Monday, November 09, 2009
The blogosphere, right and left, is in high dudgeon over Bart Stupak's (D-Mich.) amendment to health care reform legislation, which would ban the funding of abortions in the "public option" and would prevent private plans from paying for abortions if they accept lower income members who get government subsidies to help pay their premiums.
To review, I support lawful abortion, although not to the extent of Roe v. Wade. I do not believe that case was properly decided, however, and I do not believe that the Constitution can reasonably be read to confer a "right" to an abortion.
I understand why conservatives do not want their tax dollars going to fund abortions. That does not make them moral or consistent in this, but they have the votes for this one compromise, sort of as a sop for losing on the basic question.
The real problem, of course, is that this fight reveals the ugly truth of statist health care: That personal medical decisions are no longer a matter of private bargaining, but of political argument. The fight over abortion funding is not an exception, it is a harbinger. Medical decisions are becoming more ethically complex and culturally contentious, not less. Do you really want the legislature deciding who may pull what plug, whether men can get drugs for longer-lasting erections, or whether functional neurosurgery to treat depression, addiction, or obesity is a good idea? Speaking only for myself, I would rather that my employer dangle these benefits in its campaign to retain me than have the matter settled by some clown Congressman from a safe seat in a distant state.
As is always the case in our "transparent" Congress, the battle was not about regulating abortion...but merely the perception of doing so.
The Blue Dogs needed something to hang their hat on if they voted "Yeah"...instead of merely hanging themselves in their conservative districts.
They got it...but as the comments played out afterward...there was never any intention of keeping that provision in the bill anyway.
Pure political posturing late on a Saturday night with the media preoccupied with a mass murder in Texas.
This isn't an abortion issue. It's a deadly game of "Who Do You Trust".
...and it aint the Congress...by a long shot.
Abortion here is just a complete red herring. A blip on the radar screen which shows a tropical storm of Katrina proportions heading to utterly destroy the greatest medical care apparatus in world history.
Medical care in this country is about to take a new trajectory, and though it is perhaps not a negative one, it is likely to become incredibly flat.
TH, don't be silly. This wasn't serious, it was only political cover for a few Democrats and the so-called "Stupak amendment" will be jettisoned in conference. It doesn't show anything other than the calaulus of raw politics.
I had always assumed that this would just get stripped should they get this massive boondoggle to conference.
But now I wonder whether the issue has become so high profile that a good chunk of those who voted for the amendment will be forced to vote against the bill should it be stripped.
If they are on record as saying this was a make or break issue then it will be tough to recant later on, especially if it looks like they caved to Planned Parenthood. Remember they only won by 5 votes but 64 Dems. voted for the restriction.
I still think they'll vote for it but the possibility gave me some pause.
We talk about these guys like they are men of principle.
The fact that an American legislative body would even PROPOSE things like Cap & Trade, "pseudo Stimulus" and this Health Care debaucle is astounding.
The added fact that these would emerge from committee to the floor of the House and a majority of Democrat legislators would actually vote FOR these things tells me that they are NOT men of indivicual principled thought.
They are apparatchiks.