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Progress on public-option alternatives, but abortion amendment expected to fail

By Shailagh Murray
Senate Democratic negotiators said they had made significant progress in identifying alternative coverage options to replace a government insurance plan that liberals have fought to retain as part of health-care reform, but moderates have refused to support.

Later Tuesday, the chamber is expected to vote on another contentious unresolved issue, the scope of restrictions on coverage of abortion services for people who receive subsidies to buy insurance. An amendment extending the ban on federal abortion funding beyond current law is expected to fail, potentially costing the support of sponsor Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who has threatened to filibuster the $848 billion bill unless abortion restrictions are tightened.

But on the public option, lawmakers said they have made major strides, and could reach agreement as early as Tuesday night.

Three new coverage alternatives are under consideration. The proposal that appears to be gaining widespread support would create two national plans run by private, non-profit health insurers and regulated by the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees health benefits for federal employees.

Liberal lawmakers also are pressing their colleagues to support a Medicare buy-in program for individuals over age 55 who do not have access to employer coverage. And they want to further boost Medicaid coverage beyond the significant expansion to the low-income program already included in the bill.

The Medicare and Medicaid proposals are encountering some resistance, however, and given the pressure from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) to keep the bill moving, they may have to be scaled back, altered or discarded to secure a deal.

One key critic is Sen. Olympia Snowe (Maine), a moderate Republican whose support is essential if Nelson defects over abortion. Snowe has expressed support for the OPM idea; she also is seeking to improve small business provisions in the bill before committing to support it.

"What we're trying to figure out here, certainly within our caucus and then maybe with Olympia, is how much government involvement there should be in health care, how much private involvement," said Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), a leader of the public option talks. And there are disagreements. And what we're trying to do is reconfigure that, not having more of one or less of one, but in different ways that are more acceptable to people."

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 8, 2009; 2:53 PM ET
Categories:  Health Reform  
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Next: Senate rejects Nelson amendment on abortion

Comments

Why are the Senate looking for alternatives to the public option? The American people have made it clear that we want that option to put the predatory insurance insurance industry in its place. Without the public option I do not see the "reform" in Health Care Reform. It is the locus on which true health reform turns, it is the central, most important aspect of true coverage for the millions who have none. The Senate surely has the votes if they would exercise the majority vote of 51 instead of allowing a few Democrat turncoats to take control of the reform agenda. I am so tired of these special-interest puppets on the Hill. What about the public? Aren't they supposed to be representing our best interest?

Posted by: sboyd18 | December 8, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

One thing is clear: The Republicans don't care much about the American people's health. If they did care, they would be working with Democrats to find ways to improve our health as compared with people in other, poorer nations.
And Republicans would share outrage that the USA trails most industrialized nations in many measures of national health. These are nations far less prosperous than our USA.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | December 8, 2009 3:37 PM | Report abuse

weigh this = we already pay the CEOs 2 x too much = we don't need no stinking middlemen blood suckers!

start over ! minus the 2 trillion dollar theft!

single payer - the non-bloodsucker's option!

Posted by: ryan_heart | December 8, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

I've been thinking about the public option in the health care plan, and I'm not clear what the fuss is about. If "option" means anything, it means that each American has a choice, either the public insurance or private insurance, and what's wrong with that? Some people say that the public option is socialism, which is to be taken as ipso facto bad, but is it really? Nobody who doesn't want the public option needs to take it. Only those who want it take it. And, even if could really be called socialism, what does that matter if those who opt for it want it? In a way, isn't opting for the public option really just a vote for public insurance that does not affect anyone but the person who chooses the option? Anyone else, after all, can still opt for private health insurance. Some people worry that the public option will be popular, and that will mean the end of private insurance. Again, so what? If the public option is popular, won't that be because it's a better deal than private insurance? (Also, it's a weird argument to say that the government shouldn't give people a program that might be popular with the people; it's a combination we-know-better-than-the-people and let-them-eat-cake argument that really should have no legitimacy in this country.) And even if it weren't a better deal, it's what the people, exercising the public option have freely chosen, which is an instance of democracy in action. And what's wrong with that? On the other hand, maybe the public option will be so bad that few will opt for it, preferring private insurance--in which case, public health insurance, again through democracy in action, will amount to little, and maybe even die. The upshot is that I'm for the public option. I'm for letting each of us decide for ourselves whether he wants public or private health insurance

Posted by: klakey1 | December 8, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Please - filibuster this 2 trillion dollar giant pile of lying crap!

it does not provide healthcare - it forces 10 of millions of people to buy CEO crap care.

blood sucking lying theives - each and every one of the congress (dems and repugs)!

we already pay 2x too much! for crapo coverage!

they should be demanding a refund for the past 60 years - it is surely in the ten of trillions!

