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Thread: The Stupak Stupor

  1. #1
    MarieAntoinette Guest

    The Stupak Stupor

    Interesting overview of the Stupak Stupor by Emily Douglas at The Nation.

    The United States ranks 69th for women in government, which is even worse than our international ranking for healthcare at 37th. We presently have 17 women total in the Senate, including 13 Democrats and 4 Republicans. Plus, we all saw what an American Presidential race had in store for a strong woman candidate. And now, we've had a chance to watch Republican men shouting down women Democratic representatives during a health care debate, as the women spoke about women's health care issues, and as if they were throwing eggs at suffragettes marching (or rather, having a tantrum in their high chairs?).

    Regardless, surely the Stupak Stupor would never have set in if the U.S. ranked on par with places like Sweden -- where women in government and universal health care seem to march inseparably hand in hand, as higher principles.

    What might the Stupak Stupor have in store in terms of major United States health care reform?

    Will our Senators in Congress be able to dexterously handle this catch and pass? So we can wake up and smell the coffee, "shake it off", "move on" from the early 20th century, fellas? Or your reliving of, "Gerber again?"

    We know that the House healthcare reform bill passed after an eleventh-hour compromise (you might say betrayal) on abortion access. We know the compromise, the Stupak-Pitts amendment, is bad. But do we know exactly how it's bad for women (and their partners)? Here's a quick primer on what the amendment actually means for any woman accessing healthcare through the newly-created health insurance exchange.

    Over the summer, legislators struck an agreement on abortion funding in which private plans offered through the health insurance exchange couldn't use federal dollars to cover abortion care. They could, however, cover abortion care with funds from individuals' premiums, and the agreement, the Capps Amendment, required at least one plan in every region to offer abortion care, and at least one not to. As many observers predicted, the Capps Amendment didn't mollify anti-abortion crusaders, namely the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which commands an outsize role in the debate over healthcare reform.

    So what we ended up with was drastically worse. After the initial compromise fell apart, Rep. Bart Stupak introduced the eponymous amendment, under which any plan purchased with any federal subsidy cannot cover abortion services--even with private funds. Plus, the public plan won't cover abortion care. While plans participating in the health insurance exchange are legally permitted to offer a version of the plan that does cover abortion--enrollment limited to those who pay for the entire plan without any subsidy--it's unlikely plans will go the extra mile to offer that coverage, Planned Parenthood's Laurie Rubiner said this morning on the Brian Lehrer Show. That would be "awfully complex," Rubiner explained. Because the majority of Americans purchasing insurance through the exchange would be using affordability credits, the plan without abortion coverage will become the "standard plan." Rubiner also cited privacy concerns over purchasing abortion-inclusive coverage. The Wall Street Journal observed, "Insurers may be reluctant to [set up abortion-inclusive plans] because it could complicate how they pool risk and force them to label policies in a way that could draw attention from abortion opponents."

    At Change.org, Jen Nedeau pointed out that even women who currently have employer-based insurance that does cover abortion care (and 87 percent of employer-based plans do) may ultimately be affected. "Since the plan for the uninsured is designed to open up to everyone over time, including large employers, it is likely that women will lose access to abortion coverage as part of any health insurance plan available for purchase," Nedeau explains.

    In defending his amendment, Stupak made one misleading and one outright false claim. He argued that women could purchase "abortion riders" on top of their insurance, much like they might purchase a dental or vision rider. Such an abortion rider doesn't exist now, and the legislation does not provide for its creation. Rubiner pointed out that in states where private coverage of abortion care is outlawed, riders don't exist either. Besides, they defy logic: "Women would have to plan for their unplanned pregnancy," Rubiner added. "It's illogical to think they would look for a plan that includes abortion."

