John on August 22, 2009 at 5:48 pm
From yesterday’s Boston Globe by Renee Loth:
Just as opponents twisted voluntary end-of-life discussions into government mandates for euthanasia, so too are abortion services the subject of confusion and disinformation. Douglas Johnson of the National Right to Life Committee has called support for health reform “a vote for tax-subsidized abortion on demand.” House Republican leader John Boehner has written that the proposals “will require Americans to subsidize abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars.”
Actually, yes, according to Annenberg’s Fact Check:
The House leadership’s bill (H.R. 3200) actually made no mention of abortion when it was introduced. Johnson refers to an amendment to the bill adopted by the House Energy and Commerce Committee July 30. Abortion rights proponents characterize it as a compromise, but it hasn’t satisfied the anti-abortion side. Offered by Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of California, the amendment was approved narrowly by the committee, 30 – 28, with most but not all Democrats voting in favor and no Republicans backing it. The Capps amendment states that some abortions “shall” be covered by the “public option” plan, specifically those types of abortions that Congress allows to be covered under Medicaid, under the so-called “Hyde Amendment,” which has been attached regularly to appropriations bills for many years. These are abortions performed in cases or rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother.
As for other types of abortions, the Capps amendment leaves it to the secretary of Health and Human Services to decide whether or not they will be covered. It says, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing” abortion services that would not be legal for Medicaid coverage. Says the NRLC’s Johnson: “The Capps Amendment MANDATES that the public plan cover any Medicaid-fundable abortions, and AUTHORIZES the secretary to cover all other abortions. [F]rom day one, she [Secretary Kathleen Sebelius] is authorized to pay for them all. And, she will.”
As for the House bill as it stands now, it’s a matter of fact that it would allow both a “public plan” and newly subsidized private plans to cover all abortions.
The President’s use of the word “mandates” is just one more slick attempt to deceive people about what he is actually trying to do. The fact is that the public option will contain coverage for all abortions and since those buying into this plan are receiving federal subsidies, you the taxpayer will be footing the bill.
All you need to know is that the President’s own “Fact Check” website isn’t touching this issue.