Haystack and I had to agree to disagree, but notice that we had an actual discussion from which I think we both benefited and we made a genuine attempt to try to understand each other. I don't agree with haystack at all, and I still think that he sounds a bit paranoid in this exchange, but I do respect him, which is a hell of a lot more than I can say for a lot of right wing blogger types out there, who just seem determined to be complete assholes.
Φ on March 24, 2010 at 1:56 pm
Your arithmetic checks out. The problem is that the health care bill does not use Federal tax dollars for abortion.haystack on March 24, 2010 at 2:03 pm
As Timothy Noah explains (http://www.slate.com/id/2246905/), any plan available through the health exchange set up by the bill cannot use Federal tax dollars to fund abortions.
The exchanges may have insurance plans available that cover abortion, if the state where the exchange is located allows it. But money used to pay for those abortions must be collected from policyholders and kept separate from any Federal funds.
If you don’t want to contribute to funding abortions, you simply choose an insurance plan in the exchange that does not cover abortion. As Noah points out, “Under the Senate bill, every insurance exchange must offer at least one abortion-free health plan.”
It wouldn’t surprise me if Stupak wanted something in exchange for his “Yea” votes. But he’s not sacrificing the unborn to get it.
We disagree. Tax increases charged to all of us will go into the general coffers. Where Fed money is used to offset coverage for folks that don’t have enough (including abortion), we will collectively be paying…ostensibly through having allowed this bill to become law.Φ on March 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm
Whatever plans we may opt in to or not…the tax money will get redistributed wherever the heck the Fed wants to redistribute it. It’s not as simple as just “opting out” my friend.
All right, fair enough. But perhaps I am missing something. If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that Federal money will subsidize the purchase of insurance plans that cover abortion. But that’s not the same as subsidizing abortions. As I understand the law, all the money used to cover abortion will be segregated from Federal dollars. Money used to fund abortions must come from the policyholders themselves, not the Federal government.haystack on March 24, 2010 at 7:12 pm
Now, you seem to believe that the law will be violated and that “the tax money will get redistributed wherever the heck the Fed wants to redistribute it.” Well, why should I believe that? Do we have reason to think that that will happen, especially given the long-established ban on Federal funding of abortion, and the seriousness with which Americans approach this issue? I’m afraid I’m not buying it.
Not sure how you can say this:kx59 on March 24, 2010 at 7:06 pm
“Federal money will subsidize the purchase of insurance plans that cover abortion. But that’s not the same as subsidizing abortions”
Of course is’s the same thing. And separation of dollars? You have much more faith than I about restraint and fiscal management from the Feds. As I said, where policyholders need assistance from the Fed to PAY for their policies, fed dollars-indirectly or not-will be going to pay for those abortions. MY money and yours and everyone else’s will make up those funds for the folks that need our help. I don’t have time to research the numbers for you, but the most likely people to actually HAVE an abortion are the very same folks in the demographic that will be unable to pay for their policies without Federal help-poor are much higher abortion buyers than rich…I think you are aware of that.
I enjoy this exchange…it has made me take a little time and look a few things up in greater detail. I thank you for keeping me honest.
I think one thing we CAN agree on here is that there is something amiss about whether, where, and to what extent the Fed is getting involved in abortion in this context…if that weren’t true, the Stupak amendment would have been put in place, kept in place, and none of this discussion would have been necessary. Here’s the pointer to the text of the Stupak amendment:
If everything you say is true, this amendment should NEVER have been pulled…after all, as you say here:
“Do we have reason to think that that will happen, especially given the long-established ban on Federal funding of abortion, and the seriousness with which Americans approach this issue?”
Given what we know now about Stupak…I absolutely DO believe Fed. funding of abortion (directly or indirectly) is buried in this mess somewhere. The Executive order, which is not legally binding OR superior to the legislation passed through Congress, will do nothing to prevent it either.
“If I understand you correctly, you’re saying that Federal money will subsidize the purchase of insurance plans that cover abortion. But that’s not the same as subsidizing abortions.”Φ on March 25, 2010 at 10:20 am
Really? ‘splain to me how that’s not the same. Does the money somehow become sanitized?