    And for the falsehood: Stupak claimed that his amendment "goes no farther than Hyde," the amendment banning federal Medicaid funding for abortion care except in cases of rape, incest, or threat to the woman's life. In fact, the amendment goes farther than Hyde in stipulating what kind of coverage a woman can purchase with private dollars. "It's the equivalent of arguing that women who receive abortions should not use public buses or highways to travel to the abortion clinic," Igor Volsky at Wonk Room points out.

    In the Stupak amendment, the exceptions to the coverage ban read as follows: rape, incest or "where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death." The Center for American Progress's Jessica Arons writes, "Given insurance companies' dexterity in denying claims, we can predict what they'll do with that language." And in case you wonder what that leaves out entirely: "Cases that are excluded: where the health but not the life of the woman is threatened by the pregnancy, severe fetal abnormalities, mental illness or anguish that will lead to suicide or self-harm, and the numerous other reasons women need to have an abortion."

    Copyright 2009 The Nation

    Emily Douglas is the web editor at The Nation. Formerly an editor at RH Reality Check, she has written on reproductive health, LGBT issues, women's rights and the law for The American Prospect, The Nation, RH Reality Check, and other publications. She was a spring 2007 intern at The Nation and graduated from Harvard College.

    The Stupak Stupor
    Last edited by MarieAntoinette; 11-10-2009 at 06:22 PM.

  2. #2
    JPSartre12 Guest
    I guess once you've lost your basic principles, it's easier to fall into the abyss of moral relativism. Unfortunately, I still have my principles. I don't want someone else paying for my healthcare, retirement or my sexual mistakes.
    That doesn't make me a bigot, a male chauvanist or anything other than a person that believes in self-determination and self-sufficiency.
    You want to suckle the federal teat instead of taking control over your own life and actions. There's no moral high ground there.

  3. #3
    MarieAntoinette Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by JPSartre12 View Post
    I guess once you've lost your basic principles, it's easier to fall into the abyss of moral relativism. Unfortunately, I still have my principles. I don't want someone else paying for my healthcare, retirement or my sexual mistakes.
    That doesn't make me a bigot, a male chauvanist or anything other than a person that believes in self-determination and self-sufficiency. You want to suckle the federal teat instead of taking control over your own life and actions. There's no moral high ground there.
    Let's just point out, as far as the article is concerned, just how many of your fellow Americans you're talking about.

    And what they must think about someone like you.

  4. #4
    MarieAntoinette Guest

    Foreshadows of Doom For Stupak's Stupor?

    An interesting alliance develops between long time pro-choice and women's rights advocate, Senator Barbara Boxer, and influential single-payer foe, Max Baucus. Sam Stein @ Huffpost comments on the harkening of the health bill's passage without Gerber.

    One of Congress's foremost champions of abortion rights said on Monday that the Senate did not have the votes to add a more restrictive anti-abortion amendment to health care reform legislation.

    Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said that 60 votes would be needed to strip the current health care bill of its abortion-related language and replace it with a version resembling that passed by the House of Representatives on Saturday. And, in an interview with the Huffington Post, the California Democrat predicted that pro-choice forces in the Senate would keep that from happening.

    "If someone wants to offer this very radical amendment, which would really tear apart [a decades-long] compromise, then I think at that point they would need to have 60 votes to do it," Boxer said. "And I believe in our Senate we can hold it."

    "It is a much more pro-choice Senate than it has been in a long time," she added. "And it is much more pro-choice than the House."

    Boxer's reading of the political landscape might seem like the hopeful spin of an abortion-rights defender. But it was seconded by a another lawmaker, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

    "It would have to be added," sad the Montana Democrat of an amendment that mirrored that offered Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) in the House. "I doubt it could pass."

    Speaking days after House Democrats helped pass the Stupak provision -- which would greatly restrict private insurers from covering abortion -- Boxer and Baucus's proclamations are undoubtedly music to the ears of pro-choice activists. President Obama, likewise, stressed during an interview with ABC News Monday night that he would like to see the Stupak amendment changed before a final version of health care legislation is produced.

