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. If “justice delayed is justice denied” then a right that cannot be afforded to be realized in a hollow right indeed.

  2. Florida says several states to file healthcare lawsuit
    Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:01am EDT

    MIAMI, March 22 (Reuters) – Florida’s attorney general will file a lawsuit with nine other state attorneys general opposing the healthcare legislation passed by Congress, a spokeswoman said on Monday.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2215987420100322

  3. Mike S. and S. mom,

    Yes, it was a Hallelujah moment!

    Mike, continued best wishes for your recovery.

  4. Hope you are feeling better Mike. I felt a sense of relief when this bill passed much as I did the night Obama was elected.

  5. Must write because I am so passionate about this issue. The bills fall far short of what I wanted, or thought they should be. The Administration’s negotiation strategy was from the beginning badly managed. All that being said I am thankful for this small step of beginning. As I have written in the past I have been very lucky all my working life (and beyond) to have excellent health care coverage. Now with my Medicare coverage much has further improved. I do not have to face the specter of a lifetime cap on my benefits, because if I did I wouldn’t be around to write this, or bankrupt and homeless.

    However, even my coverage has deteriorated of late and I find myself unable to afford some medications that would improve my quality of life. Givebacks forced on my retirement program have added higher costs that eat into my fixed income and these come not in the form of improved services, but in service to the greed of the health insurance and drug industry. Health Care should not only be a right, but it should not be in its’ management a profit making industry. Practitioners, nurses, etc. should be extremely well compensated for what they do and the time it takes to become trained to do it. Even that though reminds me of the scene in Michael Moore’s health care film where a British Physician was asked does it anger him that he would be paid higher in the US? He replied that he owned a fancy London Townhouse, an expensive auto, could take vacations in luxury locations and send his kids to private schools, what was there to be bothered about?

    Finally, we come to the idea of socialized medicine which has been used to characterize this bill. ANYONE who makes that charge is an ignorant idiot that knows nothing of socialism, nor the history of government provided health care. The first major nation to introduce it was Germany in the 1880’s, instigated by
    Otto Von Bismarck. Who for those remembering their history was an extremely Right Wing Noble, who was a monarchist. He did it because he recognized that good health care for the workers was an economic boon to the country. China the most populous communist country in the world, however, does not have universal health care. The true mark of ignorance is exhibited by those who would rather see the world in terms of their pre-suppositions, rather than the facts at hand. This was exhibited last night by the speeches of the Reprublican congresspeople.

    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.

  6. Swarthmore mom:
    ” This health care bill is a start. If it had not happened 200000 children would have been cut off the CHIP program in Arizona very soon.”

    I hope you are right on your other point also.

  7. I think Obama will work it out with the pro choice groups. This health care bill is a start. If it had not happened 200000 children would have been cut off the CHIP program in Arizona very soon.

  8. I’m also with mespo but there is an awful lot of female rage out there over Obama’s pledge … “Hell hath no fury …..”

  9. There are so many interesting side-bars to this event.

    You got that right, question is what will be the mood of the country.

    It’s because the military is afraid of the effects on Tri Care for Life program.

  10. I’m with mespo. I don’t think they’ll be able to deny service, but they sure won’t have to pay for it.

    And what Yankee said. Those morons will have student loans outsourced to some group of scumbags like GoldmanSacks as soon as the graft check, pardon, “campaign contribution” clears the bank.

  11. “One of the things I was happy to see is that Student Loans are no longer privately made which should redirect 35 billion to the government.”

    Yes but who owns the gov’t and the treasury? The banks. They must have been jealous that the IRS is going to enforce premium payment for insurance co.’s. Give it a month or so, and this student loan program will be outsourced to Goldman Sachs.

  12. One of the things I was happy to see is that Student Loans are no longer privately made which should redirect 35 billion to the government.

  13. I certainly understand the rage of women’s groups who thought they had a promise only to see it ground up in the sausage making process that was healthcare reform. The bigger issue, to my mind, is why the government has to subsidize an acknowledged Constitutional right. My reading of the law suggests it doesn’t, and while most thoughtful people agree that a woman has the right to self-determination over her own body, many would also say that financing that right does not fall within the purview of the government’s obligations to its citizenry. With that subsidy comes control, and a diminishing of the right.

  14. The complaint I hear from the GOP is that this is going to Bankrupt the country. My Question is “Can Obama leave the economy in worse shape than W?”

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