Monday Afternoon Open Thread

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< 41 Dems Vow To Oppose HCR If It Includes Stupak Amendment | Memo To Jim Cooper: You Voted FOR The Stupak Amendment >
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    Reading d-day at the FDL News Desk, (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:39:39 PM EST
    I thought this was perhaps one of the best posts on the effect of the Stupak amendment that I've read.  Note: make sure to follow the link to mcjoan's diary at the Big Orange; it's also very enlightening.

    Bart Stupak and his anti-choice partners like to suggest that their amendment merely extends the Hyde Amendment about public funding for abortion to the new health care bill. In actuality, over time this amendment would end reproductive choice insurance coverage entirely.

    The amendment designates two areas where abortion coverage could not be offered - the public option, and on any plan receiving subsidies in the exchange. Because insurance companies would have to take all comers and not deny anyone coverage under the new bill, they would not be able to restrict customers who receive subsidies. So effectively, every plan in the exchange would not allow abortion coverage.

    Right now, the exchanges are restricted to the self-employed, the uninsured, and certain small businesses. But there are provisions in both the House and Senate bills to open the exchanges over time. In the House, that exchange could theoretically be opened up fairly rapidly.


    The Senate has language like that as well, albeit at a slower rate. Sen. Ron Wyden has been trying throughout the debate to open the exchanges more and more, and Max Baucus agreed in the Senate Finance Committee to work toward some version of the opening of exchanges. So we can expect something along those lines going forward.

    Only now, with the Stupak amendment, every one of those expansions, to mid-size and then large employers and possibly even individuals who are offered employer coverage, would further restrict coverage for reproductive choice services. If the exchanges do expand - and they should - the result would be making all abortions purely an out-of-pocket scenario.

    And then there's the question of what is considered, in technical medical terms, as an abortion. Hospitals determine a terminated pregnancy where the fetus was not expelled as an abortion, requiring a "D&C" procedure. Under the Stupak amendment, insurance companies would not be allowed to cover this procedure either. It's possible that this would fall under the "life of the mother" exemption, which is in the bill, but that would only be the case if the life of the mother was directly threatened. There is no "health of the mother" exemption.

    Stupak and his anti-choice cadres would counter that women could get a "rider" for abortion services, but asking women to plan for an unplanned event is offensive to the pro-choice community.

    Progressives generally support opening the exchanges, which would also open access to the public option. Under the Stupak amendment, that would have the effect of chipping away at abortion access slowly but surely.

    UPDATE: McJoan has much more on this.

    Some serious food for thought.

    Thank you. (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:55:15 PM EST
    This is what I noticed (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:56:39 PM EST
    when reading the amendment:

    From McJoan

    Cases that are excluded: where the health but not the life of the woman is threatened by the pregnancy, severe fetal abnormalities, mental illness or anguish that will lead to suicide or self-harm, and the numerous other reasons women need to have an abortion.

    mcjoan also included a poignant (none / 0) (#9)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:37:07 PM EST
    incident re a woman who was pregnant but no heartbeat at about 8 weeks.  Under Stupak/Pitts, would she be able to get a D&C pd. for by insurance?

    If she planned for it (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:43:09 PM EST
    and got that supplemental policy before she got pregnant in hope of having her second child. . . .

    It was powerful.  Every d*mn one of these stories is powerful that tells it like women live, not the way that this administration and Congress think we live in nicely planned and plotted lives.

    Btw, it's a story similar to what happened to friends of mine, a couple that ended up having to terminate a late-term pregnancy -- i.e., it already had ended but that's the lingo -- and were sent to the late Dr. Tiller.  Their testimony, as they wrote many of us about it, as to how he worked with them was so moving.  And so tragic, as they wrote us about it after his murder.


    Years ago, probably just after Roe v. Wade, (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:46:35 PM EST
    a new acquaintance told me over and over about expelling her stillborn fetus (mother did not know the fetus had no heartbeat) into the toilet.  PTSD.  

    I actually interviewed (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:51:08 PM EST
    someone to whom that happened -- a college student, quite a case that had a DA going after her so hard, as she did not seek immediate help, so the child did not live.  So I did the story to back him off (and it worked).  I was convinced, as were many others, that the young woman really did not know she was pregnant and the miscarriage put her in shock from blood loss, incapable of caring even for herself.

    And since then, being around campuses for decades, I can tell you that it happens often -- in the toilet or in the tub, and often results in drowning.  And often also results in charges.


    Sadly, my niece had the same (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:50:40 PM EST

    I was wondering the same thing. So, does that mean a "miscarriage" is an abortion? Or becomes one if it doesn't pass? What are we supposed to do if we have a dead fetus in our body?

    They seem to have the line drawn at death of the mother.


    Well (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:56:08 PM EST
    we had to undergo the same procedure when we had a miscarriage @ 20 weeks.  "Elective abortion" has a statutory definition and I'd be surprised if it were pertinent in our case.  My wife handles the insurance paperwork so she might know, but I doubt I'll ask since it's not my favorite subject to bring up.

    More troubling to me was the fact that the hospital we went to couldn't do the procedure, so we had to make a separate trip to the "women's clinic" uptown for the procedure.  That's not such a big deal in the big city, but in much of the country it might be a much longer trip to find a doctor who can do a D&C, even if it's not an abortion.  And I couldn't help but imagine the scene if, dealing with the tragedy of a miscarriage and all that, we had to push our way through a crowd of screaming protestors with gruesome signs just to get the procedure done.  Not in my neck of the woods, thankfully, but no one should have to experience that.


    so sorry. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:57:44 PM EST
    We lost several pregnancies (none / 0) (#20)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:11:49 PM EST
    due to "blighted ovum" as well as one tubal pregnancy.

