupak (D., Mich.) won language prohibiting insurers from selling plans that cover abortion to any person receiving the subsidies. With their votes, the bill passed 220-215.
The Senate language is less restrictive. It allows insurers to offer abortion coverage as long as customers write a separate check to pay for it, an exercise meant to assure that no federal money goes toward abortion services. That provision was a compromise aimed at satisfying Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the last Democratic holdout.
And we all know how that turned out.
But Mr. Stupak said the Senate version left too big a loophole, while abortion-rights supporters argued that in practice, it would be too cumbersome for insurance companies to collect separate checks and they wouldn’t cover abortion at all.
Note the langauge in the reporting, “anti-abortion Democrats”….”abortion-rights supporters”. Cue the readers…”anti” is bad, “rights” are good, right?
The WSJ has bought into the media style book that changed designations to change public opinion.
Let’s think critically: If you can’t assure citizens that the government won’t pay to end human life, how can you buy into negotiations supposedly assuring that the government will pay to advance the health of all citizens?