Health care for all means reproductive services, too

Karol Collymore

A couple of weeks ago I was walking through the farmers market and an Obama volunteer stopped me. I brake for Obama, so I waited for his pitch. Obama man handed me a flyer, asked me to "sign up for health care!" and call my elected officials. I read the back and it said very clearly that no federal funds would cover abortion. I told him that I wan't happy about the lack of abortion coverage and that it made me uncomfortable. He said, "Ma'am, I know that isn't good, but we'll all get health care."

No, no we won't. From The Washington Post:

The [Stupak-Pitts amendment] amendment would prohibit abortion coverage in the government-run plan and any private plan on the new marketplace that accepts people who are using government subsidies to buy coverage. Under that language, abortion coverage would be unavailable not only to working-class women buying coverage with government subsidies, but probably also to women buying coverage on the new marketplace without federal assistance. The amendment suggests that women could buy separate "riders" covering abortions, but abortion-rights supporters say it is offensive to require a separate purchase for coverage of a medical procedure that for most women is unexpected.

The reason that the Stupak amendment is terrible is because it says that if I am getting a tiny little afffordability subsidy for my coverage, then I can't buy an insurance plan that includes abortion coverage. And since the vast majority of Americans will get some kind of affordability subsidy, that does two things: 1) wipes out abortion coverage explicitly for those women getting subsidized, and 2) probably will result in fewer insurance plans that cover abortion - even for women who are paying entirely with their own money.

Regardless of arguments to the contrary, this isn't about taxpayer funded abortions; it's about our right to have one. Women in this country have the right to a safe, legal abortion and to continue to undercut us doesn't mean less abortions, it means women resorting to unsafe methods to have one.

Comments

  • Laura Taylor (unverified)
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    Thank you, Karol, for posting this! All day long I have been reading about the wonder that is the House bill, with hardly a mention of the way women were completely thrown under the bus to make this happen.

    This is a horrifying step backwards for reproductive rights and, if finalized, will for all intents and purposes result in a coverage ban for abortion. Not only are women who receive any amount of federal subsidy prohibited from buying a plan with abortion coverage, but all plans are prohibited from accepting any subsidized person if that plan offers abortion coverage.

    Proponents of this ban are trying to argue that the provision of a "rider" bypasses the claim that companies are prohibited from offering abortion coverage. However, any plan that does offer coverage will also be required to offer a second abortion-free version. And any rider is only available to women who pay for it with private funds.

    Needless to say, this is not comprehensive health care reform and never will be until ALL women are provided with the right to access legal services.

  • KJ (unverified)
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    The implicit assumption underlying the Stupak amendment is that having a penis is the norm and having a uterus is an aberration. Therefore any medical procedure or treatment that is the result of having the Double X chromosome pair rather than the XY combo would be seen as frivolous extras rather than as routine and ordinary health care.

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    Karol,

    Can you explain to me if this actually changes anything from where we are today? My understanding is that very few women who have abortions have them paid by an insurance company. If this was passed into law as it stands, women who are not currently covered for any health care will get coverage that doesn't cover abortions. They will be at the same place as they are today regarding lack of abortion coverage, but they would have health care for other issues. Now I also realize that there would be some percentage of women who would lose some coverage that they have today. What I can't tell from all the noise is whether that is a big number or a small number. Is this a question of principle or one of serious numbers?

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    John:

    If it helps, this is what Planned Parenthood is saying about the Stupak Amendment:

    The House-passed health care system adds a huge swath of the female population to the “have nots” column of an already two-tiered health care system when it comes to abortion coverage in the United States. Prior to the passage of the House bill, our health care system was a system in which only women who could afford to pay for abortions with their own money or through their insurance plans would have access to abortion. Consider the current restrictions already in place: • low-income women on Medicaid • federal employees, their spouses, and female dependents • women serving in the military overseas • women in federal prisons • women in the District of Columbia

    The House-passed bill would add to this list of women who do not have coverage millions of women who are getting their health insurance through the exchange. Consider just a few examples: • working mothers in families that earn up to $88,000 • women who are self-employed and paying the entire cost of their coverage and don’t have access to employer-sponsored coverage • young women entering the job market for the first time who are the least likely to have employer-sponsored coverage • women who were insured through their husbands’ employers, but now are divorced and have to purchase coverage on their own through the exchange • women who work in small businesses whose owners decide to seek more affordable, quality coverage through the exchange

  • R (unverified)
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    "The implicit assumption underlying the Stupak amendment is that having a penis is the norm and having a uterus is an aberration."

    Wow......

    What an amazing, narrow and baseless leap.

    I don't know your gender, but this statement says a great deal about your critical thinking ability.

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    if this were actually a law about to be signed by the president, that would be one thing. we're a long ways from there, and even if Stupak and his gang manage to keep this thing in, i would want the president to sign it for one reason: we can modify a bad bill; we cannot modify an non-existant bill.

    no health care reform bill screws 40-50 million americans, all ages & genders, all conditions. it allows health care insurance to continue to run amok. the current terrible situation gets even worse. we all lose.

    the bill as passed helps millions of people. it could do better in countless ways, and the right to full reproductive services is just one of those ways (portability, the exchanges being open to everyone, not worrying about country of origin so damn much are others). but even if Obama signed the bill with Stupak now, it's at least 4 years till we see any public option. can we not mount the effort needed to change Stupak in 4 years? if not, perhaps that says something about where the whole country is at. i do not believe Stupak will last, but it may take letting it become law first - just so we can get the foundational bill passed into law.

  • pacnwjay (unverified)
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    Thanks for keeping this on the front burner, Karol. I really don't like what the House did saturday night. From a progressive standpoint, it's pretty awful.

    But with that said, it does do some good stuff (no pre-exists, etc).

    Thank you House Democrats for giving us such an ugly Hobson's Choice.

  • mandm (unverified)
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    It's just amazing that a LEGAL medical procedure is even questioned. If those who don't agree w/ the law want to change the law, fine. Work towards that. But this is total BS when it is a legal procedure available to women, and women are again being discriminated against.

    jmo

  • Rick (unverified)
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    I have a question and don't have an answer. I'm not poking the bear, really. I do have a pre-existing condition (and have talked about it here before).

    How does an insurance company make money on PEC's? Doesn't health insurance become accident insurance if all PEC's are accepted? Can't someone not buy health insurance (assuming that participation isn't mandatory or they are willing to pay a fine) and when they need coverage, buy insurance? Can't I wait until I'm sick and then buy coverage?

    If so, putting ourselves in the insurance companies shoes (be it private or public), don't we(as a company) lose the entire advantage of a risk pool? Don't rates skyrocket?

    This isn't making sense to me. Help? Is mandatory insurance the only solution? And if so, isn't the elimination of PEC exclusion a moot point?

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    Rick - the question really should be, why do we have a system where corporations make profit off people's illness, not to mention their normal life activities (like pregnancy)? this is just stupid. it's one thing for a doctor, nurse or even equipment provider to make a living; for massive multinational corporations to make billions off our lives in this way is grotesque. especially when we know we can get great health care without corporations being involved.

    on the screwy flipside, however, as NARAL said in their mailing today: 85% of private insurance companies offer abortion services. so if there's a buck to be made, it's available. ask the government to do it, and some asshole has to try & shove his personal beliefs down other people's throats (or other orifices). bizarre.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    Carol,

    You need to be telling all your best buds on the other threads who are trying to cover up that they weren't really that well informed about this bill when they were arguing why Democrats had to vote for it, and ex poste facto are still trying to defend their screwup. Which so far has actually meant defending this assault on women's reproductive rights as "a start" (to what?).

