Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Casualty of Government Health Care

Stupak caves to the lie that an executive order (signed by a man who said his daughters should kill his grandchildren rather than be "punished" with a baby) will in any way protect American babies from being murdered on the taxpayer's dime. Anybody who believes, after this, that Democrats can actually be pro-life is living in a fantasy land.

God help America.

UPDATE: This video is supposed to be from a meeting last year in MI. Stupak clearly says back then that if a pro-life amendment were voted on and failed, he would still vote for the health care bill. Which is exactly what he's doing now.

I wonder what the word "principles" means to politicians anyway. Getting a chance to vote for your values, some good sound bites and drama, and enough CYA efforts so that when you go ahead and vote with your party anyway your constituents don't fire you on the next election date? Men without chests, Lewis would call them.


Kindred Spirit said...

And what about the death panels? Abortion, as great an evil as it is, may have been used as a smokescreen for other evils: we shall see. May Almighty God have mercy on this country.

Anonymous said...

There does not seem to be agreement on this point by the other side of the argument. NOW is outraged by the executive order, calling it a sell-out by one who was elected as a "pro-choice" president.

When Obama was elected, you were predicting (on Rod's old blog) the imminent destruction of the pro-life movement's life-care centers. Has that happened? Do you still believe it will? How about Catholic hospitals being closed?

I can't seem to get the software to acknowledge my Google account, so I'm stuck with an anonymous handle, but this is elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

This from Cecile Richards of PP, as reported by POLITICO:

Planned Parenthood is not happy that President Obama's executive order further enshrines the Senate's abortion language, but is thankful the order doesn't include Stupak's ban on private insurance coverage of abortion.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards:

We regret that a pro-choice president of a pro-choice nation was forced to sign an executive order that further codifies the proposed anti-choice language in the health care reform bill, originally proposed by Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska. What the president’s executive order did not do is include the complete and total ban on private health insurance coverage for abortion that Congressman Bart Stupak (D–MI) had insisted upon. So while we regret that this proposed executive order has given the imprimatur of the president to Senator Nelson’s language, we are grateful that it does not include the Stupak abortion ban.“

-- Irenaeus

Irenaeus said...

Ben Smith at POLITICO says the process shows the absolute weakness of pro-abortion groups:

Women's groups [why is THAT a neutral description when the issue is abortion, by the way?] didn't do as badly today as they might have, as the Stupak executive order appears to be more a restatement of the Nelson language than an instatement of the Stupak language.

Still, the battle exposed the profound weakness of the abortion rights movement, which -- though often assumed to be identical with the Democratic Party -- still simply doesn't have the votes. Women's groups reacted today with mixed relief and anger, but I think NARAL Pro-Choice America's Nancy Keenan makes the essential point:

On a day when Americans are expected to see passage of legislation that will make health care more affordable for more than 30 million citizens, it is deeply disappointing that Bart Stupak and other anti-choice politicians would demand the restatement of the Hyde amendment, a discriminatory law that blocks low-income women from receiving full reproductive-health care. Today’s action is a stark reminder of why we must repeal this unfair and insulting policy. Achieving this goal means increasing the number of lawmakers in Congress who share our pro-choice values. Otherwise, we will continue to see women’s reproductive rights used as a bargaining chip.

Smith then quotes Richards. Here's a piece of a quote from NOW's Terry O'Neill:

President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law -- it is an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill. NOW has a longstanding objection to Hyde and, in fact, was looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end to these restrictions. We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated. The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn't disagree more.

The cold comfort for me is that these groups are pissed. Good.

Diamantina, aka Gentillylace said...

I was brought up by parents who were both Democrats and took on their allegiance. I am a social democrat in economic matters, but conservative in social matters. It is a shame that I do not fit in comfortably in either of the two main political parties in the U.S.

As a pro-life Democrat, I wonder what I would have done had I been a representative for the 32nd District of California, where I live, instead of Judy Chu. (Of course, a pro-life Democrat would have a snowball's chance in Hell of being elected in California, but let that pass.) I think I would have been too scared to vote either yes or no. I would not want to vote for taxpayer-funded abortions, yet I would not want to ally myself with people who think that government-provided health care is unconstitutional. In the end, I suspect I would have voted "present".

