Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow


Health Care Speech and the Truth About Abortion Coverage

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I don’t know which polls you are looking at, but it appears that there was a double digit growth in support of the President’s basic approach after he spoke to the joint session of Congress.  He also told the truth about what the healthcare plan–at least as it is moving through the House of Representatives–doesn’t cover.  It doesn’t have the federal government funding any types of abortions not already funded by Medicaid under the so-called “Hyde amendment”.

Jay, it seems absolutely clear that an amendment by Congresswoman Lois Capps of California is a brilliantly conceived resolution of the whole matter.  Unfortunately, it has been villified by many on the Right and simply misunderstood by the generally responsible group Factcheck.org.

 

Let’s take this piece by piece.  If there is a “public option” in the final bill, the Capps language makes it clear that federal funds can only be used to provide abortions involving rape, incest or the life of the mother.  It then says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services may allow for other abortions to be covered but only by privately acquired funds.  Those funds might be paid by an individual or by an employer, and will be segregated from federal funds.  This kind of accounting occurs routinely in government programs.

But, what about those “affordability credits” that might be used to help pay for the “public” or any available private insurance plan?  The Capps amendment makes it clear that any elective abortions cannot be counted against the premium subsidies these credits represent.  Those abortions must be paid for privately with an abortion-specific premium add on (what some call an “abortion surcharge”.)  Only by the most bizarre stretch of the imagination could one argue that these specific payments somehow constitute “federal funding” of abortion.

The Capps amendment even includes a provision guaranteeing that at least one plan in any selection of public and/or private insurers must  provide no abortion coverage.  This led the Los Angeles Times to editorialize earlier this week that the bill actually provides “a degree of choice that abortion opponents may not have today.”

If I were a member of Congress (don’t worry, I’m not running), I don’t think I could vote for a healthcare bill that didn’t cover comprehensive reproductive health care. However, I do understand that people of goodwill might decide to fight that battle another day.  Congresswoman Capps’ creative compromise deserves respect, not the opprobrium of the Right.

 



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Your Name

posted September 10, 2009 at 7:01 pm


Lynn- nice try on the double digit increase ~ CNN themselves say that it is likely a skewed poling as most of the people poled were demarcates… (Did you read that before you posted it?) Ms Capp’s letter was well written but a bit sarcastic; though I suppose she was on the defense… My concerns here with this whole proposal, is why do any of these political agenda issues need to be part of the reforming of our health care system? Were we not told that “they” were going to offer “us” the SAME program that “they” have available to them? So this proposal has the very same verbiage as what the congresses health coverage has? Truly America’s health care is no place for ANY of these “hot ticket” items, be it abortion, euthanasia, or amnesty… And until the majority of the American people come to a place that these ARE issues we want to support, then and ONLY then should they addressed into our health care plans… The Congress and this President DO NOT (REPEAT) DO NOT have the right to FORCE these issues/mandates upon the American people in the pretence of health care reform… what they are purposing here is a “HOSTILE” liberal political take over – forcing American’s to choose between moral judgments and health care for themselves and loved ones… I want to see the verbiage of the medical coverage plan that the Congress is receiving now and put it side by side to what they are purposing for “us” I want to see them come through with what they “promises” – not this bogus pile of rhetoric



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N. Lindzee Lindholm

posted September 10, 2009 at 7:20 pm


Any way you look at it, the Capps Amendment still provides for public funding of abortion coverage, even though it is more limited. As Your Name suggests, the hot-button topics and issues should not be covered in the plan, plain and simple (cf my previous post).



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Douglas Johnson

posted September 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm


The claim that a federal agency would be paying for a service with “private funds” is beyond misleading — it is absurd on its face. The public plan would be an arm of the federal Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), part of the federal Executive Branch. Once the agency collects “premiums” from enrollees, they would be as much “federal funds” and “public funds” as any funds collected by the IRS.
Under the Capps Amendment, abortion providers would send their bills to DHHS and receive payment checks drawn on a federal Treasury account. It is perplexing that so many in the news media are being duped into adopting the untenable pretext that a federal agency would be expending “private funds.” In reality, this would be direct federal government funding of elective abortion.
I wonder if Mr. Lynn believes that other federal agencies also have the ability to expend Treasury funds on various projects and declare those funds to be “private” expenditures. Does he believe the CIA and the Pentagon have that capacity, for example?
Aside from the public plan, H.R. 3200 and the Capps Amendment explicitly authorize the proposed premium subsidies to go to private insurance plans that cover elective abortions — which is something that would not be permitted under any of the existing federal health programs (for federal employees, military, Medicaid, etc.). These subsidies would be federal funds that would flow directly from the federal Treasury to the insurers. Regardless of how the books are kept, when the government pays for insurance, the government pays for what the insurance pays for.
On September 7, the National Right to Life Committee issued a detailed memorandum demonstrating all of the funds that the “public option” would expend for elective abortions are “federal funds” and “public funds” as those terms are defined in law and as they are used throughout the government. The memorandum also demonstrates that all of the funds in the premium-subsidy program would be federal government funds. The memorandum cites documents from the CBO, GAO, Congressional Research Service, and other authoritative sources. It is here: http://www.nrlc.org/AHC/NRLCmemoFederalFundsnotPrivateFunds.html
Douglas Johnson
Legislative Director
National Right to Life Committee



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Marie K. Heydt

posted September 10, 2009 at 8:02 pm


No woman should die or become seriously ill for lack of an abortion.
After a “60 Minutes” report in the spring of 2005 — a doctor had to drive a patient 80 miles to a hospital where she could get care — my mother told me the doctor who nearly killed her was Catholic. She was distressed to be told she had partially reabsorbed the fetus (it died).



