Concerned Women for America of Kansas: Health Care Reform Update

THE LATEST ON HEALTH CARE REFORM . . .

On a motion made by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), the Senate voted Tuesday night to table the Nelson-Hatch amendment that bars funding of “elective” abortions in the massive health care bill.

While many of the news stories reported that this amendment restricted abortions, this is simply not true. This amendment merely keeps what is current law by applying the Hyde amendment to the health care bill to ensure that federal funds are not spent on “elective” abortions.

We hear that Democrats may have agreed on how to handle the public option in the health care bill. This plan would “replace” the public option in the current Senate bill with a new national insurance plan offered by private insurers but would be controlled by the Office for Personnel and Management (OPM). This is a masquerade because the government will still be controlling health care. In addition, the compromise also includes a huge expansion of Medicare.

And, Reid’s plan will also include government funding of abortion. It authorizes the Secretary of HHS to include abortion coverage in the public option. It also authorizes plans receiving federal subsidies in the exchange to cover “elective” abortion.

One fact that has not been highlighted often is that Reid’s health care bill is anti-marriage and promotes couples “shacking up.” Reid’s bill could cost a middle class married couple $10,000 more a year in health care than a cohabitating couple.

Our friends on the Hill say that Reid is working really hard to strong arm his Democrats to get to 60 votes for his health care bill. When he does, he will file a “manager’s amendment” which will essentially be another bill with all the new agreements. We do not know how soon this “manager’s amendment” will come up – but it will likely be over a thousand pages and will also need to receive a Congressional Budge Office “score.”

Whatever the Senate passes, it will be the final bill. Reid’s manager’s amendment will go to the Senate floor and other Senators will not be allowed to offer any amendments. Further, we are hearing that there will not be a conference committee to reconcile the bills. Rather, it is likely that Pelosi will be pushed to accept whatever the Senate has passed and to marshal her troops to fall in line.

We need you to continue to apply the pressure on your Senators to oppose this health care bill. Their votes will likely determine what is included in the final health care bill. The manager’s amendment will not make this health care bill any better – Reid’s bill is bad medicine no matter how it’s swallowed!

Since the House will have to pass whatever the Senate sends them, it is crucial to call your Representative and ask him/her to oppose this health care bill. This is particularly true if your Representative was one of the 64 Democrats who voted for the Stupak language.

Also, don’t forget the Senate Rally against health care on Tuesday, December 15 at 1:30 at the Upper Senate Park, on Constitution Ave. between New Jersey and Delaware St., N.E., in Washington, D.C. If you would like to ride a bus from your state, please visit the High Noon for Health Care Web site to reserve a spot.

About Concerned Women for America

Concerned Women for America is the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with over 500,000 members nationwide and 5,000 in Kansas.

Concerned Women for America of Kansas
Judy Smith
State Director

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