    Go through those comments and see if you see anybody who is admitting maybe they were just a little to concerned about winning, not the cost of winning. This is one version of "ends justifies the means" and it is sad the Blue Oregon big egos don't have the humility to admit that at least for now they were wrong in how they have gone about this and we now have a big mess to cleanup.

    At least we see that some of our Congress people who now have some perspective Pelosi screwed them, and I'll bet received just a few phone calls from constituents who actually have a brain in their head, are starting to stand up and say this is a debacle.

    We'll see if they once again lose their backbone when Blue Oregon droids start again whining that winning is the most important thing without any understanding of what it is they are actually backing. They aren't quite bright enough to get it that while no bill would be a problem for Democrats, a bad bill like this is a much bigger problem. By these are egotistical NW genius "progressives" are so stuck on themselves they are too dumb (and unprogressive) to know how dumb they really are.

    Abortion an obstacle to health-care bill

    Obtained: In Letter To Pelosi, 41 House Dems Pledge To Vote Against Bill With Anti-Abortion Amendment

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    Posted by: John Calhoun | Nov 9, 2009 5:22:53 PM

    John, Daily Kos has a good writeup of what the amendment does, and a real-life story that shows how absurd the amendment is.

    Gotta love the Democratic party. After almost a decade of Republican rule, including 4.5 years where the Republicans controlled the House, Senate, and Presidency, you get the biggest anti-choice legislation in decades passed with a Democratic President and huge Democratic majorities in Congress. Least competent majority party ever...

    Meanwhile, ED medication is still covered by insurance.

  • BOHICA (unverified)
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    "women serving in the military overseas".

    I would suspect it is all female military personnel.

    There is an epidemic of sexual violence in the military and the victim of a rape can't get an abortion. Sounds about par for the course.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Karol - And since the vast amounts of Americans will get some kind of affordibility subsidy.....

    Kurt - What data do you base this statement on Karol. Even at 45 MM uninsured, there are well over 300 MM currently insured. Those already getting some form of federal subsidy ALREADY do not have access to abortions.

    And please lets be linguistically honest during the discussion:

    Reproductive health is about availaibility of several types of birth control; covered under this bill.

    Reproductive health is about annual mammograms and pap smears; covered under this bill.

    Reproductive health is about meaningful pre-natal care; available under this bill.

    Reproductive health is about care and delivery of a mother and her child(ren) during and post delivery. available under this bill.

    What is not available currently OR under this bill is federal funding of abortion. Go ahead, I know that you can say it.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Karol, thank you for this very important post.

    Yes, it is important to pass health care reform.

    However, if there is not an effort to change the Stupak language, it alters the political landscape. And I do mean revival of EMILY's list, looking very closely at the abortion position of every candidate (I would hope even Carla would make sure that Schrader defeats Bruun) and making this a front burner issue.

    Yes, I am glad that Bob Casey defeated Santorum, and it is likely that there are dynamics in Obey's district that led him to vote for the Stupak amendment.

    What bothers me about this more than anything else is an attitude by some people (only a few so far) that women shouldn't worry their pretty little heads and think of the greater good, that Cong. DeLauro had no right to make an angry speech against the Stupak Amendment, etc.

    Cong. DeLauro represents Conn., the state the Griswold decision came from. Anyone here know what Supreme Court case that was?

    Stupak sounds like "only women wealthy enough to pay for abortions out of their own pockets deserve them". The Catholic bishops got their way on this. Senate committee vote on an abortion provision went the Democrat's way by one vote.

    What is Stupak's voting record on prenatal coverage for all women? Or is he one of those who says that doesn't matter as long as abortion is hard to come by if not illegal?

    Those of us who have argued with Right to Life types over the years, who have known abortion clinic escorts in the days before FACE (stands for something like Free Access to Clinic Entrances---blocking access to abortion clinics is now illegal), who have been debating this issue for decades are not going to give up now. Yes it was essential to pass the House. It did. Now is the time to modify the Stupak language or know the reason why.

    Glad to see a member of the younger generation take up the cause.

    BTW, for many people over 50, when we were young Hubert Humphrey was the definition of liberal and Barry Goldwater the definition of conservative. One of them supported the right of women to make their own decisions and said so publicly. Anyone here know which one?

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Goldwater

  • LT (unverified)
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    Kurt, you deserve a gold star!

    The quote I heard was "Do you mean to tell me that we fought Communism just so we could tell women they had no right to make their own medical decisions?".

    (And his voice was really something as many people remember.)

    Which is why the current Religious Right types who say the most important issues are abortion and gay marriage are not true conservatives and need to be described as something else or "conservatives".

  • Greg D. (unverified)
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    So, with apologies to Portland Meadows, which horse do you pick?

    <h1>1: Meaningful nationwide health care reform with coverage for the poor and lower middle class, or</h1> <h1>2: Protection of womens' right to privacy and control over their reproductive rights?</h1>

    Isn't this the classic "Sophie's Choice"? Isn't the best answer to reject the question?

    Glad I am not in Congress.

  • alcatross (unverified)
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    Karol Collymore posted: ...if I am getting a tiny little afffordability subsidy for my coverage, then I can't buy an insurance plan that includes abortion coverage.

    Welcome to the brave new world of government health care. While not a 'death panel', we have here the first high-profile instance of politically-correct bureaucrats in Washington DC making the rules deciding what procedures/services will be covered and what will not - and it won't be the last. Because regulation, more regulation, and yet even more regulation is what government bureaucracies do.

    Or did you think they will only regulate what you want to be regulated in the way you want it regulated? Obama and the Democrats won't be in control of the levers of power forever, you know...

  • AdmiralNaismith (unverified)
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    Most employer-based plans do currently cover reproductive services. The Stupak Amendment would stop this.

    http://www.guttmacher.org/media/inthenews/2009/07/22/index.html

  • Bill R. (unverified)
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    The principle here is all well and good, but I don't see any political answer to those who are willing to see health care go down the toilet if the Stupak amendment isn't part of law. The votes of the anti-abortion crowd are needed, or all of this is a moot point, because those same women will not only not receive abortion coverage, they won't receive cancer coverage, nor any coverage at all, period. The truth is the Stupak crowd don't flat care very much about anything but abortion. They are willing to see 45 thousand a year continue to die from lack of health insurance. So unless you put yourself in that camp, then you are at a disadvantage in the political game of chicken over other people's lives.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    The question is, do members of the Democratic Party want to stand on principle for a right to tax payer paid for abortions or do they want to pass the most comprehensive health care reform w/o tax payer paid for abortions?

    I want the latter. The former combined with comprehensive health care reform would not get the votes of:

    US Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana) US Senator Tom Carper (D-Delaware) US Senator Kent Conrad (D-North Dakota) US Senator Byron Dorgan (D-North Dakota) US Senator Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) US Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Connecticut) US Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-Arkansas) US Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) US Senator Bill Nelson (D-Florida)

    As you can see, not every US Senator is from San Francisco or California. There are very real, cold hard political realities to always consider when voting. So your petty little concerns mean absolutely freaking nothing to them unless you are donating 6+ figures to help them get reelected.

    In this case, if you stand on principle, you get nothing. If you stand for healthcare reform without abortion, you still risk a filibuster.

    Hard case, I would do my best to appease the aforementioned list who are from more conservative, rural states.

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    Carla,Nick,

    I read your responses to my question and they really don't answer my question. I am not sure the info is available now, but just because the new coverage under the bill does not offer payment for abortions doesn't mean that women will lose insurance coverage for abortions if those women don't actually have insurance today. Even if they have coverage now, if they have a really high deductible like my daughter, they don't have the reality of coverage today. So I will ask my question again, does anyone know what the real, not rhetorical, impact will be?

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    As for those who are not familiar with procedural rules of the US Senate, a filibuster is when the minority party endlessly speaks on the bill on the floor.

