Obama said, “I see the polls. … I catch the occasional blog poster, cable clip that breathlessly declares what something means for a political party, without really talking about what it means for a country. But I also know what happens once we get this done, once we sign this … bill into law: The American people will suddenly learn that this bill does things they like and doesn’t do things people have been trying to say it does. The worst fears will prove groundless.”
Groundless? When nothing managed by this administration has accomplished anything that could be honestly determined as successful, I don’t think it is groundless that as the passage of time rightly allows for better understanding of what Senator Harry Reid hastily scribbled as pork & bribes into his “manager’s amendment” that became the Senate version of health care “reform” we find more and more reason to be very afraid.
Another report has been released about federal funding for abortion in the Senate bill. And clever bastards that they are, it was assumed no one would notice or, if they did, they wouldn’t really understand how such a thing would be allowed, smoked over by the ineffective language included to help buy Senator Ben Nelson’s 60th vote. It is yet more damning evidence that this entire effort cannot be allowed to be birthed behind closed doors nor in such insane haste.
Buried deep in the 383-page Manager’s Amendment was new language making a direct appropriation of funds for Community Health Centers or CHCs (which are also called Federally Qualified Health Centers, or FQHCs), totaling $7 billion ($7,000,000,000) over five years. (See Sec. 10503 on page 2355 of the Senate-passed bill, H.R. 3590.) Because this is a direct appropriation in the health care bill itself, these funds will not flow through the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. Therefore, these funds would not be covered by the Hyde Amendment, which is a limitation provision that has been attached to the annual HHS appropriations bill in past years. Nor is there any other language in the Senate-passed bill that would prevent the use of the new funds to pay for abortions performed at Community Health Centers. (Note: Section 1303 of the bill contains certain language pertaining to abortion, but that language applies only to a proposed program of tax credits and cost sharing for health insurance for low-income individuals; it has no bearing at all on Section 10503, the CHC section.)
Also, there is no restriction in the current laws authorizing CHCs that restricts these centers from performing abortions. [See 42 U.S.C. 254b and Section 330 of the Public Health Services Act.]
CHCs can only use these so-called “Section 330 funds” for purposes within the scope of their grants, but one can assume that grant applications that included (for example) “reproductive
services” would not be deemed objectionable under the Obama Administration, and abortions could be subsumed under various other classifications as well.
This is not a merely hypothetical concern. There is already an organized effort underway by the Reproductive Health Access Project to encourage Community Health Centers to perform abortions, “as an integrated part of primary health care.” For evidence, see “Frequently Asked Questions About Integrating Abortion into Community Health Centers, Potential Obstacles and Possible Solutions” at http://www.reproductiveaccess.org/getting_started/faq.htm
Indeed, the Reproductive Health Access Project and the Abortion Access Project have produced an “administrative billing guide” to help CHCs integrate abortion into their practices within the confines of existing federal and state restrictions. See “Administrative Billing Guide for Medical Abortion at Facilities that Receive Title X, Section 330, and other Federal Funding,” at http://www.reproductiveaccess.org/med_ab/downloads/Admin_Billing_Guide.pdf.
I wonder if anyone in Nancy’s Nuthouse who supported the Stupak amendment will do the hypocritical Blue Dog roll over and swallow this one whole if those Democrat closed-door reconciliation meetings don’t pull it out?