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Will Obamacare Cover Abortions?

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In recent public addresses, President Obama railed about the supposed "outrageous myths" surrounding his plan for health insurance reconstruction, a plan that is often shilled as health care reform.

One of the things he attempted to refute was that voluntary, non-medically required abortions would be covered under Obamacare.  Reuters quotes Obama in a weekly address in August: "Some are also saying that coverage for abortions would be mandated under reform. Also false."

Much like President Obama's statements about illegal immigrants and Obamacare, in a Rovian sense what President Obama asserted is true, or at least not completely false. There are no provisions in any of the legislation currently in play, HR 3200 being the only one of importance for now,  that mandate coverage for abortions. This is completely true, but it is another example of President Obama's disingenuous nuance. Even with the very narrowly passed Capps Amendment there is nothing preventing Obamacare from effectively subsidizing voluntary, non-medically required abortions.

Obama has said in the past that "reproductive services" would be covered by his public option, therefore it’s likely that any new federal insurance plan would cover such abortions unless Congress expressly prohibits that action. Low-to-moderate income persons who would choose the public option would qualify for federal subsidies, "affordability credits," to purchase it. Private plans offered on the proposed healthcare exchange which cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of such affordability credits.  Said Obama in an address to Planned Parenthood in July 2007:

We’re going to 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, as well as mental health services and disease management services, because part of our interest is to make sure that we’re putting more money into preventive care.

The then-Senator Obama's campaign spokespeople later confirmed and clarified that Obama included abortions in those "reproductive services."

Despite any sophistry and legalism, despite any shifting funding from one column to another on the books so as to avoid violating the Hyde Amendment or the proposed Capps Amendment, which essentially applies the Hyde Amendment to HR 3200, if public subsidies are provided for the purchase of health insurance and the policies purchased cover voluntary abortions then Obamacare will, in effect, cover said abortions and use American tax-payers' dollars to do so.

So is the claim that ObamaCare will cover abortions an “outrageous myth?” No, but it is an oversimplification of the matter. This is very much the same as President Obama’s outrageous myth that Obamacare won’t cover abortions.

About jonolan

  • John Lake

    For years I have staunchly and unswervingly opposed legal abortion, except perhaps in cases where the mothers life was at great risk. But as we know, the Democratic Party is uniformly pro-choice. Their reasoning may include the high death rate in the middle days of the 20th century caused by “backstreet abortion”.
    If I did favor abortion, I might go on to say that un-wanted children pose moral and financial stresses on society, which may out-weigh the cost of insured abortion coverage. And if the non-government sponsored insurance companies can raise their rates, that too may benefit the economic strength of America.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    To the collective you:

    If you oppose covering abortions with your taxes, just think of all the poor, single moms you’ll create. You can increase welfare while at the same time supporting a climate where children are raised in precarious environments, not exactly conducive to growing up to be prosperous tax-payers themselves.

    Whilst I oppose all taxes, and would actually rather create non-taxpayers myself, I have to say that trying to save your few pennies from ‘ill-deserving lazy people looking for a hand out’ by opposing publicly funded abortions, sounds like a short-sighted, lame-brain idea.

    Come to think of it, I’d think you’d be all for eliminating as many of ‘them’ as possible.

  • http://blog.jonolan.net jonolan

    Cindy,

    That is essentially what John Lake said. He just can’t get past the moral issues of infanticide. ;)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yeah, I know. It was a little scary. That’s probably what inspired me to spell it out further, where people might examine it and think about it. People don’t usually do that though, and often I find the horrible ideas I have proposed/supported in irony, are quite agreeable to some people. Maybe I should shut up.

  • http://blog.jonolan.net jonolan

    Yes, but isn’t that particular idea one of the arguments presented by the Pro-Choice crowd? I notice they often complain specifically about a lack of abortionists in poor areas.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    I foresee an idiotic law coming where birth certificates are issued at conception instead of at birth.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You seem not to think that poor people are not capable of making decisions that affect them.

    Do you think that putting abortion clinics in wealthy neighborhoods will cause the wealthy all to stream in like a heard of cattle and start offing their future progeny?

    (Please tell me you do. I may have to start lobbying for more abortion access for the wealthy.)

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (Please disregard either one of the ‘nots’ from the first sentence.)

  • http://blog.jonolan.net jonolan

    No, Cindy; I don’t that that way. I am, however, concerned that at least some of the Pro-Choice crowd think that way.

    They’re the one’s who make a special argument for making sure that poor people have access to abortions. They make a special point of it and that strikes me as pretty vile.

    On the other hand, as you pointed out – albeit sarcastically – there’s a pragmatic, if dystopic, logic to such arguments.

  • http://jetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Jet Gardner

    Cindi the abortion issue has nothing to do with abortion, it has to do with the potential power of one group to inflict its religious and superstitious beliefs on another.

    If they had their way housing and education would be separated by sex and copulation would only occur in order to conceive new Born-again christians. all else would be a sin.

    Don’t forget that oral sex is considered a sin too… even between a husband and wife.

    As it is now, oral, anal sex is still technically illegal in at least 15-19 states!

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    All that sounds about right to me, Jet.

    Somehow, I thought I was addressing my comment to the collective pro-choice, anti-public-healthcare right-winger. It turns out that none are present.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I am, however, concerned that at least some of the Pro-Choice crowd think that way.

    I am not familiar with the pro-choice folks who are clambering for public funding with the aim of getting rid of the poor. I will have to take your word for it that such a group exists. I would not be surprised, using the rest of what people are capable of thinking as a gauge.

