Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pro-life Dem. Congressmen Oppose Senate Health Care Bill

For months, the House leadership ignored the Bart Stupak pro-life Dem. caucus, which nearly tanked the health care push. Now, Stupak is again speaking up against the abortion-funding Senate compromise bill, and so is the influential U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

UPDATE 12/23/09: Stupak predicts Senate version of the bill will 'go down in flames' in the House

UPDATE 12/22/09: Obama administration wants Stupak to shut up, but Congressman says he'll hold firm against abortion funding.

-- From "Abortion deal may be hard to keep in health bill" by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, Associated Press 12/21/09

Abortion is an issue that doesn't usually lead to common ground, since interested groups have radically opposed views. That makes the Senate compromise — which seeks to prohibit the use of tax dollars for abortions — rare, even surprising. It's also why, as Senate Democrats move to negotiations with the House, other deals in their bill may stick more easily.

House liberals are starting to accept that they probably won't get a government insurance plan. But abortion opponents in the House nearly stopped health care once before, and they are poised to try again to preserve their more restrictive approach. It could be a dealbreaker.

To read a lengthy report on the blow-by-blow details of the "sausage making" on the abortion compromise from the article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Stupak to vote against Senate bill" by Caleb Soptelean, Newport News Conservative Examiner 12/21/09

Despite the impending approval of a Senate health care reform bill by Christmas Eve, Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak said he will vote against the bill if it contains the abortion compromise language.

Stupak said during the weekend, “While I and many other pro-life Democratic House members wish to see health care coverage for all Americans, the proposed Senate language is unacceptable.”

After the Senate passes its bill and it comes out of the House-Senate Conference Committee, it remains to be seen how many pro-life Democrats will join with Stupak to vote against the bill.

Just how many pro-life Democrats stand firm against any abortion funding compromise could determine if the bill passes the House.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Senate Abortion Language is No Compromise, Pro-Life Dem Says" by Matt Cover, CNSNews.com Staff Writer 12/21/09

Stupak, who succeeded in getting a pro-life amendment attached to the House version of the bill which bars federal taxpayer support of abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is at stake, held out hope that fellow Democrats would again acquiesce to his demands and produce a health-care bill he can support, saying he hoped their differences on abortion could be resolved in conference.

Republican Party leader Michael Steele cast doubt on that idea, however, declaring that “the fix is in” and that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) would forgo conference negotiations and instead opt to push the Senate bill through the House.

The controversial compromise involves a Democratic plan to try and segregate federal health insurance subsidies from private insurance premiums, mandating that only the latter can be used to pay for abortions.

House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called this provision an “accounting gimmick” on Saturday.

“Under Reid’s ‘manager’s amendment,’ there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange. Instead the amendment includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the Exchange or the new government-run plan that will be managed by the Office of Personnel Management must establish “allocation accounts” when elective abortion is a covered benefit,” Boehner wrote on the “Republican Leader” blog.

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C., said the provision would put the federal government in the business of subsidizing elective abortions,” Perkins told CNSNews.com on Monday. “Anytime the government provides money, you see an expansion of it.

To read details of the abortion funding language from the article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Catholic Bishops Oppose New Abortion Restrictions in Senate Health Bill" FOXNews.com 12/21/09

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, one of the most important anti-abortion voices in the country, continues to oppose the Senate health care bill despite additional restrictions included to segregate taxpayer money from abortion coverage.

"The Senate health reform bill should not move forward in its current form," the bishops' conference said in a written statement Saturday, adding that the legislation should be "opposed" until the conference's concerns are addressed.

. . . the Conference of Catholic Bishops expressed concern that individuals would not be able to "opt out" of paying abortion coverage in most of the subsidized plans.

"Instead it will require purchasers of such plans to pay a distinct fee or surcharge which is extracted solely to help pay for other people's abortions," the organization said." Further the government agency that currently manages health coverage for federal employees will promote and help subsidize multi-state health plans that include elective abortions, contrary to longstanding law governing this agency."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.