Health Care Passes On Promise of Obama To Block Public Spending on Abortion

The health bill passed with 219 votes last night, but not until President Barack Obama issued an executive order that blocks federal funding of abortion — a move that unleashed a torrent of criticism from women’s groups who say that he broke his campaign promise and principles on the issue for passage. In the meantime, the package of “fixes” may be in jeopardy in the Senate — potentially leaving the original Senate bill in the same unpopular state.

Obama issued the executive order last night to secure the needed votes to put the legislation over the top. The order states: “maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges.”

NOW promised to kill the executive order and accused Obama of “breaking faith with women.” Here is part of the statement:

President Obama Breaks Faith with Women

Statement of NOW President Terry O’Neill

The National Organization for Women is incensed that President Barack Obama agreed today to issue an executive order designed to appease a handful of anti-choice Democrats who have held up health care reform in an effort to restrict women’s access to abortion. Through this order, the president has announced he will lend the weight of his office and the entire executive branch to the anti-abortion measures included in the Senate bill, which the House is now prepared to pass.

President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law — it is an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill. NOW has a longstanding objection to Hyde and, in fact, was looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end to these restrictions. We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated. The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn’t disagree more.

In the meantime, the GOP is accusing the Democrats of avoiding meetings where it would have been made clear that the fixes would not be adopted as planned — or possible not adopted at all — in the Senate in order to give House members an excuse for voting for the Senate bill. That would lead to an interesting political dynamic. If the Senate rejects some of the fixes, House members would simply blame the Senate, but would still have an unpopular bill to deal with in the upcoming election.

The abortion issue is likely to haunt some of the members as well. While women’s groups are outraged at what they view as a sellout, abortion groups were not satisfied with the executive order. Leading anti-abortion member and negotiator Bart Stupak was called a “baby killer” when he spoke last night on the compromise and people like Phyllis Schlafy are denouncing the compromise, here.

This is going to be an interesting mid-term election.

For the story, click here.

27 thoughts on “Health Care Passes On Promise of Obama To Block Public Spending on Abortion”

  1. Turley: When are you going to talk about the Constitutionality of forcing healthcare participation? What about no participation vs. affirmative participation makes something “commerce?” And with no interstate market (or competition), how is it among the several states?

  2. Mike Spindell,

    Please, for our own Health, Care enough about your cyber-friends here to post at least every 3 days so we know you are okay. Don’t cause us to worry ourselves sick about you and end up costing this new health care system more money.

  3. Not to worry about the abortion part, Obama is not the kind of man to feel restricted by such things as promises.
    (Here, have a free cup of sarcasm.)

  4. Mike S:

    Was pleasantly surprised by your ever-prescient post. Godspeed on your recovery

  5. The subject of sociopaths in power has come up here more than once.

    This article reports on a Columbia University study that found that “people in power make better liars”. Because they don’t suffer the ill effects of lying other do.

    I’m pretty sure the people at Columbia are making the error of confusing cause and effect. More sociopaths get into positions of power BECAUSE they are sociopaths, not because the power they wield has the innate ability to corrupt them. Absolute power does not have to corrupt, but the corrupted seek absolute power. Or as my grandfather used to say, “Any man who wants the job should be ineligible to hold it.”

  6. Aye, Mike. It’s good to see you post. I’m not only sending all the good energy your way that I can muster, but I’ve enlisted the cats to help. One of them is a lot of help. He’s a lovey critter. The other? Well let’s just say I’m carrying his load too.

    Get well soon.

  7. Mike S.:

    “Please take this as a personal rant and not an attack upon any of the other commentators thus far. This is very personal to me and last night was one of the greatest moments of my life of political interests.”

    Usung the street vernacular,”I feel you”.

    You take care of yourself.

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