Remember to Pay the Abortionist From That Private Pile of Money

Today The New York Times patiently answers some of the questions "frequently asked" by those silly, ill-informed dissenters who continue to resist the president's plan to rejigger one-sixth of the economy. Here's one FAQ:

What if I don't want my health care dollars to pay for other people's abortions?

Abortion opponents say the legislation would use taxes to subsidize insurance that could cover the procedure. Under the House bill, health plans could choose to cover abortion, but they generally could not use federal money to pay for the procedure and instead would have to use money from the premiums paid by beneficiaries. Representative Diana DeGette, Democrat of Colorado, said the bill would keep current restrictions on the use of federal money for abortion.

Although I understand why many people object to it, funding for abortion is not high on my list of reasons to oppose Obama's health care reforms. Still, I assume he has not found a way to make dollars nonfungible. If someone complains that poor people use welfare payments to buy booze, saying they have to use their own money for that is not a very satisfying response. Likewise, the reassurance that health plans would have to pay for abortions with the  money that comes from the patient's share of the premium, as opposed to the government's share, is meaningless in practice. The Democrats might as well tell the anti-abortion taxpayer that they won't use his money to kill fetuses, which will be done only with money from taxpayers who have no compunctions about the procedure.

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  • ||

    Way to go, moron! Now that you've injected abortion into the discussion, it's going to devolve into a shouting match, brownshirts will shutdown town hall meetings, and nazi thugs will call Nancy Pelosi names.

  • ||

    Abortion is legal. Why shouldn't a taxpayer funded health plan be used to a legal medical procedure?

    Would anyone be taking these people seriously if they said they didn't want to cover cures for STDs?

    Until Roe is overturned, fuck you if you don't like tax dollars going to abortion.


    And why are these people singling out abortion, but have no problems with boner pills?

  • ||

    The New York Times and other similar sources are simply trying to paint all dissenters as a bunch of right-wing fundamentalist loonies.

  • ||

    What if I don't want my health care dollars to pay for other people's abortions?

    What if I want to have nothing to do with this nonsense at all? The left is all about choice, right? That is what I keep hearing about other people's abortions. So where is the choice for me to opt out of Social Security, Medicare and this crap?

    And CT, with rare exceptions abortion is an elective procedure that is not medically necessary. Kind of like a facelift. Neither should be covered with tax dollars. But I'm with you on Ci@lis and Vi@gra.

  • ||

    Until Roe is overturned, fuck you if you don't like tax dollars going to abortion.

    Well, CT, some of us have a problem with tax dollars going to pay for any healthcare.

    Nonetheless, even granting that some healthcare can/should be taxpayer-funded, I think a very defensible line can be drawn at elective procedures. Which, in nearly all cases, abortion is.

    As is Viagra, of course. I would note that Medicare coverage for Viagra was approved by a Dem Congress in 2008, after being rejected by a Repub Congress in 2005.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Thanks, ChicagoTom, for angrily dismissing people's perfectly legitimate moral qualms.

    And, what Brandybuck said.

  • ||

    Abortion is legal. Why shouldn't a taxpayer funded health plan be used to a legal medical procedure?



    So is breast enhancement. The federal government should be funding more of that.

    Would anyone be taking these people seriously if they said they didn't want to cover cures for STDs?



    Probably not, but they're not saying that, so they're not as anti-sex as you pretend.

    Until Roe is overturned, fuck you if you don't like tax dollars going to abortion.



    Everything legal must be subsidized? Would you say, "Until the First Amendment is overturned, fuck you if you don't like tax dollars going to churches?"

    And why are these people singling out abortion, but have no problems with boner pills?



    Possibly because they're not as anti-sex as you pretend.

  • MNG||

    cue Mad Max, complete with links to Papal Encyclicals and Augistine, in 3,2,1...

  • MNG||

    John
    The point is that abortion is currently a legal, medical procedure in this nation. Why should a health care plan not cover this one legal medical procedure? Because some people think it wrong? The same could be said of covering birth control pills, condoms, blood transfusions...

  • ||

    I would hazard a guess that a majority of people concerned about tax funded abortions are also people who pay little in taxes and consume much in government services.

  • ||

    The point is that abortion is currently a legal, medical procedure in this nation. Why should a health care plan not cover this one legal medical procedure?