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Barry Lynn

posted September 10, 2009 at 9:46 pm


CNN indicated in its first announcement that it had “oversampled” Democrats. This often happens–and may have occurred with previous polling on “support” for the Obama plan. My point to Jay is that I’ve seen no data to suggest that the President’s speech didn’t go over well or change minds.
And to Jay–and Doug Johnson–are school vouchers direct payments from the government to religious schools? After all, the private religious school just “cashes in” the voucher and the government pays them. Right?



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Michael Liddy

posted September 11, 2009 at 12:16 am


It would be nice if the President and Rev. Lynn would be honest. The President is making it appear as if he is not changing abortion policy, when in reality he is engineering a huge overall.
Fact – Section B of the Hyde Amendment since President Clinton has prohibited federal funds from being used for the purchase of private plans that cover abortion. 60% of Medicaid participants are now on private managed care plans.
Fact – House Bill 3200 mandates that federal funds be used to purchase insurance policies that cover abortion. Rev. Lynn makes mention about a plan to carve out a piece of the policy that covers abortion and pay for that out of premiums – even if that is how its done, we are still paying for the rest of the policy. That is currently against the Hyde Amendment and federal policy. Let’s be upfront and honest. This is a huge overall of abortion policy in the United States.



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Mary-Lee

posted September 11, 2009 at 3:43 pm


I find this entire argument completely unbelievable. That anyone would want to derail the bills that offer every citizen access quality health care simply because the plans include the right of every woman to access abortion is just silly.
Why don’t you anti-choicers start your own health care insurance company? I’d imagine it would be quite successful serving the small percentage of the total U.S. population that actually has a problem with abortions.
The rest of us… also known as the majority… have no problem funding abortion.
Who knows? The time may come when we need an abortion ourselves, or our daughters or wives need an abortion. The so-called Christians are really backing themselves into a corner on this one. Let’s not let them get away with this nonsense.



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DSJulian

posted September 11, 2009 at 3:46 pm


There is no bill before the President for his signature yet. Why are we arguing against provisions in a bill that doesn’t exist yet?



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Your Name

posted September 11, 2009 at 10:51 pm


They tried to pass this bill before July 31. Before anyone had even read it. That’s what they did with the stimulus bill. Does anyone think it is a good idea to pass a bill without even reading it? Meanwhile, there is a crisis in this country that is being ignored. Each month for nearly a year now, over half a million jobs are lost. This is not just a statistic, this is half a million families going into crisis each month. There are no new jobs for these people so the numbers accumulate. These families use up their savings, if they have any, and then their retirement in an effort to keep their homes, but in the end, they lose them. What happens to them after that? I say let’s put health care on hold until we have a safety net for these people, so that they aren’t kicked out into the street. That should be priority one. Our government has bailed out the big corporations, but has ignored working Americans. All the new programs should wait until the economy recovers. Maybe in the meantime everyone can study these bills and maybe then we’ll know what is or isn’t in them.



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D. Edward Farrar

posted September 12, 2009 at 6:47 pm


This is a bit of an aside, but there seemed to be some confusion over CNN saying they “oversampled” Democrats on their first poll following Obama’s recent speech. I am wondering how the word “oversample” was actually used in this situation.
It might seem a bit arcane, but every profession has its lingo, and many years ago when I used to be one of the callers doing public opinion research for the Harris Poll we used the word “oversample” to describe a targeted poll used to make up for some imbalance in the original poll. One example: I worked on one poll about race relations in which the it was quite important that the final poll results represented the correct balance of black, white, Asian, etc. respondents as one would find in the US according to the most current census data. At the end of two weeks we found we had the necessary number of responses for a valid poll, but our ethnic breakdown would be skewed unless we had 14 more black respondents. So we did an “oversample” to make up that difference.
It was not easy, by the way. The “oversample” had to meet the same rigorous standards as the rest of poll. The same questions had to be asked, and all the numbers called had to be random and distributed across the entire country – if there was even one black dairy farmer in Minnehaha County, South Dakota, there had to be an equal chance of him or her being polled as a black respondent in any other part of the country. As a result, the “oversample” took nearly as long as the original poll, making call after call, and beginning by asking people which ethnic group they considered themselves to be a member of. If they answered anything other than “black” you had to say ‘thank you for your time’ (all two minutes of it) and move on to the next random phone number. More than one of us, after hours of calling without a result, wished that we could simply pull numbers from a Detroit telephone directory, but that was not how Harris operated. And in the end, I did find myself completing all the questions with a black woman ranch owner in rural Nevada, so I guess I can testify that it was valid concern – people who do not fit preconceived stereotypes are definitely out there!
Still, if CNN says they “oversampled” Democrats – and if they were speaking the same lingo as Harris taught us back in the 80s – then they may just mean their first tally over-represented Republicans and/or Independents, and they needed to make a few more calls to get the balance right. It may speak more to the accuracy of the final result than suggest that it was flawed.



