Stupak is a Radical Change

Mother Jones: Why Stupak is more radical than you think.

The two parts to the Stupak amendment:

The Stupak amendment mandates that no federal funds can be used to pay for an abortion or "cover any part of any health plan" that includes coverage of an abortion, except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest.

Part 1 is just the Hyde Amendment. But, part 2?

Where pro-lifers won big was on the second part, which could significantly limit the availability of private insurance plans that cover the procedure. That’s because Stupak’s amendment doesn’t just apply to the public option—the lower-cost plan to be offered by the government.


The House health care bill will also provide subsidies to help people and small businesses purchase plans on an exchange. This represents a lucrative new market for insurers: anyone earning less than $88,000 for a family of four qualifies for assistance, as well as certain small companies. But to gain access to these new customers, insurers will have to drop abortion coverage from their plans.

And on the supplemental insurance issue:

Imagine if all insurance plans worked like a smorgasbord, in which you tried to guess the operations and medicines you might require sometime in the future. How many procedures would you actually fork out for in advance? Five states already have similar "rider" laws in place, but according to Sonfield, "No one seems to have come up with evidence that these plans are ever sold."

Will abortion derail the health care bill?

Following the House vote, the White House declined to condemn or support the anti-abortion provision. There’s no way to predict what will come next in this high-stakes legislative tussle, but one thing is clear: in the push to provide access to health care for all Americans, abortion is now the official political football.

Digby has a good post on Stupak today.

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    If you haven't already, you should (5.00 / 6) (#1)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 08:46:03 PM EST
    read d-day at the FDL News Desk and McJoan; both give an excellent look at why the Stupak amendment is so pernicious.

    FDL was the go-to site (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 08:58:15 PM EST
    on Saturday, too.  So I'm going to go there more often again for clarity, not just more confusion -- and rants at those who do know danger when they see it.

    But I'll keep coming here for your comments, Anne, as you did not flinch a bit and were brilliant.


    Well, I don't know about (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:10:37 PM EST
    "brilliant," but I tried to at least shed a little light into the darkness of "I can't believe how stupid you all are being," so, if something I wrote helped with that, I was happy to do it.

    I think I just want what most of us want: information that helps us understand what the flock is going on.  Seems like everywhere I turn, it's nothing but deception and bamboozling by the people who hold seats in the US Congress.

    Thank you for your kind words - my brain actually hurts from trying to make sense out of all of this.


    This discussion (5.00 / 8) (#2)
    by Steve M on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 08:52:24 PM EST
    reminded me about those "abortion rider" statutes, which were once a big controversy but seem to have faded into the background over time.

    The statutes provide that a private insurer cannot provide for abortion coverage as part of a general health policy, even if they want to.  Instead, the insurance company has to sell a separate, optional rider that provides abortion coverage.

    The concept is that you, the hypothetical anti-choice individual, are not content just to demand that your tax dollars never be used to fund an abortion.  No, you are apparently entitled to demand that a private insurance company must never, ever pool your money with anyone else's in such a way that might lead to your money paying for an abortion... even though it's completely up to you whether you deal with that private company or not.

    One of these statutes was struck down in Rhode Island long ago but otherwise they seem to have been upheld.  In a different context you bet Republicans would be screaming bloody murder about this drastic interference with free market principles, but you know how that goes.

    That's what those were called, yes (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:02:29 PM EST
    that past experience came to mind when I saw the new Stupak-Pitts Amendment unfold on Saturday.

    Even a little understanding of how group underwriting and packaging and marketing and more work in the real world of insurance (and I was a spouse of an insurance company exec) would make clear that in practice, the Stupak-Pitts Amendment imperils coverage for many women -- thus imperiling health care for them -- and, of course, raises the cost for them . . . and could raise the cost even more for the rest of us who wouldn't need supplementals.


    The "free market" is actually profiting (5.00 / 9) (#70)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:48:59 PM EST
    from this particular instance of government "interference".

    The government is actually mandating non-coverage of a medical procedure on a massive scale - the health insurance lobby has just scored beyond its wildest dreams.


    You are so on target! (5.00 / 4) (#127)
    by DeborahNC on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:07:28 AM EST
    This type of outcry fits perfectly within the GOP legislative paradigm. Clash your cymbals, blow your trumpet, and scream over governmental interference with our liberty and freedom as they relate to the issues for which you advocate, e.g. gun rights. On the other hand, most of them don't give a flying flip about laws passed to restrict women's rights, even their health and well-being,unless it's politically expedient.

    I have called and written my legislators, in addition to committing my time and money to causes and people in which I believed. But, you know what, I am so ticked off at and disappointed in our government lately, I don't even feel like doing anything for candidates anymore. They're going to take the actions necessary to get elected or re-elected. If the interests of their constituents aren't consistent with that goal, then "tough luck voters" becomes their inner mantra.

    I'm not naive; I know that politics involves lots of give and take. But, I'm very tired of being on the side from which things are taken. This is just another example, and I'm angry--very angry.

    And, I'm not the kind of "far-out" leftie, as some people claim, that doesn't care about the economy or markets. I own stocks, and I hope that my investments do well for the sake of  my future and that of my son. However, I do think that it's possible for advanced countries to work for the health of their citizens as well as trying to maintain a healthy economy.  So, I ask myself: "Why must one party or certain individuals irrespective of party have to have just one perspective?" Governments are supposed to be able to consider the well-being of all aspects of their country and do the best they can to achieve a reasonable balance.

    But, I'm afraid balance for some citizens--especially those people who don't have huge sums of money to donate and buy a vote--is not taken into consideration by many lawmakers. Sadly, even some female representatives and senators vote against the needs of women.

    So, guess I'm a bit frustrated with our government, huh?


    Thank you (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 08:56:35 PM EST
    for saying so again, Jeralyn, as this also is a radical change from comments here for days now that the Stupak-Pitts Amendment means no change . . . and so we should stop worrying our pretty li'l heads about it.

    well I've said since Saturday morning (none / 0) (#7)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:05:34 PM EST
    it's very bad and more than just the Hyde Act. I thought most commenters agreed with this, but I haven't read them all. But just so my view is clear, I think it's very bad. Should it kill the whole bill? I want to see what comes out of conference -- on this and other points -- before deciding.

    Yes, you did (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:09:53 PM EST
    and many commenters did, too.  But some then and since continue to denounce discussion of such concerns as, and I quote, "frivolous" discussion.  And continue and continue . . . so I'm saying that it's good to say this loud and clear again with this post and the link to Mother Jones.  I saw it linked from another site and have forwarded it near and afar already.  Anne's links also are good, from seeing some of them earlier today, when I went elsewhere to find more, y'know, frivolity.

    Thank you Jeralyn I am (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:17:04 PM EST
    Resolved to reading Digby every day.  

    Cagey, no? (5.00 / 5) (#115)
    by Spamlet on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:16:28 AM EST
    I want to make sure that . . . we are not in some way sneaking in funding for abortions, but, on the other hand, that we're not restricting women's insurance choices.
    --President Barack Obama

    You can't have public or (if the provisions of this amendment become law) even private funding for an abortion, and apparently you can't even use your own money in some circumstances. But your insurance choices? Don't worry your pretty little lady parts. You can have your pick of any of the cr@ppy POS plans you'll be forced to buy under threat of fines and possibly jail time.

