Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak has been making news with his proposal to block federal subsidies from going to any private insurance plans covering abortion. A law in place since 1976 prevents federal money from funding abortion. The health care reform bill currently under review does not contain the explicit prohibitions Stupak is looking for.
It seems to me subsidizing a plan covering abortion would be acceptable under current law, as federal money would not be directly funding abortion. A woman covered under a subsidized private insurance plan could, if she chose, terminate her pregnancy. The federal money pays for insurance, not the procedure itself.
Another point, how involved should the government be in dictating what a private insurer can and cannot cover? I’m not saying the government should stay out of what private insurers cover. If subsidies are paid to insurance companies, they should provide good policies. Since I do not trust the companies to do so, the government may have to step in to ensure the companies do. However, I am much more concerned about insurers not covering a procedure or condition than about covering one.
Stupak is a Democrat, but his conservative abortion views remind me of one of Rush Limbaugh’s arguments against the auto bailout — the government is going to tell the auto companies what kind of cars to build, when the auto companies know best. How different is it when the government tells insurance companies what not to cover. This discussion could ramble for pages, so I’ll leave it at that.
In other news the College Democrats of Wisconsin, with all their wisdom, praised President Obama’s signing of a hate crime bill covering gays and lesbians calling it “the first step toward equal civil rights for the LGBT community.” I’ve said it before, but this only serves to continue the perception that gay people are different, thats why we can’t let them get married.
I’ve heard (and said) that the motivation for a crime shouldn’t matter when determining the punishment. Then I realized our judicial system determines the degree of a murder charge based on intent (essentially motivation). I still think the hate crime law is a step backward for gay rights, but now I need to sharpen my argument. Thoughts?