AP: On further review, ObamaCare could cover abortions

posted at 3:05 pm on October 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

It only took the Associated Press six weeks after Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!”, but they finally have reported that Barack Obama told a whopper in his joint speech to Congress — and that Democrats have lied all along about abortion and ObamaCare.  Even at that, they bury the lead on the story several paragraphs into an analysis of the debate among Democrats on abortion funding, although not far enough for Life News to miss it:

The main point of contention is the proposed new federal subsidies that would help lower-income people purchase health care coverage from private plans — and potentially from a new government-sponsored plan — within a new purchasing exchange.

Currently a law called the Hyde amendment bars federal funding for abortion — except in cases of rape and incest or if the mother’s life would be endangered — and applies those restrictions to Medicaid, forcing states that cover abortion for low-income women to do so with their own money. Separate laws apply the restrictions to the federal employee health plan and military and other programs.

But the Democrats’ health overhaul bill would create a new stream of federal funding not covered by the restrictions.

Stupak says language specifying that someone obtaining an abortion must use her own money, not federal money from the subsidies, doesn’t go far enough because it’s impossible to clearly segregate funds in that way.

“Once you get the affordability credits (subsidies) in there, that’s public funding of abortion. We’re not going there,” Stupak said. “How do you get past the affordability credits is really the issue. And we can’t.”

Democrats have used the Hyde Amendment as a big red herring during this debate.  They have repeatedly argued that their ObamaCare bills do not repeal the Hyde Amendment, which is at once both true and irrelevant.  The funding for ObamaCare bypassed the Hyde amendment, which allows most Democrats to pose dishonestly on the issue.

That was most true when Barack Obama told Congress and the American people that no federal dollars would go for abortions.  He knew, or at least he should have known, that the Hyde Amendment did not cover the funding his own party proposed for coverage.  He also knew that his party had blocked efforts to close that loophole in the bill.  Obama either lied or showed a dismaying ignorance of the facts in the debate, and given his endorsement of Planned Parenthood and theirs in return, I’m betting he isn’t ignorant on this issue at all.

The media also should have known better.  Republicans have been pointing out the Hyde Amendment dodge for several weeks now.  The media has ignored it in favor of unsubstantiated and false statements from Democrats.  And when they do finally report on the issue correctly, it gets buried in the eighth paragraph of their report.


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Wasn’t his “lie” comment about illegal immigrants?

Esthier on October 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM

I thought Joe Wilson objected to the lie about illegal immigrants.

John the Libertarian on October 23, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Esthier on October 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Wasn’t going to say anything…

Abby Adams on October 23, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Wilson might have said it about illegal immigrants but who are we kidding, Obama’s whole speech was one big lie.

sammypants on October 23, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Wilson might have said it about illegal immigrants but who are we kidding, Obama’s whole speech was one big lie.

sammypants on October 23, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Certainly. Maybe the illegal immigrant lie was just the last straw.

Esthier on October 23, 2009 at 3:09 PM

His statement came after the illegal aliens (otherwise know as undocumented democrats) lie, but immediately proceed this lie was the lie about not covering abortion.

aigle on October 23, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Wilson might have said it about illegal immigrants but who are we kidding, Obama’s whole speech was one big lie.

sammypants on October 23, 2009 at 3:08 PM

This.

LibTired on October 23, 2009 at 3:10 PM

Esthier on October 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM

It’s all a big lie so it doesn’t matter to me!!!

deidre on October 23, 2009 at 3:10 PM

The point is that Obama did in fact lie, and not so much about what the lie was… I think?

Hunt035 on October 23, 2009 at 3:12 PM

Hmmmm…

Pelosi waffling on the public option, press finally questioning the constitutionality of individual mandates, and now that little abortion thing… I get the feeling the ball of political yarn is unraveling.

singlemalt_18 on October 23, 2009 at 3:13 PM

Obama lied? You are kidding me? He’s never lied. Nope. NEVER! He’s thee most honest, upright, forthright, stand up dude there is! Never ever would he lie to the American people. Would he???

See? It’s not so hard to look past his tarnished halo, and see Obama for what he is. ;)

capejasmine on October 23, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Ed, you lie about Wilson’s comments. :P

lorien1973 on October 23, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Obama has lied about everything…except the fact that he wants to fundamentally change America.

kingsjester on October 23, 2009 at 3:14 PM

“The media has ignored it in favor of unsubstantiated and false statements from Democrats.”

Still waiting for that invite to the next cocktail party at the White House…

By the way, house that Afghanistan thingy working out…?

Seven Percent Solution on October 23, 2009 at 3:15 PM

He used the present tense.

“You lie!”

Not “you’re lying” or “you lied” or “that’s a lie”.

“You lie!”

Devastating. Memorable. True.

Fallen Sparrow on October 23, 2009 at 3:15 PM

I’m in favor of terminating the Obama “administration” in its fourth trimester, does that make me pro or anti-abortion?