    God, the Catholic Church, and the Republican and Democratic Parties forbid that we should "sneak in" funding for a legal medical procedure that applies only to women.

    the new pro-choice, perhaps? (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:45:43 AM EST
    I want to make sure that ... (none / 0) (#147)
    by FreakyBeaky on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:56:08 AM EST
    ... I am not in some way taking one side, but, on the other hand, that I am not taking the other.  

    Yes and No and then again... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:02:01 AM EST
    How do you feel about this response by Obama?

    Q. TAPPER: "Do you think that amendment is status quo or does it lean a little bit in one direction or the other?"

    A. OBAMA: "I think that there are strong feelings on both sides. And what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we're not changing the status quo."

    To me, this is but artful waffling on Obama's part.

    Can't he just say, "Hell, Yes. This amendment directly affects the rights of women and should be removed in the Senate bill".

    Is that so goddamn difficult?

    A radical change from what, is my question (none / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:04:05 PM EST
    People who are without insurance already do not have abortion coverage. People who have insurance currently either do or do not have such access.

    I think the question is whether as a result of healthcare reform people will be forced to drop their group coverage and buy from the exchange. Democrats have maintained that this will not be allowed. Indeed, Republicans have been the ones arguing that this is likely.

    I think this amendment is deeply offensive and bad policy. But I am unconvinced by the "change" argument.

    Why are you using the current status (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:12:36 PM EST
    as your point of comparison?  Put the bill through, and there will be change.  There will be mandates.

    Now, work from that and see what it means.


    The status quo has to be (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:16:45 PM EST
    the point of comparison. We do not live in a world where reform has already passed. If we did, this would be a much less morally complicated discussion (i.e., we would not have to consider whether it is ethical to deny subsidized coverage to millions without insurance because of entirely valid objections to this amendment).

    IMO states would be barred (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:25:35 PM EST
    By Stupak from paying for abortions for Medicaid recipients solely from state funds. 17 states do so now. This is CHANGE.

    I do not read the amendment that way (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:29:06 PM EST
    Though I admit that the language is somewhat messy.

    No, it doesn't have to be (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:37:50 PM EST
    unless you are trying to minimize the impact of it.

    That's like saying that we ought not be worried about the impact of a judicial ruling on our futures because the ruling isn't in force now.

    I didn't see you use this argument in discussions of other ramifications of the health care bill.


    Basic disconnect here (5.00 / 8) (#29)
    by Spamlet on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:55:38 PM EST
    between those who are outraged by the House's Saturday Night Special, on the one hand, and, on the other, those who can say "I think this compromise defensible" (BTD, 11/7) and "I think this amendment is deeply offensive and bad policy. But. . . " (emphasis supplied) and "If your position is that the Stupak amendment destroys the public option, then you should oppose the bill. I am open to that reading" (andgarden, 11/9).

    I know that these two commenters and some others are only trying to state their point of view, using rational arguments and legalistic language, both of which are entirely appropriate on a legal blog.

    But because they have no visceral understanding of what the Saturday Night Special means to women--regardless of whether the House bill ultimately becomes law--they haven't a clue about how arrogant they sound.

    They also don't see this in the whole context of the past couple of years, a period when Democratic Party leaders have been chanting "Roe v. Wade" out of one side of their mouths and spitting in women's faces out of the other.

    Camel's nose? How about the camel's back?


    In fact, I do understand the visceral outrage (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:06:27 PM EST
     It is valid. I agree with it, and I even feel it (if you don't believe that, check back on what I wrote about Donnie McClurkin). But there is really no discussion to be had about it.

    However, In a world where it is suddenly "arrogant" to say that it is better that more people have healthcare coverage than not, there is really no discussion about anything.


    I said you sound arrogant (5.00 / 9) (#43)
    by Spamlet on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:17:37 PM EST
    and you do, to me, a person whose physical being was put on the line by the Saturday Night Special--by the very fact that the amendment was passed, regardless of its legal status--in a way that your body was not. That you seem not to grasp this is what makes you sound arrogant, even if you are not in fact an arrogant person.

    In what universe is there "no discussion to be had" about this visceral outrage? Do you not understand the backlash against the Democrats that has been brewing for almost two years among left-liberal women?


    And note that I referred to (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Spamlet on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:43:26 PM EST
    "visceral understanding" (and your anatomically determined lack of same) in my original comment, not to "visceral outrage," though we can agree that the latter certainly does exist.

    thank you for this comment (5.00 / 6) (#46)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:19:48 PM EST
    I don't know if others viscerally feel it or not, but clearly different people are fighting different battles, as is their right. A woman's right to choose is one of my battles; I'd rather see no "reform" than this affront.

    It would be one thing if the bill were a really good one, and the Stupak amendment came along with it. But it's a fairly cra**y bill, and Stupak too?  I can't support it.


    The camel's nose is not under the tent, (5.00 / 9) (#74)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:53:27 PM EST
    it is under women's skirts - same as it ever was.

    Isn't that the truth! (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Democratic Cat on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:00:47 PM EST
    Goodness, aren't you just sick of it? I'm just so sick of that camel. He's smelly.

    It's all the huffing and puffing and (5.00 / 8) (#98)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:21:06 PM EST
    snuffling and snorting that I can't stand. That, and the camel rider's boot on my neck - forever.

    Excellently well stated (5.00 / 7) (#118)
    by zaladonis on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 03:19:44 AM EST
    This disconnect reminds me a little of when Obama's DOJ defended DOMA.  It didn't necessarily change anything, DOMA was in place before and after in the same form, but it indicated a thought process that's at best unhelpful to gays and their fight for equal rights.  And at worst, damaging.  Revealing because it's from someone who claimed to be a fierce advocate of gay rights.

    Bottom line remains that Obama's intent is not what he says and that that's influencing the Democratic Party in a bad way.  That any Democrat -- especially anyone who supported Hillary over Obama -- would be less than outraged at this anti-choice capitulation is, in itself, a bad sign.  Even if it doesn't become part of the final bill, the capitulation at this point in the process is troubling in itself.


    OK, let's assume the worst about this amendment (none / 0) (#25)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:42:38 PM EST
    After passage, no health insurance policy including abortion coverage will be available to anyone. I do not believe that outcome is even close to likely, but let's assume it. I think in that case you still have to address my earlier point: in order to avoid that outcome, you have to accept that millions will be left without any coverage at all.

    Bummer (5.00 / 5) (#30)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:58:26 PM EST
    I'm willing to have that happen rather than continue to acquiesce in my own inequality.  Tough for everybody.  I don't see why I should have to agree to be discriminated against so other people hypothetically will get something.

    You don't like that?  Too bad for you.  I'm not on your side anymore because you're not on mine.  I guess Lieberman's going to get my donation to filibuster health care reform.


    I will be the first to tell you (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:08:19 PM EST
    that politics involves unacceptable compromises. But we make them anyway. Or at least, I do.

    Well, not me (5.00 / 4) (#39)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:13:51 PM EST
    not on this.  And don't presume to lecture me on compromise when you have nothing at stake in the compromise.

    As I see it, better universal suffering than me continuing to take it on my knees in deference to your very much unneeded lessons about political compromise.


    You do realize that just about everything (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:16:31 PM EST
    you do in life to some degree perpetuates inequality, right? I wish you would not presume to lecture me on when I have a stake and do not have a stake in something.