Posted by: ryan_heart | December 8, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

weigh this = we already pay the CEOs 2 x too much = we don't need no stinking middlemen blood suckers!

start over ! minus the 2 trillion dollar theft!

single payer - the non-bloodsucker's option!

________________________________________


The public has spoken. Take a GOOD look at the Polls! The majority rules... kill the public option!

As far as it being the non-bloodsuckers option as you so elegantly put it... maybe your blood but the rest of us tax payers will be having to sell our plasma to pay the taxes!

Posted by: TexanbygraceofGOD | December 8, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

the chinese marvel

that the greatest capitalist country on earth

ever--in all time, all recorded history

is systematically committing economic suicide by obama socialism

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 8, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

obama-the desert maker

obama goes to china
a former communist desert
now blooming
after the rain of capitalism

and obama wonders why
obama socialism
results in record unemployment
in the usa

so then obama decrees more and
more socialism

as the obama socialist desert spreads
all over america

Posted by: ProCounsel | December 8, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Not one of us wants or needs health insurance as provided by actuaries and agents of health insurance companies. What any of us actually wants and needs is health care delivered by medical professionals.

Health insurance companies function as gatekeepers, rationing health care to maximize profits - the primary goal, indeed business obligation, of these companies which serve no useful role in health care management or delivery.

I have American friends who have spent years in France, which has no health insurance industry whatsoever and yet, they assure me, delivers significantly better and more affordable health care than here in the United States, even better than portrayed in Michael Moore's movie, "Sicko".

Over the next 5, 10 or 15 years, the entire United States health insurance industry should be phased out of the business of providing health insurance, so that our dollars can be redirected to real medical professionals actually capable of providing good health care. I wish to enjoy, as the people of France do, good affordable health care and the freedom from ever again having to think about health insurance.

The powers that be are wasting precious time solving problems of the wrong industry.

Posted by: flmcl | December 8, 2009 4:00 PM | Report abuse

weigh this = we already pay the CEOs 2 x too much = we don't need no stinking middlemen blood suckers! start over ! minus the 2 trillion dollar theft!

single payer - the non-bloodsucker's option!

________________________________________


The public has spoken. Take a GOOD look at the Polls! The majority rules... kill the public option!

As far as it being the non-bloodsuckers option as you so elegantly put it... maybe your blood but the rest of us tax payers will be having to sell our plasma to pay the taxes!

Posted by: TexanbygraceofGOD | December 8, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse
=================================

kill the whole bill

single payer saves money and blood plasma! you ignorant corpuscle!

Posted by: ryan_heart | December 8, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Before people spout off about the "public option" and all the support it supposedly has - does anyone even know what it is?

Before you you tap the keyboard and show the world just how uninformed you are, you might want to talk with your senator and find out just exactly what the Public Option is and who is affected by it.

Then, come back and chat when you have a have a better understanding of the subject matter.

Posted by: asmith1 | December 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse

So everyone here supporting the public option also supports a system like QALY (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-adjusted_life_year)? Should someone with a disability (i.e. a vision impairment) be measured with a lower QALY (or similar system) value and thereby be rationed health care? Unless we are willing to financially cover everything, we all must face the facts that at some point, someone we know will face a cost vs health care coverage in their lifetime. Maybe it will be an older relative that will be turned down a procedure or prescription that would extend their life by a few years since the cost is greater than the reward based on a measurement system. Maybe it will be the reduction in benefits to the child with a birth defect since they will be a burden on the health care system and public funding.

Here are a few questions I have related to government run health care:

1) Will everyone (including all government employees, including the president and the rest of the elected officials) be on the same plan? Why don't we all just take the same plan available to the president or congress?