NoDonkey on October 23, 2009 at 3:16 PM

And when they do finally report on the issue correctly, it gets buried in the eighth paragraph of their report.

…..

Why do you think that is?

/

artist on October 23, 2009 at 3:17 PM

What Wilson said….You Lie, BHO…

t on October 23, 2009 at 3:18 PM

YOU LIE!
It will cover illegal aliens AND abortions.

HornetSting on October 23, 2009 at 3:18 PM

Looks like a shot across the bow from the AP to the 0. He keeps messing with Fox and finally some of the media are telling him to back off or they will really start the questions. Bring it on!!

geo on October 23, 2009 at 3:19 PM

He did say “You lie!”

Not, “You lie about what you just said right before I started talking!”

Joe Caps on October 23, 2009 at 3:19 PM

It was never really a question of whether they would cover illegals and abortions. Just a question of by what mechanism and where in the bill it would be buried.

donkichi on October 23, 2009 at 3:20 PM

Important issue, to be sure. But leave this to some Blue Dog Democrats.

Conservatives, stay with costs and wholesale ineffectiveness to persuade independents. Use the abortion point as evidence of Obama’s duplicitousness. But stay with the issue that the most people can get behind.

BuckeyeSam on October 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Liar and Chief
…..along with his VEEP sidekick, Spud.

Hening on October 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM

I’m in favor of terminating the Obama “administration” in its fourth trimester, does that make me pro or anti-abortion?

NoDonkey on October 23, 2009 at 3:16 PM

I believe the term you are looking for is Pro-American

gstep58 on October 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM

It’s just so fortunate that we have the “real” news organizations to report all this for us.

/sarc off

Drained Brain on October 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM

the Anti-christ lied again.

shocking!

Ghoul aid on October 23, 2009 at 3:22 PM

He could of said “You Lie!” before the speech and just added footnotes afterward.

joedoe on October 23, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Wasn’t his “lie” comment about illegal immigrants?

Esthier on October 23, 2009 at 3:06 PM

No. His lie was about everything. Oh, you mean what Wilson meant? ;)

Hebrews: It is impossible for God to lie

White House: It is impossible for Obama to tell the truth.

Daggett on October 23, 2009 at 3:22 PM

The gist of it is, Obama is a Liar. Joe Wilson vocalized what we all knew.

But I’m sure Obamacare will be “deficit neutral”. /s

portlandon on October 23, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Looks like a shot across the bow from the AP to the 0. He keeps messing with Fox and finally some of the media are telling him to back off or they will really start the questions. Bring it on!!

geo on October 23, 2009 at 3:19 PM

Possibly…or some pre-emptive blame casting/rat abandoning if/when Obamacare fails to pass

Rogue on October 23, 2009 at 3:25 PM

NBC: “So what? Bush lied more”.

jay12 on October 23, 2009 at 3:28 PM

I just shouted “You Lie!”. I can do that at almost any time of day, and be pretty confident that Obama just did.

marklmail on October 23, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Not a bit surprised, to the left being pregnant is a sickness and having an abortion is the cure. Planned Parenthood is just to big to fail.

fourdeucer on October 23, 2009 at 3:45 PM

Ed got that screwed around so we wouldn’t feel bad when we screw up on a future comment. Thanks Ed.

PaCadle on October 23, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Time for a formal congressional resolution of apology to Mr. Wilson. It was a lie.

Mason on October 23, 2009 at 3:51 PM

I’m still waiting to see certain people come to this thread, and defend this! Any takers? Hmmmmmm? I’d be very interested in reading their defenses of these outright lies, and dishonesty among the elites of their party. You do realize they see themselves as your betters, right? You could never be equal to their intelligence, and intellect. So why defend such inequality?

capejasmine on October 23, 2009 at 3:54 PM

“This is not the lie I knew.”

DOOF on October 23, 2009 at 4:00 PM

The issues about abortion and illegal immigrant coverage are inconsequential. The problem with Obamacare is that it will increase costs, reduce quality, restrict our choices, and stifle innovation. The abortion and illegal immigrant things are sideshows. Like with TARP – the issue isn’t executive compensation, it’s that the bailout should never have happened in the first place. It’s the old “missing the forest for the trees” problem.

Opposing Obamacare because it will make our healthcare choices worse is a sound position. Opposing it because it might cover abortions is missing the point.

Enrique on October 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

I believe the term you are looking for is Pro-American

gstep58 on October 23, 2009 at 3:21 PM

Something Barack Obama has never been accused of.