    There are a shitload of elective legal medical procedures that no insurance plan is going to cover, as Mr Thacker alludes to above with breast implants.

  • ||

    "I would hazard a guess that a majority of people concerned about tax funded abortions are also people who pay little in taxes and consume much in government services."

    That's just dumb.

  • Jozef||

    I didn't agree with the Iraq war, and yet my taxes helped to fund it. I had to suck it up, just like people who don't agree with abortion will have to suck it up. That's not to say I agree with Obamacare; I'm just pointing out that pulling abortion into the discussion is nonsense.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Well, I'm convinced now. Abortion isn't controversial at all.

  • ||

    The "people who pay little in taxes and consume much in government services" are the people getting abortions.

    I work across the street from an abortion clinic. The only people I see going in there are poor people.

  • ||

    Possibly because they're not as anti-sex as you pretend.

    Or maybe they are. That's why the same people that tend to be so anti-abortion are also anti-sex-ed, and anti-contraception.

    But some just want to control female sexuality which is why the boner pills are A-OK but want to limit women's choices.

  • ||

    I would hazard a guess that a majority of people concerned about tax funded abortions are also people who pay little in taxes and consume much in government services.

    In that case, all the enlightened wealthy people who have no problem paying for abortions can set up a foundation to pay for them.

    I didn't agree with the Iraq war, and yet my taxes helped to fund it. I had to suck it up, just like people who don't agree with abortion will have to suck it up.

    Military campaigns are a legitimate use of tax dollars. Unless you're a pacifist, your beef with the government is that you don't like their choice of which military campaigns to fund.

    The people who don't like funding abortions aren't saying they support funding certain abortions but not others, they don't want to fund abortions at all.

  • ||

    Probably not, but they're not saying that, so they're not as anti-sex as you pretend.

    You think these people would be happy to fund the pill ? (something that most insurance plans cover)

  • ||

    And CT, with rare exceptions abortion is an elective procedure that is not medically necessary.

    And the ones that are medically necessary aren't funded.

  • ||

    Hey ChicagoTom, the '70s called. They want their stereotypes back.

  • ||

    That's why the same people that tend to be so anti-abortion are also anti-sex-ed, and anti-contraception.

    Most anti-abortion people are not anti-contraception. And being against sex ed does not make one "anti-sex".

    But some just want to control female sexuality which is why the boner pills are A-OK but want to limit women's choices.

    And some people who favor legal abortion hate babies. So?

  • ||

    Military campaigns are a legitimate use of tax dollars. Unless you're a pacifist, your beef with the government is that you don't like their choice of which military campaigns to fund.

    The people who don't like funding abortions aren't saying they support funding certain abortions but not others, they don't want to fund abortions at all.


    Isn't that an awfully convenient distinction to draw ...

  • ||

    What's the German word for 40-year-old Zeitgeist?

    You'd think I'd know that...

  • ||

    Or maybe they are. That's why the same people that tend to be so anti-abortion are also anti-sex-ed, and anti-contraception.

    You think these people would be happy to fund the pill ? (something that most insurance plans cover)



    Yeah, well, as you yourself said, they aren't saying a damn thing about it. Until then, your argument is considerably less plausible than even people opposing the current health care bills because Obama once said that he favored single-payer health care. Even though that's not in the current bill, at least we have Obama on video saying that he supports it.

  • ||

    And the ones that are medically necessary aren't funded.

    The ones that are medically necessary are like 1% of the total. You're letting the exception swallow the rule.

  • ||

    But some just want to control female sexuality which is why the boner pills are A-OK but want to limit women's choices.



    And some just want to control the number of poor people and unintelligent people, especially black people (whom they feel fall into those categories), and so support subsidized abortion for the poor. So? That doesn't mean it applies to everyone, nor does it mean that you can oppose an argument by saying that "the people who are arguing X also secretly believe Y but aren't saying it, and also they argue X for secret reasons that they aren't saying."

  • ||

    I didn't agree with the Iraq war, and yet my taxes helped to fund it. I had to suck it up, just like people who don't agree with abortion will have to suck it up.



    Both are reasons to limit the reach of government. This sort of argument is exactly why libertarianism fails at the ballot box-- people are libertarian in theory, but feel that if someone else is getting a benefit or their tax dollars are being used for things that they don't like, it's only "fair" that they work the system too.