    Why would a woman's medical privacy ... (5.00 / 6) (#95)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:15:47 PM EST
    ... to have a legal, medical procedure, with the counselling leading up to that, deprive someone else of their rights any more than privacy of legal counsel or religious/spiritual counsel would?

    So, andg, what do you "have a stake" in? (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:28:21 PM EST
    Vis a vis your own fundamental right to privacy and bodily integrity?

    Whatev (4.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:20:43 PM EST
    I'm so beyond the undergraduate "Everybody's an X, so everybody is equally responsible for inequality."  Tell it to somebody who really is a political neophyte.  I want mine.  I don't care if you get yours.  I don't do liberal guilt, not after what's gone on over the past 18 months or so.  If I can't have mine, I'm going to make d*mn sure you can't get yours because, apparently, that's the only thing anybody will respect.

    Except this isn't politics, it's women's lives (5.00 / 9) (#99)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:21:36 PM EST
    Seriously, it's beyond politics or even choice. If you want to suffer and die for a cause, go ahead.

    If you want women -- or anyone else -- to suffer and die for politics and are complaining that you won't get your health coverage, that's going to be a hard sell.


    Thank you, thank you, Ellie (5.00 / 6) (#113)
    by Cream City on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 12:30:10 AM EST
    for this comment.  If I could give it a 10, I would, etc.

    It is beyond politics or even choice -- that's an epitaph tonight for a friend of mine.  I just got word that she died tonight, not even 60 yet, of a cancer that our members of Congress and our White House might not even cover in this bill.

    My friend was diagnosed 10 years ago.  A community leader, a well-known woman, who found love and marriage late in life that could have allowed her to live the last decade on a beach.

    But she gave the rest of her life, the last 10 years, to founding and sustaining an organization for other survivors -- women all, because of the body parts we have that Congress treats so cavalierly -- who have been helped, thousands of them, by this courageous woman.  Really, this entire community watched in sorrow as a classic beauty seemed to become disfigured by chemo.  But then we realized that she became even more beautiful than before.

    I can't write more now -- except to say that her example is with me again as I realize yet again that we are on our own in this.  I was going to give up the fight, as I'm so weary of it all, after we thought we had won, when she and I were young.  But when I wake up tomorrow morning without her, I will have to keep going.  She did, for as long as she could.  So can we, for the same reason that she did:  She could not bear to watch people in pain.

    Yeh, you bet, "women are dying already."  I simply cannot stand such a discussion that would so continue the cavalier treatment of women in pain.  It's not about politics.  It's not even about choice.  But I choose to go think good thoughts about the good ones among us.

    And the rest, who would treat or even talk of women this way, can go to h*ll -- because I know that my friend will not be there, and I hope to the goddess that she did not witness the travesty in Congress this weekend that would have inflicted even more pain.  I hope that she went in peace . . . as I now will attempt to do, too.


    Yup, (5.00 / 3) (#123)
    by prittfumes on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 07:38:05 AM EST
    not entirely unlike "they oughta let well enough alone" when folks were sitting in at lunch counters in the segregated South. Those who were not turned away from lunch counters outnumbered the ones who were turned away many times over.

    But wouldn't that depend (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by hookfan on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:05:36 PM EST
    on the actions of congress and a democratic President over the next three years? Remember alot of the current bill will not be implemented until 2013. Why doesn't your camel's view face the same problem of sacrificing millions coverage for years-- also a death sentence for many?
       In fact, if the hcr bill is defeated it actually grants a real opportunity for Universal Health Care through the expansion of medicare if progressives would give up being animal tamers and unite behind what they originally said they wanted.
       Why not struggle to create political reality rather than settle for what the republicans, Stupak, and Lieberman allow us to have. We have three frickin' years to beat this piece of garbage that is now proposed. If they can't/won't do that, the Democratic Party really is worthless, imho.

    I will be mandated to buy insurance (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:23:05 PM EST
    I will be eligible for the PO/Exchange. My "choices": pay unaffordable premiums for private insurance or buy into the government system/exchange and "support" something I normally wouldn't touch on principle alone.

    Depending on the economy/whatever life brings/the future holds, I and millions like me could end up needing "credits". Well, we all know what that means.

    I'm not sure what he doesn't get . . .

    And the fact we have to be of risk for death?!
    I thought my soon to be great nephew would at least avoid workplace gender bias etc. Looks like even more reason it's a good thing he won't be a she. I can't believe we're still doing this . . .


    What you would do (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:27:33 PM EST
    is buy the deficient policy and also purchase a rider, if you could afford it. Under the status quo you would have no insurance at all. I don't see how that is any better.

    You don't see anything wrong with that? (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:38:50 PM EST
    I don't have insurance, now I will be mandated to
    buy the deficient policy and also purchase a rider, if you could afford it.

    and have my gender take a big step backwards TYVM.


    Well now you're just objecting to the mandate (none / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:46:25 PM EST
    Which, again, is an entirely different discussion. To give you your due, it might be that you're arguing that it is offensive that you be required to buy a policy that does not cover abortion. It is. But you would have some (subsidized) coverage instead of none. And that was the whole point of this legislation.

    You are countenancing (4.73 / 11) (#56)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:31:28 PM EST
    discrimination as compromise.

    That is unconscionable.  Oh, lawyers may figure out how to make it look legal, and that's how you're training to think, but it doesn't make it any less unconscionable.  And it doesn't mean that they, or you, fool us.


    It would not be the first time (none / 0) (#59)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:37:22 PM EST
    What I believe is that rejecting the final bill, warts and all, may be similarly unconscionable. Indeed, my judgement is that it's likely to be worse. That is also apparently Nancy Pelosi's judgement.

    That is such an awful answer (2.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:39:43 PM EST
    that I now am convinced that you're just blogclogging.  At whose behest?

    Yes Cream, disagreeing with you (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:42:14 PM EST
    is blogclogging.



    No, that's not the definition (1.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:45:26 PM EST
    of blogclogging.  But you know what it is, because as soon as you're called on it, you suddenly need your rest.  Uh huh.

    Defending male privilege (5.00 / 1) (#151)
    by itscookin on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 12:49:50 PM EST
    is tiring.

    The numbers I've seen are at odds with (5.00 / 6) (#24)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:42:33 PM EST
    your claim that the status quo is that there is generally already no coverage for abortion.

    From Will Saletan at Slate:

    Naral Pro-Choice America is furious. It points out that more than 85 percent of private health insurance plans cover abortion.

    From NARAL:

    The Stupak-Pitts amendment makes it virtually impossible for private insurance companies that participate in the new system to offer abortion coverage to women. This would have the effect of denying women the right to use their own personal private funds to purchase an insurance plan with abortion coverage in the new health system -- a radical departure from the status quo. Presently, more than 85 percent of private-insurance plans cover abortion services.

    So, it seems the status quo is to have the coverage, not the other way around.

    Also, with respect to riders for the coverage:

    Keenan said anti-choice members of Congress and their allies distorted key elements of the Stupak-Pitts amendment to make the proposal appear less extreme. Here are rebuttals to these distortions, including the myth of an abortion "rider" that they say women could purchase in addition to their insurance plan:

    *The Stupak-Pitts amendment forbids any plan offering abortion coverage in the new system from accepting even one subsidized customer.  Since more than 80 percent of the participants in the exchange will be subsidized, it seems certain that all health plans will seek and accept these individuals.  In other words, the Stupak-Pitts amendment forces plans in the exchange to make a difficult choice: either offer their product to 80 percent of consumers in the marketplace or offer abortion services in their benefits package.  It seems clear which choice they will make.

