Ben Nelson

Make No Mistake: Abortion Coverage IS IN The Government Run Health Care Bill

Courtesy of our friends at the Family Research Council, below are eight documented facts about the inclusion of abortion funding or mandates in the so-called health care "reform" bill. You can click here, as well, to get them in a PDF document.

Eight Reasons Abortion Is in the Health Care Overhaul

1. The legislation specifically includes it. The President’s bill to amend the Senate bill leaves several abortion provisions in place. In Section 1303 it allows tax credit subsidies for plans that include abortion and leaves the abortion surcharge in place. It maintains the proposal to create a multi-state plan that includes abortion in Sec. 1334. Even worse, it would increase the Senate bill funding from $7 billion to $11 billion for community health centers in Sec. 10503 without any abortion funding restrictions. (H.R. 3590, Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.)

2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has said it is. "And I would say that the Senate language, which was negotiated by Senators Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray, who are very strong defenders of women’s health services and choices for women, take a big step forward from where the House left it with the Stupak amendment, and I think do a good job making sure there are choices for women. ... That would be an accounting procedure, but everybody in the exchange would do the same thing, whether you’re male or female, whether you’re 75 or 25, you would all set aside a portion of your premium that would go into a fund." (HotAir.com: "Sebelius: Everyone will pay into abortion-coverage fund".)

3. Senate Democrats refused to ban it. Instead of allowing for an up or down vote on a Senate amendment similar to the Stupak Amendment in the House which bans federal funding of abortion, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) "tabled" the amendment, effectively killing it. This was the only amendment dealt with in this way. (Vote No. 369 S.Amdt. 2962 to S.Amdt. 2786 to H.R. 3590.)

4. House Pro-life Democrats, who support a government takeover, say it is. "The Senate language is a significant departure from current law and is unacceptable." (U.S. Representative Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), February 23, 2010, CBS News) … "I think abortion’s wrong. The problem is that I’ve lived too long. When they say they can keep this money separate, I just don’t believe it." (U.S. Representative Marion Berry (D-Ark.), March 6, 2010, Arkansas News.)

5. House Pro-abortion Democrats say it is. "The good news is that the Senate bill does allow [abortion coverage]," (Chairwoman of the House pro-abortion caucus, Dianne DeGette (D-Colo.), March 5, 2010, Washington Post.)

6. The Abortion industry has sent out alerts in favor of it. The abortion giant Planned Parenthood sent out alerts on March 6, 2010: "President Obama’s health care reform proposal would make a real difference for the women and families who rely on Planned Parenthood. . . . and [the bill] significantly increase access to reproductive health care." (Planned Parenthood alert, March 6, 2010.)

7. Candidate Obama said it would be included, and the Obama administration includes it in its definition of reproductive health care. Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated he "believes that reproductive health care is basic health care." (Rhealitycheck.org questionnaire, 2008.) Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed up on this in 2009: "Reproductive health care includes access to abortion." (The Cloakroom Blog: "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, April 22, House Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing.")

8. House Democratic Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has indicated he wants to "fix" the abortion coverage problem in the Senate bill. "House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Thursday that lawmakers could draft separate pieces of legislation with abortion language to earn the support of anti-abortion rights Democrats on healthcare reform legislation." (March 4, 2010: The Briefing Room, The Hill's blog.)

But if those eight facts aren't enough to convince your "pro-life" friends who are convinced that anything out of "the annointed one's" mouth is truth, or just can't bring themselves to doubt such "moderate" and "Blue Dog Democrats" such as U.S. Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) or our own Mark Warner, here's 12 more facts and reasons, courtesy of The Cloakroom.

Still not sure? Then check out FRC Action’s resource page: "Standing Against the Government Takeover of Health Care," as well as why the Hyde Amendment does not apply to the current bill: "Q and A: Government Health Care and Abortion." Please disseminate this information by using the share program, e-mailing this link to friends and/or posting it to your own social networking sites.

Text Of Lt. Governor Bolling's Letter To Senators Warner And Webb

Here is the text of the letter sent today by Lt. Governor Bill Bolling to Virginia's two United States Senators, Mark Warner (contact) and Jim Webb (contact), concerning their votes in favor of the Senate health care bill last night. In the letter, Lt. Governor Bolling outlines his opposition to the legislation and why it is bad for Virginians, and asks the two senators to vote against its final passage. A news release from Lt. Governor Bolling is posted here.

December 21, 2009

The Honorable Mark Warner

The Honorable Jim Webb

RE: Federal Healthcare Reform Legislation

Dear Senators Warner and Webb:

I have been following with great interest the important debate currently taking place in Washington with respect to the proposed reform of our nation’s healthcare system.

While I certainly agree that we face serious problems with respect to the affordability and availability of healthcare for many Americans, it is important that any reform legislation address these issues without creating other problems for American consumers and businesses or jeopardizing the quality of our healthcare delivery system, which is currently the best in the world.

For many reasons, I strongly oppose the healthcare reform legislation that is currently pending before the United States Senate and I encourage you to vote against this legislation and any procedural votes that would allow this legislation to come to a final vote.

In my judgment, the legislation currently pending in the Senate will ultimately increase the cost of healthcare and result in higher health insurance premiums and higher taxes for the vast majority of the American people.

In addition, I believe that this legislation will jeopardize the quality of healthcare that is currently available in our country and take important healthcare decisions out of the hands of consumers and turn these decisions over to government bureaucrats.

