>Stupak Stupidity

>You know, I thought conservatives–Blue Dog Democrat and Republican alike–were against government interference in private enterprise.

Or a government bureaucrat coming between doctor and patient.

Yet it seems that is exactly what they are doing by jumping on board the Stupak bandwagon:

Sixty-four Democrats voted for Stupak’s amendment, without which the House healthcare bill would not have won final passage in a 220-215 vote.

Stupak’s language not only prohibits abortion coverage in the public insurance option included in the House bill. It would also prevent private plans from offering coverage for abortion services if they accept people who are receiving government subsidies.

Gosh, where’s the free hand of the market when you need it? I wonder if the Tea Partiers are concerned about this gross government intrusion into private enterprise? Aw, who am I kidding!

You know, I love it when my lady parts are turned into a political football. It makes me feel so very special. So much like … gosh, what is the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah: chattel. Frankly, I’m a little creeped out Congressman Stupak is even thinking about my lady parts in a bill that does so much more to overhaul health insurance. It’s a little pervy.

Yes, this royally pisses me off. But you know, a reality check, people. Being a woman has been a pre-existing condition since, you know, forever. As I pointed out when I wrote about this last month, gender rating is widespread in health insurance markets (that’s where women pay more than men for identical plans). So, you know, what’s a little inequality among friends? We’ve only been allowed to vote for, what, 90-something years? Surely you didn’t think you’d have equal access to health services by now, too?

Here’s the thing. Abortion is still legal. Try as they might, the anti’s have yet to outlaw it, and they probably never will. We won that battle.

All they’ve got left are rather empty gestures like the Stupak Amendment, which applies to insurance coverage of abortion–something which, according to the Guttmacher Institute, only paid for 13% of abortions (or thereabouts) in 2001. And Stupak also only applies to insurance plans on the exchange, which itself affects a small percentage of people.

So, this all looks like a lot of hoo-hah over an amendment that would affect a relatively small number of women. Unfortunately, those women are the poor, the ones who need reproductive choice the most. Yes, it sucks. But since when does Congress care about the poor, anyway? Is anyone really surprised?

Take heart. If Stupak becomes law, you can still buy an insurance plan that covers abortion services. You just can’t be poor, or receive government assistance. And those more well-off can always pay for their abortions themselves, without a health insurance plan.

I’m trying to see how much has changed. Abortion services available for the well off, but not the poor. How is this different from what we have now? From what we’ve ever had?

Make no mistake: they’ve done a really shitty thing to women, treating us like second class citizens who aren’t entitled to the same health insurance options as penis-Americans. Am I pissed off? Yes.

But abortion is still legal. We can still get low-income women the reproductive health services they need in other ways. Start by donating to NARAL or Planned Parenthood, if you are able.

Is the Stupak Amendment worth scuttling healthcare reform over? I don’t think so. But it has been a tremendous reality check. It has shown us who within the Democratic Party thinks it’s their business to decide what insurance plans should be available to women.

Got that? Good. Now use that information.

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