Saturday, 21 November 2009

Obama's Stall on Stupak Betrays His Duplicity

I thought the Stupak Amendment deserved a post for itself. This bill, introduced by pro-life Democrats, attempted to exclude most (though by no means all) abortion coverage from the health care bill of the US House of Representatives. I am not betting that it will get past the Senate, especially since President Obama is seeking to roll it back - this despite the fact that all polls show that the American people were overwhelmingly in favour of the amendment . He even has the gall to claim that it violates the status quo on abortion - which it does, but in the opposite direction of what he claims: since the status quo is that no federal money whatsoever goes to abortion (at least not inside the US), by allowing federal insurance to cover abortions in case of rape and incest it will in fact expand federal funding for abortions infinitely. But even this is not enough for the President, whose rhetoric about seeking 'common ground' on abortion rings more hollow by the minute.

His assertion that the amendment "restricts women's insurance choices" is a red herring since he is putting up a system that will create federally-sponsored health insurance ex nihilo; even if they do not cover abortions, they still will expand insurance coverage to many people who have never had it, so where is the restriction? Ah, unless of course he is betting on a great number of people who now have private insurance trading it for the public option - something left-wing legislators are hoping will eventually lead to a single-payer European-style system, a system which Obama has previously supported but now publicly claims he is not working for.

Either way, it just goes to show that the man can't be trusted. No more than your average politician, anyway. This is a guy who calls himself a 'Democrat' but doesn't care what the majority of the population wants or does not want.

(Actually, the amendment part aside, it was remarkable that the bill could get through the House at all since 72% of the US public opposed it in its current form. Not surprisingly, since the Speaker wanted to hide from them what was in the bill before it was voted on - even breaking a clear promise to publish it.)

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