Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


The Capps Amendment and the Pitts Amendment on Abortion & Health Care (Complete Text)

posted by swaldman

The House Energy and Commerce Committee wrestling with health care last night narrowly approved one measure (“The Capps Amendment”) claiming to be neutral on abortion — but which opponents claimed was slanted toward the pro-choice side. Then they narrowly voted for a different amendment (“The Pitts Amendment”) claiming to be neutral — but which a different set of opponents claimed was slanted in a pro-life direction.
And, then, to make things more complicated, they then changed their minds and narrowly voted down that last maybe-neutral-maybe-not amendment.
So, both sides claim to want the health care legislation to preserve the status quo and yet they don’t agree on what that means.
Mark Silk admirably attempts to sort through these public funding issues here.
For the true afficionados, here’s the text of the two controversial amendments:


AMENDMENT TO THE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE TO H.R. 3200
OFFERED BY MR. PITTS OF PENNSYLVANIA, MR. STUPAK OF MICHIGAN, AND MR. BLUNT OF MISSOURI

At an appropriate place in division A, insert the following:
Sec.___ LIMITATION ON ABORTION FUNDING.
No funds authorized under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) may be used to pay for any abortion or to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion, except in the case where a woman suffers from aphysical disorder, phsyical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition cuased by or arising from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest.
(He offered another amendment the day before, which was also narrowly defeated)
1 SEC. . LIMITATION ON ABORTION MANDATES.
No provision of this Act (or an amendment made by this Act) shall impose, or shall be construed to impose, any requirement for coverage of abortion, or access to abortion, or to authorize or permit the recommendation for, or imposition of, any such requirement by or through the Health Benefits Advisory Committee, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Health Choices Commissioner, or any other government or quasi-government entity, except in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising’ from the pregnancy itself, or unless the pregnancy is the result of an act of forcible rape or incest.
AMENDMENT TO THE AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE TO H.R. 3200
OFFERED BY M. CAPPS

In section 122(b), strike “The items and services”
and insert “Subject to subsection (d), the items and services”
.
Add at the end of section 122 the following new subsection:
(d) ABORTION COVERAGE PROHIBITED AS PART OF MINIMUM BENEFITS PACKAGE.-
(1) PROHIBITION OF REQUIRED COVERAGE.-
The Health Benefits Advisory Committee may not recommend under section 123 (b) and the Secretary may not adopt in standards under section 124(b), the services described in paragraph (4)(A) or (4) (B) as part of the essential benefits package and the Commissioner may not require such services for qualified health benefits plans to participate in the Health Insurance Exchange.
(2) VOLUNTARY CHOICE OF COVERAGE BY PLAN.-In the case of a qualified health benefits plan, the plan is not required (or prohibited) under this Act from providing coverage of services described in paragraph (4) (A) or (4)(B) and the,QHBP offering entity shall determine whether such coverage is provided.
(3) COVERAGE UNDER PUBLIC HEAILTH INSURANCE OPTION.-The public health insurance option shall provide coverage for services described in paragraph (4)(B). Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option
from providing for or prohibiting coverage of services described in paragraph (4) (A).
(4) ABORTION SERVICES.-
(A) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS PROIDBITED.-The services described in this subparagraph are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is not permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved.
(B) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED.-The services described in this subparagraph are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved.
In section 123(b)(4)(A) , insert after “cost sharing” the following: “consistent with subsection (d) of such section”.
In section 124(b)(3), insert “(including subsection(d))” after “sections 122″.
Add at the end of section 203 the following:
5 (e) RULES REGARDING COVERAGE OF AND AFFORDABILITY CREDITS FOR SPECIFIED SERVICES.-
(1) ASSURED AVAILABILITY OF VARIED COVERAGE THROUGH THE HEAIjTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE.-The Commissioner shall assure· that, of the Exchange participating health benefits plan offered in each premium rating area of the Health Insurance Exchange-
(A) there is at least one such plan that provides coverage of services described in sub-
paragraphs (A) and (B) of section 122(d)(4); and (B) there is at least one such plan that
does not provide coverage of services describedin section 122(d)(4)(A) which plan may also be one that does not provide coverage of services described in section 122(d)(4) (B) .
(2) SEGREGATION OF FUNDS.-If a qualified health benefits plan provides coverage of services described in section 122(d)(4)(A), the plan shall provide assurances satisfactory to the Commissioner that-
(A) any affordability credits provided under subtitle C of title II are not used for purposes
of paying for such services; and
(B) only premium amounts attributable to the actuarial value described in section 113(b)
are used for such purpose.
In section 113, redesignate subsection (b) as sub-section (c) and insert after subsection (a) the following new subsection:
(b) ACTUARIAI-l VAI-lUE OF OPTIONAI-l SERVICE CovERAGE.-
(1) IN GENERAL.-The Commissioner shall estimate the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on an average actuarial basis, for including coverage under a basic plan of the services described in section 122(d)(4)(A).
(2) CONSIDERATIONS.-In making such estimate the Commissioner-
(A) .may take into account the impact on overall costs of the inclusion of such coverage,
but may not take into account any cost reduction estimated to result from such services, including prenatal care, delivery, or postnatal care;
(B) shall estimate such costs as if such coverage were included for the entire population
covered; and
(C) may not estimate such a cost at less than $1 per enrollee, per month.
Add at the end of section 204 the following new subsection:
(d) No DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF PROVISION OF ABORTION.
-No Exchange participating health benefits plan may discriminate against any individual health care provider or health care facility because of its willingness or unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
In section 241(c), add at the end the following new paragraph:
(3) PROHIBITION OF USE OF PUBLIC FUNDS FOR ABORTION COVERAGE.-An affordability credit may not be used for payment for services described in section 122(d)(4)(A).
Insert at the appropriate place (in the matter immediately preceding division A) the following section:
SEC. 2. APPLICATION OF STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS REGARDING ABORTION.
(a) No PREEMPTION OF STATE LAWS REGARDING ABoRTION.-Nothing in this Act shall be construed to preempt or otherwise have any effect on State laws regarding the prohibition of (or requirement of) coverage, funding, or procedural requirements on abortions, including parental notification or consent for the performance of an abortion on a minor.
(b) No EFFECT ON FEDERAl. LAws REGARDING ABORTION.-
(1) IN GENERAl-l.-Nothing in this Act shall be construed to have any effect on Federal laws regarding
(A) conscience protection;
(B) willingness or refusal to provide abortion; and
(C) discrimination on the basis of the willingness or refusal to provide, pay for, cover, or refer for abortion or to provide or participate in training to provide abortion.
3 (c) No EFFECT ON FEDERAL CIVIL RIGHTS LAW.-
Nothing in this section shall alter the rights and obligations of employees and employers under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Add at the end of title IX of division B the following:
SEC. 1906. APPLICATION OF EMERGENCY SERVICES LAWS.
Nothing in this Act shall be construed to relieve any health care provider from providing emergency services as required by State or Federal law, including section 1867 of the Social Security Act (popularly known as “EMTALA”).