2) Will patients and their families be able to push for coverage toward a treatment to extend life, even if a formula says that it is not recommended?

3) Why do people suggest that Republicans don't care about people? Beyond party affiliation, we're all human and most of us share compassion with our fellow beings. Could it be that liberals find it easy to label Republicans as not caring about others?

4) What other options exist to assist people in obtaining health coverage? Has government looked at options to fix current coverage options (changes to health coverage policies)? Are they "so broke" that they can't be fixed?

5) Anyone else fear that health care negligence by a provider or by the plan itself will be harder to seek legal compensation from? If a person dies or is disabled due to negligence, can they go to court against the government and win?

I agree that something needs to be done to help get coverage for everyone but I'm not convinced that the current plan will be a benefit for most of us. From everything that I can tell, my family will be worse off.

Posted by: jim_maryland | December 8, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I am not asking for FREE HEALTHCARE. I am asking for the ability to make a choice as to who I choose my healthcare from.
I have no choice from my employer. The company choose what insurer they want to keep costs down - be it good or whatever sot that the company I work for can keep overhead down
Then we have the insurance company who will deny deny deny to keep costs down.

Either way through my employer and through insurance companies I get screwed.

What I want is the ability to choose. Why can't I choose like Senators and other federal employees can choose?

Why must everyone fight to even get insured in this country.

Posted by: kare1 | December 8, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Under the current Congress, anything with "government ran" in front of it scares me to death. Nothing any of them have offered reforms anything. Nothing they have offered will lower the cost of anything. Until they take an approach that attacks the root causes they are just wasting our time and tax dollars.

Posted by: staterighter | December 8, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

OK unlike congress or others my basic position on health-dental care for ALL Americans is this. Provide to ALL Americans the exact same health-dental care that ALL members of congress receive, and to which during tis entire debate have refused to give up, at the same cost and with the same options. Their health plan is 100% paid for by YOU and I. The Plans and costs etc are already known and do not require anything more than to sign the legislation.

Posted by: KBlit | December 8, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"but abortion amendment expected to fail"

You don't say, why every Senate Democrat knew that before each and every one of them voted to allow Reid's requirement for taxpayers to be mandated for pay for pre-birth murder on the floor.

Posted by: kwoods2 | December 8, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The American public have made it clear that they do NOT want a public option. Look at the polls. We know goverment can not control the costs of any anything.

I like the idea of expanding Medicare and Medicade. That sounds like a reasonable alternative. Goverment still gets to negotiate cost but people can opt out for private coverage.

For those uninformed people who think corporations are all bad, you have no idea the good works those corporations do. Yes it is for profit but for a reasonable profit. With out these companies advancement in medicine would screech to a snails pace. And for all of those with major problems we want the research and advancements to contine. The profits made by these private companies add far less cost to the program then the piled on goverment buerocacy would.

The admendment to lower the age to 55 for medicare and increase the poverty line for medicade looks very appealing. We don't need more goverment control piled on. The current goverment control appears to work well enough in this case. Why screw t up? In this case we would see the actual cost as medicare as it is taken directly out of our paychecks. If the cost goes up we are taxed more as they fall we are taxed less. We see and feel the cost of this one program. The Medicare money should never go anywhere except into medicare.

Posted by: robertasmith55 | December 8, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Sboyd18:

The American people have clearly said NO to the public option. The reason is because it is EXPENSIVE and it will become more EXPENSIVE in the years to come, such as it is happening in Europe today. Additionally, quoting president Obama "There can be reform without public option."

Moreover, I would like you to explain how many of the 40 million of uninsured American can't honestly pay for health insurance. Because I do not think it is fair that my premiums go up or I have to be taxed up for those who do not want to pay. One thing is to pay for those who can not. Another is to pay for those who do not want. I don't think that anybody can force me to devote part of my income - which, by the way, is MINE and it is my sacrifice - to pay for those who do not want to pay.

So, how many CANNOT REALLy pay for healthcare, from the 40 million?

