Sell-Outs and SCOTUS and Stupak, Oh My: A Health-Care Digest
1:40 PM, Dec 19, 2009 • By MARY KATHARINE HAM
NOW and pro-lifers finally agree on something.
NOW's leader: "The so-called health care reform bill now before the Senate, with the addition of Majority Leader Harry Reid's Manager's Amendment, amounts to a health insurance bill for half the population and a sweeping anti-abortion law for the rest of us," NOW President Terry O'Neill said in a statement. "We call on all senators who consider themselves friends of women's rights to reject the Manager's Amendment, and if it remains, to defeat this cruelly over-compromised legislation."
NOW calls it a "stealth Stupak" amendment. Planned Parenthood is on the same page. Stupak, however, didn't get the memo.
Pro-lifers: An aide to Rep. Bart Stupak (D. Mich.) coordinated opposition to a Senate compromise on the place of abortion in health care legislation this morning with the Republican Senate leadership, the Conference Catholic Bishops, and other anti-abortion groups, according to a chain of frantic emails obtained this morning by POLITICO. The emails show that Stupak - who has so far remained silent on language accepted by Senator Ben Nelson (D. Neb.) and faces intense pressure from the White House to accept it - is already working behind the scenes to oppose the compromise.
National Right to Life came out against the Nelson compromise and promises to score votes for cloture and for the final bill passage as "votes in favor of legislation to allow the federal government to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion on demand, to oversee multi-state plans that cover elective abortions, and to empower federal officials to mandate that private health plans cover abortions even if they do not accept subsidized enrollees, among other problems."
Well, Stupak said don't test him.
Meanwhile, Nelson seems at odds with himself on the issue of taxes. He told a Nebraska radio station Thursday, "The way in which money is raised is not acceptable."
A helpful side-by-side chart (from ThinkProgress, but useful) of provisions in the Reid bill vs. provisions in the Manager's Amendment.
He called it the biggest deficit reduction in 10 years. It's a nice thought, though a basic knowledge of the accounting gimmicks Congressional leaders pull to get good CBO scores makes the claim rather ridiculous. The good news is, even without that knowledge, the public doesn't believe the claims. As Jay Cost notes:
Hmmm, will eight Democratic senators violate their own pledges by voting for cloture before the legislation has been available for 72 hours?