Fair. Balanced. American.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Commonweal endorses health care reform

And makes an important point regarding abortion:
Many of the bill’s most prominent critics are lobbyists, and for the purposes of lobbying, a plausible falsehood is often as useful as the truth. But crying wolf is always a dangerous game. If prolife groups raise false alarms to bully politicians and scare up donations, they risk being ignored when a real threat arises. Some of the same groups that are now loudly predicting disaster if health-care reform passes warned that the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) was sure to be passed and signed into law if Barack Obama was elected president. People remember these predictions, and eventually they stop paying attention. If the Senate bill does not pass, conservative lobbying groups, most of which are opposed to reform for other reasons, and the bishops conference, which supports reform in theory, will bear some responsibility for it.

If one wants to claim that no politician who’s really opposed to abortion can support the Senate bill, it’s not enough to show that the bill’s provisions are inferior to the House’s Stupak Amendment; one must also argue that the Senate bill is inferior to the status quo. The government is already subsidizing group plans that cover elective abortion by means of tax breaks for businesses that offer them. Millions of Americans must now choose between accepting such a plan and going without good health insurance; the only other option, a decent individual plan, is now just too expensive for them. The Senate bill would give such people the wherewithal to buy insurance that doesn’t cover elective abortion, which means that, in addition to its many other benefits, it would save millions of Americans from having to choose between their conscience and their health.

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