  • ||

    Far too many Americans are dumb enough to buy it. I know people who honestly believe that the lottery proceeds go to "The Skoolz".

    I could make a cynical case that the poor should be paid to have abortions, but my heart wouldn't be into it. The fact is that most abortions, like most breast augmentation surgeries, are purely elective procedures. A whole bunch of Americans, not all of them members of the religious right, have a real big problem with taxpayer funded abortion.

  • Abdul||

    Maybe the Democrats should respond to those who don't want tax dollars paying for abortion by promise them miniature American flags.

  • ||

    You think these people would be happy to fund the pill ? (something that most insurance plans cover)

    I'm not happy funding appendectomies.

    But if a government insurance plan is a given (see medicaid), I'm willing to fund birth control pills, condoms and voluntary sterilizations for adults. Abortion is somewhat different than those medical practices.

    See my post above about paying the poor to have abortions. You can make a practical cost effective argument for it.

  • Abdul||

    See my post above about paying the poor to have abortions. You can make a practical cost effective argument for it.

    No way you can fool me into making that argument! I remember Bill Bennet.

  • ||

    Funding abortions is a cost-cutting measure.

    Couple hundred bucks < Lifetime government medical care from age -0.

  • ||

    "In that case, all the enlightened wealthy people who have no problem paying for abortions can set up a foundation to pay for them."

    Huh? Where did I say that I think government should be paying for anything?

  • ||

    So you're saying you pay little in taxes and consume much in govt services.

  • ||

    I would hazard a guess that a majority of people concerned about tax funded abortions are also people who pay little in taxes and consume much in government services.



    So? It's as persuasive as the opposite argument that I've heard just as much as the people who oppose tax funded abortions are the people who have so much money that they would be able to afford one without government assistance. Neither argument is persuasive, and they're contradictory.

    Are you proceeding to the argument that people who don't pay taxes shouldn't be able to vote?

  • ||

    Are you proceeding to the argument that people who don't pay taxes shouldn't be able to vote?

    I will. No tickee, no laundry.

  • ||

    Charlie: I mean, I wish I could go back in time and do the right thing, you know?

    Dee: Like be there for him?

    Charlie: No, get an abortion.

  • ||

    Tulpa,

    You just want to argue don't you?

    I said "guess". I was being a little snarky. Did I hit a nerve or something.

    For the record I pay way too much.

  • ||

    "So? It's as persuasive as the opposite argument..."

    It wasn't meant to be much of an argument. I guess you could argue that the vast majority of people who are against abortion are educated, east coast socialites.

  • ||

    In my experience (living in rural settings and 'bad' urban areas) most people I've met who are against abortion are uneducated and poor. Yep it's anecdotal.

  • ||

    "No, no, never! I traded you for a guitar. And all these years I've wondered, 'What happened to that guitar?'"

  • ||

    It wasn't meant to be much of an argument.



    I just don't particularly understand making a comment along the lines of "X? Most people who believe X are Y and probably also believe Z."

    I will. No tickee, no laundry.



    See, now that's an interesting thing to discuss. Just talking about the people who like X are the wrong crowd is just so high school.

  • proud libitard||

    I love X. Los Angeles was a GREAT album...

  • JD||

    OK, the "Viagra vs. The Pill" debate is so fucking stupid it makes my teeth hurt. One is a treatment for a (admittedly non-life-threatening) medical condition, designed to restore the body to normal, healthy functioning; the other is a treatment to change the functioning of a healthy body that does not actually have anything wrong with it. One has very few alternatives, especially ones available cheaply and over the counter; the other has plenty of alternatives, including ones available cheaply and without the aid of a medical professional.

    I'm all for birth control, but anyone who either can't see the difference here or pretends that they can't see the difference, in order to try and make a rhetorical point, should have their head held underwater until they stop polluting the debate with their idiocy.

  • Mad Max||

    I'm glad to see that commenters of all shades of opinion are acknowledging (implicitly or explicitly) that the administration health bill would, indeed, provide taxpayer support for abortion (although perhaps under Enronesque accounting methods designed to deceive morons). This is an important point, because many administration supporters have gone to great lengths to deny this obvious truth, and to suggest that only right-wing Ku Klux Klan members would believe that the bill covers abortion.

