Finally, a Clear Explainer on Abortion and Health-Care Reform
By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Here's the clearest explanation I've found of what is in the health-reform package in the House when it comes to government coverage of abortion. Claims by all sides in this battle have, naturally, obscured the issue so much that the facts have gone into hiding.
But here are just the facts, ma'am, courtesy of the Associated Press:
"Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.
Federal funds for abortions are now restricted to cases involving rape, incest or danger to the health of the mother. Abortion opponents say those restrictions should carry over to any health insurance sold through a new marketplace envisioned under the legislation, an exchange where people would choose private coverage or the public plan."
Further, the scoop on that infamous amendment proposed by Democratic Rep. Lois Capps that all sides have seized on:
"A compromise approved by a House committee last week attempted to balance questions of federal funding, personal choice and the conscience rights of clinicians. It would allow the public plan to cover abortion but without using federal funds, only dollars from beneficiary premiums. Likewise, private plans in the new insurance exchange could opt to cover abortion, but no federal subsidies would be used to pay for the procedure."
While these explanations clear up the confusion, it will, no doubt, make no difference whatsoever in the debate. Both sides--including plenty of faith organizations--will continue blasting away at each other, with the public ever more confused.
Jacqueline L. Salmon
August 5, 2009; 11:55 AM ET
God in Government
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