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Your Name

posted September 13, 2009 at 11:00 pm


Are you saying because a murder is legal through abortion that it is somehow more beneficial for that the women?
C



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Your Name

posted September 13, 2009 at 11:12 pm


Women=matured fetus



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Boris

posted September 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm


Creationist=un-evolved human (Creationopithecus Alabamas)



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Your Name

posted September 15, 2009 at 2:59 pm


That is the thing Boris, humen beings were created. Too complex to be derived from some bit of material that evolved from nothing. How did the nothing become the something, Boris?
Could it be that just maybe the bit of material that existed was derived from a higher source than yourself to be able to think in such a manner as to write a blog with a computer which goes around the globe to comunicate?
Do you think that just maybe that the light refracted in your eye was put there so you can see the page?
Rediculous question, if I don’t say myself. Too the notion of the ape become us, well the half breeds aren’t around, so that solves that one.
Humans are still humans, regardless of what they do to them in a laboratory. So there you have it, we were evolved from God.
Cara



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Your Name

posted September 15, 2009 at 3:01 pm


Creation is just that, created.



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Your Name

posted September 15, 2009 at 3:10 pm


Headaches cause spelling errors.
So I would prefer to stick to the fact that these living beings need to be protected from people who don’t care if they are murdered.
Note A,
CARA



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DSJulian

posted September 15, 2009 at 4:16 pm


Whatever YOUR NAME is: “They tried to pass this bill before July 31. Before anyone had even read it.”
What bill? Several committees in the House and Senate were supposed to make proposals. As of today, the Senate Finance Committee has yet to present even that proposal. After the proposals come out of committee they are debated on the floor of the House and Senate. Then the House and Senate submit their proposals to a joint committee who attempts to draft the legislation. Then each house votes on it. If the vote is favorable, then it is presented to the President to sign.
The only thing that has tried to pass so far is the fallacious idea that a relative handful of birthers, deathers, anti-choice zealots, and gun nuts represent a majority of Americans.



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Your Name

posted September 15, 2009 at 11:24 pm


save the people
Law A,
Cara



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Mary-Lee

posted September 18, 2009 at 8:03 pm


That is the thing Boris, humen beings were created. Too complex to be derived from some bit of material that evolved from nothing. How did the nothing become the something, Boris?
Cara, just because we don’t know all the answers doesn’t mean we will never know those answers. I imagine the people living in 1900 thought they were pretty smart. But we have learned so much in the ensuing years, and 100 years from now they will know more still.
Try a little humility. No one knows everything there is to know. It is the search for knowledge that makes life interesting and fun.



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Mary-Lee

posted September 18, 2009 at 8:04 pm


That is the thing Boris, humen beings were created. Too complex to be derived from some bit of material that evolved from nothing. How did the nothing become the something, Boris?
Cara, just because we don’t know all the answers doesn’t mean we will never know those answers. I imagine the people living in 1900 thought they were pretty smart. But we have learned so much in the ensuing years, and 100 years from now they will know more still.
Try a little humility. No one knows everything there is to know. It is the search for knowledge that makes life interesting and fun.



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Your Name

posted September 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm


Ow there you go again, putting me down because I stick up with a strong stance for what is right and wrong. Remember what you judge others for is about yourself. You must have some sort of self-esteem problem, if you find that because I stick up for humen life an non humility issue. Try sticking to judgeing yourself in the mirror. Your barking up the wrong tree.
Love the people and I notice when others are feeling threatenned or want to make themselves appear more important they put you down. That would include your little arrogent comment about myself. Who said I was not humble? Just because I am upset that others including yourself seem to put others down!!
I am a Christian. I must be blessed, seeing how you put me down.
Cara Floyd



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Your Name

posted September 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm


Babies are humble. That is my point Mary-Lee. This is not about me.
They don’t need to be more humble, they come out innocent.
Cara



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Boris

posted September 20, 2009 at 11:54 am


Babies are humble. That is my point Mary-Lee. This is not about me.
They don’t need to be more humble, they come out innocent.
Boris says: Wrong Cara. You should read the Bible instead of thumping it all day and trying to tell the rest of us what it says. Your Bible says all babies are born in sin and are sinners as soon as they are born. Your evil and false religion criminalizes the entire human race even new born babies. So take you Christian crapola and stick it up….



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