10.31.2009 0

Editorial: Stupak Amendment or No, The Real Issue is the Public Option

  • On: 11/16/2009 09:24:35
  • In: Health Care
  • On Saturday, November 7th Nancy Pelosi secured the votes she needed to pass ObamaCare by allowing the controversial Stupak Amendment—which made it illegal for taxpayer-subsidized insurance plans to cover abortions—to be included in the bill.

    More than 30 House Democrats had signed a letter stating they would not vote for the bill if it contained even a cent of federal funding for abortions. In the end, more than 60 members voted to strip the funding from the bill.

    Unfortunately, when the Stupak Amendment passed, it provided enough political cover for vulnerable Democrats, many of whom are running in districts with strong pro-life constituencies—to then vote for the overall bill.

    Given the success of the tactic, the Senate now appears poised to try the maneuver again as debate unfolds there. This leaves Senate Republicans and fiscal hawks like Senator Joe Lieberman with a daunting challenge.

    To prevent Senate passage of the bill, they must effectively communicate to their colleagues—and the American people—that the Stupak Amendment is not the issue. Because even with the Stupak Amendment, this is still a bad bill. A very bad bill.

    It still is a government health care takeover that will dismantle the finest health care system on the face of the Earth. It still opens the door for a single payer system. It still rations care away from seniors. It still would increase health premiums. It still would put bureaucrats between doctors and patients. It still would break the public treasury and leave taxpayers with a deepening debt that can never be paid.

    Most Americans oppose this legislation, which Americans for Limited Government estimates will cost more than $2.1 trillion over ten years once fully implemented. According to Rasmussen Reports, 52 percent of voters want their representatives to vote “no.”

    In order to overcome “public option” proponents, opponents of ObamaCare must be wary of political maneuvers that make it easier to pass this abomination. There is too much at stake.

    That is not to say that pro-life Senators should not move to strip out abortion funding. But the Senate majority should not be allowed to use that maneuver to provide cover for the bill’s final passage. Their Senate colleagues—and their constituents—must hold their feet to the fire to hold the line on a successful filibuster. The point is to kill the bill, not just a single provision.

    If government dismantles America’s health care system, it’s not just the lives of the unborn at stake. It’s the lives of the young and old, as well.


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