While the public is waiting for Nebraska Senator Ben
Nelson to decide if he is going to fall in with the Democrats’ proposal for
healthcare reform, Harry Reid has threatened to make
everyone stay till Christmas to finish the bill.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
shared in the outrage. "They want to run it through before
Christmas!" he marveled.
McCain was getting more worked up.
"We will see jammed-through-on-Christmas Eve legislation that will have
the most far-reaching effects and devastating effects," he judged.
Left out of this protest was any
acknowledgment of why the Democrats were ramming and rushing and jamming the
bill through on a holiday: Republicans had made it impossible to do anything
earlier. On Wednesday, the entire chamber came to a standstill for three hours
while Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) forced the clerks to read aloud legislative
gobbledygook about "subparagraph (D)(ii)" and "section
1861(ff)(2)(E)" and "standards described in section 1902(a)(31)(A) of
such act (as so in effect)."
As of Thursday
Sen. Nelson still
wasn’t happy with any proposed compromises on the issue of abortion
coverage in the final bill.
Nelson said the
Democratic leadership has "added some important things," including
more funding to combat teen-age pregnancy and an increased tax credit for
low-income families to adopt children. He says there has been a "lot of
improvement on the legislation, but the basic question on the funding of
abortion has not been fully answered yet."
However abortion isn’t the only issue that Nelson is
out for either.
centrist on Wednesday outlined concerns with a disability insurance program
that the bill would create, cuts in Medicare payments to home health care
providers and nursing homes, and unspecified tax increases. In addition, he
expressed concerns that the bill would underpay some Medicare providers while
not doing enough to contain long-term health care costs."
Sarah Kliff reminds
everyone that legislative "compromise" proposals about abortion rarely
This year, Congress considered three "compromise" bills
dealing with abortion issues: Casey’s Pregnant Women
Support Act, the Prevention First Act
and the Reducing
the Need for Abortion and Supporting Parents Act. They had an awful lot in
common: all aimed to reduce the number of abortions in the United States. Their
sponsors often talked about things like "common ground" and "compromise." All
three of these bills had been introduced repeatedly in previous sessions of
Congress. And none has ever come out of committee.
In Other News
Pro-choice advocates are going to court today to
challenge an Oklahoman law that, if upheld, would post
private information about women seeking abortions on the internet.
survey in Oklahoma’s new abortion law includes some of the following questions:
Would having a baby dramatically change a woman’s life, or interfere with her
job or education? Is she unemployed, or unsure of a relationship with the
Bonus item: The rate of foreign
adoptions by Americans fell
December 18, 2009
vote hinges on abortion
caught in middle of fight over abortion in health bill Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
dropped in attack over abortion case Allentown Morning Call
letter: Amendment won’t stop abortions
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
politics of mayhem, mischief, and murder RenewAmerica
reproductive medicine Press & Sun-Bulletin
unplanned pregnancy The
Sikh Times, UK
overlooked solution in Copenhagen: family planning Minnesota Public Radio
December 17, 2009
lawmakers vote to ease abortion law The Associated Press
to Senate: We’re Waiting. . . . New York Times
pleads not guilty in anti-abortion assault Wisconsin State Journal
senator rejects abortion compromise The Associated Press
Republicans vow to delay health-care vote Washington Post
Debate Shows the Catholic Bishops’ Growing Influence U.S. News & World Report
have a right to the truth on abortion Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Matters and the Nevada GOP Contest to Unseat Reid [Jack Fowler] National Review Online
race to win one more vote for health bill San Jose Mercury News
approves condom handouts Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
in demand for morning-after pill Irish Times
court OKs dozens of adoptions
Americans fall in FY 2009 The Associated Press
clinic provides family planning services for low-income patrons Lincoln Journal Star