    To bring discussion of the bill to an end (AKA Cloture), you need 60 out of the 100 US Senators to vote "aye" on ending discussion.

    I know with a great deal of certainty that Joe Lieberman ain't the only vote that is courted. Mary Landrieu from Louisiana may be a huge player once this issue is through.

    Some have proposed to have the Vice President be the 101st vote, but that would set a very dangerous precedent for Republicans to use against Democrats once Republicans inevitably have the White House back.

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    Interesting note from Congressman George Miller - chairman of House Education & Labor, and one of the staunchest liberals in the building. From an interview with Ezra Klein:

    Klein: It’s striking that the Stupak amendment doesn’t really stop the government from subsidizing insurance coverage that includes abortions. The subsidy for employer-based insurance remains in place, for instance. This mainly hits poorer women who will be subsidized on the exchanges. Miller: That’s one of the concerns. You’re in the employer-based system, you have coverage. If you lose your job and go into the exchange, then you don’t have coverage.

    So, despite what proponents say, Stupak's not even really about reducing taxpayer funds for abortion coverage. It's about reducing taxpayer funds for abortion coverage for poor women.

    Can't be taking away services from the wives and girlfriends (!) of the guys at the golf club, eh? Just the women who clear the tables and launder the linens, I guess.

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    Aha. There's even more from Ezra Klein in an earlier post:

    [T]he biggest federal subsidy for private insurance coverage is untouched by Stupak's amendment. It's the $250 billion the government spends each year making employer-sponsored health-care insurance tax-free. That money, however, subsidizes the insurance of 157 million Americans, many of them quite affluent. Imagine if Stupak had attempted to expand his amendment to their coverage. It would, after all, have been the same principle: Federal policy should not subsidize insurance that offers abortion coverage. But it would have failed in an instant. That group is too large, and too affluent, and too politically powerful for Congress to dare to touch their access to reproductive services. But the poorer women who will be using subsidies on the exchange proved a much easier target. In substance, this amendment was as much about class as it was about choice.

    That's awful.

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    John Calhoun asked: So I will ask my question again, does anyone know what the real, not rhetorical, impact will be?

    I'm guessing, John, that if there's a study on this late-breaking amendment, it would have come from either the CBO or the CRS (Congressional Research Service). But I'm guessing that there isn't -- since, after all, its sponsors argue for it "on principle" rather than on practical implications.

    It's a question worth asking.

    That said, remember that we're also talking about the follow-on effects of the policy. If millions of Americans aren't allowed to purchase plans that include abortion coverage, then it's highly likely that insurance companies will stop offering them - even to people who can afford them without subsidy. (Why? Because of the administrative expense associated with maintaining two nearly identical plans - especially since people's incomes, and thus the subsidies, tend to float up and down; which would cause them to bounce back and forth between the two plans. Just won't be a sustainable business practice.)

    In addition, remember that we're talking about a relatively small health exchange -- except that the goal of reformers will be, in the future, to expand the exchange to a bigger and bigger pool. It would be quite troublesome if pushing more and more people into the exchange caused fewer and fewer people to have access to abortions.

    In short, while your question - how many people today will lose abortion coverage? - is an interesting one, what's troublesome is the way in which the situation is going to get worse and worse over time, if the Stupak amendment is allowed to exist as-is.

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    Thanks for this, Karol.

    Here's what I don't understand: why is it that in the past 20-30 years we have made so much progress changing hearts and minds on a subject like marriage equality, and so little progress on abortion rights?

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    As for those who are not familiar with procedural rules of the US Senate, a filibuster is when the minority party endlessly speaks on the bill on the floor.

    Actually RyanLeo, you provide an example of how too many who think they know so much, actually know so very little. You are wrong about the modern rules of "filibuster" in the Senate.

    What has happened in recent years is that the Senate, by mutual agreement, has become a club of arrogant, lazy, cowards. They have agreed to not make anyone stand on the floor and actually filibuster: A cowardly Senator just has to say now they would filibuster and the others have agreed that, since they would want the same "courtesy" when they in their arrogance and indolence want to block a bill without taking public responsibility, they just won't take a vote. When you see a cloture vote you are seeing the ultimate charade. Nobody is cutting off a Senator who is filibustering, you see lazy elitists just deciding whether they are bored and want to go on to the pretense of doing something else.

    This bill is already a lie in that it is NOT going to actually extend AFFORDABLE health insurance to anywhere near the projected numbers. The House and Senate leadership has thumbed it's nose at all of those who actually have worked so hard to actually bring about real health care reform. The benefit of the subsidies don't actually pencil out anywhere close to what is claimed, particularly in the high employment we face for at least another two years, because of the 20% plus premium increase rates and the greater than 10% overhead rates that are allowed. But they do provide false cover Democrats and Republicans can peddle to those who think they know so much but actually know so little.

    In the end, the House bill in fact is crafted to be nothing more or less than a bailout of the private insurance industry. And the Senate bill will be too.

    The thing voters should be calling their Senators to demand is that any Senator who wants to block even this fraud of a health care reform to advance an anti-choice or any other agenda that has absolutely nothing to do with genuinely fixing our broken health care system has to stand up there in front of the cameras and actually filibuster for as long as they chose so that we the electorate can judge them.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    From what I understand, Roe v. Wade did not set into the popular mentality a right to tax-payer paid-for abortions. Rather, it set into the popular mentality a right to privacy.

    The problem is that pro-choice advocates couch the argument on the entirely wrong premise nowadays. They couch it on a women's right to decide what to do with her own body. Very few, wingnuts excluded, disagree with that argument. They would be better off couching the argument on an invasion of privacy premise.

    The problem lies in that most everyone knows that Planned Parenthood is funded by tax payers. Henceforth, they see through the whole "women's right to decide with her own body" as a lie for continuing, unabated tax-payer support to Planned Parenthood that they disagree with. I would dare to say that most would agree that if you want an abortion, then like Viagra and breast implants, you should have to pay for it in full out-of-your-own pocket.

    Abortions not being funded by the comprehensive health care reform bill will not undermine the consensus right to privacy that Roe v. Wade ingrained. After all, Roe v. Wade is still in place and is not at all threatened with Obama in office for an almost certain two terms.

    So, Roe v. Wade is in place, Planned Parenthood is still getting Federal grants, then what is the issue?

    The issue with abortion is who pays for it.

    Should the tax-payer continue footing the bill for the young couple who wants to duck the consequences and responsibilities of their actions?

    Should the tax-payer foot the bill for rape and incest victims only?

    Or should individuals to take on personal responsibility for their immature actions?

    The argument over abortion seems like it is coming to who should pay for it. Those who use it or society as a whole. I don't see much of a middle ground as expected of this issue.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    In Case,

    You accused me of not knowing about the "modern rules of the filibuster) and then went onto an entirely unrelated tangent of how the US Senate and House is bought by special interests.

    You lose. Try again.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    And by the way Chapman, you are typical of those who function on a low moral and intellectual level, your slightly above average language skills that you can use to buffalo a lot of the equally deficient who comment here notwithstanding.

    But don't worry, many of them who think they disagree with you will angrily come to your defense. That just shows they are much more defending their egos than standing up for serious bedrock principles.

    A person's reproductive rights are indivisible, and those in turn are indivisible from a person's human right to health care. A bill that embodies the proposition that the mob can pick and choose which human rights are to be honored and defended is an affront and threat to all human rights.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    In Case,

    Let me first apologize for disregarding you so callously.

    Second, you are exactly right that the threat of a filibuster is enough to constrict the whole process for months.

    However, I believe that the Republicans with the help of Mary Landrieu, Joe Lieberman and others would filibuster the 2009 healthcare reform.

