Patterico's Pontifications

11/15/2009

The White House Takes on the Stupak Amendment

Filed under: Abortion,Obama — DRJ @ 11:03 am



[Guest post by DRJ]

One reason the Pelosi health care bill passed the House was the Stupak Amendment that reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment’s ban on the use of federal funds “to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion” except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother.

Planned Parenthood condemned the Stupak Amendment, claiming it undermined “the ability of women to purchase private health plans that cover abortion, even if they pay for most of the premiums with their own money.” [NOTE from DRJ: I believe this is because, under the House bill as amended by the Stupak Amendment, a private policy can’t cover abortions if federal funds pay some of the premiums.] Planned Parenthood argues the Stupak Amendment violates “President Obama’s promise to the American people that no one would be forced to lose her or his present coverage under health reform.”

After the health care bill passed, Cecille Richards, the President of the Planned Parenthood Action Center, called on Planned Parenthood supporters to stop the Stupak Amendment by contacting President Obama at the White House — their “strongest weapon” in the fight to protect women’s health. Today on CNN’s State of the Union, David Axelrod confirmed the White House will work to stop the Stupak amendment and keep it out of the final health care bill:

“The abortion amendment was tacked on to the House health care bill and was a key factor in securing the votes of moderate Democrats before the bill was approved by a narrow margin last weekend. The amendment, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., went beyond preventing the proposed government-run plan from covering abortion to restrict federal subsidies from going toward private plans that offer abortion coverage.

Axelrod said in an interview Sunday that the amendment changes the “status quo,” something the president cannot abide.

“The president has said repeatedly, and he said in his speech to Congress, that he doesn’t believe that this bill should change the status quo as it relates to the issue of abortion,” Axelrod said. “This shouldn’t be a debate about abortion. And he’s going to work with Senate and the House to try and ensure that at the end of the day, the status quo is not changed … I believe that there are discussions ongoing to how to adjust it accordingly.”

When the abortion issue calls, the White House listens.

By the way, are you really keeping your “present health care policy” if you previously paid for it yourself but the federal government helps you pay for it in the future? Or have I missed out on a great opportunity because the federal government has already been helping people pay for their private insurance policies?

— DRJ

27 Responses to “The White House Takes on the Stupak Amendment”

  1. This was a cosmetic device to get the House bill through. The fact that there is such an uproar shows how undisciplined the Democrats’ coalition is. In the long run, it will disappear but the device shows how fragile the coalition on health is.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  2. Hi DRJ

    My instinct is that the federal government will wind up covering abortions while denying coverage for other things we might think of as necessary now.
    Entitlements within the care system will continue to be political.

    I’m going to wait and see how this thing shapes up before I decide what to do with my current plan and whether to go for any government option… my gut instinct again is that there will be gaps in my “entitlements” and I will have to buy some kind of wraparound policy if I want the best care… or pay cash.

    Are MD’s going to be penalized by the feds for working outside the system and only taking alternative insurance or cash?
    Because if I was a top surgeon or top specialist I’d probably make more money with less hassle taking only premium private insurance or cash

    SteveG (97b6b9)

  3. “…penalized by the feds for working outside the system…”

    That seems to be working so well for the Canadians.

    AD - RtR/OS! (603f4e)

  4. “If they are going to summarily dismiss us by taking the pen to that language [banning Federal funding of abortion], there will be hell to pay. I don’t say it as a threat, but if they double-cross us, there will be 40 people who won’t vote with them the next time they need us — and that could be the final version of this bill.”

    Rep. Bart Stupak

    Stu707 (0981d5)

  5. Planned Parenthood has such a stellar track record. Why wouldn’t the libturds line up to support that honest organization?

    John Hitchcock (3fd153)

  6. Good point, Stu707.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  7. It is always interesting when progressives embrace tradition for tradition’s sake. Naked invocation of the “status quo” doesn’t get much respect as a conservative argument. When you run on a banner of directional change isn’t it somewhat disingenuous to dismiss what amounts to a finger on the rudder as an inappropriate initiation of debate on a settled issue?

    JDBlackaby (1309cf)

  8. With the Stupak Amendment, the bill passed the House 220-215. A change of three votes, and the bill gets defeated. The Stupal Amendment will stay, because Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t want to lose the whole bill.

    The Dana who can count (474dfc)

  9. Yes, but how many of that 220 will knuckle-under to the pressure of PP/NARAL/NOW?

    AD - RtR/OS! (603f4e)

  10. Time for the RNC to put the pressure on the Blue Dogs who voted for the amendment with targeted ads, so they can’t vote for a final version without it without massive electoral pain next year.