NoDonkey on October 23, 2009 at 4:23 PM

The issues about abortion and illegal immigrant coverage are inconsequential.
Enrique on October 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

They may appear inconsequential as part of a 1200 plus pages of a health care bill to you but every T that isn’t crossed and I that isn’t dotted that contribute to the bills defeat is important.Abortion is a huge issue to a very large group of religious organizations.

fourdeucer on October 23, 2009 at 4:32 PM

Liar – You should be burning now
I know you are the face and it is turning now
Liar – Your words are filth and false
You are the vile partner in the final waltz
Liar – I will be rid of you
A good day in my life I will be rid of you
Liar – I see you eyeless smile
There is no other thing upon this world so vile

Ian Kilmister

Jerome Horwitz on October 23, 2009 at 5:13 PM

The current Hyde Amendment doesn’t just prohibit federal funds from being used for most abortions. It prevents federal funds from being used for plans that provide abortions, whether or not the funds are segregated.

Here’s the current Hyde Amendment, as I understand it:

(a) None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be expended for any abortion.
(b) None of the funds appropriated under this Act shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.
(c) The term health benefits coverage’ means the package of services covered by a managed care provider or organization pursuant to a contract or other arrangement.
Section 510 continues as follows:

(a) The limitations established in the preceding section shall not apply to an abortion–
(1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or
(2) In the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself that would, as certified by a physician place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.
(b) Nothing in the preceding section shall be construed as prohibiting the expenditure by a State, locality, entity, or private person of State, local, or private funds (other than a State’s or locality’s contribution of Medicaid matching funds).
(c) Nothing in the preceding section shall be construed as restricting the ability of any managed care provider from offering abortion coverage or the ability of a State or locality to contract separately with such a provider for such coverage with State funds (other than a State’s or locality’s contribution.

The fight is over whether any federal funds or subsidies should be given to any plan that allows abortion, whether or not the funds are used for that purpose. I think it’s accurate to say that, with the language I previously saw (but didn’t review in the markup), no federal funds will be directly used for abortions.

BTW, the bill has the following provision about assisted suicide. If the abortion and suicide are to be treated similarly, should the Right to Life be arguing that no federal funds should be provided to any plans that allow assisted suicide, rather than just allowing no funds to directly be used for that purpose?

The Federal Government, and any State or local government or health care provider that receives Federal financial assistance under this Act (or under an amend
ment made by this Act) or any health plan created under this Act (or under an amendment made by this Act), shall
not pay for or reimburse any health care entity to provide for any health care item or service furnished for the pur pose of causing, or for the purpose of assisting in causing, the death of any individual, such as by assisted suicide, euthanasia, or mercy killing.

Jimbo3 on October 23, 2009 at 5:24 PM

sammypants on October 23, 2009 at 3:08 PM

You are correct. Anyone reading HR3200 can see it plainly.

dogsoldier on October 23, 2009 at 5:46 PM

Who cares about ‘the lie’
can we now proceed directly to >> The CoverUp Show Trials << ??

CaveatEmpty on October 23, 2009 at 6:51 PM

Guess I’ll hang onto my hot pink laminated Tea Party sign awhile longer. What’s it say, you might ask?

I. AM. JOE. WILSON.

Yellowdog12 on October 23, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Abortions, death panels, and assisted suicide (ie. murder); what WILL these democrats think of next?

Mojave Mark on October 23, 2009 at 8:10 PM

The issues about abortion and illegal immigrant coverage are inconsequential.

Enrique on October 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

Sure, the invasion of liberty interests is the most pernicious aspect of the various health care bills (though some will passionately argue that there is no greater than the sanctity of life). Apart from the abortion issue and immigration policy is the credibility gap that widens day by day. All of these bills are hiding behind a thicket of lies, and the treatment of the issues you cite are no different.

I have read portions of the Senate Finance Committee bill, and I assure you that there is a specific provision for abortion (unfortunately I do not have my research notes with me at this location to give you a citation). Right smack dab in the middle of the bill is an “opt-in, opt-out” provision. Under the exchange plans, a person can elect to have abortion coverage or not. Of course, those who opt out will be paying for those who opt in. It’s the same risk pool whichever you choose. When a democrat claims that abortion is not paid for under the plan, that assertion is absolutely false.

If a democrat ever tells us that their legislation honors our conservative values and we believe it, they are laughing at us. We may as well be hunting for snipe. They have no incentive whatsoever to honor our values.

We get bills that no one reads, no one understands, and that cannot possibly accomplish what the liberals claim. These things are released into an atmosphere of deceit, and the only thing that can live in that acrid environment is a lie. So, yes, abortion and immigration matter beyond parochial passions. When the truth no longer matters, neither do we.

ObjectionSustained on October 23, 2009 at 8:38 PM

The issues about abortion and illegal immigrant coverage are inconsequential.
Enrique on October 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM

The entire weight of the pending bill(s) is a crushing burden on the American people. To many of us, the massive debt, the loss of freedom, the welcoming hand to criminal trespassers and the death of innocents are similar size boulders. Any one will smash you; some will smash you flatter. None of them are inconsequential.

SKYFOX on October 24, 2009 at 10:27 AM