Keep Abortion Funding Out Of Health Reform

I will come right out and say it. No federal funding for abortion procedures should be stipulated in the healthcare legislation now being deliberated in Congress. It pains me to say that because on principle I am pro-choice. The decision should rest with the doctor and the woman, the father, perhaps the pastor and definitely not the government.

I realize this position is contradictory because it penalizes women who cannot afford abortion. Basically, I’m saying let’s keep the status quo under the guidelines of Roe vs. Wade and the Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, that explicitly prevents the federal government from using tax dollars to fund abortion through Medicaid.

Abortion is the most emotional among the numerous obstacles facing Congress in its struggle to pass healthcare reform. The House bill and the Senate drafts both include a government option or at minimum a co-op for health insurance coverage. This is where it gets murky, leading many pro-life legislators to insist provisions of The Hyde Amendment be written into the new legislation.

“Unless you can specifically exclude abortion, it will be part of any federalized healthcare system,” said Charmaine Yoest, executive director of Americans United for Life.

Nineteen of the 52 conservative “Blue Dog” House Democrats threaten to scuttle the entire healthcare reform effort unless their demands outlying federal funding for abortion procedures are met. Republicans are using the abortion issue to drive a wedge between the Democrats and the Obama administration.

The White House is trying to remain neutral. “I think that it’s appropriate for us to figure out how to just deliver on the cost savings and not get distracted by the abortion debate,” President Obama said in an interview with CBS News last week.

When asked about abortion prohibitions in the bill, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said last week that “a benefit package is better left to experts in the medical field to determine how best and what procedures to cover.”

I’m trying to be pragmatic. It would be a crime if the entire healthcare reform package is killed because of the abortion issue. It would change nothing if the liberal Democrats went along with the Blue Dogs and possibly even win support of a few moderate Republican senators.

Legislation of this sort never pleases everyone. And for those pregnant women on Medicaid, their options would be the same as they have been for the past 33 years. It isn’t fair to them. Never has been. But, politics and reality don’t always go hand in hand.

         

Author: JERRY K. REMMERS, TMV Columnist

Jerry Remmers worked 26 years in the newspaper business. His last 23 years was with the Evening Tribune in San Diego where assignments included reporter, assistant city editor, county and politics editor.

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43 Comments

  1. Don't worry, pro-choice and gay rights issues has been tossed out of the agenda by the new liberal majority. They understand that these two wedge issues could hurt them in 2010 and 2012.

  2. This fills me with loathing. Up to a certain point in the pregnancy, an abortion is a completely uncontroversial procedure.

  3. Abortion at any stage is controversial to many many Americans – you should really try to read a little more.

  4. “Abortion at any stage is controversial to many many Americans” . . . people who in most cases should be minding their own damned business.

  5. since when? that might be your opinion but I don't believe in killing a child a week earlier makes it any less immoral.

  6. While the argument presented by the post is certainly well thought-out and logical, on the other hand, most private insurance programs do cover abortion. While I would certainly believe this is much less because of a firmly held belief by insurance companies that women deserve the right to choose than because it's much cheaper to cover an abortion than it is to cover a pregnant person and then a baby, it remains the case that abortion is covered under most policies. My point is that offering up a program to compete with private insurance while not covering a completely legal, often medically necessary, safe, and *cost saving* procedure, would mean that the public option will be starting out with a significant disadvantage, and would leave women who choose this option to fend for themselves on this issue.

  7. I see. You want the decision to be made by the woman and her doctor, while opposing a policy which allows more women to make that decision. I'm not sure which is more depressing – that you're willing to throw poor women to the wolves or that it's probably about as much as you can hope for.

  8. “Abortion at any stage is controversial to many many Americans – you should really try to read a little more.”

    It shouldn't be controversial before a certain point. Before a certain stage the developing fetus is as legally “human” as the appendix or a toenail clipping. Before that stage, an abortion is akin to removing a tumor – that might not be PC, but it's true. It's a procedure that most certainly can be funded as it is a great relief to the afflicted.