    *Stupak-Pitts supporters claim that women who require subsidies to help pay for their insurance plan will have abortion access through the option of purchasing a "rider," but this is a false promise. According to the respected National Women's Law Center,  the five states that require a separate rider for abortion coverage, there is no evidence that plans offer these riders.  In fact, in North Dakota, which has this policy, the private plan that holds the state's overwhelming share of the health-insurance market (91 percent) does not offer such a rider.  Furthermore, the state insurance department has no record of abortion riders from any of the five leading individual insurance plans from at least the past decade.  Nothing in this amendment would ensure that rider policies are available or affordable to the more than 80 percent of individuals who will receive federal subsidies in order to help purchase coverage in the new exchange.

    Let's try to make sure we know the real story before we go dismissing the idea that (1) this is no threat to the status quo and that (2) it's going to be so simple for women to get the coverage they desire.


    You are putting words in my mouth (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:43:50 PM EST
    I am saying that people without insurance certainly have no abortion coverage. People with insurance might or might not.

    So, you're saying that there's no (5.00 / 3) (#28)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:52:16 PM EST
    big deal about people who currently have no insurance and thus no coverage for abortion services not having that coverage available to them under mandated insurance if they get it through the private companies on the exchange?

    Okay, I guess that is a status quo equivalency, but I guess I don't understand how preventing any group or gender from having access to a particular area of care is an improvement.

    And I want you to acknowledge, if you can, that it is entirely poasible that abortion rider availability may be more of a myth than anything else - one more deception thrown out there to placate an  increasingly histrionic sector of the population.

    Honestly, I keep waiting for some hapless, clueless man - and they seem to be in great number - to ask if it's that time of the month.


    I think you are just intentionally misreading (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:59:36 PM EST
    what I have written:

    guess I don't understand how preventing any group or gender from having access to a particular area of care is an improvement.

    I dare you to try and show where I said that.

    And I want you to acknowledge, if you can, that it is entirely poasible that abortion rider availability may be more of a myth than anything else - one more deception thrown out there to placate an  increasingly histrionic sector of the population.

    Honestly, I keep waiting for some hapless, clueless man - and they seem to be in great number - to ask if it's that time of the month.

    And now we get an interesting point combined with an accusation--one that I do not appreciate--drafted in the form of a loaded question. Sorry, I don't play that game.

    I do not know which riders will be available because none of this exists yet. But Again, assume that at the end of the day, none are available for the subsidized plans, how does that put women without insurance who take the subsidy in any worse of a position than they were in before?


    Because (5.00 / 9) (#35)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:08:11 PM EST
    women's inequality is further and more firmly enshrined in the laws of this country.  And the walk back just gets longer and harder than ever.  And, once again, it's revealed to me that my allies on that road will be few and far between.  I certainly don't expect you to help carry the load.

    I think you just hit the key (5.00 / 8) (#107)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:31:16 PM EST
    point that Andgarden isn't getting.  I'm personally less outraged by the practicalities of this than I am about the symbolism and precedent.  This is precisely what the pro-life forces have been doing so successfully for years, finding innumerable "reasonable" ways to make abortions harder and harder to get so that they become completely unavailable in practical terms, as they are in large parts of the country now.

    And of course, the real hot stinking pile of ** is that in pratice, all those barriers, including Stupak's, only impact low-income women.  Wealthier women will always be able to get competent and safe abortions, as they always have.


    But few, it seems, are willing to even approach (5.00 / 10) (#114)
    by shoephone on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 01:28:32 AM EST
    the cold, hard fact that there is a HUGE pocket of the population that includes neither "the poor" or "the wealthy." Many so-called middle income women will be denied full coverage as well. And the grotesque reality that self-employed women will have to buy through the exchange and suffer discriminatory denial of full coverage hasn't sunk in with our less evolved bloggers and commenters.

    The next time some freaking politician tries to curry favor with me by waxing poetic about the wonderful  entrepreneurial, small business owners of America, I'm gonna whack his kneecaps in half.


    I think I got a pat on the head (5.00 / 9) (#38)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:13:39 PM EST
    and the promise of "some subsidized coverage" above . . . .

    and those that might or do (5.00 / 5) (#124)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:00:06 AM EST
    should compromise their rights to a medical procedure so that others can get other procedures covered? That argument doesn't work for me(speaking as a person who does have coverage on my female parts in our health plan.)

    Here's where your argument fails (5.00 / 5) (#120)
    by jbindc on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 06:33:23 AM EST
    What you would do is buy the deficient policy and also purchase a rider, if you could afford it

    Please explain how many women anticipate having to need an abortion, thereby will research and purchase said rider.

    What if this bill said gay men, being one of the highest risk groups for contracting HIV/AIDS, and their associated illnesses (thereby costing more), should have to purchase a rider?  A rider that would be very hard to come by because a)anyone who received a federal subsidy could not use that money to purchase said rider, and b)any private insurance company who accepted any federal money (from people who got subsidies) could not offer such a rider.

    Please discuss.


    The current status quo is being used (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:09:47 PM EST
    as a point of comparison because, tonight, the Big "O" was promoting maintenance of the effing "status quo" in his teevee interview with one or another of the network bobble heads.

    Note to self: expect to hear a lot more happy, lap-doggy talk about the reasonableness of the "status quo" - aka the hideous Hyde Amendment which is being used to minimize the more hideous broad reach of the Stupak Amendment.


    Ah, thanks. It's such an odd argument (4.00 / 3) (#92)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:14:44 PM EST
    but now I know to expect that whatever the thought leaders say -- former sportscasters, for pity's sake, being thought leaders on women's rights?! -- it will surface here from some commenters.  

    I tired of that on DKos.  Here, I thought we might see better argumentation from lawyerly minds.


    Moreover, you satisfy the mandate by (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:17:20 PM EST
    keeping your existing coverage.

    Because I have existing coverage (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:39:01 PM EST
    and I'm not talking about me.  I'm talking about women who are not as fortunate as am I.  If we do not speak up for them, who will?  (Not you.)

    Who is telling them that they may have (none / 0) (#41)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:17:18 PM EST
    no coverage at all? It will not be me.

    I think (5.00 / 2) (#44)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:18:18 PM EST
    they already know they don't have coverage.

    That's no response at all (none / 0) (#52)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:25:32 PM EST
    It's in keeping (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:29:53 PM EST
    with your repetitive condescending posts.

    I guess you only respect the madman theory of political bargaining when it comes from people like Stupak.  The rest of us?  We just don't understand the value of compromise.


    No (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:33:32 PM EST
    As a political matter, I would have seriously considered signing DeGette's letter. But substantively, I would probably not be comfortable voting against the conference report, even if it had the Stupak amendment.

    It is easier to be a madman when, like Stupak, expanding healthcare to almost everyone is at best a secondary concern.


    At this point (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:37:10 PM EST
    it doesn't enter the same universe as secondary concern because it's NOT extending healthcare to almost everyone, it's denying healthcare to the majority of U.S. citizens, even if you don't take into account undocumented immigrants, which I do.  And it's denying healthcare to a majority of U.S. citizens based on our gender.

    When people in Congress go to vote (none / 0) (#61)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:40:36 PM EST
    they don't get a "that's not good enough" button, though we all sometimes wish there were one.

