July 20, 2009

I Report, You Decide

I sent an email to my Senator, Sen. Brown, expressing hope that he would nix any Obamacare inclusion of abortion funding.

I received this reply:
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on upcoming health care reform legislation. I can understand your view that tax dollars should not be spent to fund abortion services. Please be assured, your tax dollars do not fund abortion services and it is against the law to use federal funds for this purpose.

After the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, Congress enacted restrictions on the use of federal money for abortions. The so-called "Hyde Amendment" restricted the use of Medicaid funds for abortion services.

In 1970, Congress passed the Family Planning Services and Population Research Act. This act contained a section entitled Title X that provides grants to public and private nonprofit agencies that supply voluntary family planning services. The law stipulates that no clinic may be fully funded by Title X funds, nor may Title X funds be used to perform abortions.

There are no plans in the current Congress to overturn these laws nor to include coverage for abortion procedures in upcoming health care legislation. Thank you again for getting in touch with me.
Meanwhile, here's a transcript from Fox News Sunday, featuring Peter Orszag, Director of the Office of Management and Budget:
CHRIS WALLACE: Are you prepared to say that in a government public-funded, taxpayer-funded public health insurance plan that no taxpayer money will go to pay for abortions?

ORSZAG: I think that that will wind up being part of the debate. I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It's obviously a controversial issue, and it's one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.

WALLACE: So you're not prepared to rule out...

ORSZAG: I'm not prepared to rule it out.


William Luse said...

I got responses yesterday from Cong. Grayson, nutcase liberal, and Mel Martinez, sometime conservative senator. Both blathered vaguely about the need for health care reform while at the same time keeping a close eye on the economic ramifications. I'm pretty sure it was a form letter written by a bot that saw health care in the content. I responded to Martinez's bot: "What does any of this have to do with funding abortion under ObieCare?" No answer yet. I'll keep you posted.

TS said...

Our very liberal Congresswoman, Mary Jo Kilroy, says she'll keep my thoughts on tax-payer funding of abortion "in mind", which is a nice way of saying "no way in hell buster", but I prefer that to Sen. Brown's cop-out.

Roz said...

"The law stipulates that no clinic may be fully funded by Title X funds, nor may Title X funds be used to perform abortions."

Loophole alert. Sentence #1: meaningless - no grant programs "fully fund" anything. They give significant support to enable a program to do what they do. Sentence #2: Funds don't perform abortions. They go into the operating budget from which equipment is bought, rent is paid, and doctors are compensated.

TS said...

Yeah Roz, they always find wiggle room. I thought that the line "There are no plans in the current Congress.." was sort of in the Clintonian vein where it "depends what you mean by 'plan'". He could mean by that that right now abortion funding is in the "pre-planning" stage.

My brother-in-law opines in an email:

Typical seight of hand -- before you tell a whopper, obfuscate the issue with unrelated but seemingly topical facts.

Any government run healthcare will cover abortions -- there's no way around that I can see. If it's not in the legislation as it passes now, it will be shortly after an abortion is denied someone who then dies in childbirth (it happens all the time).

From there, your just a doctor's signature away from funding abortions for any reason at all, including as a means of birth control. Almost one-half of all health insurance plans cover elective abortions (http://www.lifenews.com/nat3920.html).

Abracadabra (moves hands in circles): So Brown rolls out the Hyde Amendment (in quotes, no less). Medicaid Funds can't be used for abortion services. Well, you're not talking about Medicaid Funds now are you?

Alakazam (holds hands out with fingers outstretched): Then he rolls out 'Title X', which talks about grants to Family Planning public and private nonprofits. Well, you're not talking about that either. Sounds like he's making a list of Liberal losses against abortion foes.

TADA!: He rolls out those two unrelated items to reinforce his false claim that "There are no plans in the current Congress ... to include coverage for abortion procedures in upcoming health care legislation."

To the uninitiated, it might sound like he's thricely 'poo-pooing' your concern -- obviously the Dems haven't tried either in the past or with present legislation to allocate federal dollars for abortion services.

However, its easy to see the way around all the language in any current law and his own denial: just treat all healthcare dollars as if they aren't federal funds, but rather 'healthcare funds'. After all, people are supposed to pay into the healthcare system in order to get benefits out, so really they're not federal dollars at all, but they're healthcare dollars. All current laws about federal dollars not funding abortion will not apply, and the Libs are free to fund the killing of all the unborn babies they want using our 'healthcare dollars'.

I'm pretty sick over how close this whopping nightmare for the future is to passing. I am hoping against hope that enough Dems come to their senses about this one.

William Luse said...

I got another 'response' from Martinez's office. It's a rundown of several items in the news, such as that he fully supports Sotomayor's confirmation. Nothing to do with abortion funding. The bot subscribed me to their email list. I unsubscribed.

TS said...

No good deed goes unpunished... I can't believe they don't realize that most constituents would be really annoyed at being placed on what amounts to as a spam list.