Posted by: cristina1999us | December 8, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

jimsteinberg1

Those poorer countries that you believe that have better care than us do not even have the money to buy basic supplies for hospitals. In Latin America, where I grew up, you have to provide for everything if you have somebody hospitalized under the public system: aspirins, sheets, blankets, food, masks, toilet paper, you name it. You would be appalled of the infraestructure conditions. Where do you want me to start? Luck of hygine in public bathrooms, lack of soap, paper towels,faucets, water? roaches of all kinds, specially at night? And don't even think they have central cooling/healing systems. They do not.

I can't imagine any American, you included, that truly believes that what I just described to you is "better, efficient and more affordable" than the system we have here. I wonder why some people are trying to sell here in these publics debates, systems that are proven a failure. It shows that they repeat what somebody else says, without having a clue what they are talking about.

At the end of the day, the public system is the most expensive in these countries, specially for the poor. You have to provide for everything when somebody in your family gets sick. Hospitals have no choice but functioning primarily as emergency care providers. You have no discounts on anything, and if you are not literally dying, you won't even find a bed, for they are saturated with people looking for care. Moreover, the rich many times use these facilities for minor conditions, for it is 'free' for everybody. If they don't have major health issues, they save money from not buying private coverage.

Is that what you and the ones that think like you want for Americans? Does this system sounds "fair" to you? You really do not know what you are asking for.

Posted by: cristina1999us | December 8, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with klakey1. Why on earth are conservatives against giving people more choice? The public option will live or die according to the peoples wishes. If only a few pick it, it dies, if a lot of people pick it, it will thrive and make private insurance companies more competitive.

The only reason I can think to oppose this option would be because it could cost insurance companies a lot of money. All you guys screaming socialist takeover and Obama is a communist should look to who is driving the bus your riding in. How you have become mouthpieces for a fat, corrupt, and well entrenched industry will be studied for years on how to fool people into taking counter-intuitive and self-defeating positions based on slander, lies, and deliberate distortion.

I remember a time when most people took what they heard with a grain of salt. Or at least thought about whose ox was being gored when they took a position on an issue. I guess those times are gone.

Posted by: reussere | December 8, 2009 5:31 PM | Report abuse

For those uninformed people who think corporations are all bad, you have no idea the good works those corporations do. Yes it is for profit but for a reasonable profit. With out these companies advancement in medicine would screech to a snails pace. And for all of those with major problems we want the research and advancements to contine. The profits made by these private companies add far less cost to the program then the piled on goverment buerocacy would.

The admendment to lower the age to 55 for medicare and increase the poverty line for medicade looks very appealing. We don't need more goverment control piled on. The current goverment control appears to work well enough in this case. Why screw t up? In this case we would see the actual cost as medicare as it is taken directly out of our paychecks. If the cost goes up we are taxed more as they fall we are taxed less. We see and feel the cost of this one program. The Medicare money should never go anywhere except into medicare.

Posted by: robertasmith55


a few responses:

Who are you to determine what is a reasonable profit. 30% Administration costs vs.

Name a single contribution to the medical field by Aetna or any of the Blue Cross companies. They contribute nothing. NOTHING. Let me repeat........N.O.T.H.I.N.G. I worked for one of them and they are a software company to process claims and identify people who actually use the service that they pay for so they can be dropped as soon as possible. You'd think that finding success rates for certain diseases by various treatments would let them suggest more successful outcomes, but that's not what it's about. It's about getting more premium dollars with less payout.

They can care less about a more successful cancer treatment if it's expensive. What they see is that you need cancer treatment and that costs money.

Go back to your goosestepping tea bagger party.....I hear Faux has great party favors for their brainless legions.

Posted by: theobserver4 | December 8, 2009 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Before people spout off about the "public option" and all the support it supposedly has - does anyone even know what it is?

Before you you tap the keyboard and show the world just how uninformed you are, you might want to talk with your senator and find out just exactly what the Public asmith1 wrote:
Option is and who is affected by it.

Then, come back and chat when you have a have a better understanding of the subject matter.

Posted by: asmith1 | December 8, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse
_________________________________________
How can we ask our senators about it when they haven't read the 2000 page monster so they really don't know what it is either.

Posted by: confusedwithgovernment | December 8, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

What a corrupt government. It is time that the people stop paying taxes to support this corrupt system run by the greedy and corrupt corporations.

