The next battle in the congressional war over health care may be fought over abortion. Currently, Republicans and about 30 Democrats are trying to block federal funding for insurance policies that cover the procedure. Here are the initial reactions to the legislative wrangling:
- Foolish to Subsidize with Federal Money, writes The Atlantic's Megan McArdle. Though personally pro-choice, McArdle says, "You cannot use public money to subsidize an activity that half the public thinks is something akin to murder. Even if Democrats win this battle, the minute the Republicans get control, they'll just undo it."
- But Taxpayers Already Subsidize Abortion, insists Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic: "Remember, the single largest tax subsidy in health care today is the tax break for employer-sponsored insurance. If you have insurance through your job, then you're getting government assistance just as surely as if Washington wrote you a check. And if your policy happens to cover abortion services...then the taxpayers are helping to subsidize it."
- A Bill Written by Unsympathetic Men, writes Taylor Marsh: "Male senators, led by Democrats, are leading the fight against allowing abortion access to middle income and poor women, because they have an aversion to allowing public funds to be used for women's health issues like abortion...The head Blue Dog of them all, Barack Obama, is pandering to these men, allowing this argument to pick up steam."
- But Even Dems Don't Like Subsidies, writes Dan McLaughlin at conservative Red State: "It's not just the Republicans balking. Democrats like Bob Casey, who claim to be pro-life while supporting only Supreme Court Justices they believe will uphold Roe v Wade, are finding the pro-abortion extremism of the health care bills too much to swallow... Unless it includes a solid prohibition, a vote for the health care bill is a vote for federal taxpayer money subsidizing abortion."