Pro-life activists have opposed the current heatlh care bills in part because they would seem to leave the determination of what might be in a basic benefits package, for a public plan, up to the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
To pro-lifers, this is proof that these bills all-but guarantee that abortion is covered. After all, the President and the current HHS Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, are both pro-choice. Maybe there are even some pro-choicers who privately believe the same thing.
I just want to point out, to both sides, that this cuts both ways.
A warning to prochoicers: If you write a bill that basically leaves it up to the Secretary of HHS to determine whether abortion is a basic benefit, then it’s likely that the President Palin could — through executive order, not legislation — reverse the decision.
A warning to prolifers: if you insist that the power be taken out of the Secretary’s hand, and codified in law, the decision will be made by Congress. That might seem like a good idea now that you have a pro-choice president but may not seem like such a good idea when a pro-life President finds himself or herself unable to influence the benefits package.