You’re better off reading the Standard’s rundown of what happened than listening to me blather about it, but here’s the nutshell version. Last night, led by pro-life Dem Bart Stupak, Waxman’s committee passed an amendment barring any mandate in ObamaCare for private insurers to pay for abortions. One curious hitch: Waxman voted for it. Why? Because, only if you vote yes do you get to ask for a “reconsideration” of the amendment later, which Waxman promptly did after he “convinced” (i.e. likely bought off) Blue Dog Bart Gordon to switch his vote. The result: A new “compromise” amendment introduced by pro-choicer Lois Capps passed, 30-28. Some compromise:
Although the amendment’s language appears to do away with the abortion mandate, Capitol Hill pro-lifers note that it explicitly permits the Secretary to include abortion in the services offered by the public plan. Indeed, if the Hyde amendment is reversed, the amendment would actually require that the public plan cover abortions.
With regard to the massive subsidies authorized under the act, referred to as “affordability credits,” the Capps amendment specifically requires taxpayer subsidies to flow to plans that include abortion, but creates an accounting scheme designed to give the impression that public funds will not subsidize abortion itself.
Other provisions in the Capps amendment appear to prevent state laws from being overturned and prohibit the Secretary from mandating that all plans include abortion. But the Capps amendment also requires that an abortion-covering plan be made available in every region.
Republicans and pro-life Democrats strongly criticized the amendment.
“We don’t compromise on the use of taxpayer funds for the destruction of human life,” objected Representative Phil Gingrey (R-GA).
Read the PDF of the amendment for yourself here. The bogus accounting scheme, which would theoretically “segregate” federal funds being directed to private plans from being used for abortions, starts on page 4, line 4. The trigger that would automatically include taxpayer-funded abortions in the public plan if the Hyde amendment is repealed — and who knows if the left will ever have the votes for that if they don’t have them now — starts on page 2, line 22. As noted by the Standard, Stupak claimed to have 39 congressmen ready to vote with the GOP if the bill included some sort of abortion-funding mechanism. Is the “compromise” a dealbreaker or will the Blue Dogs cave? My guess: The latter, of course.