    That's what bothers me about America: everyone, left and right, seem committed to make an issue out of completely harmless things. So place a limit on abortions after the twelfth or maybe even the tenth week if you want to be cautious, but don't pretend it is legitimate to call *all* abortions moral issues that can be called deal-breakers in healthcare reform. Passing of a five-week bolus of matter as some sort of legally human being is an insult to my intelligence.

  9. The embryonic heart, according to Marjorie Greenfield, M.D., starts beating 22 days after conception. Why is that important? Although there is a good case to be made for life beginning at conception, more can agree that life ends for a human (at any age) when the heart stops beating. So, in the same way, many believe that life begins when the heart starts beating. This is not a toe-nail; it is not a tumor. It is a human being. The Hyde Amendment, forbidding the use of federal dollars to fund abortions, should stand, whatever the health care bill ends up looking like. Don't use my tax dollars to end innocent life.

  10. Redbus,
    So if someone gets an artificial heart, they are officially dead?

  11. I've seen heart cells beat in a petry dish all by their lonesome…does that mean I'm a murderer when I stop feeding them and they die?

    I'll tell you what makes a heart beat….a whole bunch of cardiac muscle cells get together..and when there are enough of them, they decide to throw a party…and that flexing makes the heart beat.

    The whole beating heart argument is not valid.

  12. JSpencer: it's my business because my money is going to help pay for it.

    Kastanj: I guess that you haven't spent much time in church during your, likely, short lifetime.

  13. Alive or not alive, a 22 day old blastocyst is certainly not a citizen, and certainly not in a position to demand that the living, definitely-a-person woman carrying it must give up her bodily autonomy to make sure it remains alive. In fact, we cannot legally force anyone to give up their own bodily autonomy (say, give a kidney) for the purpose of keeping a definitely-alive adult person living. So not only are we conferring full citizenship upon said 22 day old blastocyst, but we are giving that blastocyst more rights than living, breathing people — the right to demand another person give up use of their body for the purpose of your remaining alive.

  14. Exactly, PWT…………..when the liberals start putting their money where their mouth is, I'll start giving their opinions credence.

    roro- there is no disadvantage to the soon-to-be-nonexistent public option becasue the woman with private insurance is “disadvantaged” too by having to pay the premiums or work at a job that pays the premiums as part of her compensation for that work.

  15. “So, in the same way, many believe that life begins when the heart starts beating. This is not a toe-nail; it is not a tumor. It is a human being. The Hyde Amendment, forbidding the use of federal dollars to fund abortions, should stand, whatever the health care bill ends up looking like. Don't use my tax dollars to end innocent life.”

    There is only one true death – the loss of the lattice of electric activity in cerebral matter. Our mind, our selves or our soul (or our existence – I don't care to find the perfect term) is merely an infinitely complex configuration of sparks in an infinitely complex lump of jelly. Naturally our body, our proprioceptive impressions, are part of our personhood, but essentially we are a brain in a box. The heart just provides the blood we need to continue an existence that exists solely in a brain. The heart is inert flesh – humanity resides in the brain.

    “Kastanj: I guess that you haven't spent much time in church during your, likely, short lifetime.”

    Never, and I'm proud of that, and glad I can look on strictly material issues like abortion or homosexuality with objective eyes. I'm ever so grateful that both my parents were atheists, so that I could grow up without having religion spread through me while my mind was still soft and emotionally dependent. If we removed the influencing power of family and community and instead let all children grow up in societies were religion was allowed but not surrounding them in their formative years, the abrahamic religions would die in a generation. Adults who went to church began going with their family when they were young and unquestioning and came to take it for granted. Religion doesn't have the intellectual strength to keep its ranks solid without settling into the minds of children – who take everything for granted and objective truth.

  16. “If they would only step up to the plate and pay for the abortions themselves, there would be a huge falloff in the public's resistance to the overall issue.”

    No, you're going to pay as well, because abortions are no more morally troublesome than a vasectomy provided it happens before a certain point in the gestation.