    When they go to vote, they check (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by Inspector Gadget on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:05:35 AM EST
    their campaign funds to see where the money came from.

    According to a letter from one of my state Senators yesterday, over $1M a day is being handed out to the congressional representatives in an effort to craft the legislation their way if they can't stop it from going through. Sadly, their way of handling this travesty is to ask for donations so they can line the pockets of these same people to get them to do what's best for the people they represent.

    Our lawmakers are not trying to read our minds. They need to hear from their constituents. Specific expectations. Succinct and reasoned.


    Hm (none / 0) (#63)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:42:30 PM EST
    Maybe somebody should tell Kucinich that.  Because he seems to think otherwise.

    But, hey, remember:  it's not about them.  It's all about me this time.


    Kucinich has effectively (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:44:05 PM EST
    taken himself out of the conversation, because he seems to always vote no.

    Okey-dokey (none / 0) (#68)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:47:06 PM EST
    If only Kucinich had compromised!  THEN he'd be an effective Democrat!

    Again, no (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:49:59 PM EST
    Because he NEVER compromises, he has taken himself out of the discussion. There is a difference between being a hard get and an impossible get. Kind of like the Republicans these days.

    Except (5.00 / 7) (#75)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:53:41 PM EST
    it seems the Republicans are running the show.

    And, since we're far away from your original claim:  there certainly is a "not good enough" button.  But, when it comes attached to women's rights nobody seems to want to push it.

    I get it:  Stupak's line in the sand = good political bargaining and a deal you're happy with.

    Women's line in the sand = not understanding the value of compromise.


    Both yes and no can mean (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:59:55 PM EST
    "not good enough." But when you're willing to vote yes, you can negotiate for more. Take a look at all of the yes votes. Tell me seriously that you think the pro-choice Democratic women (who all voted yes) on final passage thought that  the bill was good enough.

    Stupak was in a better position to draw a line in the sand because he was willing to walk away from expanding coverage.


    This is the Dem MAJORITY we're talking about (5.00 / 12) (#109)
    by Ellie on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:35:10 PM EST
    ... that can't hang together for marquee legislation because of Stupak?

    For Stupak (Snowe or Lieberman) half the population has to suck !t? Really?


    I don't know what (none / 0) (#82)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:03:49 PM EST
    they thought. Who cares?  Again, me, it's all about me.  Not them and what they thought and what 11-dimensional chess looks like today.

    Shrug (none / 0) (#84)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:07:25 PM EST
    "It's all about me" also serves to end the discussion. There's really nothing else to say.

    Good (none / 0) (#101)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:22:10 PM EST
    I guess we're done.

    Incidentally, it's all just a shtick for him (none / 0) (#72)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:51:08 PM EST
    Did you know that he was not pro-choice until 2004, when he decided to run for President?

    Well, if it's (5.00 / 3) (#77)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:55:27 PM EST
    a schtick, then he's certainly living up to it.  Too bad there weren't a few more Dems willing to live up to the schtick.

    I'm familiar with Kucinich and his Polish Catholicism.  As I've said, I hardly need you to lecture me about what's "really" going on in politics.


    A purer individual (none / 0) (#85)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:09:05 PM EST
    would have nothing to do with him because of his previous record. But now because he is employing a strategy you approve of, you have compromised to make common cause with him.

    I don't hold that against you, but I think you're being inconsistent.


    Oh no (none / 0) (#89)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:11:35 PM EST
    I am impure.  Obviously I lose.

    Nose in the tent (5.00 / 11) (#18)
    by waldenpond on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:29:56 PM EST
    I thought the PO was a nose in the tent and the goal was to expand the reach of the public option?  I thought it was to the good if the shift was from employer based to a non-profit public option?  Now it's acceptable if the public option (supported by premiums without on effing federal or state money) bars treatment (because a member may have a subsidy?) The government will forcibly take money from it's citizens and then bar them from receiving care.

    Also note, the language is now 'life, rape and incest.'  'Health' has been removed.


    That is a much better argument (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:32:00 PM EST
    than anything I have heard so far. If your position is that the Stupak amendment destroys the public option, then you should oppose the bill.

    I am open to that reading.


    I oppose (5.00 / 10) (#32)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:05:20 PM EST
    the bill because it's another action destroying women's full equality in this country.

    I get that that doesn't matter to you.  I think we all get it.  Stop telling us what the "acceptable" reasons to oppose the bill are or are not.  That's not up to you, which is a point you don't seem to get.


    Full equality does not exist (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:12:05 PM EST
    for many of us. I do not believe that rejecting these reforms would do anything to correct that problem.

    Well (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:17:19 PM EST
    at least you're talking about what you believe rather than telling us what we should believe.  That's progress.

    I'm not worried about your equality (or alleged inequality) anymore.  I've got my own to worry about.  Just FYI.


    I don't know what you think you'll gain by (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:21:51 PM EST
    attacking me. But if it makes you feel any better, feel free.

    Oh (3.00 / 2) (#51)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:25:19 PM EST
    grow up.

    That's ironic, considering (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:26:56 PM EST
    what you just wrote. Whatever.

    Well, gee, maybe you should consider (5.00 / 6) (#45)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:18:42 PM EST
    it makes the equality issue worse. And women will die.

    I don't know if you've noticed, (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:24:26 PM EST
    but women are already dying. As for making the equality issue worse? That's a debatable point, and I do not agree that it does.

    In any case, I think the way to correct it is to elect better representatives. I am not optimistic about that.  


    Well, excuse me. (5.00 / 6) (#76)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:54:39 PM EST
    MORE women will die. Happy now?

    If you can't see how it will make things worse, perhaps you should get out more . . .


    For me (5.00 / 8) (#94)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:15:11 PM EST
    it's not so much that more women will die*, it's that women will die because we're women.  If we're going to continue dying, I insist we do it on a gender equal basis.  That's all.  It doesn't seem that radical to me.

    Women into combat, men denied health care coverage on an equal basis with women.  Seems fair.

    *Although, because the intended effect of the Stupak amendment seems to be force insurance plans to stop covering abortions, I think it's likely that more women will die.


    If you have a case to make (none / 0) (#81)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:01:11 PM EST
    that more women will die, make it. I've yet to hear it from anyone.

    You've yet to hear (5.00 / 5) (#93)
    by Spamlet on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:15:06 PM EST
    anyone make the case that more women will die? Maybe that says something about your hearing.

    But this

    If you have a case to make that more women will die, make it.

    is the kind of remark that usually elicits this answer: "Do your own damn research."

    As an alternative, you might consider just thinking the issue through, as you were invited to do upthread.


    It seems to me that if you're (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:21:39 PM EST
    going to argue that this is worse than nothing, you should actually make that case.

    It seems to me that if I were (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by Spamlet on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:26:36 PM EST
    going to argue that this is worse than nothing, I would have said so.

    You want somebody to "make the case" (5.00 / 8) (#111)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 12:12:58 AM EST
    that more women will die due to less public and private coverage of abortion procedures.

    Take a look at this real-life case (DK linked to it today):

    I learned that the baby I thought was nearly 12 weeks old had no heartbeat, and had actually died at 8 weeks. I was given three options: wait for a miscarriage to occur on its own, something I was told my body had no intention of doing anytime soon, take medication that would expel the fetus, passing it in my own home (classified a "chemical abortion") or come in for a D&C to remove the fetal materials.

