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View Full Version : U.S. Issues Ben Nelson: Senate bill's abortion provisions not good enough


Donger
11-19-2009, 01:38 PM
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/68641-nelson-senate-bills-abortion-provisions-not-good-enough

The language in the Senate healthcare reform bill designed to bar federal funds from paying for abortions is not good enough, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) modified the healthcare bills approved by two committees in order to address concerns from anti-abortion-rights senators that the bill would change current laws prohibiting taxpayer money from being spent on abortion while not alienating abortion-rights supporters.

Reid did not succeed, according to Nelson, a key centrist swing vote Reid needs to advance his healthcare bill at a crucial test vote set for Saturday.

"We have looked at the language," Nelson told The Hill. "That language is not language that I would prefer."

"I think you need to have it eminently clear that no dollars that are federal tax dollars, directly or indirectly, are used to pay for abortions and it needs to be totally clear. [Itís] not clear enough, I donít think," Nelson said.

Nelson, who also opposes the creation of a government-run public option insurance plan, pointedly remarked that program is a significant reason for his rejection of Reid's abortion provisions. "If thereís no public option, perhaps some of the problem goes away," Nelson said.

Reid, an abortion-rights opponent himself, indicated Thursday that he was not inclined to make major changes to the abortion provisions in his bill. "This is a healthcare bill, not an abortion bill," he said.

The House adopted strict language, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), forbidding insurance plans operating in the healthcare reform bill's exchange from covering abortion services without a supplementary rider customers would pay for separately. Sixty-four Democrats joined Republicans in passing the Stupak amendment before the House passed its healthcare bill, provoking the ire of abortion rights supporters in the House and Senate, who vowed to ensure the Stupak language does not end up in any bill signed by President Barack Obama. Obama also strongly hinted the House bill goes too far.

Nelson said that he and other anti-abortion-rights Democrats were looking into ways to address their concerns but did not endorse the Stupak approach. "Weíre trying to look through all of it and then weíll go back and look at what might be possible. We talked to some others, as well. Iím not the only person who has an interest in this language," he said.

Republicans who oppose abortion rights also have an obligation to offer solutions, not just criticisms, of the relevant language in Reid's healthcare bill, Nelson said.

"The folks on the other side of the aisle who seem to have an interest in the language, you know, maybe they ought to be coming forward with some amendment, as well," Nelson said.

Nelson is not alone in his criticism of the Senate language on abortion. The National Right to Life Committee issued a statement Wednesday night describing it as "completely unacceptable."

By contrast, supporters of abortion rights have praised Reid's approach. "I am pleased that the Senate has adopted a reasonable, common ground approach on this difficult question," said Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), the author of the original House abortion provisions. "It ensures that federal funds do not pay for abortions but allows continued access to this legal medical procedure."

Reaper16
11-19-2009, 01:43 PM
The Stupak amendment is retarded anyway. Its already the case that Federal dollars won't fund abortions, now the conservative Dems want to prohibit private money from paying for them. B.S.

Donger
11-19-2009, 01:46 PM
The Stupak amendment is retarded anyway. Its already the case that Federal dollars won't fund abortions, now the conservative Dems want to prohibit private money from paying for them. B.S.

Are you referring to the Hyde Amendment?

Reaper16
11-19-2009, 01:48 PM
Are you referring to the Hyde Amendment?
Yeah.

The liberal Dems are Ok with preserving that tradition of no federal dollars paying for abortions, but Stupak, et al want to take the language too far.

petegz28
11-19-2009, 01:50 PM
The Stupak amendment is retarded anyway. Its already the case that Federal dollars won't fund abortions, now the conservative Dems want to prohibit private money from paying for them. B.S.

Newsflash, kiddo, Fed $'s are currently used to fund abortions. Contrary to the claim.

Also, if the standard line from the Left now is going to be "this is a health care bill not an abortion bill, then why do they insist abortion be covered in the bill?

Donger
11-19-2009, 01:50 PM
"The House adopted strict language, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), forbidding insurance plans operating in the healthcare reform bill's exchange from covering abortion services without a supplementary rider customers would pay for separately. Sixty-four Democrats joined Republicans in passing the Stupak amendment before the House passed its healthcare bill, provoking the ire of abortion rights supporters in the House and Senate, who vowed to ensure the Stupak language does not end up in any bill signed by President Barack Obama. Obama also strongly hinted the House bill goes too far."

I thought this was an interesting paragraph. Why does the House bill go too far? Are they suggesting that they do favor federal funds to pay for abortions?

Reaper16
11-19-2009, 02:00 PM
"The House adopted strict language, authored by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), forbidding insurance plans operating in the healthcare reform bill's exchange from covering abortion services without a supplementary rider customers would pay for separately. Sixty-four Democrats joined Republicans in passing the Stupak amendment before the House passed its healthcare bill, provoking the ire of abortion rights supporters in the House and Senate, who vowed to ensure the Stupak language does not end up in any bill signed by President Barack Obama. Obama also strongly hinted the House bill goes too far."