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NoWorseThanUsual

posted July 31, 2009 at 2:38 pm


There is lot of evidence that “preserving the status quo” is not at all what the pro-choice side is after here.
It goes back to when Barack Obama appeared before the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2007, and said, “Well, look, in my mind reproductive care is essential care, basic care so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose . . . insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care . . . that’s going to be absolutely vital.”
Then there was a document, “Advancing Reproductive Rights and Health in a New Administration” that was sent to the Obama Transition Team not long after the election, which the Transition posted on the Internet. It said about health care reform, “Comprehensive benefits must include access to the full range of reproductive health services, including contraception, maternity care, and abortion care.” That paper was signed by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and 60 or so other pro-choice groups.
Then in April the president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, went on National Public Radio and said that the health care reform bill would provide a “platform” to extend access to abortion to “all women and families.”
Next, the National Abortion Federation (a trade association of abortion providers) put out a position paper that said, “NAF supports health care reform as a way to increase access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care, for all women.” The president of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Rev. Carlton W. Veazey, sent out an e-mail promoting the legislation, in which he said, “Let there be no mistake, basic healthcare includes abortion services.” And a few weeks ago, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Nancy Keenan said, “If, indeed, we can advance a panel or commission, then I am very optimistic about reproductive health care being part of this entire package.”
Judging from the websites that reflect the viewpoints of these pro-choice organizations, they see the adoption of the second amendment shown above, by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Ca.), as a big win for what they are trying to do. Certainly Capps has a solid record on their side of the issue, and the Capps amendment was supported by all of the strong pro-choice members of the committee. Seen in this context, I suspect its intended effects are far removed from status-quo preservation.



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Katie Angel

posted July 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm


Why should the status quo be preserved? There are a lot of things that were (and are) included in the federal budget that I don’t support and do not want to pay for – but I don’t get to pick and choose what services/programs I will pay for and which I won’t. The right to end a pregnancy is currently the law of the land and should not be based on whether it can be afforded. My prayer is that we can reduce the number of abortions to where they are rare but that is not going to happen by messing with the law. It is going to happen by changing the society we live in – and the first thing we must do is stop treating an unwanted pregnancy as punishment for having sex. Both sides of this debate are so busy trying to destroy the other that neither side has actually DONE anything. The poor should have the same basic health care that the well off have – and that includes access to reproductive health – most of which is contraception and education. We should be working to improve the health care of all our citizens – that is what this whole overhaul is supposed to be about.



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Richard Clark

posted July 31, 2009 at 9:49 pm


Why is Steven Waldman so obessed with the abortion issue??? My tax money went to support the Iraq War, which I opposed, so I wish these right-to-lifers would take a hike.



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churchmouse

posted August 1, 2009 at 2:16 am


“Why is Steven Waldman so obessed with the abortion issue??? My tax money went to support the Iraq War, which I opposed, so I wish these right-to-lifers would take a hike.”
Well I am NOT GONNA TAKE A HIKE. Abortion is murder. I refuse to sit back and watch pro-aborts kick the unborn to the curb, who think it’s a womans god given right to murder a defenseless child in the womb. It is my right as an American to express my views and to peacefully act on them, and I am going to do it.
How does protecting the United States compare with murdering babies?