    M. Scott Eiland (c552ec)

  11. Well, the Blue Dogs seem to be in a lose-lose situation:
    If they vote for a PelosiCare Bill that bans Fed funds for abortion, they risk having a Primary challenge funded by the Left;
    If they vote against PelosiCare because it finances abortion, they risk a Primary challenge funded by their own leadership.
    Perhaps they should seriously consider whether or not they’re in the correct political party?

    AD - RtR/OS! (603f4e)

  12. I’m amazed that there still are people who hate women enough to oppose abortion rights.

    libhomo (356e8c)

  13. No one’s opposing abortion-rights.
    You want an abortion, pay for it out of your pocket, not mine.
    You want to fund Planned Parenthood: Write a check!

    AD - RtR/OS! (603f4e)

  14. This underlines the point that with government funded health care, every treatment option is politicized.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  15. Bradley, here is another example for your study of idiot reporters. She has a breathless piece on the fact that uninsured people are more likely to die of trauma. How can this be ? I ran a trauma center and I can tell you that nobody knows until the next day who has insurance.

    There is a hint, though.

    But the link could also be coincidental, the authors acknowledged. Perhaps the hospitals that have fewer resources at their disposal also happen to see the most uninsured patients, they said.

    The types of injuries may differ too, Zwemer said. Gunshot and stabbing victims were much more likely to die from their wounds than other trauma patients tracked in the study. These people are generally uninsured, but the type of injury — not insurance status — is the reason for their higher fatality rates, he said.

    Maybe uninsured people have other characteristics; like shooting and stabbing each other, driving 100 miles per hour on the freeway.

    We are besieged by idiots, at least at the Times!

    Yes, and Chicago school superintendents are more likely to shoot themselves in the head when they got into trouble with the unions.

    Just coincidences. The world is full of coincidences.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  16. That’s not coincidence, that’s statistical fraud masquerading as meaningful data.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  17. Mike K., my cup of idiot reporters runneth over. How about an idiot news organization?

    I refer to the Associated Press, which as you known saw fit to assign 11 reporters to fact-check Palin’s new book. By contrast, on what appears to be an important court decision on California water, AP turned in an extremely brief story, which failed to name the court or the judge, or even the reporter. (And, yes, this is the entire story).

    That’s the Associated Press falling down on the job: A minor political story that fits their agenda gets lots of attention, but very little heed is given to a much more substantive story.

    Oh, but it’s so much easier to read a book as opposed to covering a court hearing. That might actually require getting out of the office and doing some reporting.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  18. You’re assuming they actually read the book, Bradley. Look, Palin – sexy, water – not so much. That’s about as deep as the AP assumes we are; yes, lots of projection there…and who are we to argue with what we have been spoon fed?

    Dana (e9ba20)

  19. Dana,
    Oh, I’m sure the AP reporters read the book, looking for anything that could qualify as an error or less than totally factual. The alleged errors were so small it seems like they wrote the lead first and put the story through a Procrustean bed to live up to it.

    I just wish AP would cover topics of real importance, like California’s water supply, with even half the zeal they devote to taking down Palin. Politics aside, I’m very disappointed that AP doesn’t put enough effort into the meat-and-potatoes reporting that we need, and puts its effort into razzle-dazzle stuff that doesn’t inform.

    It’s like that Don Henley song “Dirty Laundry” — when it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  20. Bradley, if I were rich (which unfortunately I’m not, regardless of what my ex-wives tell you) I would buy you your own newspaper. Lacking that power, as I do, I would be happy to invite you aboard my sailboat as we cruise down the coast of Mexico for a winter of fun and frolic.

    Nothing that is going on in this country at the present time is likely to turn out well. It might be a good time to observe it from afar. There are cigars and a bit of port and a few canned goods.

    Aside from that short list of amenities, there is good conversation. Nothing north of San Diego will turn out well the next year or two, or three, or four or…

    Mike K (2cf494)

  21. Very tempting, Mike K. Veeeeeeeeeeeeery tempting!

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  22. Hopefully you can find an internet connection and make us all jealous with your reports.

    DRJ (dee47d)

  23. With all of Mike’s money, I’m sure he has SatCom.

    AD - RtR/OS! (785778)

  24. Well . . . I am open to persuasion. Now if only there’s some Patron tequila . . .

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)

  25. Well, if i can give up 1923 Port, you should be able to survive on cheap tequila.

    After all, there are other things in life. Like Dos Equis.

    And live lobsters scrabbling around in the ice chest.

    And warm weather and warm water. And Cabo .

    Mike K (2cf494)

  26. Yes, but how many of that 220 will knuckle-under to the pressure of PP/NARAL/NOW?

    How much clout do they have in those districts?

    Michael Ejercito (6a1582)

  27. […] One reason the Pelosi health care bill passed the House was the Stupak Amendment that reaffirmed the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal funding for most abortions. Both Amendments prohibit the use of Federal funds “to pay for any abortion …More […]

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