    The Republicans up for re-election are from traditionally Red states for the most part and have very little to lose.

    Then again, if the media makes a filibuster a "Republican" issue, then we will just have to wait and see if Republicans make any gains in the 2010 election.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    You accused me of not knowing about the "modern rules of the filibuster) and then went onto an entirely unrelated tangent of how the US Senate and House is bought by special interests.

    No RyanLeo, typical dishonest mental dwarf incapable of actually honestly following and responding to anything that doesn't endorse your limited perspective that you are, I first explained the how the Senate actually worked:

    What has happened in recent years is that the Senate, by mutual agreement, has become a club of arrogant, lazy, cowards. They have agreed to not make anyone stand on the floor and actually filibuster: A cowardly Senator just has to say now they would filibuster and the others have agreed that, since they would want the same "courtesy" when they in their arrogance and indolence want to block a bill without taking public responsibility, they just won't take a vote. When you see a cloture vote you are seeing the ultimate charade. Nobody is cutting off a Senator who is filibustering, you see lazy elitists just deciding whether they are bored and want to go on to the pretense of doing something else.

    With that rebuttal of your idiocy out of the way, I then went out to discuss the substance of what this bill really is about for people with more brains than you.

    As I said to Chapman though, there are lot of people here who would disagree with you but who suffer from the same limitations of you so they will rush to your defense. So you should be happy you and they can have one big NW hug and think how superior you are while people are hurt by this bill if it passes.

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    OK, RyanLeo and ICYMI, that's enough name-calling. Focus on the topic at hand - not discussing the intelligence or lack thereof of each other. You're both anonymous, so there's not much point, is there?

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    For the rest of you who think it is more important to just be nice, reread this really cluster of statements by RyanLeo and consider the full nature of his views on the issue, since this apparently sums it up:

    Should the tax-payer continue footing the bill for the young couple who wants to duck the consequences and responsibilities of their actions?

    Should the tax-payer foot the bill for rape and incest victims only?

    Or should individuals to take on personal responsibility for their immature actions?

    I oppose the war in Iraq from day 1, and how the idea that war was the way to deal with the problem in Afghanistan from day 1. I oppose sending soldiers, many of whom enlisted because it was the only way they could survive economically --- or as we've seen more than once get health care --- to multiple tours in either place. I want cowardly Democrats and Republicans to give me the right to not pay for that criminal irresponsibility of politicians, crazed blood-thirsty citizens, and the segment of career military brass who support these wars.

    If I get that, I'll bet I can find enough people to create alternate ways to use that money to protect everyone's right to health care, including reproductive rights, if those same Democrats and Republicans won't. So spare me all your false moralization.

    And again, you supposed progressives who still think what's most important people be nice and respect your specialness, RyanLeo really needs that big NW hug right now. Give him some love.

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    I would dare to say that most would agree that if you want an abortion, then like Viagra and breast implants, you should have to pay for it in full out-of-your-own pocket.

    RyanLeo - Not sure where you've been but Viagra is covered by most health insurance plans and is not out-of-pocket, unlike birth control. That's a pretty large reproductive rights issue.

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    Nick, nothing's been passed beyond the House's temporary version. the GOP didn't do this stuff cuz they were so frickin sure the Supreme Court would deep-six Roe. and in case you weren't paying attention, they took away as much of a woman's right to choose as they could -- and it was pretty signficant. they did horrific stuff based on foreign aid. they weren't sitting back letting these rights go unnoticed, but they didn't do their worse, as i said, because of their arrogance regarding the Court.

    until Stupak is under the president's pen, you might want to withhold judgment.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    Kari, read carefully what was written about the big hug in my comments, every one of those which addresses the topic of this bill and the behavior of Congress involved in it.

    And by the way, the 30-something Ezra Klein was and remains a blogger with actually very limited knowledge about the issues and frequently shows it by reasoning off into the weeds, as he does in this case.

    First, individuals who aren't working for "employers" (think self-employed individuals with no employees) but who aren't poor also will be in the exchange and a large percentage of those will be eligible for subsidies. Particularly if the BS arguments by Democrats actually seeking to bailout the industry are true that the exchange will be how cost is controlled, employers will dump other policies to buy into the exchange.

    Second, initially small employers and then larger employers over the next few years will get to buy into the exchange. So that's were those "non-poor" working women who work for them and previously did have full coverage for their reproductive rights will will get their insurance that no longer has that coverage. And by the way, I don't find anything that says an insurer can offer a policy in the exchange that includes the benefit since every policy is available to anyone eligible to buy into the exchange, including those who have a subsidy. How does the whole supposed risk pooling that the exchange is supposed to do work to bring down costs if we have, just like now, policies which by definition segment the risk pool?

    Finally, insurance companies will do everything they can to cut back coverage in policies they offer outside the exchange to realize their greatest returns. There is not going to be a big marketplace for policies that do cover all of women's reproductive rights outside the exchange as employers and individuals go to the exchange. (More than just Only those who have significantly above average incomes will find it is worth paying the high premiums for policies that actually cover a very small risk pool.

    Ezra Klein has been an idiot since his days as a blogger and you are contributing to his really overblown 30-something ego for quoting his half-baked ramblings.

    So Kari you really need to spend a lot less time demonstrating what a loser you are by trying to control the tone of the debate according to the dysfunctional NW passive-aggressive way. Give RyanLeo some love, you need each other.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    until Stupak is under the president's pen, you might want to withhold judgment.

    T.A. I know you, like a lot of people, largely depend on "if cows could fly" style arguments to make a point. So since your criticism of Nick depends on the possibility a bill could get to the man without something equivalent to Stupak or worse, you need to present an argument that is rooted in the reality of Senate, House, and conference politics just how this can happen.

    There was no constructive instruction on how to make this happen:

    "we're not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions."

    "There are strong feelings on both sides"

    "that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo."

    The first statement certainly is a prime example of his now well recognized ability to make an ambiguous statement that he encourages people to read the way they want: I'll bet Stupak would argue that his amendment meets the definition of not changing the status quo in the first statement that "federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions".

    The second statement, read uncritically, might make one feel he really is empathetic to your viewpoint, but it only says he recognizes the fact that there is disagreement. He doesn't state who he concludes incorrectly believes that it changes the status quo as he actually defined it above.

    The third statement sounds like he is making a promise. But it's really not, it's just an observation. He doesn't offer any instruction on how this is going to happen.

    So T.A. if you're going to try to counter Nick and assert that Stupak is going to be struck, the burden of intellectual honesty is on you to demonstrate why there is any chance in reality of that happening. Any decent person will be happy if it does. But the guy who is going to sign it didn't provide the first hint of how it could, and he sure didn't say anything anyone could point to that he promises to use the bully pulpit to make it happen if it comes down to that.

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    No problem with the issue discussion, ICYMI, just stupid name-calling like this: "RyanLeo, typical dishonest mental dwarf"

    Remember, for every commenter on BlueOregon, there are 100 readers that don't comment. Don't spend your time trying to convince people who comment here - think about all people reading what you write and not commenting.

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    The Stupak amendment was necessary only to quell the raging intemperance and ignorance of the pro-life fanatics. Unfortunately, it went beyond simply prohibiting use of taxpayer money to fund abortions. The language prohibiting purchase by individuals using their own money to buy private abortion coverage must be stripped out of any final bill. No compromise can be allowed on this. People have to be free to use their own funds. The Stupak amendment is, in this respect, a bold attempt to limit abortion masked as insurance "reform."

    Were the amendment to have been limited to public funding I would say that sometimes you have to do that in order to move on. I would say that it is imperative to do so purely out of respect for the deeply held ethics of those intemperate and ignorant but significantly large element of our population.