    In making her argument, Boxer described the provision as inherently prejudiced, as well as bad policy and unfair politics. The Stupak amendment, she said, would deny women access to "a legal medical procedure" even if she agrees to pay for it with private funds (a supplemental policy would have to be purchased to cover abortion). Boxer: Senate Has Votes To Block Stupak Amendment
    Last edited by MarieAntoinette; 11-10-2009 at 07:55 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarieAntoinette View Post
    And now, we've had a chance to watch Republican men shouting down women Democratic representatives during a health care debate, as the women spoke about women's health care issues, and as if they were throwing eggs at suffragettes marching (or rather, having a tantrum in their high chairs?).
    Hey - there's plenty of disordered liberal Democrat women badgering conservative men and women tea party participants. Including the head mistress, Nancy Pelosi and all her sychophants.

    At least we're on the right side of the issues, trying to shoot down another big-government, bureaucratic, wallet-busting, job-killing, liberty-gutting abortion.

    What all pro-abortion pundits have in common: THEIR MOTHERS ALL CHOSE LIFE!
    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.” - Robert Jastrow

  6. #6
    MarieAntoinette Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Easyrider View Post
    Hey - there's plenty of disordered liberal Democrat women badgering conservative men and women tea party participants. Including the head mistress, Nancy Pelosi and all her sychophants.
    Quite honestly, I haven't seen any such badgering of tea party participants, let alone by Nancy Pelosi who is the picture of decorum.

    I have simply seen tea baggers at Town Hall Meetings rudely shouting out of turn and interfering with others' rights to exercise their free speech.

    At least we're on the right side of the issues,
    [ trying to shoot down another big-government, bureaucratic, wallet-busting, job-killing, liberty-gutting abortion.
    More like the wrong side of the issues, ever in search of more money with the health insurance industry, I'd say. Off the blood of your fellow Americans.

    Shoot down sounds appropriate though.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarieAntoinette View Post
    Let's just point out, as far as the article is concerned, just how many of your fellow Americans you're talking about.

    And what they must think about someone like you.
    He is a hell of a lot wiser than thee.
    The left lost the ability, use logic or know what truth is with the embrace of moral relativism. Thus you get moral equivalence between acts like detaining terrorists and cutting off heads of innocents.
    If lawmakers and anti-gun groups were serious about reducing or ending gun crimes, they would turn their wrath toward the criminals. As it is, their efforts are not the solution to gun crimes they are part of the problem.
    Even if you gave liberals the answers on an ethics exam, they’d fail.

  8. #8
    JPSartre12 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by MarieAntoinette View Post
    Quite honestly, I haven't seen any such badgering of tea party participants, let alone by Nancy Pelosi who is the picture of decorum.

    I have simply seen tea baggers at Town Hall Meetings rudely shouting out of turn and interfering with others' rights to exercise their free speech.

    More like the wrong side of the issues, ever in search of more money with the health insurance industry, I'd say. Off the blood of your fellow Americans.

    Shoot down sounds appropriate though.
    Sounds to me that you bought the whole Leftwing Obama Kool-aid package.
    I've seen liberals behave far worse at public meetings than the so-called tea baggers or were you also braindead during the 60's and 70's?

    Nationalized healthcare is all about unloading long-term union debt onto the public as payment for them securing Obama's election. Pure and simple.
    The Democratic Party needs to pass this healthcare bill or the unions will turn on them for breaking their promise to keep them viable despite their non-competitiveness in a global economy.
    Look at Obama's actions and rhetoric to date.
    He's for protectionist tariffs to save US union jobs.
    He gave two of the Big Three to the UAW while screwing the largest legal stakeholders.
    50% of the stimulus package money has been used to create public UNIONIZED jobs.
    National healthcare will take legacy costs for retiree benefits OFF of the unions' backs and put them on the public dole, saving the union pension funds AND, ultimately, the unions.

    Make no mistake about it. This president is determined to kowtow to the US labor movement because they got him elected and they are the key to keeping him in office.

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