Thursday, November 19, 2009

Abortion back in Senate Health Care Bill.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has brought back abortion into the health care debate by opening the door for its coverage in federal health care programs.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nv.) has rejected the bipartisan Stupak-Pitts Amendment and has substituted completely unacceptable language that would result in coverage of abortion on demand in two big new federal government programs," said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee. "Reid seeks to cover elective abortions in two big new federal health programs, but tries to conceal that unpopular reality with layers of contrived definitions and hollow bookkeeping

The bill grants the secretary of Health and Human Services the authority to determine whether federal money is being used to fund abortions under the public plans, but doesn't ban those plans from offering the coverage. Reid's bill also explicitly requires insurers to separate private premiums from any public subsidies used to pay for that coverage to assure taxpayer dollars aren't used to fund the procedure - which is prohibited by the Hyde Amendment.

One way to understand what's up is the reaction of pro-abortion supporters. They're fine with the Reid language.
California Rep. Lois Capps, who tried to hatch a compromise on the Energy and Commerce Committee, commended Reid's language, saying, “I am pleased that the Senate has adopted a reasonable, common ground approach on this difficult question. It appears that their approach closely mirrors my language which was originally included in the House bill."

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