Monday, November 09, 2009

Stupak - Pitts & You

Liprap, Dangerblond & I have been at it today over the Stupak - Pitts Amendment to the House health care reform bill. Lots of folks think that Stupak is a huge blow to women's reproductive rights. I think it provides exactly zero change from the current status quo.

I've been directed to read several of the thousands of partisan descriptions of what damage Stupak will cause, but I don't really need to read much more into it than the text of the amendment itself to know what I need to know.

...No funds authorized or appropriated by this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case 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 unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.

I missed where any current federal subsidies are authorized or appropriated to cover any elective pregnancy terminations under our current way of doing things. I know for damn sure the GOP Congress didn't authorize or appropriate any such subsidy between 1994 and 2006, and I'd bet a well-appointed Texas ranch that Ol' Dubya never approved of any such thing between 2000 and 2008.

And call me crazy, but I'm sure Obama and the Dems in Congress didn't sneak something like that by us in the last 9 months.

So pardon me while I don't get too excited over an amendment that changes nary a part of the status quo. And you know why I'm really not worried about it? The amendment won't mean one damned thing in regards to women's reproductive rights. You know why? Because now, this bill will not be passed, will not be reconciled and will not be signed into law.

Bet you wish we'd signed onto that "line item veto" thing now, hunh?

The GOP and insurance comapanies should kiss the toejam of Stupak's feet, because he killed health care reform to the sound of rousing applause of the now self-destructing pro-reform party while bringing exactly zero blowback on the opposition.

I blame Nancy Pelosi, who probably won't realize the magnitude of this until she's being voted out of the Speaker's chair in late 2010.

I mean, the writing was on the wall as early as September that health care reform will fail if this issue wasn't resolved.

You might notice who isn't complaining - insurance companies. One would wonder why that is.

Oh, yeah, and now Big Media breathlessly realizes this is a juicy controversy with which to sell advertising. Get ready, because the week is young and the meme is just getting started.

Big thoughts? This is why I laugh at sky-is-falling types. Right wingers went apeshit Saturday night when the House bill passed (I mean, they've been going apeshit for a while now, but the volume had kinda slacked off recently because I guess they thought they had this thing beat). It passed and the chorus of "OH NOES!11!111!! TEH SOCIALIZMZ!!1!" plastered all over my Facebook feed and radio waves. I guess they really don't understand the legislative process in the first place and the theory of the Democratic circular firing squad in the second.

Because no sooner had the cheering stopped echoing around the House on their historic "victory" than you could hear the locking and loading of intraparty strife weaponry gearing up to sink any chance at health care reform for the next generation.

Frankly, I'm surprised they made it this far. Since I get most of my news from Slate, I reckon I was more prepared for this than most. They've been talking about this for months.

For example, one resolution (floated in August) to the intraparty strife is to create a private, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting elective pregnancy terminations for women at or below, say 200% of the federal poverty level. Matter of fact, why doesn't an organization like that exist already? Women & progressive allies saying "Sinn Fein" and taking care of other women?

Kinda like progressives getting together, saying "screw the government" and starting up our own health care non-profit co-op. Getting our "pro-reform" legislators to remove roadblocks for such would be far easier than passing a 1,900 page "comprehensive health care plan" that no group of reformers can get together to pass legislatively.

But I guess if you've got to learn a lesson (like the GOP 2006 - 2008), learn it in spectacular fashion while everyone is watching.

Because get your popcorn. This is gonna be messy, public, and very, very loud.



Leigh C. said...

And then there is this:

Of course, if coverage for erectile dysfunction medication is taken out of HCR, all men will raise holy hell, even the ones who are prescribed it but can't take it because it messes with the effectiveness of their other medications. Anything for a boner, I guess.

Cousin Pat from Georgia said...

I agree that erectile dysfunciton medications should not be covered under those insurance plans that would be subsidized by the Federal government. The current House plan is designed to cover Americans who can't afford health care for serious health problems, and providing ED medication does not acheive this goal.

Medicare, too. Sorry, fellas. We gotta cut costs. My tax dollars should not go to subsidize y'all's jollies. This subsidy may even encourage men to visit strip clubs, view pornography, patronize prostitutes, or engage in homosexual or promiscuous sexual encounters.

While the libertarian in me thinks all these activities are personal choices, I understand others will have significant moral hang-ups with any or all of them. I also do not believe my tax dollars should go to subsidize such behavior.

However, and one point all y'all have missed, is that putting selective control of health care into the hands of government by definition places it at the whims of the majority. This is actually one point where the conservative side of the aisle has made a great deal of sense (too bad it was drowned out by the "death panels" and "teh naziz socializmz" talk).

You think these proposals are anti-choice now, just you wait until the next GOP President gets a hold of it.

And, again, you're only talking about those health plans that recieve federal subsidy, none of which cover elective pregnancy termination at the present time.

Which is all OK, because it doesn't matter. Health care reform in this incarnation is dead. It will not pass, it will not be signed into law. I still blame Nancy Pelosi, and it is going to be sad watching everyone to my left gnash their teeth and wonder what happened in 2010.