Thursday, March 04, 2010

Stupakked. Again?

Bart is trying to stop the reconciliation because the Senate proposal doesn't extend the Hyde Amendment to private money. He views everything else as public funding for abortions.

Remember that the Hyde Amendment allows federal funding for abortions only in the cases where the pregnancy is due to rape or incest or when the woman's life is endangered. If the woman's health is endangered, tough shit.

But at least the Hyde Amendment doesn't apply to private funding. The Stupak amendment does:

The Michigan Democrat was the author of the Stupak Amendment which became part of the House bill after a vote of 240-194. The amendment limits access to reproductive services, including abortion, for people who receive federal subsidies or who purchase health insurance in the marketplace through exchanges.

If this bothers you you might want to take Atrios' advice.

How can Stupak argue that the use of someone's own funds for abortions is the same as public funding? Here is the answer:

Money in Stupak's world is "fungible," or interchangeable, meaning whatever money the government gives you frees up private money for you to use on something else. So every dollar the government pays toward your health insurance premium allows you and the insurer to spend private funds in that plan that you might not otherwise have had on abortion. To Stupak, that subsidization is the equivalent of a direct payment.

But by that token, every government benefit a woman receives, whether monetary or in-kind, whether for healthcare or for something else, could be seen as subsidizing an abortion if she has one.

And so on...