    The pro-life position is practically the only ethical position held by the reactionary right. The facts that it is held by such a large segment of the population (arguably close to half of the voting population) and that it stems from a sense of ethics if not morality mean to me that in order to preserve domestic tranquility (as called for in the preamble to the Constitution) we should be considerate enough to respect their feelings by making sure that their tax dollars do not go to perform acts they hold as anathema.

    Even so, the amendment has no effect whatsoever on our individual abilities to support pro-choice positions or abortion providers. I send my money in to Planned Parenthood and NARAL quite routinely and so do millions of the rest of us. We ought to content ourselves with that and not insist that our tax dollars also support abortion.

    Just saying ... fair is fair.

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    abortion-rights supporters say it is offensive to require a separate purchase for coverage of a medical procedure that for most women is unexpected.

    Actually, that is exactly what insurance is for. In fact, if the situation that is covered is expected, it really isn't insurance, it's a form of financing.

    And LT, Barry Goldwater didn't support legal abortions until AFTER he left the U.S. Senate. His voting record while in office was consistently pro-life, a reflection no doubt of the fact that he was a Republican representing Arizona.

    I believe his personal views were in support of legal abortion, particularly in view of the fact that he arranged for an illegal abortion for his own daughter in the 1950s.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    Leo Coleman - it's exactly your situational ethics approach of compromising other people's rights that are what demonstrates the ineffective, self-centered, opportunistic rather repulsive nature of too many who claim to be smart progressives, but aren't. And frankly this is endemic in the "progressive" community I've known in the NW.

    Of the top of my head based on issues I actually talked to people about yesterday, I find it enormously immoral and unethical to fund:

    1) war in Iraq and Afghanistan, 2) allies in the mideast to buy illegal weapons from us like cluster bombs and white phosphorus, 3) charter schools of all manner because parents and we as a society refuse to work to make public schools work, 4) "faith-based" private entities that don't have to obey our laws on fairness and equity in employment to do the social work we should be doing, 5) a bailout of the private health insurance industry by requiring people to buy from them and subsidizing that, 6) institutional patterns of discrimination including not insuring all women's reproductive rights.

    And I resent having to pay my tax dollars to do this just as much as any brain-dead anti-choice fool who doesn't accept their responsibility in a pluralistic society. Their responsibility is to not exercise their choice if they don't want to, not immorally and unethically attack the rights of others.

    Your argument is that when a sufficiently large non-majority decides to stubbornly attack multiple rights of others out of misguided arrogance in the morality and ethics of their position, we should cave to that so you get what you want. But we should not stand up when others who have much more well-formed moral and ethical objections, and we should even go so far as compromising the rights of others, if doing so would require real work, including holding those obstructionists up for the full public scrutiny and embarrassment they deserve.

    There is a world of difference between genuinely hard fought political compromise, and quisling deal-making based on wholesale betraying the rights and ethical positions of others just to make that deal. What happened on Saturday is not because the anti-choice advocates actually had done the work to win the political battle, but because Pelosi and the leadership wanted a quick win and surrendered to get that win, rather than fight it out to do the right thing. But if you've already cynically perverted health care reform into another bailout of the private health insurance industry that has broken our system, as Pelosi and the "leadership" actually have done with intent from the beginning, it's no sweat for them to "compromise" others rights if that's the fastest way for them to get what they want.

    When one allows bullies to bully others rather than do whatever one can do to stop it, just because it's easier to get what one wants that way, one is worse than the bully.

    That's the real problem of what has happened to our formerly great Democratic party and what we see way too much of in the NW Democratic supposedly progressive political activist community. (Karl Wolfson on KPOJ in a conversation with Kari as I'm writing this demonstrated exactly this utter bankruptcy of character when he shifted blame to "Blue Dogs" rather than blame the 200+ who voted to compromise the rights of others to get that quick win Saturday night. Then he and Kari sit here and moan about how they don't know what we can do, "whoa is us", the betrayers.)

    By the way, while LT is wandering around in his/her foggy nostalgic head, back in the present day there was at least one anti-abortion, pro-choice Congress person of handful who voted against Stupak and against the bill on soli

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    That last comment got cut off for unknown reasons, here it is:

    By the way, while LT is wandering around in his/her foggy nostalgic head, back in the present day there was at least one anti-abortion, pro-choice Congress person who strongly supports health care reform of the handful who voted against Stupak and against the bill out of solid moral conviction, including the fact Pelosi allowed Stupak in to get a quick win. Who is it?

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    It wasn't Republicans that pushed the Stupak thingy. As Rachel pointed out on her show last night, it was Democratic members of the evangelical, "Family" that got this amendment into the bill and now, after thiry years of griping about the Hyde Amendment, we have something that's actually worse and even more restrictive.

    A bunch of Dems voted for the amendment and against the bill. Move On is taking notes.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    Kari has a point. The argument has degenerated to health care insurance financing. Why not get the employer out of the picture? give a reasonable time frme for transition, remove the tax write-off for employers and then have them turn the amount over to employees. Allow them to purchase tax advantaged plans on the open market with the existing no pre-ex clause or lifetime cap.

    Finance the unemployable with a medicare like employer/employee tax of about 5.45% split 50/50.

    just a thought.

  • Faith-based lunacy (unverified)
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    The assault on women's reproductive rights like the war on non-heterosexuals are products of faith. The least religious democracies don't have to worry about this nonsense. If we would like to avoid dealing with issues like these in the future we should be working to diminish faith-based thinking. Can you imagine if people weren't spending hundreds of millions to stop gays from getting married, but were actually working on real problems?

  • Paul Cox (unverified)
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    I've only tried to make the point 1,000,000 times that you're looking at this upside down. Pat Ryan is right on the money. Democrats keep wanting to paint these measures as "far right trying to take over". That's totally wrong. The far right is firmly in control. The left are trying to take that ground, for the first time, and everytime they fail, they whine.

    I have listed oodles of cases that demonstrate this, and you've seen fit to ignore them and continue right on with your manufactured outrage. From beginning to end, your Party pays lip service to the left, but tows the line on the right. Look at your hope and change candidate from beginning to end. Literally. Started his public campaign with his first joint appearance with McCain at a televangelist's Church, and ended by taking the oath, with his hand on the book that says "it is an abomination for one man to lie with another". He concludes the State of the Nation with "God Bless America", not "Let's Save the Planet".

    Religious interests rule this country, and you are peeing into the wind if you think you can dent that! Your President tows the line, and still gets called a leftie socialist. And rightly so! You really think you could move further left?!?

    And discrimination against godless atheists is LEGAL. You can't discriminate against a Muslim for a Christian, but you can (and do) discriminate against an atheist. Do the math. What per cent of the country is atheist? What per cent of Congress? If that were color or ethnicity you would be screaming foul. Have you ever heard that mentioned before? And that is because it is ACCEPTED that America is not governed by atheists.

    By all means start your own country, but while America may not be a practicing Christian nation, her government is. We rule by divine right. God save America!

  • Paul Cox (unverified)
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    Can you imagine if people weren't spending hundreds of millions to stop gays from getting married, but were actually working on real problems?

    Get a clue. The "problems" are symptoms of the end time. It ends with this world passing away and the Lord judging the quick and the dead. Every day things get "worse" we are closer to that. We do the work of God by making you make the choices that will damn you sooner. "Solving those problems" is atheist speak for the rats trying to find a way off the sinking ship. Why do you think the Catholic Church is telling Hispanic women to submit to rape, not to use birth control, and not to have abortions when they are made pregnant against their will? It hastens the kingdom!

    This is why a lot of evangelicals (every Mormon I know) are disappointed with 43. He could have brought that about rather quick and was too lily livered!

