Roundup: Sen. Nelson Still Wants His Way on Health Care Bill


This morning it seems if Senator Ben Nelson doesn’t
get his way on the issue of abortion coverage in the final health care reform
bill he might sandbag the whole effort.

While Senator Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., was first seen
as the Democrats’ biggest obstacle, news reports today put him closer to being
mollified
by a "compromise" bill that does not include either a public
option, or a trigger, or a Medicare buy-in.

Sen. Joseph I.
Lieberman (I-Conn.), once a critic of the legislation, appeared to be warming
to the $848 billion package after Senate leaders said they were ready to
jettison a plan to extend Medicare coverage to uninsured people as young as 55,
an idea Lieberman denounced over the weekend. He said Tuesday that he expects
to support the bill if that provision is dropped.

That potentially leaves the senator from
Nebraska as the sole remaining Democrat who has threatened to join the
Republican filibuster against the final passage of the health care reform bill.
His main objection is the rejected attempt to ensure that any
health insurance purchased in the newly created "exchanges" would not cover
abortion services.

That would leave Sen.
Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) as the only known holdout among the 60 lawmakers who caucus
with Democrats. Senate leaders and White House officials were working hard
Tuesday to convert the former Nebraska insurance commissioner, who has said he
will not support the measure unless it bars the use of public money for
abortion.

Meanwhile Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who
supported Sen. Nelson’s failed amendment, seems to be signaling he may stand
with the Democratic majority against a Republican filibuster, even if the final
bill does not include the Nelson-Hatch amendment. Or at least, unlike Nelson,
he’s not yet threatening
to join the filibuster
unless he gets his way.

Casey’s office has
released a statement noting that the senator voted for the Nelson amendment and
that he is continuing to work on the issue with Democratic leaders.

"Senator Casey has
been an outspoken advocate for passing health insurance reform to provide
quality coverage for tens of millions of Americans by increasing access to care
and providing more security and stability for Americans worried about paying
health care bills or losing coverage if they lose their job," the
statement read.

"He also believes
that this bill presents a unique opportunity to provide new and critical
support for pregnant women. Too many women face pregnancy frightened and alone.
No woman should have to walk that road alone. That is why he has introduced two
amendments to help ensure that pregnant women have additional support and
assistance to properly care for herself and her child. He believes there is bipartisan
agreement for providing this kind of affirmative assistance to pregnant
women."

In other news the Pew Internet
& American Life Project
released a study that found 1 in 6 teens report
have received a sexually suggestive, nude or nearly nude picture via cell phone,
a phenomenon otherwise known as "sexting."

The 800-person survey,
released Tuesday by the nonprofit research group, found 15 percent of
cell-phone-owning teens ages 12 to 17 had received nude or nearly nude photos
by phone. Four percent of the teens said they had sent out sexually explicit photos
or videos of themselves.

Older teens were more
likely to send sexual images through text messages than younger teens. Four
percent of 12-year-olds reported sending sexually suggestive images by text
message, while 8 percent of 17-year-olds reported texting nude or partially
nude photos.

The act of teens sending or receiving sexual-explicit
pictures by other teens has been causing many states to consider modify child
pornography laws, which otherwise can have states prosecuting teenagers for
child pornography. However the Virginia State Crime Commission refused Tuesday to recommend
legislation concerning sexting
.

This year, lawmakers in
at least 11 states introduced legislation aimed at sexting. Six states passed
laws, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Mini-international roundup: India is considering
changing its adoption rules to allow women
to adopt
if they are living separately from their spouse (but not
divorced). The Gates Foundation is giving $22.9
million
to increase contraceptive use in Kenya.

Bonus item: A woman
writes a letter-to-the-editor on the emotional pain of giving birth to an anencephalic
baby
, in an era before ultrasounds.

12/16

Pro-choice vs.
pro-life: No end in sight
Sioux City Journal

Obama
Has Only 59 Votes for Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill as He Meets
Democrats
LifeNews.com

Lowden’s
evolving views on abortion
Las Vegas Sun

 

12/15

Copenhagen
Agreement = Population control
Auburn Journal

Political
failings and embryo case
Irish Times

Adoption
norms may become easier for women
Times of India

Pro-Life
Activists Warn Senators Casey and Nelson …
Christian News Wire

Pro-life
attorney stymied in attempt to practice his profession
OneNewsNow

Pro-Life
Action League Goes Christmas Caroling at Chicago-Area Abortion Facilities
Christian News Wire

Texas
Governor Hopeful Kay Bailey Hutchison Under Fire for Missing Pro-Life
Vote
LifeNews.com

The
Catholic case against health-care reform
Catholic Culture

Permissive
Abortion
Laws May Be Hazardous To Mothers’ Health
Catholic Exchange

Are
Pro-Abortion-Rights
Catholic Groups Fake?
U.S. News & World Report

The
Health Battles That Won’t Die: Lieberman, Taxes, Abortion

Politics Daily

Obama,
Democrats Threaten Ben Nelson to Back Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
LifeNews.com

Abortion
report out-dated – Northland Health

Radio New Zealand

Abortion
remains issue in health care debate

USA Today

District
of Columbia Officials Ready to Pay for Abortions Once Obama Signs Bill
LifeNews.com

Today’s
odds and ends on health care
msnbc.com

Baltimore-based
health organization to improve contraceptive use in Kenya
Baltimore Sun

Milwaukee
Archbishop: You Can’t Call Yourself Catholic and Support Contraception
Lifesite

Should
sale of emergency contraceptives be restricted?
Daily News & Analysis

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  • maguire

    There are so many aspects of this plan that the politicians keep overlooking though. The medical industry is wrought with overspending and has gone for too long without any regulation or oversight. Insurance premiums have gone up 138% for a reason and it isn’t simply corporate greed.
    Private insurance companies are a part of the problem, yes. When regarding health, private insurance never should have been allowed to be profitable business in the first place. For-profit insurance means requires a need to make money and inevitably that is going to affect the quality of the insurance that people are getting from the company. Companies don’t want to spend money on an individual so they will take whatever measures necessary to ensure they don’t have to. But the medical industry has been profiting all along as well. Procedural costs, visits, even x-rays cost varying amounts state to state, city to city and practitioners are being bounced around by pharmaceutical companies to try and make money while waiting a year or more for the insurance companies to pay up.
    This may be why the US was ranked #37 according to the World Health Organization. http://www.ourblook.com/component/option,com_sectionex/Itemid,200076/id,8/view,category/#catid107
    Either health care needs to become a single unit in which there are no privatized barriers, which we may have lost since the rejection of the public option by the Senate, or we find a way to actually bring health care back to a fair free market based standing. The entire industry is wrought with greed from every angle, physicians hiking costs, pharmaceutical companies giving incentives for pushing their products, lobbyists for insurance company interests, and lobbyists for pharmaceutical interests. Where do we draw the line? Health care has had nothing to do with actual care for well beyond two decades.