    As much as I struggled with the sudden realization that the pregnancy was over, I also found myself trying to decide financially what I was willing to do. A chemical abortion would cost $40, but I would be alone, bleeding, and it could still be incomplete since my pregnancy was so advanced. Surgery would be quick, total, and under controlled circumstances, but would likely be our full maxed insurance amount of $1500.  And of course, there was the free option of waiting for my body to finally realize I wasn't pregnant, but after 4 weeks the risk of infection was steadily climbing, increasing my chances of future miscarriage, infertility, or even death...

    I chose the quick and total route of the D&C, despite the costs, prioritizing my health and the health of possible future children. I was lucky, and could afford to make that choice, because currently, my insurance cannot chose to refuse to cover what the hospital has termed an abortion.

    Thanks to the Stupak amendment, that can now change.

    Please note, that the abortion described above was an elective abortion; meaning that there were other medical and non-medical options and the choice of the D&C was not "medically" required" to save the life of the woman. If that's not grim enough, you won't have to wait long before we start seeing a whole lot worse.


    It is going to take (5.00 / 3) (#116)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:43:50 AM EST
    a lot more than somebody's say-so to persuade me that a D&C on a dead fetus meets either the legal or the insurance definition of an abortion.

    I empathize with the cited situation, naturally, having been there myself.  But I don't think it's an abortion.  And I'm baffled by the statement that "my insurance cannot choose to refuse to cover what the hospital has termed an abortion" - is there actually somewhere in the USA where insurance companies are legally required to cover abortions?  If that's the case, and the Stupak amendment changes that, I definitely want to see more detail.


    ok (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by hookfan on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 07:37:40 AM EST
    However, wouldn't the increased financial burden upon poor working women required by law to pay for a policy without coverage lead to greater limitations on already strained financial resources to obtain actual care for an abortion that was needed for other reasons like emotional health, deleterious impact on family resources or relationships, as well as impact on capacity to work?
       In other words, the increased financial burden, backed by the potential penalty of incarceration for nonpayment, will predictably lead to increased usage of unsafe but less expensive non-medically supervised methods. That really is a script for increased deaths.

    Evidently you've never worked in an ob-gyn office (5.00 / 4) (#129)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:13:39 AM EST
    When they screen you, yes, a miscarriage counts as an abortion. Any incomplete pregnancy that doesn't result in a live birth is labeled abortion.

    Well (none / 0) (#132)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:28:21 AM EST
    I didn't question the poster's statement that it's considered an abortion in medical terminology.  I'll quote myself:

    It is going to take a lot more than somebody's say-so to persuade me that a D&C on a dead fetus meets either the legal or the insurance definition of an abortion.

    But Stupak changes this (none / 0) (#143)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:23:43 AM EST
    This is based on very limited research, but I suspect the result is general: UHC classifies any termination of a pregnancy as an abortion.  That's insurance terminology, not just medical terminology.

    UHC distinguishes between "elective" and "therapeutic" abortions.  Under their guidelines, a therapeutic abortion is "a termination of pregnancy, performed when the pregnancy endangers the mother's health or when the fetus has a condition incompatible with normal life." Intrauterine death therefore qualifies as a therapeutic (and covered) abortion. As I read Stupak, UHC would have to change its definition of "therapeutic" in plans eligible for public subsidies. If the article Jeralyn quotes above is accurate, a therapeutic (covered) abortion would have to be defined as one where the mother's life is endangered or the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. Intrauterine death would seem not to qualify under that very strict standard.


    Show me (5.00 / 1) (#144)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:31:08 AM EST
    in the bill where it classifies a D&C as an abortion even if the fetus is not alive.  If that's what it says, that's what it says, but I just want to see it.  I couldn't find any definition of abortion in the Stupak amendment or the bill itself.

    OK, the bill does not explicitly define abortion (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:35:48 AM EST
    but insurance companies do, along the lines that I described above.

    I sure do not recall (5.00 / 2) (#146)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:48:35 AM EST
    writing a check for thousands of dollars when we had to undergo this very same procedure.  Again, someone is going to have to show me some actual policy language for me to buy this one.

    Oh, for pity's sake (5.00 / 3) (#152)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    Steve M, the course of your comments increasingly indicates that you are not very well informed on the subject of abortion, which compels you to keep shifting the focus of your critique.

    And now you're suggesting that the woman in the cited case (from Daily Kos) is fabricating about the cost of her abortion because you paid a lot less for the same one.

    Well, what type of abortion did you pay for, when did you pay for it, and where? Prices vary over time - and place (hospital or clinic); the cost also depends on the type of procedure which depends on the stage of gestation plus any other complicating factors.

    Did you pay for a Suction Aspiration procedure, performed during the first 6 to 12 weeks gestation. If so, that would cost less than a Dilation & Curettage (D&C), which is performed during the first 12 to 15 weeks gestation. A routine D&C would cost less than a D&C with complicating factors.

    * Note that the woman in the cited case was at 12 weeks gestation, carrying a fetus that at died in the 8th week.

    Is that the same as what you paid for?


    It was a D&C (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 01:51:05 PM EST
    at 20 weeks, after our ultrasound found no signs of life, and insurance paid for it.

    I honestly don't know what in blazes you're talking about.  I never suggested the woman lied about the cost of her procedure.  Hers was paid for by insurance, just like ours.  I have no idea how much ours cost.

    What I question - and have been consistently questioning for several comments now, despite your inaccurate statement that I am "shifting focus" - is the suggestion that an insurance policy which does not cover abortion would similarly fail to cover the cost of a D&C in the case of a miscarriage.  I don't believe that's accurate, no one has been able to quote me actual policy language saying so, and of course the woman you quoted has no personal knowledge one way or the other because her insurance DID pay for it.

    I think people are jumping to the conclusion that a D&C in the event of a miscarriage is treated the exact same way as the termination of an active pregnancy, and I want to see some kind of support for that conclusion before I accept it.  Telling me I don't know what I'm talking about is not a substitute for evidence.


    Where is this going and when will we get there? (5.00 / 4) (#155)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:34:50 PM EST
    Steve M, if you had no questions about the case I cited, I just don't understand why you started talking about check-writing.

    Moving on. You have my sympathies for the unfortunate "D&C" procedure you said your partner underwent at the 20th week: "after the ultrasound found no signs of life". That would be a considerably more complicated procedure than the above cited post-fetal death D&C, which was performed in the 12th week.

    It is my understanding that the kind of late-term procedure your partner underwent would have been a D&E, Dilation and Evacuation (link). You are fortunate to have accessed the procedure and to have it covered by your insurance. I imagine your experience led you to the following question:

    What I question is the suggestion that an insurance policy which does not cover abortion would similarly fail to cover the cost of a D&C in the case of a miscarriage. I don't believe that's accurate, no one has been able to quote me actual policy language saying so, and of course the woman you quoted has no personal knowledge one way or the other because her insurance DID pay for it.

    Steve there's no easy way to say this, the late-term procedure your partner had is the procedure that pro-lifers call a Partial Birth Abortion. It was federally banned in 2003. So, at this point in time, a woman can't legally obtain this procedure, let alone have it covered by insurance. I trust you find that as deeply disturbing as I do. And I trust it provides a definitive answer to your foregoing question. Again, my heart goes out to you and your partner for your loss.


    Clarification... (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Wed Nov 11, 2009 at 02:50:51 AM EST
    The so-called Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 does not ban D&E, Dilation and Extraction abortion, in cases where the fetus has already died in utero. However, as in this previously cited case, a woman may be obliged to exercise other options that are less costly,  more traumatic, and prone to further medical complications.

