Saturday, November 07, 2009

Bart Stupak Thinks He Knows What I Can Do With My Body

And Congress is voting to let him make that choice.

The amendment, which you can download and read in full here, would do three things.

First, it would codify the Hyde Amendment provisions in the bill so that the ban on federal funds being used for abortions besides those resulting from rape or incest, or in cases where the mother’s life is endangered would remain intact regardless of Hyde being reauthorized. As it’s currently written, the bill’s restrictions on the use of federal funds for abortion coverage would end if the Hyde Amendment, which has been reauthorized by Congress on an annual basis since 1976, is not reauthorized.

Secondly, it would not allow individuals purchasing insurance at least in part with federal affordability credits to buy a plan that covers abortions. The bill as currently written would allow individuals to use affordability credits to buy insurance that includes abortion coverage, but it requires any such plan to segregate the credits from individual premium payments and ensure that only the premium payments are used to fund the abortion services portion of the plan.

Affordability credits are available under the bill to people who don’t get insurance from work and earn between 150% and 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. The Stupak amendment would bar all people in this income bracket from purchasing insurance that covers elective abortions unless they can afford to pay for a separate abortion coverage plan on their own. People earning below 150% of FPL would already be ineligible for abortion coverage because they will be on Medicaid, which does not cover abortions under Hyde. There are no concrete numbers for how many people would be denied an abortion-coverage option under the amendment, but it would likely be at least 20 million.

Thirdly, the Stupak amendment would dictate that the government-run public option does not provide abortion coverage. The bill currently leaves the decision of abortion coverage in the public option up to the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Allowing the public option to cover abortions would not violate the Hyde Amendment because the public option is not government funded; will be entirely financed by individual premiums, just like the private plans.

You better be contacting Congress and letting them know that you're pissed. This is ridiculous. This is NOT what we voted for in giving the Democrats huge majorities and this is NOT what we wanted in health care reform.