Monday, November 09, 2009

The Stupak amendment: As much about class as about choice

So sad. Using poor women who get pregnant as a political punching bag. So much work to do.


The Stupak amendment: As much about class as about choice

Rep. Bart Stupak's amendment did not make abortion illegal. And it did not block the federal government from subsidizing abortion. All it did was block it from subsidizing abortion for poorer women.



Stupak's amendment stated that the public option cannot provide abortion coverage, and that no insurer participating on the exchange can provide abortion coverage to anyone receiving subsidies. But as Rep. Jim Cooper points out in the interview below, the biggest federal subsidy for private insurance coverage is untouched by Stupak's amendment. It's the $250 billion the government spends each year making employer-sponsored health-care insurance tax-free.



That money, however, subsidizes the insurance of 157 million Americans, many of them quite affluent. Imagine if Stupak had attempted to expand his amendment to their coverage. It would, after all, have been the same principle: Federal policy should not subsidize insurance that offers abortion coverage. But it would have failed in an instant. That group is too large, and too affluent, and too politically powerful for Congress to dare to touch their access to reproductive services. But the poorer women who will be using subsidies on the exchange proved a much easier target. In substance, this amendment was as much about class as it was about choice.



[I sent this from my iPhone, so please excuse any excessive brevity or typographical errors.]
--Zachary Drake

1 Comments:

Blogger Sarah said...

Makes me very angry and taints the happy feeling I'd otherwise have about the bill passing.

8:31 AM, November 11, 2009  

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