  17. “when the liberals start putting their money where their mouth is, I'll start giving their opinions credence. If they would only step up to the plate and pay for the abortions themselves, there would be a huge falloff in the public's resistance to the overall issue.”

    Next up, red states can repay the blue states for the Iraq War.

  18. “JSpencer: it's my business because my money is going to help pay for it. – PWT

    IF it's money your concerned about; then you'll be paying more for an unwanted pregnancy carried to term than an abortion in the first trimester. If it's being associated with an immoral procedure that worries you, then we're all damned for our monetary support of the Iraq invasion anyway. Again, if it isn't your body, it isn't your business. If on the other hand it IS your body, then it's the business of you and your physician. That said, I agee with Jerry, any funding of abortion in this bill is nonproductive.

  19. “'Abortion at any stage is controversial to many many Americans” . . . people who in most cases should be minding their own damned business.”

    No, not if those people are having to pay for it with taxpayer dollars. Really it is an issue best left to the states. Of course, first the states need to get rid of all the federal mandates for which they are having to pay and break their budgets.

  20. casual: “roro- there is no disadvantage to the soon-to-be-nonexistent public option becasue the woman with private insurance is “disadvantaged” too by having to pay the premiums or work at a job that pays the premiums as part of her compensation for that work”

    That same argument could be made for any covered treatment on any private plan. The only logical conclusion from this line of reasoning is to do away with all insurance coverage, and just have everyone pay for each and every doctor's appointment and treatment out-of-pocket. I guess it could work — if we're ok with just letting most people die.

    I also don't understand this statement: “If [liberals] would only step up to the plate and pay for the abortions themselves, there would be a huge falloff in the public's resistance to the overall issue.”

    That's exactly what happens now: people who get abortions pay for them, unless their insurance companies pay the cost. Or are you suggesting that if you self-identify as liberal or as pro-choice, you get an extra tax or something to pay for abortions? Can we also choose to fund schools with our tax instead of war (I think this is ChrisWWW's point)? How about public transportation over more roads and car subsidies? Yeah…that's not how taxes work. It is how charitable donations work, which is why I do give to Planned Parenthood. But maye I'm misreadying what you're trying to say with that statement.

  21. This article represents an important discussion, but for all the wrong reasons. It's a difficult concept for me to discuss in short, concise terms, but it represents exactly why it's important to talk about the reasons why we shouldn't be talking about that. (Can I submit that one to The Daily Show?)

    I''m one of those annoying “moderate pro-choice people” that everyone hates. I absolutely refuse to get into the whole abortion debate here again for the 1000th time, but I reluctantly support a woman's right to an abortion up to the point of fetal viability, and also support certain reasonable riders such as parental consent for minors as it's usually crafted and spousal notification.

    With that said, this doesn't belong in a health care reform bill. We seem to be edging closer to a bipartisan proposal that eliminates the disastrous “public option” and some other bad moves while expanding needed health care provisions for those who need, want and truly can not afford it. Sticking the abortion question here is just another case of declaring war for nothing but war's sake.

    We had, last year, an unfortunate case in our extended family where a young lady was facing that awful choice. After some checking was done, there were no less then three phone numbers she could call where she could get public assistance to get an abortion even if she had no realistic way to pay for the care. The help is out there if you can pick up a phone and women are not being forced to bear children because they can't afford the procedure. If there are some isolated spots where it does happen, that's a failure of the local support system and needs to be addressed locally. There were also two places around here where young women could call up and get schooled on why abortion is bad and have free care provided to bring the baby to term and put it up for adoption with the help of a local Catholic Services hospital.

    If you want this lightening rod stuck in the health care reform bill and you're a conservative, then you're looking for another tool, unrelated to the main issue, to torpedo the whole damned thing, even if we find a reasonable, cost effective compromise. If you're a liberal pushing for it, you're poking a finger in your own eye just trying to to start up a culture war again to shove the abortion issue back in everyone's face and demand that the government not only support it, but fund it.

