They are advanced by those who deny Obamacare will subsidize abortion.
Barack Obama stood before a Planned Parenthood gathering and said, “In my mind, reproductive care is essential care.”
That was July 17, 2007, when he was a first term senator in an uphill battle for the Democratic presidential nomination, speaking about health care reform.
“We’re going to set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don’t have health insurance,” candidate Obama continued. “It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services, as well as mental health services and disease management services, because part of our interest is to make sure that we’re putting more money into preventive care.”
Though not uttering the word abortion, the meaning of “reproductive care” is clear in the context of speaking to Planned Parenthood.
The health care reform legislation in the House and Senate does allow funding for abortion. Meanwhile, the Democrat-controlled committees in the House and Senate have rejected amendments to apply the language of the Hyde Amendment — which prohibits public funding of abortions — to any public plan or government subsidized private plans under the reform scheme.
But the Obama administration has spent the last several months digging their heels into the claim that the health care plan would not cover abortion — challenging the conclusions of the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service and the watchdog website Factcheck.org, not to mention the pro-life community.
On Aug. 19, President Obama told a coalition of faith leaders in a forum on Blog Talk Radio, “You’ve heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true. These are all fabrications that have been put out there in order to discourage people from meeting what I consider to be a core ethical and moral obligation. And that is that we look out for one another: That I am my brother’s keeper and my sister’s keeper. And in the wealthiest nation on earth right now, we are neglecting to live up to that call.”
Factcheck.org, which some conservatives have accused of leaning left, reported in an Aug. 21 analysis, “Private plans that cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of federal subsidies. Therefore, we judge that the president goes too far when he calls the statements that government would be funding abortions ‘fabrications.’”
The very next day, the president spoke at the Democratic National Committee headquarters as part of the Organizing for America National Health Care Forum.
“There are no plans under health reform to revoke the existing prohibition on using federal taxpayer dollars for abortions,” Obama told the DNC gathering. “Nobody is talking about changing that existing provision, the Hyde Amendment. Let’s be clear about that. It’s just not true.”
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the National Right to Life Committee, among others, have taken the White House to task on this matter. The Hyde Amendment is included in each year’s annual Health and Human Services appropriation and has been since 1977. It stops HHS funding for abortions only in that specific fiscal year it is voted on in the appropriation. But, the health care overhaul being pushed in Congress won’t be funded through the annual HHS appropriations, thus, would not be subject to the Hyde Amendment.
A Congressional Research Service memo (pdf) to pro-life Congressman Chris Smith said as much. “In summary, Section 207 of H.R. 3200 creates a Health Insurance Exchange Trust Fund, appropriates amounts to the Fund, and requires payments from the Fund,” said an Aug. 28 CRS memo. “If enacted, all of these actions would be authorized without any further legislative action, such as a further appropriation in a subsequent act.”
In other words, the health exchange is a separate pool of money than the HHS budget, thus is not governed by the Hyde Amendment.
It seems unlikely the White House was not be aware of this since the application of the Hyde language to the bill has been a significant part of the debate over the summer.
A bipartisan amendment by Democrat Bart Stupak and Republican Joe Pitts failed to pass Chairman Henry Waxman’s House Energy and Commerce Committee by just one vote. The same committee, however, narrowly passed an amendment to the bill sponsored by Rep. Lois Capps that would leave it up to private insurances companies — getting federal subsidies as part of the “exchange” established under the health care reform package — whether to fund abortions.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online