    As for the Stupak Amendment, it lumps all procedures together under the term "abortion". Evidently, no form of legal abortion is exempt. A D&E abortion, for the removal of a dead fetus, would be subject to the same funding prohibitions as any other abortion procedure where there is no immediate threat to the life of a woman.

    The Partial-Birth Abortion Act bans a specific abortion procedure: Dilation and Intact Extraction of a fetus that is still alive. Obviously, this procedure would be extraordinarily difficult to procure and would not be covered by any known form of health insurance.


    Stupak doesn't need to define abortion... (5.00 / 4) (#156)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 05:57:01 PM EST
    Steve M, you keep insisting that we can't come to certain conclusions about the Stupak Amendment because it doesn't define what an abortion is. However, there is a standing legal and medical definition of abortion. I would suggest that Stupak doesn't define "abortion" because a definition might inadvertently limit the scope of the broader definition - which is way broader than you know.

    You've opined that the term "abortion" cannot pertain to post-miscarriage procedures that are performed to remove the remains of a fetus that died in utero. But, it does pertain, absolutely and irrefutably. You are not entitled to your own facts. Even a miscarriage (after the 6th week) is defined as "spontaneous abortion":

    In medical contexts, the word "abortion" refers to any process by which a pregnancy ends with the death and removal or expulsion of the fetus, regardless of whether it is spontaneous or intentionally induced. Many women who have had miscarriages, however, object to the term [spontaneous] "abortion" in connection with their experience, as it is generally associated with induced abortions. In recent years there has been discussion in the medical community about avoiding the use of the term [spontaneous abortion]...[in reference to] "miscarriage".

    I don't share the sentiments of the latter statement. Medically speaking, a miscarriage is a spontaneous abortion and I refuse to see any shame in that.


    Exactly. (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:04:50 AM EST
    As much as I do not like this amendment, some of the rhetoric against it around here has completely lost sight of the fact that without the passage of the House health bill, millions of women will be left WITHOUT COVERAGE.  PERIOD.  How can you say then that more women will die if the bill is passed?....  Regardless of your position on the amendment.

    To oppose Stupak is good, to go as BTD says "Madman" is good.  But the case against this amendment isn't made by flaming away at andgarden or as "some" like to say at "some posters" who just happen to take up the front of the page.


    Try on this analogy for size... (5.00 / 3) (#154)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 02:00:17 PM EST
    Like the proposed legislation under discussion, the following analogy is imperfect, but for the sake of argument, let's say it's better than nothing.

    Now, imagine that we have a Caucasian President and an all-white, profoundly racist, Congress.

    If they proposed the current, so-called, health reform bill with the same restrictions on public and private coverage for treatment of, presumably, non-lethal cases of sickle cell anemia, would you support it?

    I wouldn't support that; no more than I support the current bill with the Stupak Amendment which restricts public and private coverage for the termination of any, presumably, non-lethal 'case' of pregnancy.

    Remember, I said this is an imperfect analogy, but it's only an analogy and nobody's going to die from it.


    Then you haven't paid attention to (5.00 / 5) (#126)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:06:13 AM EST
    places where birth control and access to reproductive procedures kill women every day.

    There was a time when more women died in childbirth then from anything else. It still happens in places in the world.

    Take a moment and ponder that.

    I'm not willing to compromise my daughter's reproductive rights so my sons can have health care. And guess what? They wouldn't ask her to do so to begin with. They have been taught that their needs don't take precedence on the back of someone elses. Even if I don't live in an ideal world I still can teach my children that doing the right thing matters.


    Your understanding of "the right thing" (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:12:35 AM EST
    seems utterly wrong to me. But since you appear to have broad agreement on that point here, I won't bother with this discussion anymore.

    The absurdity continues (5.00 / 3) (#131)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:18:33 AM EST
    how many posters here do you think are or were at one point legally married?  You know, enjoying a mostly exclusive, discriminatory privilege?  I guess that makes them disqualified from a discussion of equality.

    I have read lots of really good research and facts in these threads but god, the general sanctimoniousness is killing me.


    While you were tyoing (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:29:41 AM EST
    Another woman died somewhere of childbirth. One dies every minute according to the WHO. Ponder that for a moment. Will you be DYING as a result of the discrimination you experience? Because women will.

    The WHO outlines why


    But hey 15% DYING from a botched abortion is pretty low and maybe if we pass this we can get the numbers up to one woman DYING every 45 seconds.

    Oh and by the way, my family went out and stomped to defeat an amendment to the Virginia Constitution. It's a darn shame that SOME ofthose same people are so selfish they'd ask my beautiful daughter to give up her reproductive rights so that they could have health care. Yes, I said it SELFISH to ask women to play Russian Roulette with their lives.


    It is (5.00 / 2) (#136)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:46:49 AM EST
    so annoying that you assume someone who has something to say in disagreement is not a woman.  Because you're wrong.

    Also I had no idea that the House bill pre-Stupak amendment helped solve the problem of childbirth/pregnancy related deaths internationally.  That's a hell of a healthcare plan.  

    And since this thread is all about lobbing personal questions, I note you did not reference mine.


    in 1930 (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:05:29 AM EST
    2700 women weren't discriminated against because they were DEAD as a result of botched abortions.

    You all are right though 19 million unsafe abortions isn't nearly enough- we should go for broke and try for higher

    After all the UN and WHO couldn't possibly know what they are talking about when they blame all e deaths on access to family planning and reproductive services. Services like those should indeed be supplemental.



    sorry (none / 0) (#137)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:51:15 AM EST
    you did reference the question.

    How many people DIE as a result of being (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:54:08 AM EST
    deprived of the privilege of legal marriage.

    and how many people DIE (5.00 / 3) (#139)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:01:02 AM EST
    as a result of no health care bill being passed?

    If we're talking about net lives saved, we go with healthcare bill, regardless of Stupak.  


    I'm not willing to kill (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:07:06 AM EST
    one person to save 20. It's nice to know that you are willing to make women the sacrificial lamb though whether they like it or not.

    The inevitable implication of your argument (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:32:02 AM EST
    is that you would rather kill the 21. I find that to be an utterly unacceptable choice.

    The "sanctimoniousness on these threads" (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 10:58:14 PM EST
    won't kill you. We are much more likely to be killed by policy pursuant to Congressional sanctimoniousness.

    Your understanding of the right thing (none / 0) (#130)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:16:15 AM EST
    is what is whack. It's positivelyt disgusting to tell a whole entire gender they should go back to the day of ol' when childbirth killed them more then any other ailment simply so everyone of your gender can have health care.

    Seriously, who is saying that? (5.00 / 3) (#133)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:29:24 AM EST
    Where does it say at all that maternity stays, and coverage for complications arising from pregnancy won't be covered?  

    Let's harken back to the days of ol (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by cawaltz on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 08:38:15 AM EST

    It's great that you are suggesting that the hospitals will see women once their insides are protuding out but at that point it will be too late for many.

    In 1930 2700 women died from botched abortions and those were the ones where that was listed as the official cause.

    But hey as long as everyone else gets theirs who cares if a few women have to play Russian Roulette with thier lives right?


    The key point to your reply is (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by vicndabx on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 09:03:26 AM EST
    In 1930 2700 women died

    Seriously, is this happening today, in the US?  You point to all kind of WHO stuff that w/o even looking at is I'm sure referring to third-world and poor nations.