    Stop it, please. Just stop. It's hard enough to manage to get anything done in a reasonable fashion on an issue like this. If you want to push this social issue crap into the fray, then let's just drop health care reform entirely, admit that we're more interested in political bloodsport than actually helping anyone, and move on to the next scandal of the day.

  22. If the war lasts another five years, it will cost nearly $1.4 trillion, calculates Linda Bilmes, who teaches budgeting at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. That's nearly $4,745 per capita. Her estimate is thorough. She includes not only the military cost but also such things as veterans' benefits and additional interest on the federal debt.

    Chris, based on my tax return for any of the last 5 years, I am confident I have paid for my share, plus your share, plus the share of every other liberal on this thread and undoubtedly funded 1,000 welfare abortions to boot.

    roro-if you take abortions out of public funding you can count me in on $2000 to Planned Parenthood each year. If you appeal to my voluntary generosity instead of mandating what I must do, I am much more pliable.

  23. casual — well, it's not publicly funded now. Consider this an appeal to your generosity.

    Jazz — So talking about which procedures should be covered under a public option while in the process of discussing said public option is somehow inappropriate?

  24. Oh, come on, Roro. The so called “public option”is pretty much dead at this point,and let's be thankful for that. If there's going to be help for low income people, then great. Let's do it. I'm just saying that inserting abortion into the debate is silly. Let's leave abortion coverage out of whatever plan is developed and let sleeping dogs lie.

  25. The Hyde Amendment, forbidding the use of federal dollars to fund abortions, should stand, whatever the health care bill ends up looking like. Don't use my tax dollars to end innocent life.

    You have the government supporting your moral preferences on the uses of your tax dollars, though. Aren't you the lucky one. I wish the government would support *my* moral preferences on the use of *my* tax dollars. Unfortunately, I helped to pay, over the years, for every human being killed by U.S. bombs in every war fought or supported by the U.S. since 1968 (when I turned 18).

  26. I keep hearing on this site that the public option is dead — where do you get that? Isn't that kind of the meat of the entire health care reform idea? Maybe if you say it often enough it will be true? Just from this very post: “The House bill and the Senate drafts both include a government option or at minimum a co-op for health insurance coverage.”

    If it is the case that the public option is dead, the entire post makes no sense. Trying to “insert” a health care issue into a health care discussion doesn't seem “silly” to many people. Whether this issue goes one way or the other in the final bill, I don't think it's fair to claim it off-topic or silly to discuss.

  27. We seem to be edging closer to a bipartisan proposal that eliminates the disastrous “public option” and some other bad moves while expanding needed health care provisions for those who need, want and truly can not afford it.

    Whatever else you could call a health care reform proposal without a public option, without a surtax on the wealthy to pay for it, and without an employer mandate, you cannot call it bipartisan. You could call it your dream come true, and I could call it my nightmare, but you cannot call it bipartisan. The prefix “bi” in bipartisan means “two,” or “both.” You cannot call a proposal bipartisan if it removes everything that one of the sides wants.

  28. See, Kathy, this is what's wrong with the Dem's gameplan. They try to start out by proposing something reasonable. The Rep's know that if you start out with something crazy ridiculous extreme right-wing, then the compromise in the end will come out more right leaning. This is why I think single-payer should still be on the table — not that it's really all that crazy, but it is a huge and extreme change from status quo; a public option would look as moderate as it is if that were the case. We all know that whatever the Dems came up with would be immediately branded as socialism, no matter how reasonable. If Jazz is correct that the public option is or soon will be dead, what's the point? Who will benefit besides those who just want Obama to have one big mark in the “failure” column?

  29. Kathy:
    Whatever else you could call a health care reform proposal without a public option, without a surtax on the wealthy to pay for it, and without an employer mandate, you cannot call it bipartisan.