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Richard Clark

posted August 1, 2009 at 9:17 am


Hey churchmouse, I hope your concern for the fetus inside the womb, extended to the born babies outside the womb, who were killed by Bush’s bombings in Iraq. But I kind of doubt it.



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Elm

posted August 1, 2009 at 11:51 am


Richard Clark: “babies outside the womb, who were killed by Bush’s bombings in Iraq”
The Killing of Children is never the intent of the bombings. If killing these children by colateral damage is wrong , how much more evil is the direct killing of children in the act of abortion. It is akin to a police officer persuing a killer and his bullet richocets into the body of a child, or a police officer holding a gun to the child’s head and pulling the trigger, although that is much more humane than pulling the child apart limb by limb.
The only intent of abortion is to kill the child. What disease does abortion cure?



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Michael

posted August 1, 2009 at 2:52 pm


What always seems to be missing in these conversations is that elections have consequences and politics does have meaning. In 2008, the people elected a president and the party that believes that reproductive choice is a civil right and that denying those choices represents an oppression on women. So, yes, they are going to support abortion under health care options because, well, it is a legal option and part of a woman’s choices when dealing with her health and reproductive lives.
Democrats came to power–and have existed over the last 35 years–because of the hard work of women and others who believe in civil rights for women. Feminism and civil liberties is one of the three legs that keeps the Democrat’s stool standing up.
So now we have a proposal that has very little to do with abortion. The question is whether the cause of providing universal health care should be held hostage by pro-life people who (a) lost the election and (b) seem unintersted in the goal of universal health care.



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churchmouse

posted August 2, 2009 at 1:50 pm


Let me put it another way. In 2008, the people elected a president and the party that believes a woman has the right to kill and that killing a child in the womb is a civil right. They support like Obama even partial birth abortion. Obamas voting record shows he to be the most liberal in Washington on this issue.
“Democrats came to power–and have existed over the last 35 years–because of the hard work of women and others who believe in civil rights for women. Feminism and civil liberties is one of the three legs that keeps the Democrat’s stool standing up.”
Yes, and that hard work by pro-choicers and the justices on the SC that made Roe law, have blood on their hands. How much? Since Roe, abortion has taken the lives of at least 50 million Americans.
They are the party that underminds parental authority. They are the party that voted against the fetal protection act. Oh compassionate party alright.
The way I see it…….we all lost in America and time will show Obama to be the fraud that he is. No one came into office with less experience and more baggage. His popularity is decreasing polls show.
“So now we have a proposal that has very little to do with abortion. The question is whether the cause of providing universal health care should be held hostage by pro-life people who (a) lost the election and (b) seem unintersted in the goal of universal health care.”
Our Constitution does not say anything about affording everyone free health care….free anything for that matter.
The fact is that Obamas Health care proposal will……force doctors to perform abortions. There are huge loopholes in this plan. The elderly and chronically ill could be the first to face rationing and increased denial of care. Businesses will have to fork over more money for each employee, which will result in lower profits and higher unemployment. According to the HSLDA, even parental rights are threatened if this government takeover of health care proceeds. Long waits for treatments, fewer choices, more government interference, higher taxes and higher health care costs — does that sound like the kind of health reform you want?
Congress’ so-called “public plan” threatens to raise your taxes, bankrupt the country and force millions of Americans out of their current employer-based coverage – and it does nothing to control rising health care costs. Plans like Obamas are already failing patients in Canada and the UK.
It’s time to expose the tremendous costs and consequences of government-run health care.
You want to start to fix our health care system……SEND ILLEGALS HOME. Illegal Immigrants Account for $10.7 Billion of Nation’s Health Care Costs. Double talk is what this administration is giving us. Pelosi said that the new health care reform does not include illegals. Then she turns around and says in CNN’s State of the Union that law requires they be treated. If they aren’t here there would be no one to treat.
“The cost of treating illegal aliens amounts to nearly $11 billion a year, according to calculations done by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a non-profit group that opposes illegal immigration.
According to the CIS study, illegals accounted for 13.1 percent of all federal costs of covering the uninsured in 2004, an estimated $2.2 billion per year. Seventeen percent of households headed by an illegal immigrant were using Medicaid, accounting for 1.7 percent of all Medicaid recipients.”
http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=51751
House Democrats are working their arses off in closed door sessions to try to get this passed America. One of them said that they (Democrats) would even work into their vacations (awe.. their trips to the Hamptons will be delayed)if need be.



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Joe

posted August 15, 2009 at 7:00 am


Michael said: “What always seems to be missing in these conversations is that elections have consequences and politics does have meaning. In 2008, the people elected a president and the party that believes that reproductive choice is a civil right and that denying those choices represents an oppression on women.” and “Democrats came to power–and have existed over the last 35 years–because of the hard work of women and others who believe in civil rights for women.”
Since Roe v Wade 50,000,000 American children have died due to elective abortions. 25,000,000 female children have been killed. So much for leftist “…civil rights for women.”



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