Perhaps most importantly, I am concerned that the cost of this legislation will be much higher than currently estimated, and it will inevitably add significantly to the cost of our federal deficit, which is, quite frankly, out of control and threatens the long term financial viability of our nation.

If these concerns were not reason enough to vote against this misguided legislation, I am writing to you today to let you know that I am outraged by reports that surfaced this weekend regarding concessions that were made to Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to secure his vote in support of this legislation.

As you know, one of our major concerns with this legislation is the potential impact it could have on the cost of Medicaid for Virginia’s state government. Many reports have suggested that this legislation could result in much higher Medicaid costs for state governments across the nation, costs that state governments simply cannot bear.

Against this background, I was amazed to hear that the Senate’s Democratic leadership had made concessions to Senator Nelson that would hold his home state of Nebraska harmless as to any additional Medicaid costs that might come about as a result of the enrollment of new Medicaid recipients after 2017.

I find these reports particularly troubling since they come on the heels of similar concessions that were given to Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana to secure her vote in support of this legislation just a few weeks ago.

In addition to the “pay offs” that were offered to Senators Nelson and Landrieu, unconfirmed media reports over the weekend have revealed that other Senators may have negotiated similar special treatment deals for their states. If these reports are accurate, this type of quid pro quo is unacceptable, and you and your colleagues should object strongly to the practice, which I have no doubt the American people will find offensive as well.

If the Senate’s leadership is so desperate to obtain votes to secure the passage of this legislation that they would make these types of concessions to these Senators, I would ask that you demand that the same concessions be extended to Virginia, and for that matter, to every other state in the nation.

Allowing key provisions in this legislation to be used to essentially buy votes from Senators Landrieu and Nelson at the expense of other states such as Virginia should be as offensive to you as it is to me, and it should give you all the reason you need to oppose this misguided legislation.

Thank you for your service to the people of Virginia and for considering my views on this important issue.

Very Truly Yours,

William T. Bolling

Lieutenant Governor

Commonwealth of Virginia

Lt. Governor Bolling Writes Senators Webb, Warner Concerning Their Votes On Health Care Bill

Below is the text of a news release issued today from the office of Lt. Governor Bill Bolling concerning the votes by Senators Warner (contact here) and Webb (contact here) in favor of a procedural motion that will allow the Senate health care bill to proceed to a final up or down vote, where it is all but assured of passing. The text of the letter referenced in the news release is posted here.

BOLLING CALLS ON WARNER AND WEBB TO VOTE AGAINST FEDERAL HEALTHCARE LEGISLATION

RICHMOND – Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling today sent a strongly worded letter to Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner expressing outrage over special concessions given to certain states to obtain support for federal healthcare legislation from their Senators and asking them to oppose this legislation, which Bolling called "misguided."

"As you know, one of our major concerns with this legislation is the potential impact it could have on the cost of Medicaid for Virginia’s state government," wrote Bolling. "Many reports have suggested that this legislation could result in much higher Medicaid costs for state governments across the nation, costs that state governments simply cannot bear."

In his letter, Bolling cited reports from this past weekend that the Senate’s Democratic leadership had made concessions to Senator Ben Nelson that would hold his home state of Nebraska harmless for any additional Medicaid costs that might come about as a result of the enrollment of new Medicaid recipients after 2017, while all 49 other states would be required to pay a portion of the increased costs. This reportedly would save Nebraska $45M per year, while passing these costs on to other states.

Additionally, similar "sweet heart deals" were reportedly made to Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and other Senators to obtain their support for the healthcare bill, while the citizens of Virginia and other states were not afford the same benefits.

"I am outraged by reports that surfaced this weekend regarding concessions that were made to Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson to secure his vote in support of this legislation," stated Bolling. "If these reports are accurate, this type of quid pro quo is unacceptable, and you and your colleagues should object strongly to the practice, which I have no doubt the American people will find offensive as well."

"If the Senate’s leadership is so desperate to obtain votes to secure the passage of this legislation that they would make these types of concessions to these Senators, I would ask that you demand that the same concessions be extended to Virginia, and for that matter, to every other state in the nation," continued Bolling.

In addition to the outrageous "pay off" tactics employed by Senate Democratic Leadership, Bolling encouraged Senators Webb and Warner to vote against the substance of the legislation, citing concerns that it will result in increased healthcare costs, increased insurance premiums, increased taxes on family and businesses and fewer options for individual patients.

Senator Webb Says He's Undecided On The Health Care Bill

Senator Jim Webb, Virginia's senior senator, wrote an op-ed piece of the Harrisonburg Daily News-Record in which he says he is undecided (see here) on which way he will vote when it comes time for the final, up or down, yea or nay. He takes pride in the handful of votes he has cast in opposition to his party's leaders, but then offers this on perhaps the most controversial part of the bill:

On the issue of abortion, I studied the bill closely to ensure that no taxpayer dollars will be used to fund abortions. I am convinced that this legislation strictly adheres to the requirements of the Hyde Amendment. It also includes clear conscience provisions for providers and consumers who elect to reject a plan that offers such coverage.

Most pro-life policy analysts don't think that's right, and Senator Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) doesn't think so, either (see David Brody of the CBN Blog). But Senator Webb ends with this statement that can be taken in no other way in that he is undecided on the entire piece of legislation:

As we continue to debate the bill and amend it, I remain hopeful that the Senate can reach consensus on fair and effective health care legislation. Whether this is so will determine my vote on final passage.

Fair enough, to the senator. So, then, why don't we convince him what way he should finally conclude his thinking? Click here to contact him.