Republicans are currently trying to scramble all five of their brain cells to get this “better” health care bill figured out. The latest news is they’re trying to figure out how to prevent abortion coverage without their bill getting struck down. If they don’t include the language, anti-choice groups will oppose it and in general, will be pissed. Interesting that a bunch of men have such a vested interest in my uterus, and every woman’s in this country.
Since the Republicans pushed their legislation through using budget reconciliation, they didn’t need any Democratic votes, because we all know they wouldn’t have passed otherwise. However, I guess these idiots didn’t realize that anti-abortion language doesn’t fall under budgetary changes. All of this means they will be in violation of Byrd Rule, which says:
that a bill’s language cannot be more about policy matters than how much money is being spent.
Basically, Republicans want to enact new tax subsidies to help people purchase insurance on the exchanges, but they don’t want to include abortions in that. Sneaky guys.
The other part of this is that Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate parliamentarian, who is the person that interprets Senate rules, told these same Republicans:
A provision that stops people from using refundable tax credits for private insurance covering abortion may not be allowed.
However, if they don’t include this language, all of the lovely anti-choice groups like Susan B Anthony List and Family Research Council, who have worked for months on this repeal-and-replace bill, will oppose it. They have their own agendas, of course. They want to de-fund places like Planned Parenthood because only giving birth matters. They could give a shit less what happens when the same child is older and stuck in the foster care system, has medical care, food, and a decent education.
There are still some Republicans who are happy to ignore Elizabeth MacDonough and her warning, including Sen. John Thune (R-SD). Well, no one ever claimed these particular Republicans were intelligent. He stated:
There’s still not a clear ruling from the parliamentarian about the House Hyde language… I don’t think we go to contingencies or Plan Bs until we know that.
Well, correct me if I’m wrong, but the parliamentarian was very clear about the language. Perhaps John needs glasses?
David Christensen, vice president for government affairs at Family Research Council decided to add his two cents as well:
If the Byrd Rule were to be an obstacle to ensuring the GOP replacement plan in the Senate does not subsidize abortion, that’s something that would be a serious problem for us and the pro-life community.
Considering they want to de-fund Planned Parenthood, that’s a big problem for us and the pro-choice community, Davey. It sounds like a battle is going to commence in the Senate, and all of us with a uterus will be watching and waiting for the outcome.