    Yeah, I know this sounds like Greek to liberals. Let's put it this way. Do you have ANY doubt that the President that next launches nuclear missles will conclude his public rationalization with "and God bless America"?

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    Thank you Carol. It is apalling that any "liberal" would think otherwise.

    Even Kari was very very weak on KPOJ this AM. The thing that really really outraged him about this amendment was that some women might have been raped or have health problems that would not allow them to carry to term. That's what REALLY REALLY bugged him about it.

    Pathetic.

    Women's healthcare should not be up for Kari's nuances. It is our body, our healthcare.

  • marv (unverified)
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    Well, the notion that health insurance legislation will be fixed in the Senate is another false hope. Observe that tens of thousands of rape kits have been collected and never tested. Why? The vast majority of districts of attorneys are men. Just as the many bigots on this post have exhibited they do not consider equal rights for women important. So you got raped. You deserve it. And so your life is endangered. You deserve it. You see, God is a blue eyed white skinned MAN. And we crackers have dominion. Get used to it slaves. But pay for my viagra. Right Jack?

  • Ms Mel Harmon (unverified)
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    So the idea is that we advance health care for all while simultaneously gutting a woman's ability to receive an abortion? Because dance around it all you want, that's what this does. "You can buy an abortion rider or purchase out of pocket" only works if you can AFFORD to do so....and if I have to buy an abortion rider, then men should have to buy viagra riders and couples should have to buy fertility treatment riders. I've asked several women who currently have NO coverage if they want coverage under this plan with this amendment---they each said they'd rather stay uninsured. Someone above in a comment said that abortion wasn't part of reproductive health---it's most certainly not only part of reproductive health but overall health. Carrying an unwanted child to term or a to carry your rapist's child to term---these cause extreme emotional, physical and mental stress in addition to whatever physical issues you face. Then the child is born and...then what? Are all these people who believe that abortion should be illegal willing to adopt all the children that are born because the mother couldn't afford an abortion and her insurance no longer covered it? Women have a legal right to an abortion and our health insurance should cover that...or it shouldn't cover ANY reproductive services for ANYONE. This is just a way for the anti-choice movement to chip away and restrict the ability of women to exercise their legal rights. "Oh, but it's legal, you can still get an abortion". Sure, if I can afford the rider or pay out-of-pocket. This amendment sucks and if it is in the final bill, I will be calling my elected officials daily, if not hourly, to express my outrage. This will not stand. It. Will. Not. Stand.

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    Even Kari was very very weak on KPOJ this AM. The thing that really really outraged him about this amendment was that some women might have been raped or have health problems that would not allow them to carry to term. That's what REALLY REALLY bugged him about it.

    Pathetic.

    Women's healthcare should not be up for Kari's nuances. It is our body, our healthcare.

    Sorry, backbeat, if I didn't live up to your level of outrage.

    I thought that Christine had done an adequate job of explaining why it was bad in general. I was trying to extend her point to indicate that this issue goes beyond what people think of as the typical "elective" abortion scenario -- and includes a number of pretty scary and horrific medical situations.

    (I didn't say anything about rape, because the Stupak amendment actually allows rape and incest as an exception to the coverage ban.)

    Again, sorry if I didn't adequately convey my level of outrage -- I think this thing is an abomination.

    That said, I've been studying the list of the members who voted Yes on Stupak, and Yes on the bill. I do think the door is open for finding the 218 votes required to pass a final health care bill in the House without a Stupak amendment.

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    Well, the rumor I heard is that the federal government won't be paying for insurance plans that cover abortion through the health care reform bill but that Republican legislators and congressmen around the country will be personally stepping up to provide not only payment but transport to reproductive care providers.

  • Geoffrey Ludt (unverified)
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    Think of the amendment as universal health care for the unborn -- or, perhaps a competitive choice to having your brain sucked out in an abortuary procedure. As abortions occur disproportionately in black communities, this could be seen as a civil rights amendment correct?

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    i almost want to answer Case, but since s/he hides his/her identity, it's not worth wasting my time. pissing into the wind, to quote a great movie doctor.

  • joel dan walls (unverified)
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    The implicit assumption underlying the Stupak amendment is that having a penis is the norm and having a uterus is an aberration.

    While there's a grain of truth to this, I'd argue the point differently. The mindset of the Stupaks and their enablers is this: A medical procedure involving the male reproductive system is just that--a medical procedure--and certainly nobody else's business; but a medical procedure involving the female reproductive system is NOT just a medical procedure but rather a terrible moral dilemma, and EVERYONE else's business.

  • marv (unverified)
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    As the end -timer proclaims this is a Patriarchy. To have an insight to how the rabid fundamentalists have infected political decisions read Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God. He came to his senses and is trying to help these hopeless hatefilled cultural christians.

    If Jesus came back they would crucify him again.

    If bad legislation can be fixed once that it has become law, t.a., then why has Medicare not been fixed to allow bulk price negotiations for pharaceuticals? Riddle me that. You know that it won't so why spread false hope.

  • Jenn (unverified)
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    John -

    One real impact will be on women who are on the individual market and purchase their own coverage and choose to find coverage from an insurer through this new exchange. i.e. a self-employed woman who chooses to find insurance on the exchange; a woman who used to be on her husband's plan but lost her coverage in a divorce.

    Regardless of whether that woman gets a subsidy or not, no insurer in that exchange will be allowed to offer abortion coverage. You point out that many insurance plans have a high deductible, so a $500 early abortion wouldn't be covered anyway, so that woman would not be impacted. But the exchange will allow insurers to offer a variety of plans, so some may have low deductibles. And all abortions are not $500.

    Let's say a woman has a wanted pregnancy, but in her second trimester a genetic abnormality is discovered in the fetus and she decides to terminate the pregnancy. That abortion is pretty expensive, and since there isn't likely a threat to the woman's life or her health, the abortion is elective and therefore would not be covered. This is a real life impact.

    Women need abortion coverage. Stupak needs to be stripped in conference.

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    Over at OpenLeft this afternoon Chris Bowers had a pretty heartening post re. why a Stupak-like amendment will not get through the Senate.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Majority Whip Jim Clyburn was on the Ed Schultz show today. He said his aim is to get Senate abortion language (current language--some are trying to change it) and House public option language into the final bill.

    As I general rule, I think Cong. Clyburn has shown more common sense over the last several months than many others who talk about health care.

    He made one other interesting observation---that although he knew many favored the Medicare + 5 robust public option, what he saw was that although that cut more cost, there were more people able to get covered by what actually passed the House. He said it would take away the excuse many doctors use when refusing Medicaid patients--that the reimbursement is too low--by changing reimbursement formulas.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Goldwater's Senate career ended in 1987 according to his official online biography.

    So his statement "Do you mean to tell me we fought Communism just so we could tell women they are not allowed to make their own medical decisions" is still valid.

    Many people make more pungent statements after they leave elective office than when they are still casting votes.

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    Call me lazy but I only read the first couple of comments, sorry if this is at all redundant. Last I checked abortion is legal. A quote from Zakariah Johnson, which I thought was spot on: "Government-sponsored insurance plan should cover any legal medical procedure recommended by a doctor. Otherwise it is exactly what conservatives pretend to fear but secretly want: government control over our bodies."

  • LT (unverified)
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    Great comment, Katy!

  • backbeat (unverified)
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    I was trying to extend her point to indicate that this issue goes beyond what people think of as the typical "elective" abortion scenario -- and includes a number of pretty scary and horrific medical situations.

    And there you go, exactly making my point. "Most people" don't think of it as "a typical elective abortion." See Ms. Mel H. above.