    Although the administration supporters here seem to have abandoned their absurd claims, it would be useful to review the evidence which shows that abortion is, indeed, covered, and that all the right-wing wackos were right after all.

    An Associated Press article on August 5 stated the obvious fact that Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion:

    'Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions, a decision that would affect millions of women and recast federal policy on the divisive issue.'

    (MNG - I hope that citing an article from the Media Formerly Known as Mainstream will suffice in lieu of an encyclical or a quote from Saint Augustine - to the likes of you, the MFKM has a near-magisterial authority)

    In the dog-that-didn't-bark department, the White House's (taxpayer financed) Web page dedicated to refuting supposed right-wing falsehoods about the health-care proposal does not (as of 2 PM August 12) even bother to refute the claim that the proposal would cover abortions. (This omission has been duly noted by pro-lifers, and maybe the resulting embarrassment will ultimately prompt the administration to add something to the Web page about how abortion isn't in the health bill and it doesn't matter anyway and Republicans are scum).

    Then there's the little detail of all the prolife amendments to the bill which were *voted down* - amendments which would simply have declared that taxpayers wouldn't have to pay for abortions.

    See this site for 6 Facts Proving Abortion is in the Health Care Legislation

    The pro-lifers are merely asking that any health bill preserve the principles of the Hyde and Church Amendments. The former protects the taxpayers from having to pay for abortion, and the latter protects medical personnel from being forced to violate the Hippocratic Oath with respect to abortion. Both amendments date from the 1970s, which in Chicago Tom's terms qualifies as a tradition.

    Also, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that taxpayers aren't constitutionally required to pay for abortion, so if you go by what the Supreme Court says, the issue is already settled.

    And, Chi Tom and MNG: Saint Augustine expressly approved of boner pills, as shown by this link.

  • ||

    And why are these people singling out abortion, but have no problems with boner pills?

    I have problems with any "health care overhaul" proposal that doesn't give people the option of picking an insurance plan that omit abortions, boner pills, or both (and that comes with a correspondingly lower premium).

  • ||

    I meant to add the question whether anyone could tell me if the Administration's proposal *would* give people the option of buying an insurance plan that excludes abortions, boner pills, or both.

  • ||

    In my experience (living in rural settings and 'bad' urban areas) most people I've met who are against abortion are uneducated and poor.

    You forgot "easy to command."

  • ||

    Mad Max,

    St Augustine was one of those truly anti-sex types ChiTom was referring to. He wrote some seriously wacky things on the topic that few modern Catholics would agree with. For instance he wrote that if any way could be found to produce children without sex, sex would be immoral under any circumstances at that point. With the dawn of in vitro fert in the past and perhaps cloning in the future, it looks like ol' Augie thinks sex is immoral now.

    Along with Aquinas -- with his voracious support for burning heretics and die-hard opposition to charging interest on loans -- I chuckle when Catholics quote these guys as if their word is gospel.

  • ||

    And the ones that are medically necessary aren't funded.

    The ones that are medically necessary are like 1% of the total. You're letting the exception swallow the rule.

    CT's premise is wrong as an absolute statement anyway. A medically necessary abortion is a covered procedure for the majority of the Medicaid population:

    http://reproductiverights.org/en/document/portrait-of-injustice-abortion-coverage-under-the-medicaid-program

    Note that the linked article makes a distinction between a "medically necessary abortion" and one to "sav[e] the woman's life". Those are all covered.

  • Abdul||

    Along with Aquinas -- with his voracious support for burning heretics and die-hard opposition to charging interest on loans -- I chuckle when Catholics quote these guys as if their word is gospel.

    Pythagoras approved of killing anyone who could prove the square root of 2 was irrational, which is why I shit all over modern "mathemticians" with their sad devotion to his hokey "theorem."

  • robc||

    Pythagoras approved of killing anyone who could prove the square root of 2 was irrational

    That is a brutally simple proof that I discovered for myself.

    Was Pythagoras working on his own version of Harrison Bergeron?

  • JB||

    I would pay money to legally see politicians get aborted. I would pay lots of money.

  • JB||

    Until Roe is overturned, fuck you if you don't like tax dollars going to abortion.

