Using a slight of hand and having his propaganda mill obscure what has been done, the Democrats and the Obama administration are planning to fund abortion in their health care bill.

The original “compromise” on abortion was a slight of hand that would force people to pay for abortion coverage themselves, similar to the way you can opt for dental insurance.

This meant that if you pay a token fee for the abortion add on coverage, but the probability is that the abortion will be paid for by the general funds of the insurance policy,  since there is nothing in the bill to mandate that the abortion funding could only come from the separate policy.

How this slight of hand works: You take a bucket of water filled by the public, and you put in one ounce of your own water.

By putting in a tiny amount, you are now allowed to take all the water you want, no questions asked. After all, it’s your water, right? Never mind that most of the water you take out was put there by the public.

But the Democrats along with token Republican Olympia Snowe, went beyond this sham of denying public funding.They outright want abortion coverage.

In a series of votes on the sixth day of the committee’s markup, the panel rejected an amendment by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) that would have required women participating in a new insurance market known as an exchange to purchase a separate policy covering abortion services.

Why not require women to buy the extra coverage? Olympia Snowe explains:

The proposal suggested that the “woman is assuming she will have abortions,” Snowe said in explaining her opposition. “Most of these pregnancies that result in abortion are unplanned pregnancies.”

Ah, yes. But that is not the point. A lot of us think abortion is murder and we don’t want to have our money cover policies that fund abortion. In the private sector, we can chose a policy that does not fund the taking of innocent life, but now we will no longer have that option.

The Washington Post article ignores the implication of this, merely insisting that the amendment was superficial:

Finance chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., argued that his bill already incorporates federal law that bars abortion funding, except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. It would require health plans to keep federal subsidies separate from any funds used to pay for abortions in all other cases.

This too is a lie.

The Hyde amendment does prevent tax payer money funding most abortions.  But it was written to cover all health care paid for by Health and Human services, i.e. Medicaid funding of abortion. It also prohibits Federal facilities from doing abortions except for the mother’s life or a severe deformity of the child.

But the Hyde amendment does not cover the Health Care bill, since under the Baucus compromise would be “paid for” by the additional insurance purchase by the consumer, as I explained above.

But now even this compromise has been defeated.

So how does the new version of the Health care bill of the US Senate cover paying for abortions?

The Chicago Tribune will explain it for you:

Under the major Democratic healthcare proposals now being debated on Capitol Hill, millions of Americans with low-to-moderate incomes could buy their insurance in a new, highly regulated marketplace in which private insurers would offer a variety of health plans.

Many of those people would qualify for federal aid to defray the cost of at least part of their premiums. And since many commercial insurers now offer abortion services as part of their package of benefits, it is likely that many of the plans in these marketplaces would also include abortion benefits.

Italics mine. Highly regulated means approved by the government. Senator Snowe assumes that these regulations will allow policies paying for abortion to be in the “included” benefits.

How convenient, especially when you are talking about insuring poor people.

The dirty little secret is that encouraging a woman to abort in cases where she or the baby has health problems saves the insurance company and the HMO a lot of money. That is one reason why the Hyde Amendment was passed– to stop women from being pressured into abortions, and why Medicaid insists on a strict waiting period for sterilizations.

And just in case you don’t think this is about imposing abortion, an AP article notes:

The committee also rejected 13-10 a second Hatch amendment that would have strengthened current legal protections for health care professionals who refuse to perform abortions or other procedures on grounds of moral or religious objections.

This only confirms what was done earlier by the Obama administration, who removed all conscience protection via government regulations from health care providers last January.

So right now, only civil rights laws passed in the early 1970’s will protect the jobs of those refusing to do abortions, which in practical terms means that the burden of proof is on the health care provider to prove that they lost their job by refusing to do abortion rather than simply having these protections as part of government regulations.

So is the Health Care bill a stealth way to promote abortion with taxpayer money, as one right wing Congressman claimed?

My medical association, the AAFP,  encourages us to help the president by supporting the bill and refuting “Lies” by the evil Republican opposition. So they refer us to check for the truth at Politifact, at the St. Petersberg Times.

Well, that site confirmed that President Obama has made quite a few statements showing that he is committed to including abortion in his health care bill.

So back to Boehner’s claim. He said that candidate Obama “declared that everyone deserves access to reproductive health care that includes abortion, and vowed that this ‘right’ would be at the heart of his health care reform plan if elected president.” The record shows that Obama did indeed make those statements. His message to the abortion rights group may have been deliberately fuzzy, but it’s clear what he meant — and it was confirmed by the campaign to the Tribune reporter.

We find Boehner’s claim to be True.

If abortion is funded, many of us cannot support the Health care bill.

The Catholic bishops agree, as does the Catholic Health Association: Unless it is amended (and as I reported, the amendments were turned down) the Obama Health Care bill supports abortion by using a “legal fiction”.

How will you know if abortion will be funded in the bill, especially when the press will spin the issue to cloud the facts?

Well, if the press starts to quote the astroturf “Catholic” groups that they claim represent Catholics but are founded by those associated with the Democratic party and funded by non-Catholic Foundations, you will know there is a slight of hand going on.

Indeed, one suspects that part of the reason that there is such a rush to vote on a Health Care bill that no one has read is the suspicion that too many Americans– including Blue Dog Democrats–would oppose things in the bill, and if it isn’t passed in a hurry, it won’t be passed at all.

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Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. She writes about medicine at HeyDoc Xanga Blog.

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