    Would you rather these "poor" women play Russian Roulette with Breast Cancer?  Or maybe Heart Disease?  I betcha if you asked a few, elective abortion is way down on the list of their priorities.

    To be clear, I don't support the public option.  I think there are other ways to get people covered.  I understand the feeling by some that they are limited by a gov't plan that doesn't cover every service they may need.  However, that applies to every one of us - we can all find something about a procedure we may need that's not covered.  That elective abortion was singled out for special wording is bothersome, but it is nonetheless the reality of the political climate. (Coincidentally, I'm not surprised political considerations w/regard to health benefits has become an issue, they happen all the time at the state level.)  It's not like an elective abortion can't be had, it's not like removing Stupak would make elective abortion more widely available.  Watching the debate take place over the last few days, it seems to me folks are really not seeing the forest for the trees.  


    Then please leave the Socratic Cave more often (5.00 / 8) (#112)
    by Ellie on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 12:13:12 AM EST
    And get up to speed on how political &/or "moral" meddling in a legal procedure is killing women, infants and young people.

    Reproductive rights and sexual health aren't just about abortion. This medieval regression for women condemns, by gender, women to suffer needlessly for having women's biology.


    Well, (none / 0) (#66)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:44:53 PM EST
    as long as the status quo doesn't change and women continue to die, it's all good. I mean, who cares if the die because they don't have regular old coverage or if they die because they don't have coverage for their ladybits.  Potayto, potahto.

    To quote one of my favorite movies:  "Continue dying."


    If I didn't care, why would I even bother? (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:48:46 PM EST
    I doubt many other people would put up with the personal attacks directed at me tonight.

    Please (3.50 / 2) (#78)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:57:04 PM EST
    if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.  I'm also not susceptible to the "everyody is picking on me" defense.

    Another ironic comment (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:05:11 PM EST
    Because you feel "picked on" by the House, you refuse to engage seriously on the merits of going forward. Instead, you blow a lot of smoke about how evil I am.

    Okay (none / 0) (#86)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:09:24 PM EST
    Carnac.  You've got me. Your mindreading skills are no match for me.  Objecting to women's inequality being more firmly entrenched in law = me feeling picked on.

    Revealing the gaping holes in your comments = me calling you evil.

    D*mn, you broke the code.  What will I do?


    I'm sorry, I forgot (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:13:25 PM EST
    Everything you write is iron clad and pure as snow. I guess when it's "all about [you]" that's a pretty easy story to maintain.

    Either I'm (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:18:20 PM EST
    impure for making "common cause" with Kucinich, or I'm pure as the driven snow for daring to draw a line in the sand and tell you your on the other side. Which is it?

    It's all about how you're holding yourself out (none / 0) (#102)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:23:41 PM EST
    v. what you are actually doing.

    I thought (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by Emma on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:28:15 PM EST
    we were done?  But, to be clear, I am engaging in the madwoman theory of political bargaining.  I don't understand -- it gets so many props when madmen do it.  Where's the jr. pundit love?

    Ego might apply (none / 0) (#91)
    by hookfan on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:14:36 PM EST
    But then again it might not. =) In fact both might equally apply, and neither be wrong. Peace. . .

    The "women are already dying" (4.28 / 7) (#73)
    by Cream City on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:51:32 PM EST
    argument didn't persuade you, either?

    Heck, men are dying already, too.  

    Actually, that argument is persuasive for not having health care reform at all.  People still will die.  So why try?

    There must be a term in the legal profession for what to call a lawyer who actually convinces a jury of the opposite of what he argues.  Well, a term other than a very bad lawyer. . . .


    I believe it would (5.00 / 12) (#88)
    by The Last Whimzy on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:11:04 PM EST
    The equality issue, fundamentally, must be regarded as an absolute.  Equality is not the bargaining chip you make it out to be.  If it was suggested the equality of any other group -- African Americans for instance -- were to be rolled back to get incremental gain on health care, we'd have never got within a thousand feet of the discussion.  The person making the suggestion, and anyone making "practical" arguments would be deemed racist.

    So it is fair to say that your refusal to unstand the absolute nature of an equality issue as it pertains to women might reflect badly on you.  No matter how much you've convinced yourself your position helps women, really.


    Actually, I think they should be equally toxic (none / 0) (#97)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:18:31 PM EST
    but the reality in Congress is that they are not. And now it's an amendment passed by the majority of the House. That's not a choice I made or would make, but it's reality.

    You can pose all sorts of similarly putrid hypotheticals for me that I would still probably vote for at the end of the day. I wish that the Supreme Court would say that this kind of discrimination is not OK, but in fact I have a fairly long list like that.


    Rejecting reform if reform include Stupak (5.00 / 6) (#104)
    by The Last Whimzy on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:27:28 PM EST
    Is how you go about making these unacceptable things equally toxic.  So if you think they should be, you would, if given a chance, vote accordingly.

    Majority Including Bad Dems (5.00 / 8) (#108)
    by sumac on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:34:29 PM EST
    The Democratic Party platform specifically reads:

    The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay, and we oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right.

    That some Dems voted for this putrid amendment makes them poor (I'll temper the adjective I want to use) Dems. That some here support those votes as an acceptable compromise...

    This is about equality. This is about sovereignty over one's body. This is about the Democratic Party actually standing up for what it claims to support.


    I take this comment (5.00 / 11) (#110)
    by Spamlet on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 11:47:14 PM EST
    to be an instance of the basic Boo-F^cking-Hoo Diversion maneuver.

    I assume that you are making a veiled reference to being gay.


    So here's a question for you. Have you ever heard of Blood Sisters, the volunteer organization made up of lesbians and other women who in the 1980s and 1990s not only donated blood to be used for transfusions for gay men with AIDS but who also cooked, cleaned, and provided all manner of support for men with AIDS? And who did this at a time when many gay men were themselves unwilling to get that close to other gay men with AIDS? Who did this partly because that was the case?

    How odd that I've never heard of a volunteer organization made up of gay men and other men who cook, clean, and perform errands for lesbians and other women who have, say, breast cancer. But maybe I just need to get out more.

    My point is this: you were fortunate to be born male in a world where, even in "advanced" societies like our own, women are systematically taught to think of others and, very often, to put other people's needs first. The fact that women often do this to their detriment is not your fault, but your apparent failure to grasp how much you benefit from this state of affairs--a failure manifest in your thinking and your tone on this thread--is your responsibility.


    So it's . . . (5.00 / 4) (#23)
    by nycstray on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 09:41:27 PM EST
    "the Pen*s Public Option"?

    No, it's the Peni$ Public Option ;-) (5.00 / 10) (#55)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:30:30 PM EST
    As I remarked at the time... (5.00 / 11) (#49)
    by lambert on Mon Nov 09, 2009 at 10:23:37 PM EST
    ... what if the camel turns out to be a weasel?

    Dude, the "camel" is worse than a garden (none / 0) (#158)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Tue Nov 10, 2009 at 11:09:08 PM EST
    variety weasel. It's a GD wolverine:
    The wolverine is the largest land-dwelling species of the weasel family in the genus Gulo (Latin: "glutton"). It is a stocky and muscular carnivore, more closely resembling a small bear...The wolverine has a reputation for ferocity and strength out of proportion to its size, with the documented ability to kill prey many times its size.