Center for Ethics and Leadership

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It Must Be Good. It Has Upset Left, Right, and Center.

A bill for health care reform has passed the House of Representatives. The most surprising turn of events was Speaker Pelosi's agreement to remove federal funding for abortion from the House version. Three newspapers, the liberal New York Times, the conservative Wall Street Journal, and the centrist Philadelphia Inquirer, all complained about it for different reasons.

The Times was incensed about the eleventh-hour agreement between Pelosi and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to exclude federal funding for abortion altogether from the bill. It editorialized that the action of the USCCB led to the rejection of a compromise that would prevent federal funds for paying for abortion. The USCCB has argued precisely the opposite and claimed that the proposed compromise would have been a mere dodge. (As I write this blog, I still don't quite understand the financing differences.) The Times continues to argue that a woman has a right to abortion services, as does the left. As I wrote three weeks ago, that a woman has a right to have an abortion (current law) does not mean that she has a claim on the government to pay for the procedure. The Times also rejected the idea of independent riders on insurance policies and argued that no one would buy them since "nobody plans to have an unplanned pregnancy." The logical circle (planning the unplanned) notwithstanding, no one plans on getting sick, period.

The Journal ranted along the far right's talking points and argued that this was part "of temporary liberal majorities that are intent on fulfilling their dreams of a cradle-to-grave entitlement state." I wondered when the once-noble Journal began sounding like Fox News and then looked at the masthead and was reminded that Rupert Murdoch, owner of Fox, has purchased the paper. Shame on you, Rupert. You are ruining one of America's great journalistic voices.

The Inquirer rejected the bill on the grounds that it will be too costly, especially for small business and the middle class. Interestingly, freshman Democratic representative John Adler from Philadelphia's New Jersey suburbs, voted against the bill on the same grounds. Adler, however, won a seat that had been Republican for more than a quarter-century, and the governor's seat has just switched parties. Costs come in many forms, not the least of which are the drag that current costs place in hidden ways on the economy.

So there they are, complaints from left, right, and center. Perhaps some political sausage is best made when it does not satisfy any constituency completely.


  • I cannot say that i am a supporter of "Roe vs. Wade" but it has alreay been passed. Now the issue at hand is to have insurance coverage for this procedure. I am obviously against insurance coverage seeing that I am not a supporter of the procedure to begin with.The exception in this case is those pregnancies that are a result of rape or molestation. And should there be coverage for them? Should these victims have to pay for something that has already destroyed them to their core? However, those who have "unplanned" pregnancies should pay or should learn the value of abstinence.

    By Anonymous "Who I Am", At November 12, 2009 7:45 PM  

  • The fact that there is something that everyone is unhappy about does not make it 'good'. I am not comfortable with limiting abortion to non-government plan holders only. There is more value in investing in birth control than in the ramifications of a generation of youth growing up in poverty. I do have to agree that that fact that one has a right to something does not imply that the public has an obligation to pay for it, but I guess that is the crux of the argument behind health care reform to start with.

    By Blogger kobe2, At November 16, 2009 7:36 AM  

  • Some "Christian" nation we are - basic (define that) health care is a right - not plastic surgery, or even heart transplants. Basic care means that every person can get a yearly check-up, dentist visit, pap smear, and flu shots. It also means that, maybe every 2-3 years, men can see a urologist and woman can have a mammogram. It means that you can get your vision checked and be seen by a psychiatrist - we have that right. It means the poor shouldn't suffer because of their lack of means and the rich can pay out of pocket if they want something else. We mandate car insurance - are our bodies less important?

    By Blogger Steve Ohnsman, At November 20, 2009 6:56 AM  

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