Posted by: kevin1231 | December 8, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who keep saying "what's wrong with the public option, it's just an option", you clearly dont know what you're saying.

The public option is an option UNTIL you leave your current job. Once you leave your job, you MUST join the government plan.

Now, how is that an option?

Posted by: JTP2 | December 8, 2009 6:01 PM | Report abuse

It is clear that to pass serious healthcare reform the Senate must get past some legislators living in the past or living off off of Health Insurance anti-reform lobbyist money - but if there is a real alternative to govt-run competitive health insurance refortm, it CAN NOT be windows dressing with 10 loop holes around it and it MUST have options that will force lower prices through REAL COMPETITION INSTEAD OF THE RIDICULOUS CHAMBER-OF-COMMERCE CRAP ABOUT FREE-MAEKET PLACE MISLEADING COMMENTS - FREE RIDE FOR THEM AND SCREW EVERYONE ELSE.

Posted by: danglingwrangler | December 8, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

"For those of you who keep saying "what's wrong with the public option, it's just an option", you clearly dont know what you're saying.

The public option is an option UNTIL you leave your current job. Once you leave your job, you MUST join the government plan.

Now, how is that an option?"Posted by: JTP2 | December 8, 2009 6:01 PM

_______________________________________

LMAO, what section of the bill did you find that in? Seriously, that is the among the most ignorant bogus assertions I've heard so far. Not quite to the level of "death panels", but still precious.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | December 8, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

polls show the majority of americans support the public option. so for once can we do what americans actually want? thank you.

Posted by: dlopata | December 8, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who stated, "who need insurance companies", let me ask you this: Without a financially secure company behind you, who will pay for expensive surgeries or procedures, or did you forget that health care is expensive and will stay expensive as long as there is reduced comptetion and no tort reform. Did you think that medical costs would magically decline to reasonable prices just because there is a government option? As long as there is no tort reform and there is reduced competition for your money (i.e. health premiums), you will NEED insurance companies to pay for high dollar medical care.

Posted by: JTP2 | December 8, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU JONATHAN ALTER!!!

Ed Schultz means no harm but he is SIMPLY WRONG....He needs to slow down his critism of the POTUS and the Democratic Party...

I WILL ACCEPT THIS BILL AS LONG AS IS DOES INCLUDE PEOPLE TO GET MORE "AFFORDABLE" INSURANCE AND DON'T DISCRIMINATE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS....AND SOMETHING THAT IS CLOSE TO PUBLIC OPTION....

JONATHAN ALTER ONCE AGAIN THANK YOU!!!

Posted by: dove369 | December 8, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

One thing is clear: the Democrats do not care about the middle class. They want a give-away at our expense and hope we aren't collectively smart enough to figure out that it is the quickest way to oppressive tax hikes and a muddy economic future.

Funny, they were supposed to make HC more affordable, but they want to provide coverage at others' expense instead.

Posted by: primegrop | December 8, 2009 6:21 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of extending Medicare to 55 or 50 as a start. I've thought all along that all this hokey pokey stuff wasn't needed. Just put everyone on Medicare.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 8, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Full disclosure: I work for a company that provides IT services for a non-profit health insurance company. This company has been rated the best in the US for the past five years...not only for customer and provider satisfaction (which means efficient), but also for clinical outcomes. That means healthier members. They have over 200 nurses who work with their members on this.

This company spends a lot of effort to work with and support members with chronic medical problems. It is recognized by its members for its caring approach to their medical situations.

Aside from its values, why does it do this? Because it is in competition with other non-profit insurers in New England. Unlike their for profit cousins in other parts of the country, who can grow by buying other insurance companies and their members and providers, these New England companies must compete to gain members and providers. This means reducing costs and enhancing customer satisfaction...the marks of a market economy, unlike the monopolistic practices of many of the for profits.

Be careful when you paint all health insurance companies with a broad, damning brush. There are models of how it can work out there. Interestingly, they exist where states have regulations that create a competitive market.

That's what is behind the public option. Doing something about those for profit companies that dominate their markets.

The idea of non profit companies running a public option appeals to me. Stock holders should not be able to drive the decisions made about my health.

