More Clarity on Stupak

"I’m opposed to the [Stupak] amendment," Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri told "I think it goes too far. It attempts to regulate private money in a private market. I think we need to continue down the path of limiting taxpayer dollars for abortions, but I don’t think we should go wander over into the territory of controlling people’s private money in the private market." This has become the central complaint against the Stupak Amendment, that it goes too far.

This comment shows that the first task of the USCCB in trying to preserve the Stupak Amendment’s ban on federal funding of abortion is to educate members of Congress and the administration. (Cong. Stupak himself has an article at Politico this morning that also answers this need.) The Stupak Amendment does not, in fact, attempt "to regulate private money in a private market." The insurance companies, not the legislative language itself, have said that they will not offer plans that cover abortion in the exchanges to be set up under the reform bill, and they do so because they think the pools of people will be too small to support such a policy. That is a private market decision.


Of course, the government regulates the private market all the time. And, here is an instance where they should do so again. The administration should find a way to make sure that the insurance companies will provide policies that cover abortion that women, with their own money and with no government subsidies, can purchase just as they can do today. Perhaps, the answer is to allow the administrators of the exchanges to grant permission to women who can’t find such a policy within the exchange to shop in another exchange. Perhaps, the insurance companies can re-assure the pro-choice advocates that they will offer such policies.

The politics of the health care debate is one long high wire act. At any point, it can all fall off the wire and it is vital, literally vital, to the millions of Americans who lack health insurance coverage that it not fall off the wire. The White House should leave Stupak alone and find a different way to answer the concern raised by Sen. McCaskill. The USCCB must recognize that so long as there is no federal funding of abortion, no return to the gimmickry of the Capps Amendment – and that is non-negotiable - they can allow the administration to find some kind of bone to throw to the pro-choice community.

Remember, we not only risk the health care reform bill if we don’t get this right, we also now risk the Stupak Amendment which is a part of that bill. It is a huge achievement to have passed pro-life health care reform. To preserve it, now is the time to make sure the politicians and the public know what the Stupak Amendment does and does not do.




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Marie Rehbein
9 years 2 months ago
Wow, isn't it going a bit far to insist that the Administration ensure that insurance companies offer abortion coverage just to prevent people from raging against the Stupak amendment?  Did I misread that?
The Administration should, as it has wisely done thusfar, say nothing either way about abortion coverage.  It actually would be more helpful if the Catholic Church's leaders and members would stop gloating about passing the Stupak amendment.
Educating people on the Stupak amendment is a good idea, but as we become educated, it seems to me that we will find that there is little effect from it.  It's not as if any women would be choosing abortion when they would not have otherwise, just because it's covered, or not choosing abortion because it's not covered, unless they really didn't want one anyway. 
The fact remains that when it comes to abortion coverage, there might be a market in the liability insurance area for men, but on the whole, when it comes to women, abortion insurance serves the interests of the insurer more than the insured.
Think Catholic
9 years 2 months ago
Marie I think you are half right.  There is little change if Stupak is passed-women who are having abortions despite no coverage will continue, and women who can afford coverage can afford abortions too.  But if Stupak is not passed, and government money funds plans that cover abortion, lots of women will have abortion coverage who don't have it now, and studies from both sides including Guttmacher prove that a lot those women will have abortions with coverage though they aren't having abortions now without coverage.  That's what the abortion side is trying to accomplish.  So no Stupak means tens or hundreds of thousands more abortions per year.  Stupak means basically the status quo.
Also, unfortunately, the administration is no longer silent.  it is anti-Stupak.  And so-called pro-life Democrats Nelson and Casey are now publicly saying they will water down Stupak, which necessarily means government funding for abortion insurance.
James Lindsay
9 years 2 months ago
The latest I heard is that Stupak is working on a compromise. Hopefully this will defuse this issue and we can stop talking about it and start talking about covering people.
Think Catholic
9 years 2 months ago
Mr. Bindner you better get some more recent news.  Senator Reid unveiled his health care bill tonight, and well, remember when pro-aborts claimed to be worked up about women who couldn't get abortion coverage when they pay their own way? Surprise! Abortion is covered in his PUBLIC OPTION.  That's free abortions for poor women who can't pay their own way.  And that's what it has always been about.  So you can keep nitpicking Stupak, or you can join him and the USCCB and the pro-life Democrat coalition that you all were allegedly supportive of in the first place.
Marie Rehbein
9 years 2 months ago
My feeling about the Stupak amendment is that it goes no further than to protect tax payers who oppose abortion from having to pay for abortions.  It does not prevent tax payers who do not oppose abortion from finding other ways to contribute money to pay for abortions.  It does not prevent people from buying insurance that might provide abortions, and it does not prevent insurance companies from paying for abortions.
However, the amendment is being misrepresented by pro-abortion groups.  For this reason, Catholic Church leaders should be making it plain that their support for this amendment is strictly grounded in the desire to protect people from being forced by their government to be complicit in what is believed to be the gravest of sins.  They should make it clear that, though they oppose abortion, they are not attempting to make it less accessible than it currently is.
Meanwhile, the pro-abortion groups have mobilized to call their Senators and demand that the rights of women be protected.  Therefore, it is time to call our Senators and demand that the rights of tax payers (and their religious freedom) be protected.


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