Play It Again, Sam…Obama-care Still Funds Abortion
By Matt Smith
President Obama campaigned on working with both sides of the aisle to achieve “progress” for America. He played into Americans’ growing frustration at Washington grid-lock, making promises he has not kept. Many members of the minority party have consistently been denied access to the one-sided, one-political party work on health care legislation while it has been fumbled by the President’s own party. Then, a year into office, President Obama issued this call during his State of the Union:
“… if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. Let me know. Let me know. I’m eager to see it.”
The bold State of the Union dare was followed by publicly inviting members of Congress down to a health care summit being held this week.
One of the first mistakes President Obama made was leaving the crafting of the health care legislation solely to Congress. This signature domestic policy issue of President Obama spent the majority of 2009 mired in a lack of direction, focus, and attempts to make the legislation a vehicle for radical social change. Normally, when the White House has a policy priority it is communicated, both officially and unofficially, with the Congress what they want in the legislation, taking a leadership position in negotiations.
At the beginning of 2010, Catholic Advocate called on President Obama to start over on health care reform. The premise for our call was the White House endorsement of the Christmas Eve Senate language which all will remember included the pro-abortion Senator Ben Nelson Nebraska-compromise. Now, 13 months into office the President has finally chosen to lead by advancing his own 11-page health care proposal. Unfortunately, the “new proposal,” deliberately released prior to the supposed “bi-partisan” health care summit, is just a repackaging of the previously passed Senate version.
Recycling bad policy is not leadership. Maintaining the Senate language is unacceptable to the non-negotiable teachings of the Catholic Church on the sanctity of human life.
President Obama declared eight times during his campaign for the presidency that he would open negotiations on health care reform for all Americans to watch on C-SPAN. C-SPAN’s CEO Brian Lamb even sent a letter to the President asking him to open any negotiations to cameras. Once again, 13 months later, the President is finally implementing a promise…well sort of. But, like a bad reality show, Thursday’s summit will just be staged political theater. Except, in this situation no one will be receiving any roses, and the only thing that should be voted off the island is the persistence of bad policy.
By introducing this proposal in advance of the summit he is hosting to listen to members of Congress, the President has essentially told them he is not open to new ideas, just the same flawed policies from last year.
What specifically should concern American Catholics?
The Senate legislation does not include the Stupak-Pitts language. The approach, endorsed by the White House on February 22, 2010, allows subsidies for abortion coverage and even directly funds abortion through grants to community health centers. National Right to Life pointed out that by increasing funding for community health centers to $11 billion without ensuring funds cannot be used to pay for abortion, the President’s proposal actually expands abortion, with more money than the previous version included. Additional concerns, including conscience protection issues and back door abortion mandates, also remain within the President’s proposal to the same extent as they existed in the Senate bill.
A famous quote of candidate Obama included:
”You can put lipstick on a pig. It’s still a pig.
“You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It’s still gonna stink.
“We’ve had enough of the same old thing.”
In this situation, I could not agree with you more, Mr. President. Let us pray members of Congress involved with supporting the Stupak-Pitts amendment in the House have the courage to speak up later this week when the cameras are finally rolling.