    Fuck you, ChicagoTom. I'm generally in favor of aborting all sorts of fetuses (especially Democrat ones up to age 99), but if you think it's smart to point a gun at people's heads and demand that they pay for what they consider the murder of little babies, you are one stupid fuck who isn't worth the carbon in your body.

  • ||

    I was just up in Canada and read in the paper about private abortion clinics in Quebec being forced to close due to new regulations mandating extensive facilities for all clinics (sounds like the effect of many state-level clinic and hospital regs here).

    From what I gathered, the clinics perform the abortions and bill the government, but that's all they do. I don't know what is exactly covered and what is not, but apparently they can't just say hey, we'll increase the amount we bill the government to cover the cost of the facilities required by the new mandates. So several will have to close now.

  • ||

    I was just up in Canada and read in the paper about private abortion clinics in Quebec being forced to close due to new regulations mandating extensive facilities for all clinics (sounds like the effect of many state-level clinic and hospital regs here).



    The history of Canadian abortion regulation is interesting. Basically, Canadian Medicare didn't cover abortion. It also didn't allow private health care at all. A doctor, Morgantaler, sued, on the grounds that it was ridiculous to ban private care from performing at all but not have the public care perform certain procedures. The Canadian courts agreed, and the result was that private abortion clinics became legal. The precedent was also used so that other services that the public system didn't cover became legal. Canada never got around to replacing its abortion law at all.

  • ||

    I meant to add the question whether anyone could tell me if the Administration's proposal *would* give people the option of buying an insurance plan that excludes abortions, boner pills, or both.



    Well, first you're assuming that the Administration has a proposal. That's hard to say; they're letting all the various Congressional committees write different bills.

    But, on the whole, the bills in Congress generally don't disallow the existence of health care plans that don't cover abortion, but they mandate that at least one plan will exist that covers abortion in every exchange. All of this is subject to change.

    If there were only one plan, it would definitely cover abortion.

  • Mad Max||

    Tulpa,

    Please, won't someone please think of the usurers?

    I'm so glad that the administration's supporters have come out in support of normal capitalist activities, and that they will no longer feel called upon to demagogue against market outcomes simply because they don't like the profits people are making.

    The medieval Church actually held that a lender who shared in the risks of an enterprise was entitled to share in the profits thereof. Even St. Thomas' hard-line attitude against userers wasn't as scary to libertarians as one might think, since he did not hold that the civil government had to prohibit usury, and he even said that a *borrower* could legitimately borrow at interest if those were the terms offered by the lender.

  • qwerty||

    If there's any issue that brings together the libertarian right and the social right, it's federal funding for abortions. The Democrats just gave their enemies a huge box of ammunition and put large "kick me" signs on their backs. I'm glad they're so stupid. That makes them less dangerous.

  • ||

    Mad Max, he wrote that it was a mortal sin to charge interest. Contemporary popes issued decrees that theologians who said it was not sinful to charge interest should be bound in chains for the rest of their lives, so I can understand his motivations for towing the lion.

    Indeed, Catholic (and Protestant, and Muslim, to be fair) aversion to charging interest is one reason why Jews became so influential in the world of finance, much to the chagrin of the actor who played your namesake.

  • ||

    Immediately after I hit submit on that last one, the stupid game show on in the background had a question on which movie franchise Jeremy Renner is replacing Mel Gibson in.

    Yep, that's the one. Maybe God is punishing me.

  • Brent Royal-Gordon||

    I wonder how many public option supporters are thinking ahead to the sad, sad day when the evil Republicans finally usurp the Democrats' rightful place in Washington? We all know that the very first bill they pass will remove abortion and contraceptive coverage from the public option.

  • weight||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they're good reasons), one reason I didn't see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn't defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

  • coach||

    While I'm a Ron Paul supporter, I also do my best not to look at things with rose-colored glasses. That's how I can read this article and applaud its honesty, even if I don't like the words from my biased perspective. Oh who am I kidding? I actually have my own idea why he lost like he did.

    Aside from the reasons listed (since they're good reasons), one reason I didn't see what something that happened at the ABC debates. While I read comments from co-supporters deploring the verbal attack on Paul during the war discussion, they failed to realize that Paul dug himself in a bit in his retorts to the attack. He didn't defend his stance well and I think that was a key factor in the end result.

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