    They’re the one’s who make a special argument for making sure that poor people have access to abortions. They make a special point of it…

    Couldn’t the special point of it be ‘only’ about access and not at all about killing off poor children?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Or at least they won’t own up to being such. Which is to say, they want to come across as gentler, kinder people.

  • Clavos

    clamoring

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Gracias amigo. :-)

  • Clavos

    I knew you’d pick it up…:-)

    [and take it in the spirit in which it was intended]

  • Ted

    What’s the difference? Dead baby, live baby. They’re all just a bunch of rapidly decaying atoms trying to reach a point of entropic equilibrium anyway.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    I am not familiar with the pro-choice folks who are clambering for public funding with the aim of getting rid of the poor. I will have to take your word for it that such a group exists. I would not be surprised, using the rest of what people are capable of thinking as a gauge.

    Cindy, anyone even a little bit informed about this issue realizes that this is the real, primary reason that abortion is legal. It is to the benefit of society and of the underclass to reduce their numbers. The fewer poor people there are the less of a burden they are on society and the less they are burdened with unproductive children the easier it is for them to advance their position in society. This is basic application of liberal philosophy, based on the mistaken assumption that it is desirable or even possible to eliminate poverty.

    Dave

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave,

    It sounds like something you (and your other deranged pals) made up.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You mean:

    “the mistaken assumption that it is desirable or even possible to eliminate poverty.”

    I figured it would catch your eye.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Yup, Roger.

    Here is my conclusion about right-wing Libertarians. They are anti-social. Their beliefs place them on a psychopathic continuum. Saying the things they can say makes this clear.

    Some points of view are not just points of view that are equally acceptable.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Anyway, maybe we can kick some ideas around tomorrow PM if you have time.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    You bet, Roger. I went to borders today and got the book: The Chomsky Foucault Debate (for later).

  • Mark

    …add ‘under capitalism’ and the obscene statement becomes true.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    OK, you two, be nice. Dave must have had a blackout. Till tomorrow then.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Dave didn’t have a blackout. He’s not able to see people he doesn’t know as human beings. It goes hand in hand with an inability to empathize. That’s what psychopathy is.

  • Mark

    Cindy, imo in Dave’s case it’s not an ‘inability’. It is a conscious Coulteresque choice.

    Which is more problematic?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Good question, Mark. For if it is a conscious decision, then there’s always hope (a matter of the will, however induced). Self-deception, however, is a harder nut to crack.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    That helps Roger–the mentioning of self-deception. I have been thinking about the second part of Mark’s post about ‘conscious’ choice for awhile. That’s one question that came up–among the whirlwind of scenarios and possibilities and questions about what is conscious and what is not and if we are self-deceptive is what was once conscious now unconscious and what if we simply were unaware of a possibility (say our culture eradicated the likelihood of looking at it) and, and, and…

    Maybe I will post all the questions I addressed to Dave to hypothetically find out.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I think it’s a much more frequent explanation of people’s thoughts and behavior. It’s not that they’re “evil.” I certainly don’t think it’s the case with Dave. But there are existential problems people need to resolve, in particular, reconciling their emotions with their their cognitive views – how they see the world. And for as long as these aren’t reconciled, there’s gonna be conflict. And it manifests itself in some off-the-wall claims – like that “elimination of poverty and human misery are not (necessarily) desirable.”

    One wouldn’t have of course any problem with the likes of Hitler saying some such thing, but Dave? Does it really follow from his political philosophy or his understanding of economic thought? I doubt it – unless of course if you’d choose to read Dave as some kind of human monster, or “an efficiency expert” more concerned with the workability of the system than the human good.

    But since I don’t, I’m forced to attribute it to a form of self-deception.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What’s there to be gained by deceiving oneself by such as Dave rather than embracing the emancipation scenario to embrace all of humanity?

    That’s where we’re getting into the real ugly. It’s a matter of self-justification, of being able to hold on to what one regards as a “privileged position” with respect to the others, of holding on to whatever one perceives as their “relative advantage.”

    In short, plain selfishness and thinking only of number one. I don’t think you can get any more fundamental than this.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    I like your analysis of self-deception. I agree that self-deception can be a tool with which to satisfy cognitive dissonance.

    I don’t think Dave is evil either. That’s why I used ‘deluded’, not ‘evil’. It strikes me being evil includes evil intent. So, I could imagine doing evil or causing evil without being evil. Which is a part of my dilemma regarding ‘conscious’ choice.

    But since my self-deception is a thing that creates actual evil, then that distinction of being evil or creating evil while being good for keeping conversations going and not writing people off, and maybe even a few other functions, might become academic.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    What’s there to be gained by deceiving oneself by such as Dave rather than embracing the emancipation scenario to embrace all of humanity?

    Let’s say we want to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Then, one possibility might be that they believe that human nature is, itself, ‘evil’.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    (Now, I have to go finish the Eco essay. It’s almost ‘this evening’ already–again.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    That’s a good one, Cindy. So it’s either that we’re being influenced here by negative assessment of humanity, or that we’re projecting. I’d like to think it’s the former most of the times.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m looking forward to your comments. Anytime!

  • Baronius

    This article is factually correct. It’s also practically identical to Jonolan’s last article:

    “In a Rovian sense, what President Obama asserted is true, or at least not completely false.”

    “So is the claim that ObamaCare will cover illegal immigrants an “outrageous myth?” No, but it is an oversimplification of the matter. This is very much the same as President Obama’s “outrageous myth” that ObamaCare won’t cover illegal immigrants.”

    I’m surprised that the article met BC’s standards.

  • http://blog.jonolan.net jonolan

    Baronius,

    This article was very deliberately formatted the same as the previous article. It was the second – and now likely final due to upcoming changes – in a series designed to expose the disinformation being spewed by both sides of the debate.