    I've kind of purposely forgotten a lot of the details, but iirc the tubal required a D&C in order that my wife not hemorrhage and the others ended in what was not unlike a heavy flow menstruation.

    I'm not sure about 8 weeks, but perhaps there's a fetus age point after which a D&C is medically prudent?


    Rep. Massa's explanation of why (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:47:18 PM EST
    he voted against the House bill Sat.:



    During the closing hours of the debate, Rep. Massa voted against the Stupak Amendment which he viewed as a significant universal increase of current federal law. For the first time, if passed, the federal government would have prohibited a private citizen from using private funding to buy an insurance policy that covered elements of reproductive rights. The bill as written is clear, no federal funding for abortion procedures is allowed. Rep. Massa agrees with that but does not support an increase in federal law on this matter. This amendment passed and became part of the final legislation.

    Even Rep. Massa can't or won't specify (none / 0) (#7)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:05:02 PM EST
    the effect of the Stupak amendment.

    but does not support an increase in federal law on this matter

    Callas was a diva and tempermental. But (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:47:39 PM EST
    not common knowlelge she was "drunk or stoned."  Watch it Steve.

    R.E.M. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:58:20 PM EST
    I wore it like a badge of teenage film stars
    Hash bars, cherry mash and tinfoil tiaras
    Dreaming of Maria Callas
    Whoever she is...

    In contrast (none / 0) (#36)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:17:12 PM EST
    I give you Kathleen Battle.  She diva'd herself right out of ever being hired again, gorgeous voice or not.

    A beacon of Hope! (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 06:01:23 PM EST
    Don't worry, nothing to do with Obama.

    Meteor Blades
    has a diary up.  Women have been writing outrage diaries about the Stupak amendment and getting some predictable responses.  You know the type "Calm down, it's no big deal." with the usual implication that the diarists are "emotional" and such.  

    MB responds.

    Friggin' Giants. (none / 0) (#2)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 03:46:14 PM EST

    Chargers, baby!! (none / 0) (#21)
    by Dadler on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:18:11 PM EST
    Come on, if I have to put up with Norv Turner as head coach, you can take this loss. Philip Rivers is a beast in the final two minutes.  And we have to have the biggest receiving corps in league history.  Nothing but 6'4" and overs.

    No slam on the Chargers, they looked good. (none / 0) (#23)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:30:16 PM EST
    When the Giants lined up for their FG at about 2 mins I started cursing. Even louder than I was every time the Giants got another penalty. My wife wanted to know why I was so adamant that they go for the TD, couple minutes later she understood...

    NY/NJ Football... (none / 0) (#22)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:20:37 PM EST
    is in sorry shape...hopefully the byes sort us out bro cuz we're both hurtin'.

    Up early in the season, down now. (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:31:44 PM EST

    The fellas and I... (none / 0) (#26)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:35:09 PM EST
    took two yesterday in lategame heroic fashion ...I'm glad the Jets were on the bye so as not to bring me down!

    Nice! (none / 0) (#27)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:42:27 PM EST
    The most exciting thing (none / 0) (#6)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:03:03 PM EST
    that I have to look forward to Right Now is the total lunar eclipse December 2010.

    Congress stinks, the economy...don't talk to me about the economy, the 2010 elections...[cringe], and so on and so forth.  But no matter what happens in politics, there will still be a visible total lunar eclipse in a little over a year.

    Thank goodness for the laws of physics.  (Looked up solar and lunar eclipses for my son and they all miss us except the last eclipse of 2010.)

    Sh*t... (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by kdog on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:32:56 PM EST
    there is always the sun comin' up tomorrow, or the next meal...I'm about to get my rib-eye on with rice and asparagus...thanks and praises pal, the sh*tstem is just that.

    Well, if that's the most ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:32:11 PM EST
    exciting thing you have to look forward to, I hope it's not cloudy that day.

    Night. (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by desertswine on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 04:38:01 PM EST
    Be awfully tough (none / 0) (#30)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:50:41 PM EST
    to see the Earth to cast its shadow on the moon if you were on the sunward side!

    It's better than watching (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by Fabian on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:48:40 PM EST
    this legislative train wreck.  Obama just came out against the Stupak amendment.  Mister Cautious, leading the charge from the rear, again.

    Why?  Is he trying to save The Bill so he can claim he has Done Something?  Yeah, he's stood at a distance and offered some vague speeches.  

    I don't mind careful deliberation, but I think Obama is giving a whole new meaning to GHWB's trademark phrase "Wouldn't be prudent!".  As in, Obama would really love to get out of Afghanistan - but it wouldn't be prudent.  Obama would really like to stand up and be a Fierce Advocate for gay rights, but it wouldn't be politically prudent.


    Not against the amendment (5.00 / 3) (#32)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:53:10 PM EST
    just the language in the amendment . . . .

    Rely on Obama to come out and collect applause (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 05:59:33 PM EST
    ... after doing his usual SFA to stand up for core, basic, mainstream principles that would be too "partisan" to progress forward.

    A sunrise and a good meal (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:36:06 PM EST
    if you cant savor those things, then you dont know what enlightenment is. And good sex is simply out of the question.

    Hey there, (none / 0) (#35)
    by ChiTownDenny on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 06:09:46 PM EST
    I hope I'm not overstepping boundaries, but, YOU are a great person.  YOU have a son (perhaps other children and family members).  YOU are phenomenal.  Look in the mirror; you will see the beauty, the love, the phenomenal person you are.  Heck, you're also quite articulate, as I've discovered reading your comments over the years.

    Sounds like the commitee (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:18:08 PM EST
    of savants that writes Glenn Beck's material is writing Tinkerbelles material.