The other reason I like this idea of the non profit options is that the idea of a government agency trying to become an insurance company doesn't. I worked in the Federal government for over 12 years, and know it doesn't work very well.

Posted by: seahawkdad | December 8, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

I've read about the nonprofit public option.
I WOULD VOTE FOR IT.
I can see good points.
I like free interprise.
I've been self employed 49 years and 11 months. I have many repeat customers because I don't try to get rich on every customer. Word of mouth advertising is great.
THE TOTAL $50,000.00 INCOME OF 600 WORKING POEPLE TO PAY 1 CEO'S SALARY IS WRONG

THAT CEO'S SALARY COULD PAY THE PREMIUM OF 6,000 UNINSURED PEOPLE

I FEEL HEALTH CARE IS A NESSESSITY THAT MUST BE CONTROLED.

DROP ANTITRUST PRTECTION THEN WE CAN HAVE COMPITITION

OPEN ALL STATES TO ALL COMPANYS

CUT THE WASTE OF EMERGENCY ROOMS BY TREATING EMERGENCYS ONLY
MAKE EVERYBODY PAYS FOR HEALTH INSUREANCE.

I REMEMBER GOOD CARE FOR LESS THAN $15.00 A MONTH GUESS THAT MAKES ME A OLD MAN.

Posted by: theoldmansays | December 8, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

SELF INSURED
I NEW A COMPANY THAT DID THAT IN THE 1960'S WHEN THE COMPANY SOLD! EACH EMPLOYEE WAS ABLE TO PUT OVER A YEARS WAGES IN THE BANK AND ALL HAD BEEN COVERED WITH INSURANCE FOR SEVERAL YEARS
MAYBE IT'S TIME FOR PEOPLE TO DO THAT. TAKE THE BIG COMPANY PROFITS AND BANK THEM $ $ $ $


Posted by: theoldmansays | December 8, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Most in U.S. want public health option: poll - 6 days ago WASHINGTON (Reuters)

Most support public option for health insurance, poll finds ...
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows ...

Yet Another Public Option Poll Puts A Wavering Dem On The Spot
Oct 30, 2009 ... Yet another public opinion poll in a state with a conservative Democratic senator shows that the public option not only is widely popular ...

New Poll: 77 Percent Support "Choice" Of Public Option
Aug 20, 2009 ... More than three out of every four Americans feel it is important to have a "choice" between a government-run health care insurance option ...

Without Public Option, Enthusiasm for Health Care Reform ...
Aug 19, 2009 ... Without the public option, only nine percent (9%) Strongly support the legislation.

Poll: Most Back Public Health Care Option - CBS News
Jun 19, 2009 ... CBS News/New York Times Survey Shows Most Americans Approve Of Government Intervention In Health Care Coverage.

Support for PUBLIC OPTION various polls ...
Kaiser(version 1) - 68%
Kaiser(version 2) - 65%
EBRI - 82%
Consumer's Union - 68%
Lake Research - 72%
NBC/WSJ - 85%

Posted by: stosp | December 9, 2009 1:57 AM | Report abuse

Regarding women's reproductive health, government is already involved in healthcare. To those who support a bill that includes "restrictions on coverage of abortion services for people who receive subsidies to buy insurance" - you're telling me that the people who can least afford to have children should be forced to do so should they be conceived? There is a lot of moral highground to stand on that says that abortion should be wrong, and there are a lot of practical facts that say that we don't need more babies born that will not be taken care of. If you are worried about your taxpayer dollars going to fund abortion, you should be worried about your taxpayer dollars funding the care of babies whose parents cannot or will not support them. Healthcare costs are too high because Americans don't take preventative measures to preserve their own health - and true, people should be taking preventative measures not to have babies - but if you eat two Big Macs a day and have to get medication because you don't exercise, the public will pay for your medication... if you get pregnant and decide that it would be irresponsible to have a baby, the public will tell you that you made your bed, now lie in it. Baloney. Support women's reproductive rights - do you really want to go back to the days of coathanger abortions? Because desparate people will do anything, and then the lives of more than just the unborn are at stake.

Posted by: manny99 | December 9, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

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