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Bishops Don't Like Health Care Bill

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A recent Yahoo news story said that an official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops maintained that Senator Harry Reid’s health care bill is the worst he’s seen on the issue of abortion.
The bishops had a strong hand in getting the anti-abortion language adopted by the House, which in turn forced Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to accept restrictions that angered liberals as the price for passing the Democratic health care bill. Reid is met with a similar choice. According to Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar, writer of this yahoo news story, Reid needs the votes of Democratic senators who oppose abortion in order to get his bill through the Senate.

Alonso- Zaldivar wrote, “So far, Reid has steered the Senate bill in a direction that abortion supporters can live with: allowing coverage for abortion in federally subsidized health care plans, provided that beneficiaries’ own premiums are used to pay for the procedure.” People who oppose a woman’s right to choose whether or not she should have an abortion are saying that Reid’s compromise would gut current federal restrictions on abortion funding.

Nancy Pelosi is praising Reid’s efforts to seek out a compromise on the issue of abortion.

President Obama has said that he wants the bill to remain neutral on abortion.

Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops’ conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, not only said that this “is actually the worst bill we’ve seen so far on the life issues,” but he called the bill “completely unacceptable” and added, “to say this reflects current law is ridiculous.”

Under the bill, abortion coverage would not be included as a medical benefit. But it would allow a new government insurance plan to cover abortions, and it would allow private insurers that receive federal subsidies to offer plans that include abortion coverage.

The money to pay for abortions would come from the people who pay the premiums, and not from the government. Funds from the government could only be used to pay for abortions in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother; this is known as the Hyde amendment. Opponents maintain that Reid’s bill circumvents.

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