    You've apparently never heard of the blue dogs. What would you call a plan which none of the Republicans or the moderate Dems support that has a government owned and operated plan which once again plans on taxing the wealthiest Americans (like everything else) to pay for everyone else, and with a govt. boot to force employers to abandon their current plans to carry it, regardless of cost or benefits provided? Is *that* bipartisan? I think not. Let's leave the hyperbolic “nightmare” descriptions out of it and admit that only the left wing of the Democratic party wants those things and they can't even get all of their own party onboard for it because of the potential downstream damage. If we find a compromise that works for the Pubbies and the moderates,even if the furthest left wing of the Democratic party wants a lot more, it's one heck of a lot more “bipartisan” than what you're describing.

    The Dems won the last two cycles and they have the majority. If they can somehow force this down the throats of everyone else, then that's the fruits of victory and that's what we'll have. And then we'll see how it shakes out and let the voters speak in the next cycle to see what they thought of it.

  30. Remmers isn't saying he thinks that abortions should not be covered. It's clear he believes they should. What he's arguing is that he isn't willing to give up all of health care reform for this procedure that sets such emotions high. For the people who think it should be covered, is your position that if it's not covered then you prefer the status quo (where it's not covered)?

  31. will come right out and say it. No federal funding for abortion procedures should be stipulated in the healthcare legislation now being deliberated in Congress. It pains me to say that because on principle I am pro-choice. The decision should rest with the doctor and the woman, the father, perhaps the pastor and definitely not the government.

    I realize this position is contradictory because it penalizes women who cannot afford abortion.

    Actually, I don't think your position is contradictory at all. On the contrary, I believe it is people who call themselves “pro-choice” but want to force taxpayers to pay for abortions who hold the contradictory position.

    The true “pro-choice” position with regards to abortion is the one that holds that people should be able to make decisions regarding abortions completely independent from the government. This means that pro-lifers cannot use the force of government to arrest women who have abortions or doctors who provide them. It also means that people sympathetic to abortions cannot force taxpayers to pay for this procedure.

    Abortion remains legal (rightly so, in my opinion). Forcing people who oppose this procedure on moral grounds to pay for it only gets the government more involved in abortions. This will not only inflame the pro-life side, but it will inevitably allow the government to impose more restrictions on abortion.

    Lastly, Bill Clinton once said of abortion that he wanted it to be “safe, legal, and rare.” I agree. You don't make abortion rare by subsidizing it.

  32. I completely agree with the author here. Only he forgot something. If we don't fund abortions we absolutely should create a much larger fund for the placement, rearing, education and material needs of all the new unwanted children until they reach 18 that will be born to teenage girls… fathered in some cases by the girls' brothers, uncles, fathers, stepfathers or the guy down the block that raped them.

    Plan ahead and put the money where your mouth is. That's what I always say.

  33. Silhouette has proposed something constructive, i.e. support for those who carry a child to term. It seems a crying shame that there are so many childless couples who practically go bankrupt on fertility treatments when simultaneously there are countless unwanted, unborn children aborted in the name of “choice.” How about taking the money that would have gone to a fertility clinic and use it to give an adopted child a great start in life in an adoptive family. The only ones who don't win in this scenario are the abortion clinics, since they lose the revenue that they so obviously are determined to keep coming. Follow the money.

  34. redbus, first up, you are basically saying that abortion providers don't provide abortion procedures because they believe that abortions are sometimes the right decision or that women have a right to the procedure, but instead that they've rigged up some sort of trick to make money, and are trying to talk women out of carrying a pregnancy to make a buck. Is that really your perception of things? That the passion on the pro-choice side (matched on the pro-life side) is all about bringing in some greenbacks?

    Next, I've only done a cursory glance, but the basic cost of a 1st or 2nd trimester procedure is about $1500 – $3000. Very few women who have decided an abortion is the right action are going to reverse it for a couple G.

    Next, there are thousands and thousands of children available right now for people to adopt, they are just older children. We don't need to generate more babies to meet the desire for adopted children. We need to convince more parents that an older child can fit into their family.

    Finally, no child has probably ever been aborted in the name of “choice”. “Hey, I want to have my baby, but as a political statement I'm going to have an abortion to prove my dedication to the pro-choice cause!” Women have abortions for a thousand reasons, none of which are to support choice. They support choice, because they have a thousand reasons.