    You are so blind you miss the point entirely. Of course you can't be outraged. You just don't get it.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    Pat Ryan provides a clear example of the moral deficiency that is all to common, and why Rachel Maddow is not nearly as wise or intelligent as so many of worshipers have been duped into believing:

    It wasn't Republicans that pushed the Stupak thingy. As Rachel pointed out on her show last night, it was Democratic members of the evangelical, "Family" that got this amendment into the bill and now, after thiry years of griping about the Hyde Amendment, we have something that's actually worse and even more restrictive. A bunch of Dems voted for the amendment and against the bill. Move On is taking notes.

    No the blame lies wholly with Pelosi and the 220 who voted to pass the bill on which the entire blame lies. Pelosi took the first action that allowed the Stupak amendment to be introduced because she is so incompetent and was so desperate to win. And the 220 voted to pass the bill with Stupak attached. Every West Coast Democrat Congressperson except Baird is to blame because we would not have a passed health care bill with Stupak if just three of them had voted against it like Kucinich did.

    And for that reason Bill Clinton couldn't be more wrong or a bigger example of moral failure than he was today. The quote he chose to give the press was: "The worst thing to do is nothing". No the worst thing to do is pass a bad bill that tramples women's reproductive rights, and which is actually intended to be a bailout of the health insurance industry, as the last 72 hours have already shown.

  • RyanLeo (unverified)
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    Kari,

    I take no offense to you moderating. Unlike Ted Piccolo AKA I Am Craven Coyote over at NW Republican who deletes comments ,then bad mouths the commentator of the deleted comment, you are very fair.

    I understand your position and I will be more prudent from now on :)

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    Posted by: marv | Nov 10, 2009 3:44:51 PM

    As the end -timer proclaims this is a Patriarchy. To have an insight to how the rabid fundamentalists have infected political decisions read Frank Schaeffer's Crazy for God. He came to his senses and is trying to help these hopeless hatefilled cultural christians.

    If Jesus came back they would crucify him again.

    Actually that was debated in the Middle Ages. Thomas Aquinas disagreed, saying that the cross was the central reason he came, and would have always happened; not society's fault. John Duns Scotus held that incarnation was the first act of a loving God wanting to share his life with his creation, and so cross was the product of social evil, and not necessary.

    Thomas was a first class arse kisser and had himself well into the graces of the King of France, and won the day. It is the assumption of all Protestant theology, that God had to save a sinful man by his sacrifice. John Duns Scotus was a very erudite, no holds barred kind of reasoner, and, as a result, to this day he has never been cannonized, as Rome cannot state that his work is free of heresy. He has been beatified and, as such, is referred to as "Blessed John Duns Scotus".

    The process that carried the day then is no different than what is going on here. The system is corrupt. Why curry favor with the Gov when it's none of their business. The point has been raised, "how is this different than asking, 'have you made your First Communion'"?

    Progressives get characterized a lot of ways, but this debate shows one way they are different that is seldom mentioned. They are rational. They would have the facts carry the most weight, rather than personality and deal making.

  • In Case You Missed It (unverified)
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    Dan Petegorsky (and Chris Bowers) demonstrate the failure of critical thinking which similarly is all too common:

    <blockqoute> Over at OpenLeft this afternoon Chris Bowers had a pretty heartening post re. why a Stupak-like amendment will not get through the Senate.

    One technical correction to Petegorsky's incorrect summary of what Bower's said. Most of Bower's post argues that a Stupak like provision would not make it into the Senate bill sent to conference by amendment . Although even he backpedals at the end because a reader pointed out Reid could introduce it before he sends the bill to the floor. That actually is more akin in effect to what Pelosi did by agreeing to only allow Stupak to amend the bill the day night before it was brought to the floor to debate.

    The real problem, though, is that Bowers handwaives over the fact that Stupak could be introduced in conference by stating there may be enough votes in the House to block a final bill with Stupak. Those votes of course would come from people who had already had said they would block the initial bill if Pelosi allowed Stupak in, and then voted for it anyway to get a quick win. He fails to say there are enough Stupak supporters in the House who have also said they would not vote for the final bill WITHOUT Stupak to stop it from passing.

    And while he notes there are not 60 votes in the Senate to AMEND the bill as first introduced, I have yet to read anything that contradicts previous analyses there are 51 Senate votes to pass a final bill with Stupak and 51 votes to block a final bill without Stupak. Particularly since the Senate Democrats are every bit as eager as Pelosi to win, even by passing a very bad bill, and to bailout the health insurance industry while trying to dupe us into believing they are actually reforming the system.

    They aren't giving us the public option or any of the other real reforms we want. They are just trying to avoid doing that by only offering this and putting out the line anything is better than nothing. Why is the Senate going to do anything different than that?

    While Dan may find Bowers "very heartening", there is little there that stands scrutiny. One is left with the sense Bowers mainly wants to be read online by give those on our side the rationalizations they want, and Dan was all too credulous to oblige him.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    Over at OpenLeft this afternoon Chris Bowers had a pretty heartening post re. why a Stupak-like amendment will not get through the Senate.

    Well, no bill has remotely resembled its former self after going to joint committee. House passes something, committee meets, Pelosi rolls over on her back like a cocker spaniel, and Senators have their way with it.

    No, they put things like the Stupak amendment in that HAVE to be taken out, so that they have leverage to change things that DIDN'T have to be changed. "We gave, now you give". Never gets considered that what they "gave" was worthless, and what they want in return is substantial.

    Paul Cox was right about the system not being ours. Liberals don't get away with that. The deck is stacked in conservative favor, each and every time.

    And long ago, on this very blog, proggies cautioned about Stupak, and were beaten down by a Party faithful scrum. Were we psychic? Lucky? You've kicked yourself in the teeth with your kneejerk reactions.

    So, add it all up. Stupak is a money grubbing crony. He was paid off by conservative interests to put it in, so that the committee could take it out...along with some real meat. This is what voting party will get you.

  • Paul Cox (unverified)
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    Let's be clear; this is a far left issue. You cannot count on moderates. Ever lived in Rhode Island? It's one of those very blue states, regardless of who wins. More so than Oregon. The GLBT rights groups tried to approach domestic partnership rights (not even marriage) from the POV that they could get a toe in the door with other life rituals. Today the Governor of Rhode Island rebuked them in no uncertain terms. Make no mistake. We conservatives run this country, and you are attempting nothing less than a revolution when you try to be free of the prinicple that governed this country for over 200 years. Read about it for yourself (allowed domestic partnership funerals):

    Carcieri said: "This bill represents a disturbing trend over the past few years of the incremental erosion of the principles surrounding traditional marriage, which is not the preferred way to approach this issue.

    "If the General Assembly believes it would like to address the issue of domestic partnerships, it should place the issue on the ballot and let the people of the state of Rhode Island decide.''

    He had no choice. He is a prisoner of conscience (pun on his name).

    Let's make this clearer, even for BO readers. If you vote major party, you are voting for our status quo. There is nothing more pitiful than a Democrat advocating where sexual mores are involved. You act like you are advocating for basic rights. So, has "the land of the free and the home of the brave" denied basic rights for over 200 years, or are you changing the deal? Huh? Which is it? When you vote major party, and you get leaders that do our bidding when it counts, one really has to wonder how stupid you are.

    So how is it that 43 couldn't plan a sneeze, yet managed to fool most the Dem leadership into voting for the post 9/11 conservative food fest? Oh, here's another "exception". Stupak. You really don't get that there is one set of values in the US, and some act contrary to carve out a voting niche. We are in control, your candidates are vetted (OK, Wyden was, Merkely wasn't...which means "one termer"), and they vote with religious conservatives EVERY TIME IT MATTERS!

    This thread has truly been an education for me. You Dems REALLY believe that House Dems represent your values. They represent my values much closer. When you find me repugnant, yet look up to your leaders, you are engaging in a monumental self deception.

