Alternate headline: “Rabidly pro-choice president sides with pro-choicers.”
TAPPER: Here’s a question a lot of Senate Democrats want to know. You said, when you gave your joint address to Congress, that under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions. This amendment passed Saturday night which not only prohibits abortion coverage in the public option, but also prohibits women who receive subsidies from taking out plans that — that provide abortion coverage. Does that meet the promise that you set out or does it over reach, does it go too far?
OBAMA: You know, I laid out a very simple principle, which is this is a health care bill, not an abortion bill. And we’re not looking to change what is the principle that has been in place for a very long time, which is federal dollars are not used to subsidize abortions. And I want to make sure that the provision that emerges meets that test — that we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we’re not restricting women’s insurance choices, because one of the pledges I made in that same speech was to say that if you’re happy and satisfied with the insurance that you have, that it’s not going to change. So, you know, this is going to be a complex set of negotiations. I’m confident that we can actually arrive at this place where neither side feels that it’s being betrayed. But it’s going to take some time.
TAPPER: Do you think that amendment is status quo or does it lean a little bit in one direction or the other?
OBAMA: I think that there are strong feelings on both sides. And what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo. And that’s the goal. The goal here is to make sure that people who have health insurance have greater stability and security, people who don’t have health insurance get the ability to buy it affordably and that we’re driving down costs.
Lest you think I’m reading too much into that, note that ABC is reading it the same way. Ed noted earlier that a war is brewing between pro-life Blue Dogs and pro-choice liberals over the final bill, but does anyone seriously believe the pro-lifers will hold their ground and torpedo it if the abortion language is stripped out? For all the press he got in anti-abortion circles, Stupak himself was prepared to vote for this crap sandwich without the ban on funding abortion; all he wanted was a floor vote, which means all it cost Pelosi to pass the bill was some ephemeral unpleasantness in the caucus room. The language will be duly dumped in conference committee and Stupak et al. will crumble under the weight of media heavy-breathing about how Democrats are now closer than they’ve ever been to passing the glorious utopian Great Society boondoggle of their dreams. They’ll fold like a two-dollar chair.
The excerpt is from Tapper’s interview with Obama, as you might have guessed. In case you’re wondering what the biggest lie told was, my nomination is this:
Obama said Democrat Bill Owens victory in the special election in New York’s 23rd congressional district, the one bright spot for the president’s party last Tuesday, “sent an important signal.”
“Bill Owens, the Democrat in a traditionally Republican district, a district that had been Republican for 100 years, did not shy away from saying he supported health insurance reform, that he supported the Recovery Act and the progress that we have made there and ended up winning,” Obama said.
Exit question: Um, what?
Update: Via Greg Hengler, the head of Planned Parenthood knows who the strong horse and the weak horse here are.