    All that said, my general position is indeed to try to reduce abortions without making them illegal. I just don't think “Pay and Deliver” is the best choice. Who would you decide gets these payments? I'm a mom with no plans to abort, but if I show up in a clinic and say I'm thinking about it, I get to walk away with 5 big ones? That's never going to fly.

  35. Pacatrue -

    Yes, I believe that the almighty dollar is behind much of the abortion lobby. There is a vested financial interest in having a woman abort her “fetus” vs. carrying the child to term. The amount of money you quote is eye-opening. If a clinic can schedule 3 abortions Monday to Friday, fifty-one weeks per year, then even using your lower figure of $ 1,500.00, the clinic will generate $ 22,500.00 per week, or $ 1,147,500.00 annually. That is one clinic. Now put one hundred of those clinics across the nation, and you've generated a nice little business, all based on the notion that a young woman should not be “burdened” (to use President Obama's term) with an unwanted pregnancy. Ca-ching, ca-ching. Oh yeah, and any emotional trauma caused the would-be mother post-op? Don't worry, she'll get over it. This kind of racket is no more morally defensible than the defense contractors who wrack-up big bucks making land-mines that will take off legs in Cambodia, or dozens of other countries. Princess Diana crusaded against the latter, and so she should have, but who will speak up for the victims of the abortion industry, born and unborn?

  36. That's three abortions daily, M-F

  37. Legally we can and have impinged upon the bodily autonomy of citizens. The most obvious examples being conjoined twins; quite often we force the dominant twin to remain attached (and by some accounts suffer impaired development) until the other twin grows strong enough to survive separation.

    In a broader sense the government reserves the right to draft my body for military service and while serving has the right to abrogate my bodily autonomy with vaccines, blood draws, etc. In like manner there is a legal right for the government to infringe upon bodily autonomy in other circumstances, e.g quarantine.

  38. Nicrivera defined the issue. Subsidizing anything will never make it rare. Government subsidizes, per se, increase any activity because it removes the cost barrier, “I don't care; the government will pay for it.” Government funding destroys the argument that the decision must be solely left to the person, and their doctor. Proponents now want the government to be in the bedroom, with cash. However, abortion is only one of many medical costs which are the direct result of bad behavior, as defined by some one. Booze, drugs, obesity, reckless gun safety and driving are examples. Viagra costs may be another. It would be a political swamp to draw the ethical line. The line was purposely erased by the Supreme Court who defined everything as a “health” condition. Fitting into a size six dress is sufficient legal reason to have an abortion.

    Must we pay for Viagra and abortion? As drafted, this redistribution of American societal wealth, health care reform, will bankrupt us, the costs are unsustainable. Subsidizing undisciplined sex will only accelerate this certain outcome. The sole basis for excluding abortion is cost containment, we can not afford it. Conversely, if we taxed abortions; they would indeed become rare, which is Obama's stated policy. It is a hard decision, but if, “people will do it anyway” is valid, then,”let them pay for it” may be the only realistic response from society. It is logical.

  39. From rlhailssrpe
    “Must we pay for Viagra and abortion? As drafted, this redistribution of American societal wealth, health care reform, will bankrupt us, the costs are unsustainable. Subsidizing undisciplined sex will only accelerate this certain outcome. The sole basis for excluding abortion is cost containment, we can not afford it. Conversely, if we taxed abortions; they would indeed become rare, which is Obama's stated policy. It is a hard decision, but if, “people will do it anyway” is valid, then,”let them pay for it” may be the only realistic response from society. It is logical.”

    Excellent analysis!

    Now, could we please throw out the career politicians who keep abrogating their responsibilities?

  40. Once again, I tell you so. I've said for months what's obvious — the expansion of the scope of federal provision of health care to other than the elderly eventually will include child-bearing-age females, and that will reintroduce the subject of abortion, which will be unavoidable. You have been warned, _again_.