    Obviously candidates like Karla, are truly revolutionaries. Yet, they still pander to things like "family". "Family" is the institution that we use to beat you over the head. See how it works? Real radical. Has to grab onto at least one conservative value. Makes deals. Either loses or makes enough deals that we can work with her. Another one converted. And they never look away from the money. Offer them money, power, influence...they will always conclude that, ultimately, it's better for their causes to accept the influence. Later, they spend more effort on retaining the influence than pursuing their agenda. Congress used to be graphically separated by party by income. In the late 70s Dem net worth's reached Rep. Since then we have been in control.

    When I look at poor President Barry, I see OJ Simpson. Two wealthy manipulators, getting exactly what they want, while John Q. Public thinks "it" is about their being black men. Add a healthy dose of identity politics to the aforesaid, and you have what Dems call "a strong candidate".

    You look forward to the day when a woman or a...whatever...will be President. Could be. I'll tell you one thing. We will NEVER elect another President that isn't a millionaire! Power is what it is about. We serve them. The idea of their serving us, that that's why they are there is very dangerously out of date. There's no alternative. Taking the compensation out of it would be an even more stupid idea and leave us like some corrupt, third world dictatorship. On that we all agree. Right Kari?

  • Meet Up Madness (unverified)
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    . Obama man handed me a flyer, asked me to "sign up for health care!" and call my elected officials. I read the back and it said very clearly that no federal funds would cover abortion. I told him that I wan't happy about the lack of abortion coverage and that it made me uncomfortable. He said, "Ma'am, I know that isn't good, but we'll all get health care."

    This is what Portland Dems call "grass roots organizing". The national party "craft" some piece of crap that peripherally resembles what the party membership actually want, locals call a meeting to "grass roots organize", all that come up with anything different than the party's position are dismissed (while praising the toadies as "getting it"), and the bottom line is getting names on a sign-up sheet to get that national party position out there!

    And I thought you liked grass roots politics!

  • JJ Ferguson (unverified)
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    . Obama man handed me a flyer, asked me to "sign up for health care!" and call my elected officials. I read the back and it said very clearly that no federal funds would cover abortion. I told him that I wan't happy about the lack of abortion coverage and that it made me uncomfortable. He said, "Ma'am, I know that isn't good, but we'll all get health care."

    Yeah. Disgusting. Exactly what conservative talk radio does with TEA protesters. This thread should have been entitled, "OK. I give. Proof Dems and Reps are Really the Same".

  • LT (unverified)
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    Paul, " If you vote major party, you are voting for our status quo." ignores the fact that a) this is a topic about reproductive services and b) there are pro-choice (meaning women have the right to make their own medical decisions) women across the political spectrum.

    Meet up, you are accurate in a portrayal of the difference between Portland area "grass roots" and the sort of activity called grass roots in the rest of the state.

  • Marcia Angell, M.D. (unverified)
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    What the Democrats fail to mention is the bill leaves millions of people uninsured, allows medical bankruptcies to persist, criminalizes and fines the uninsured, increases the number of underinsured, does nothing to contain the sky rocketing costs, blocks women from their reproductive rights, transfers massive public funds to private insurance companies strengthening their control over care, protects pharmaceutical companies' superprofits at patient expense, fails to reclaim the 31% of waste in our system, expands Medicaid without regard to the state budget crises, discriminates based on immigration status and age, and sets up several levels of care covering less for those without the ability to pay. Those who have coverage will increasingly find care unaffordable and will go without. The whole system will inevitably fail from being fiscally unsustainable.

    So is the House bill better than nothing?

    I don't think so. It simply throws more money into a dysfunctional and unsustainable system, with only a few improvements at the edges, and it augments the central role of the investor-owned insurance industry. The danger is that as costs continue to rise and coverage becomes less comprehensive, people will conclude that we've tried health reform and it didn't work. But the real problem will be that we didn't really try it. I would rather see us do nothing now, and have a better chance of trying again later and then doing it right.

  • Peri Brown (unverified)
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    So is the House bill better than nothing?

    I don't think so.

    Not sure where you're at, but what has been misportrayed is that most other countries do a much better job, on balance. That speaks to jobs and competitiveness directly.

    Hey, it's November, 2009. You want to think practically, not in the aether, great! H1N1 breaking out. How's the current system positioned? What does gov have to say? Meanwhile, in the UK, the gov is saying: What should I do if I think I have it?

    Anyone with flu-like symptoms who suspects they might have the swine flu virus are being advised to stay at home and contact the National Flu Service on 0800 1 513 100 or via the internet at www.direct.gov.uk/pandemicflu

    The service allows sufferers to get access to anti-flu drugs without the need to consult a GP.

    However, those with underlying health conditions, pregnant women and parents of children under one are still being advised to contact a doctor.

    The GP route is also open to anyone who does not want to use the service.

    In the initial phase of the outbreak, lab testing was done to diagnose the flu but this is no longer happening routinely.

    That would be pretty helpful to have at your disposal as an employer! Definitely as a sufferer. Maybe not you, but many won't fess up that they're working backward from conclusions. Look at the facts objectively. Forget rhetoric. Do like I did and take a case, whenever you become interested in something particular, and see how different systems handle it. It is always much better than we have.

  • Does It Matter With All the Goddamned Spammers? Get Validated IDs! (unverified)
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    Posted by: Geoffrey Ludt | Nov 10, 2009 1:38:00 PM

    perhaps a competitive choice to having your brain sucked out

    And how did that go, Geoffrey?

  • Does It Matter With All the Goddamned Spammers? Get Validated IDs! (unverified)
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    Posted by: RyanLeo | Nov 11, 2009 12:00:19 AM

    Kari,

    I take no offense to you moderating. Unlike Ted Piccolo AKA I Am Craven Coyote over at NW Republican who deletes comments ,then bad mouths the commentator of the deleted comment, you are very fair.

    I understand your position and I will be more prudent from now on :)

    Which BO only does because they were roundly boxed about the ears for doing PRECISELY that, in defense of all the "Tepisch" lovers. It was an unholy rut for PC speech that, fortunately, seemed to lead to a little more mature editing.

  • Del (unverified)
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    This should not have anything to do with abortion. Why should those who oppose it have to give their money toward it?

  • Marcia Angell, M.D. (unverified)
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    Goldman Sachs Report: Watered-Down Senate Health Bill a Windfall for Big Insurance

    "The report...suggests that the insurance industry may actually prefer watered-down reform over nothing."

  • rw (unverified)
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    Backbeat: whuh? Your quote of Harmon made no sense. I agree with Katy - and add that this IS the backdoor effort to render abortion illegal via a parallel pathway of precedent.

    As to the heartening lack of probability of it being passed, I prefer to keep troops on supportive high alert and activated to make SURE it does not pass through.

  • rw (unverified)
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    Del: why should I pay for surgical procedures I may find to be anathema in my private universe of right and wrong? Try this on for size: it's the law.

  • Lord Beaverbrook (unverified)
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    Posted by: Del | Nov 14, 2009 2:02:02 PM

    This should not have anything to do with abortion. Why should those who oppose it have to give their money toward it?

    OK. Fair 'nuff. I don't want to have to give money to support religion, responsible for innumerable social ills. Deal?

    Check out, "God Is Not Great" .

  • Jenn (unverified)
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    A new report is out about how Stupak-Pitts would impact all abortion coverage. What's next? Defining a federal subsidy of abortion as whether or not you drive on a federally funded highway to get to the clinic?

    <h2>http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/11/study-stupak-amendment-will-eliminate-abortion-coverage-over-time-for-all-women.php?ref=fpa</h2>

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