As I understand it, policyholders who have insurance plans that cover abortion will all pay $1 per month out of their own pocket to the private insurance company. The company will pool all of this money, and all money that is used to reimburse abortion providers for abortions will be drawn from this pool. It is thought that even the poorest among us can afford $12 per year. That’s how you can subsidize insurance plans that cover abortion without subsidizing abortion.haystack on March 25, 2010 at 4:48 pm
I also appreciate this exchange, because now you’ve got me thinking. Under this new law, there would be no direct Federal funding of abortion. You haven’t convinced me otherwise. But would taxpayers be funding them indirectly, as you suggest? After all, a person without insurance might not get an abortion. But if taxpayers subsidize their premiums, they might. So, while taxpayers wouldn’t be paying for abortions, they would be making them indirectly possible through the subsidy.
On the other hand, there is reason to believe that making insurance affordable might actually reduce the number of abortions, since pregnant women wouldn’t need to worry about being able to afford medical care for their future child. (See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/12/AR2010031202287.html.)
This is a complex issue.
I worry about your argument that the bill will use taxpayer funds to pay for abortion, regardless of what it says. Suppose that the Senate had attached a Stupak amendment to it (which they couldn’t since the reconciliation process wouldn’t allow it, but just suppose). Why would that give us any more reason to think that taxpayers wouldn’t be paying for abortions? Both the Senate bill’s language and the Stupak language ban federal funding of abortion. If the bill as it is wouldn’t reassure us, why would the Stupak Amendment? You do say that Federal funding of abortion is buried in there somewhere, so Stupak’s language would be reassuring. But I can’t believe that it’s buried in there until someone shows me the language. The Senate bill has been around since December, so you’d think that someone would have found it by now.
I think that the Senate bill language was the result of politics. They needed to get pro-choice senators on board to pass this thing, and they just couldn’t stomach any Stupaking. but the pro-life Dems couldn’t stomach Federal funding of abortion. So they made a truce and reached a compromise. As it is, the ban on Federal funding of abortion, the Hyde Amendment, is not permanent. It has to be renewed annually. If it is not, then the Senate bill would allow the Federal funding of abortion. By deferring to the Hyde Amendment, they said that they would not fight over abortion in the health care bill. The legality of Federal funding of abortion would be determined by the fate of the Hyde Amendment, not health care reform. I admit that I am speculating a bit here; I don’t have a source. But that’s my guess.
Sheesh-I replied a little while ago and now it’s gone!
I have had the opportunity to finally visit your website, and given what I’ve read there I happily extend a hand of “we disagree, fundamentally, but we can have civil discourse all the same” friendship…it’s nice to see ideological differences aired constructively and without all the shouting and sophmoric namecalling-I respect you for that.
Now, to your latest comment:
You may be right about the Senate bill…I haven’t finished reading it, having given up until the final final final version is released after tonight’s house vote (there are at least 12 iterations out there on Thomas). Until then I will give you a “maybe you are right” but no more…and this is because as the Senate bill was originally debated, pro-choicers were the ones appeased…THEY were against Stupak, and their wishes were granted in the Senate version. There is no ambiguity here on that point. Senate version was pro-choice in its funding schemes, contribution framework, and subsidization infrastructure. Stupak was summarily dismissed in the Senate version sent back to, and forced down the throats of, the House. Granted, that does not automatically mean fed funding is in there…but Stupak was summarily defeated in the Senate version…we just don’t know what the final text was/is.
And, admittedly, this is my recollection of the news stories of the day-I have not gone back to the December headlines to find links to back this up. Either way, though, we both agree the Fed should NOT pay (directly or indirectly) for abortion. At the very least, those of us who are against the practice should not be compelled by Federal law to subsidize it for someone else against our will…I think we agree on this point.
So, I grant that you might be right (until I can read the bill in its entirety) that the Senate would not use Fed. funds for policyholders purchasing an abortion needing to be subsidized by our tax dollars…your own last para, though, should give you as much pause as it does me-if you are even the least bit suspicious, cynical, and doubtful of the Federal Government’s overall intentions:
As it is, the ban on Federal funding of abortion, the Hyde Amendment, is not permanent. It has to be renewed annually. If it is not, then the Senate bill would allow the Federal funding of abortion. By deferring to the Hyde Amendment, they said that they would not fight over abortion in the health care bill. The legality of Federal funding of abortion would be determined by the fate of the Hyde Amendment, not health care reform.
I do not have enough trust in our Political heroes (from either side of the aisle) that, with all these 2000 plus page bills that none of them ever fully read, sooner or later (if not already as we have been discussing) this Hyde thing won’t just disappear and we find ourselves doing the very thing we should not be MADE to do by law.
Don’t forget-GWB, by EO, guaranteed no federal funding of expanded stem cell lines…and EO overturned it almost as soon as he was sworn in.
No trust, my friend…NO trust.