I thought this was an interesting paragraph. Why does the House bill go too far? Are they suggesting that they do favor federal funds to pay for abortions?
The idea of purchasing a rider is pretty awful. It presumes most people who get abortions expect ahead of time to have them; how many providers would even offer the rider given that it would probably be unpopular? The Stupak amendment is overly restrictive of consumers' ability to spend their private dollars how they want to on private plans through the healthcare exchange. I have zero problem with the desire to retain the spirit of the Hyde amendment but I don't want it going further than that.

petegz28
11-19-2009, 02:03 PM
The idea of purchasing a rider is pretty awful. It presumes most people who get abortions expect ahead of time to have them. The Stupak amendment is overly restrictive of consumers' ability to spend their private dollars how they want to on private plans through the healthcare exchange. I have zero problem with the desire to retain the spirit of the Hyde amendment but I don't want it going further than that.

Wrong again, Son. Just because I buy insurance on my house doesn't mean I expect it to burn down. I buy it in case it does. So, if you want to have the scenario of terminating a pregnancy covered by insurance, then you need to buy the rider. The other alternatives are, you pay for it in full out of pocket or it gets covered under this bill.

mlyonsd
11-19-2009, 02:12 PM
Good for Ben. Nice seeing some common sense once in a while.

Reaper16
11-19-2009, 02:13 PM
Wrong again, Son. Just because I buy insurance on my house doesn't mean I expect it to burn down. I buy it in case it does. So, if you want to have the scenario of terminating a pregnancy covered by insurance, then you need to buy the rider. The other alternatives are, you pay for it in full out of pocket or it gets covered under this bill.
There's an alternative you didn't mention: the abortion is covered in your private plan that you're already paying for with your private dollars. Having to purchase a separate abortion insurance rider in addition to your private insurance is necessarily restrictive, especially towards the demographics most likely to undergo an abortion procedure in their lifetime.

Donger
11-19-2009, 02:15 PM
The idea of purchasing a rider is pretty awful. It presumes most people who get abortions expect ahead of time to have them; how many providers would even offer the rider given that it would probably be unpopular? The Stupak amendment is overly restrictive of consumers' ability to spend their private dollars how they want to on private plans through the healthcare exchange. I have zero problem with the desire to retain the spirit of the Hyde amendment but I don't want it going further than that.

If I'm reading the Senate bill correctly, then at least one plan in the exchange must offer and cover abortion. Would you agree with that?

petegz28
11-19-2009, 02:17 PM
There's an alternative you didn't mention: the abortion is covered in your private plan that you're already paying for with your private dollars. Having to purchase a separate abortion insurance rider in addition to your private insurance is necessarily restrictive, especially towards the demographics most likely to undergo an abortion procedure in their lifetime.

No, being covered in my "private plan" paid for with my "private $'s" amounts to the samething as having a gov plan with a private rider that you are so against.

I will guarantee you that anyone who gets their abortion coverage via private $'s is not going to be scoffed at. This is about public $'s being used. And since you have no problem with someone having a private insurance plan that covers abortion, you should not have a problem with them having to buy a rider to compensate for where the Fed $'s stop.

Donger
11-19-2009, 02:24 PM
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091119/ap_on_bi_ge/us_health_care_overhaul;_ylt=AgwDtAtVgKCoWoFcAjxUZHWs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTM5aWx0ZHMwBGFzc2V0A2FwLzIwMDkxM TE5L3VzX2hlYWx0aF9jYXJlX292ZXJoYXVsBGNwb3MDNARwb3MDMQRwdANob21lX2Nva2UEc2VjA3luX2hlYWRsaW5lX2xpc3QEc 2xrA2hlYWx0aGJpbGxuZQ--

On a controversial issue that threatened to derail the House-passed bill, Reid would allow the new government insurance plan to cover abortions and would let companies that receive federal funds offer insurance plans that include abortion coverage.

A provision in the House bill — passed at the insistence of anti-abortion Democrats over strenuous objections from liberals — banned both those things. Reid attempted to tighten up the abortion language to strictly segregate private from public funds, but that did not pass muster with the National Right to Life Committee, which issued a statement Wednesday night calling the language "completely unacceptable."

Reaper16
11-19-2009, 02:27 PM
If I'm reading the Senate bill correctly, then at least one plan in the exchange must offer and cover abortion. Would you agree with that?
I'd hope that more providers in the exchange offer abortion coverage that doesn't require and additional rider. I don't think the government should mandate that providers cover it, but there should be a decent enough financial incentive in the spirit of competition for some providers to offer it.

No, being covered in my "private plan" paid for with my "private $'s" amounts to the samething as having a gov plan with a private rider that you are so against.

I'm not talking about a private rider to a government plan. As I understand the amendment it would make the rider a provision to every plan in the exchange. Remember that the exchange is not a collection of public options; it is mostly comprised of private plans. I find the amendment to be too restrictive on private dollars.