In future elections, I plan to continue to be a registered Democrat and go to the polls as such, but I am thinking of voting blank ballots when it comes to pro-choice candidates (the only viable choice available for Democrats -- and for many Republicans -- here in California). I just hope that enough pro-life Democrats in my situation vote blank ballots as a protest that the Democratic Party sees it as such.

Rebecca said...

Diamantina--You don't think that the government requiring people to buy their insurance and fining them if they don't, is unconstitutional? I'd really like to get some feedback about this from a real person, because it seems to me like one of the most blatant, straightforward violations of the constitution that I have ever seen, a violation of states' and individual rights as well. How does this fit into the duties of the Federal Government as outlined in the Constitution?

Anonymous said...


It was good enough for Mitt Romney in Massachusetts.

There is a big piece missing in your description, and that is government subsidies for those who cannot otherwise afford the insurance.

Richard Nixon proposed letting anyone buy in to Medicare. If he had not been stopped by the growing social conservative movement, this all would have been over long ago. Teddy Roosevelt - old radical Republican - was the first to propose universal health care. This is not a new idea or particularly left wing. Sorry.

Lauretta said...

Um, if Medicare is going broke providing for the people already in it, how is adding more people and removing $500 billion from the budget going to be a positive thing? I mean, I believe that Christ can multiply loaves and fishes but our government? I'm not holding my breath!

Siarlys Jenkins said...

As a pro-choice independent, I accept that pro-life Democrats are real. Diamantina expresses pretty well what I have always believed they stood for (I don't think there are any in congress from my state). I would rather have a pro-life Democrat, who will support the employee free choice act, than a pro-life Republican, who will not. In some districts, that's what the voters want, and that's who they elect.

I think this whole "life" issue with the health care bill is a red herring. It was never going to have a significant effect on abortion. It was one of the few opportunities for congress to say much of anything about abortion, since there are neither votes nor public support for a constitutional amendment. People who simply didn't want any health care bill to pass, saw splitting off the pro-life Democrats as a good ploy. It failed, so they are mad. That's life.

eulogos said...

By the way, those are NOT dead feet in the picture! Having tagged a number of dead toes myself, I can tell that those are feet with a healthy circulation. Even in black and white.

Susan Peterson

Erin Manning said...

I sort of figured, Susan, but I'm glad to have it confirmed!

I was really looking for a cartoon image, but I couldn't find a free one that would work with the poster.


Rebecca said...

Anonymous, I do understand that this is all under the guise of altruism--but my question stands, how does this fit with our form of government as outlined in the Federalist Papers and the Constitution? Remember that the bill does not just *offer* aid, it forces states and individuals to accept that aid and penalizes with fines. Where does the sovereignty of the states fit in here? If the states do not have sovereignty in this area, are there any areas in which they *do* have sovereignty? Does the Federal government have the constitutional right to reach in and force states and individuals to accept a Federal monopoly in any areas it chooses? I really would like to know how this is defended in relation to the Constitution, and how our form of government is to be sharply distinguished from Socialist forms of government?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

If our government were socialist, we would have a single state-controlled health care delivery system, a single state-controlled insurance system, it would all be paid for by taxes, and it would be free. In a really enlightened socialist system, there would be three to five state-sponsored medical delivery organizations, with local networks for primary care, and three to five different insurance plans competing with each other, but none would be private, for-profit, enterprises. What we have is a polyglot of private insurance companies, and private health care delivery organizations, being brought within the framework of some basic federal standards.

Why federal? Like many areas of our economy, health care is such a broad, interstate activity, so tied in to so many issues of business, labor, and interstate commerce in health care itself, that it has grown into something congress has legitimate constitutional jurisdiction over. Health care may not have been interstate in nature in 1787, but it certainly is today, and congress does have authority to regulate interstate commerce. Ask any business which has out of state customers, which has to grapple with whether or how to provide medical coverage for its employees.