HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019 April 2019 May 2019 June 2019 July 2019 August 2019 September 2019 October 2019 November 2019


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Monday, November 02, 2009

 
Win, Win, Win

by digby

I've been assuming that access to abortion was going to be sacrificed in the health care debate, but it's probably going to be worse than I thought:

The bill also prevents affordability credits from being used to pay for abortion coverage; the credits would help middle-class and working-class Americans purchase insurance coverage on the private market. Eighty-seven percent of existing private insurance plans cover abortion, which is significantly cheaper and less medically risky than pregnancy and childbirth. After reform, if insurers want to continue to provide such care, the House bill would require them to segregate all government funding from the co-pays individuals pay into the plans. Abortions could only be paid for out of the “private” side of the ledger.

In addition, in each state, the health-insurance market must include one plan that does cover abortion, and one plan that does not. But because the vast majority of insurers currently do cover the procedure, pro-choicers view the provision as a step forward for the opposition. “That kind of leans toward the pro-life position,” Waxman said.

Pro-life Democrats have been especially influential in the health reform process because so many of them are considered swing voters on the overall package. Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat with strong ties to the religious right, has emerged as a spokesman for antiabortion sentiments in both parties. He continues to push forward in an attempt to amend the Pelosi bill to restrict abortion even further. Stupak’s goal is to outlaw all abortion coverage within the health-insurance exchanges, requiring women to purchase a special “rider” for abortion services. But according to health-care experts, few women anticipate needing an abortion and thus would be unlikely to pay extra for the coverage—even though about half of American women experience an unintended pregnancy in their lifetimes, and one-third of American women have had an abortion.

Adam Sonfield, senior public policy associate at the Guttmacher Institute, which researches reproductive health issues, told The Daily Beast, “Currently, it’s not that we can’t pay for coverage that includes abortions. It’s that we can’t cover abortions. The [Stupak] standard is stricter than the standard in Hyde.”

Abortion-rights activists regard Stupak as “obsessed,” motivated by religious beliefs, and unwilling to compromise. They allege that he may not truly support the president’s effort to overhaul the health-care system, pointing out his ties to groups like Focus on the Family and the National Right to Life Committee, which opposed the expansion of S-CHIP, the state program that provides health care to poor children.

Stupak is clearly trying to tank health care reform and think that abortion rights are the way to do it. But it's really win win for them, either way. If it doesn't tank the bill completely, it will likely be because the Democrats refuse to fight for abortion coverage, so the anti-choice zealots win a big one even if some form of withered health care reform passes.

But this was probably ordained the minute Obama made his position known:

Pro-choice leaders disagree about whether more support from the White House could have strengthened their hand in the health-reform battle. In addition to the failed efforts to include comprehensive abortion coverage in the public plan, efforts to require private health insurance coverage of birth control also fell flat. In 1993, Hillary Clinton explicitly told Congress that she expected pregnancy and abortion to be treated in health reform like any other medical service. This year, though, Obama sent a different message, telling Katie Couric in July, “I think we also have a tradition of, in this town, historically, of not financing abortions as part of government-funded health care. Rather than wade into that issue at this point, 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 at this station.”

A different tone from the White House might have helped pro-choice groups, Waxman said. “We would like significant support from the administration on women exercising their constitutional rights,” she said.

Of course it would have made a difference if Obama had said that he believed that all women should have access to health insurance that covers abortion but he didn't. He pretty much wrote it off from the beginning and left the field open for the zealots to tighten restrictions even more.

What Stupak and his crowd really hope to do is declare all the money going into the exchanges fungible so that no insurance companies can offer abortion coverage under the execrable Hyde Amendment. But no worries. Women could buy it as a rider, basically having to pay extra because they have the added responsibility of bearing children. If they don't want to pay for that "extra" insurance, they could abstain from sex or be prepared to have a child every other year if their birth control fails. (Maybe they should have thought ahead a little bit and been born men.) There's no reason that that the non-sluts and decent people in this country should have to pay for something so icky.

Here's my advice. If women have to buy abortion coverage as a rider, all men have to buy special erection insurance in case they need medical care for sexual dysfunction. As far as I'm concerned, if a man can't get it up, it's God's will and I can't in good conscience have my money touch any money that pays for that. Those Viagra ads literally make my stomach lurch. It's very, very icky.

As I have written before, I think this is a lost cause and was probably lost before the debate even began when the president bought into "common ground" nonsense. Even though some lame form of health care reform, likely with an even lamer opt-in public option, is going to hit the floors, everyone will insist that they simply have to further restrict millions of women's ability to exercise their constitutional rights in order to appease "moderates." And then the Republicans can run against the whole reform as a liberal nightmare. Awesome.


.