Sunday, August 23, 2009

Obama V. Obama on Abortion in Health Care Bill

With the majority of the United States now referring to themselves as pro-life according to a recent Gallup poll, Barack Obama is fast on the retreat while facing accusations that his health care bill, H.R. 3200, would establish abortion as a mandate for all hospitals under his proposed government health care system. Stating Wednesday to the faith community that, "You've heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion. Not true", Obama seems adamant in persuading conservatives that his pro-choice views have not clouded the health care bill's agenda... Contrary to what he stated July of 2007 before Planned Parenthood.

"Essentially, what we are doing is to say that we're gonna set up a public plan that all persons and all women can access if they don't have health insurance. It will be a plan that will provide all essential services, including reproductive services. We also will subsidize those who prefer to stay in the private insurance market, except the insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care including reproductive care."

When questioned afterwards, Obama's campaign confirmed that by 'reproductive health services' Obama was referring to abortions as well.

You see, Obama seemingly avoided placing the words 'abortion' and 'reproductive' in the bill's language. However, H.R. 3200 states in Section 101 that all health care will be provided by a government system and a 'public option' which includes hospitals who, as he stated before Planned Parenthood, must provide 'essential services' - including abortion funding, beginning in the year 2013.
(b) REQUIREMENTS FOR QUALIFIED HEALTH BENEFITS PLANS.—On or after the first day of Y1, a health benefits plan shall not be a qualified health benefits plan under this division unless the plan meets the applicable requirements of the following subtitles for the type of plan and plan year involved:

(1) Subtitle B (relating to affordable coverage).

(2) Subtitle C (relating to essential benefits).

(3) Subtitle D (relating to consumer protection).
As stated in Section 102, 'Protecting the Choice to Keep Current Coverage', all public option plans must meet the same requirements set for the government plan.

(A) IN GENERAL.— The Commissioner shall establish a grace period whereby, for plan years beginning after the end of the 5-year period beginning with Y1 [Year 2013 as defined in General Definitions 25], an employment-based health plan in operation as of the day before the first day of Y1 must meet the same requirements as apply to a qualified health benefits plan under section 101, including the essential benefit package requirement under section 121.
Now, what do these 'essential benefits' include that Obama was so certain could legislate abortion for all medical organizations?

As stated in Section 122, 'Essential Benefits Package Defined', they require:
(b) MINIMUM SERVICES TO BE COVERED.—The items and services described in this subsection are the following:

(8) Preventive services, including those services recommended with a grade of A or B by the Task 13

Force on Clinical Preventive Services and those vaccines recommended for use by the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(9) Maternity care.

(10) Well baby and well child care and oral health, vision, and hearing services, equipment, and 19

supplies at least for children under 21 years of age.



(1) NO COST-SHARING FOR PREVENTIVE SERVICES.—There shall be no cost-sharing under the essential benefits package for preventive items and services (as specified under the benefit standards),

including well baby and well child care.
As you can see, the key words used by the legislation are 'preventive services'. What is more, the end clause even mandates that 'cost-sharing' can not exist for these 'preventive services'!

Now, what is cost-sharing? According to the website of the Massachusetts Institute for Technology, "Cost sharing or matching means that portion of project or program costs not borne by the Federal Government."

In other words, should these 'preventive services' include abortion, there will be no cost to individuals for them - meaning, the government will pay ALL costs for Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers.

It is further curious that while decrying claims of abortion language in his bill as 'fabrications', Obama has seemingly sent with his actions a much different message to abortionists, by reversing the international ban which prevented U.S. government funds from supporting overseas abortion services. Even as he states he is not using his legislation for pro-abortion motivations, he is doing the exact opposite to subliminally let his pro-choice friends know that he is still supporting their cause.

Obama has a long and controversial record of supporting not merely abortion, but a practice known as 'live birth abortion' that some pro-life activists have termed 'infanticide'. He spoke out against the Illinois version of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act on the senate floor, and opposed other bills to stop the practice as well.

In a senate transcript (pgs. 85-88), Obama referred to the dilemma confronted by the Born Alive Infants Protection Act as, "the fetus or child as - as some might describe it - is still temporarily alive outside the womb. And one of the concerns that came out in the testimony was the fact that they were not being properly cared for during the brief period of time that they were still living." After having this affirmed to him on the senate floor in the aforementioned transcript, Obama opposed it by voting present, or effectively no, and even stated this was his way of disapproval, a strategy later affirmed to have been proposed by Planned Parenthood to avoid public criticism.
Number one, whenever we define a previable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we're really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a -- a child, a nine-month-old -- child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it -- it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an anti-abortion statute. For that purpose I think it would probably be found unconstitutional.

The second reason that it would probably be found unconstitutional is that this essentially says that a doctor is required to provide treatment to a previable child, or fetus, however way you want to describe it. Viability is the line that has been drawn by the Supreme Court to determine whether or not an abortion can or cannot take place. And if we're placing a burden on the doctor that says you have to keep alive even a previable child as long as possible and give them as much medical attention as -- as is necessary to try to keep that child alive, then we're probably crossing the line in terms of unconstitutionality.
Obama's miry path to the presidency has included the unhalting criticism of his 2004 opponent for the Senate, former U.N. Ambassador Alan Keyes, and Congressional witness concerning born alive infants, nurse Jill Stanek.

Will the American people buy into the misrepresentations of Obama about his pro-abortion agendas? And more importantly, will they side with him even if they accept that he is lying about them? Only time will tell.

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