    * * *

    Actually correcting the problems with Medicare today (including its eventual financial failure if not corrected) should be the first thing undertaken before expanding the scope of federal health care (which itself should be considered in the light of current and future economic conditions), but the libs and Dems are removed as usual from logic.

    * * *

    “If we don't fund abortions we absolutely should create a much larger fund for the placement, rearing, education and material needs of all the new unwanted children until they reach 18 that will be born to teenage girls”

    There is no corresponding obligation whatsoever to do this, so don't claim there is. That there should be child-related entitlements is a separate issue and worth looking at (libs and Dems _love_ entitlements of all kinds; they buy not only good will, but, more importantly, votes among the susceptible). The actual scope of child-related entitlements actually goes beyond abortion and beyond health care and is a fully “social” issue as well as the subject of some rationalization (the best such programs could maybe become truly pro-natal, a goal that is largely unattainable among women, who prefer to choose on their own if they will have children and aren't amenable to encouragement or even coersion to have them). The rationalization comes from the fact that children in a society with enormous government entitments and other services and agencies will become future taxpayers to fund this society (government) and so the promotion of such future taxpayers merit support. (Only the rare fringist anti-child “child-free” people would object to this for objection's own sake.)

    * * *

    “The sole basis for excluding abortion is cost containment, we can not afford it.”

    Actually, many view abortion as wrong (and, commonly, say it should be criminalized), and even those who don't say it's wrong per se don't necessarily believe it need be provided to anyone on demand — it is not a “right” that is a claim on society, that should necessarily ever be provided by government (“society”).

    * * *

    “Lastly, Bill Clinton once said of abortion that he wanted it to be 'safe, legal, and rare.' “

    Hillary Clinton has said similar things, as has Barack Obama, and most other prominent Democrats. Only a small militant fringe are absolute abortion “right” demanders (the amoral as well as “personally anarchistic” kind that also want no parental involvement whatsoever if a teen is involved, for example).

    This issue _will_ be reintroduced once federal health care is extended to child-bearing females. …

    * * *

    “This is why I think single-payer should still be on the table — not that it's really all that crazy, but it is a huge and extreme change from status quo; a public option would look as moderate as it is if that were the case.”

    It might look that way to the blind or to those with (deliberately?) distorted vision, but not to the honest.

    What is currently being attempted is an openly transparent (except to the blind or those with distorted version, or who remain those whom the Democrats can exploit with euphemistic, evasive rhetoric and lies) incrementalist move toward federal health care for all (often described by the weasel phrase “single-payer”) that is attempted instead not only because of special interests who are currently in the health care sector, but because even today federal health care, while not surprising, remains radical and rightly raises concerns and fears among the public. In the same way politicians avoid using the word “liberal” because liberalism has been so failed and discredited for years, so they avoid “government health care” and related honest nomenclature, instead using evasive, even cowardly weasel words like “single-payer” (when we all know Washington is the intended single “payer,” controller, and provider of health care ultimately), and it is why rather than going right to extending Medicare to more people, they play games.

    The reason for extending Medicare to everyone (which partially and indirectly is what the Dems currently are seeking, anyway) should be openly discussed and considered as an option is not for the Dems to even more overload their strong-arm situation (which is not “bi-partisan,” as liars and fools claim) to boost even more their near-monopolistic negotiating position; it is because it's honest, more direct, and simple.

  41. “Really it is an issue best left to the states. Of course, first the states need to get rid of all the federal mandates for which they are having to pay and break their budgets.”

    Constitutional federalism has been politically incorrect for ages. Don't expect a return to it any time soon.

  42. “You have the government supporting your moral preferences on the uses of your tax dollars, though.”

    Just like laws against murder, merely subject to a great deal more division and controversy.

  43. Since one of our founding Fathers Thomas Jefferson said “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.” Thomas Jefferson I do not believe any tax funds should be used for abortions. Thomas Jefferson was right. Those who favor abortion should be the ones to fund them. Those who oppose it should not have to. This is a moral issue not a political issue. See how many supporters would agree to that. I would guess zero! JWM

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