Count me as flabbergasted on this one. Abortion as the stumble on a health reform bill in the House. Really?
I don't say that because I think abortion is not an important issue. I say because I have never met anyone who changed their mind about it (except for politicians who want to run for the Republican nomination for President....but I haven't actually met any of them).
The House is struggling to come up with legislative language to ensure that no federal money would go for abortion, that would line up with what the President said in his speech (no fed funds for abotion under health bill). Activists on both sides are trying to hitch their cause to something that is inevitable....but they are making it less so!
They need to work out a compromise here and move ahead. I would be fine with just saying public option won't pay for abortion....in fact, I would just take it out because it is so weak it doesn't mean much, but that is another story.
Abortion is one of the most contentious societal issue we have....and we aren't going to work it out while we are doing health reform.
As an aside, consider the following facts when thinking about the quest for developing language that would ban the use of federal money from being used for abortion:
*If a single abortion has ever been performed and paid for by employer provided health insurance, then the tax exclusion of employer paid wages means that federal money subsidized this abortion.
*If a single abortion has been performed in a hospital constructed under the Hill-Burton hospital construction Act of 1949, then the federal government subsidized that. Hint: just about every hospital constructed between 1949 and the late 1970s benefitted from Hill-Burton.
*If a hospital or clinic organized as a 501-c-3 corporation (aka non profit) has provided an abortion, then that institution has benefitted from being non profit; they have benefits ranging from likely paying no local property taxes, to not paying state and federal income taxes, etc.
*A physician who performs an abortion and who trained in the United States benefitted from direct Graduate Medical Education subsidies from Medicare to the teaching hospital in which they did their residency and fellowship, and their salary while training was essentially paid by Medicare via indirect Medical Education (IME) payments whereby Medicare pays teaching hospitals more for all care they provide in order to support residency programs and the training of physicians.
etc, etc, etc, etc.