Just yesterday, Michael Hichborn, host of our ALL Report, got roped into the unbelievable task of reviewing the new Max Baucus version of the health care reform bill. Now, before I highlight some of the things Michael found, I have to share what he said to a member of our board of directors, Mildred F. Jefferson, M.D.:
The title of this act, “America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009,” is SO propagandistic, we should refer to it as “America’s Happy Puppies and Rainbows Act of 2009.”
If that doesn’t give you a flavor for what is patently wrong with this proposal, then there is nothing more to say. Take two aspirin and we’ll call you when this nightmare is over.
The following is excerpted from the actual piece of legislation, pages 25-27, which as you might recall, was not supposed to provide a single cent of taxpayer money for abortion:
Application of State and Federal Laws Regarding Abortion
The performance of and payment for abortions is regulated by both state and Federal laws. State law, for example, sometimes prescribes parental notification, waiting periods and other procedural requirements before an abortion may be performed. Under Federal law, certain kinds of Federal funds may not be used to pay for abortions and certain recipients of Federal funds may not discriminate against specified health care entities that perform or refuse to perform, pay for, provide referrals for, or provide training for abortions.
This provision would ensure that state laws regarding the prohibition or requirement of coverage or funding for abortions, and state laws involving abortion-related procedural requirements are not preempted. The provision similarly provides that Federal conscience protections and abortion-related antidiscrimination laws would not be affected by the bill. The rights and obligations of employees and employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would also not be affected by the bill. In addition, this bill does not affect state or Federal laws, including section 1867 of the Social Security Act (EMTALA), requiring health care providers to provide emergency services.
The above is a smooth, if not deceptive, way of agreeing to the status quo insofar as abortion services are concerned. When dealing with a “surgical procedure,” which is what abortion is called in some circles, there are certain things the federal law should not prohibit. In other words, killing the preborn child is still an option according to what you have just read.
To continue, the following is also found in the document:
Abortion Coverage Prohibited as Part of Minimum Benefits Package
Currently, Federal funds may be used to pay for abortions only if a pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest, or where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed. However, many private insurance plans include coverage for abortion beyond these limited categories.
This provision provides that abortion cannot be a mandated benefit as part of a minimum benefits package except in those cases for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. A qualified health plan would not be prohibited, however, from providing coverage for abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. Federal funds continue to be prohibited from being used to pay for abortions unless the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger.
Red alert, folks. Please read the current law again, just to make sure you get the gist of the statement in the Chairman’s Mark, which reads, “except in those cases for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted.” In other words, just as the USCCB had hoped, federal dollars can only be used for the killing of babies set aside by the watered-down, abortion-for-some Hyde Amendment from days gone by; or for that matter, any reason that an abortionist can justify based on his argument that continuing the pregnancy might result in the mother’s death.
Nowadays, the language — or at least a version of it — is more commonly referred to as the Stupak/Pitts amendment. Congressmen Stupak of Michigan and Pitts of Pennsylvania proposed an amendment which has already been defeated in previous attempts. It goes like this:
No funds authorized under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.
It’s another way of giving an out to the abortionist. But after more than 20 years of playing Russian roulette with the lives of the preborn, some actually hail this language as pro-life. Not American Life League, thank you. We know that this is hogwash. We also know that when the government is involved, a whole lot of slop gets through the big cracks created by exceptions. Apparently this new proposal is no different.
Here’s another excerpt:
Rules Regarding Coverage of and Tax Credits for Specified Services
The Secretary would ensure that in each state exchange, at least one plan provides coverage of abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. The Secretary would also ensure that in each state exchange, at least one plan does not provide coverage of abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted.
This can be interpreted to mean a number of things, I suppose. But the fact is, according to the proposal, there must be abortion coverage “beyond those for which federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted.”
This means that the federal government is placing itself in the role of marketing abortion and requiring abortion coverage beyond what the taxpayer has to actually pay for at a given moment. If this sounds a little bit like borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, you’re onto something. Only in this case, it is the lives of babies that are being held in the balance, so that not a single abortion is left behind. And you thought President Obama meant it when he guaranteed the people of our nation that abortion would not be covered in health care reform.
The gist of this proposal is deadly. Deal Hudson, having analyzed the very same bill that we quote above, explained in his blog:
Right now, the USCCB is hoping the Obama administration will honor its promise. That's fine and good, but are they willing to use their muscle? We will see.
Now is an excellent opportunity for the USCCB to take a leadership role in the debate instead of looking like it does now, like the only guys in town who don't get the joke.
My greatest fear is not only that the USCCB will be happy with the exceptions as noted in the Baucus proposal, but that they will once again surrender to political pragmatism and accept the killing of some. It is high time that Catholics and, for that matter, all pro-life Americans, stood up and made it perfectly clear that the emperor has no clothes. Exceptions have created gaping holes in his stockings, accommodations to evil have disintegrated his moral authority and decay, passed off as tolerable federal law, fills the pockets of his tunic.
To suggest that the commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” must take a backseat to legislative garbage — allegedly supposed to make us all happy about our “healthy future” as we permit our tax dollars to be used to pay for child killing in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother, or whatever — is disgusting. We’ve had enough.
Happy Puppies and Rainbows doesn’t save preborn children from murder by abortion, regardless of the excuse used to murder them; courage does!