Posts Tagged ‘Stupak Amendment’

The President Misses on Health Care Reform

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

The President has finally presented his own version of a health care reform bill.  Well, not so much as a bill as a proposal, but without detailed legislative language or enough specifics to allow the experts to figure out how much it will cost.  Maybe we should call it a framework for a bill.

Actually, the President’s framework amounts to little more than a warmed-over version of the bill that was rushed through the Senate to a vote last Christmas Eve.  And, as such, it has all the essential flaws as that bill had.

All along, the bishops have been insisting that a health care reform bill must retain the longstanding requirement that federal funds are not used for elective abortions or plans that include them, and that any bill must adequately protect conscience rights of individuals and institutions.

So, it’s not hard to see how the President’s framework falls short:

  • Fails to include the strong Stupak Amendment to the House bill, which retained the current legal status quo, banning the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions.
  • Retains the weak Nelson Amendment from the Senate bill, which would allow federal money to pay for and subsidize elective abortions, and would require everyone to pay for them.
  • Fails to include strong conscience protection language that was part of the Stupak Amendment to the House Bill, thus leaving the conscience rights of faith-based health care providers at risk.
  • Permits direct taxpayer funding for elective abortions through the federal health program that serves Native Americans.
  • Contains language (the Mikulski Amendment) that would permit federal regulators to define abortion as “preventative care”, which would force every insurance plans to cover elective abortions.
  • Provides $11 billion dollars for so-called “community health centers” (even more than the original Senate bill);  without any language preventing these funds from paying for elective abortions, it is likely that they would wind up going to groups like Planned Parenthood.
  • In September, the President made the following statement to a joint session of Congress:

    under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions

    Even by his own standards, the President’s framework for a health care bill has failed.  Instead, it would lead to an unprecedented expansion of abortion in our nation and massive federal funding for elective abortions.

    It must be defeated.