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.