Obama Revamps Strategy on Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill, May Cut Public Option
by Steven Ertelt
September 2, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — President Barack Obama appears to be retooling his strategy on promoting the pro-abortion government-run health care bill that has fallen out of favor with the American public. Obama is considering detailing what he wants in a health care proposal in a speech next week and the public option may be out.
Aides to Obama say that he may not insist on the public option — the national health insurance plan run directly by the federal government that would open the door for massive abortion funding.
Obama would have to battle with members of the House, who are demanding the government-run system be kept in HR 3200.
Even if the scheme is dropped, the second portion of the health care proposal, which would provide subsidies to help tens of millions of people buy health insurance, also includes abortion funding.
The speech could come as early as next week and comments from a senior Obama advisor to Politico make it appear that Obama is reacting to criticism from abortion advocates who say he isn’t engaged enough in getting the bills through Congress.
We’re entering a new season, senior adviser David Axelrod said. Its time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done. We’re confident that we can do that. But obviously it is a different phase. We’re going to approach it in a different way. The president is going to be very active."
Reports indicate Obama may use removing the public option from the health care bill as a way to moderate his image at a time when polling data shows he is under a 50 percent approval rating overall and with independent voters.
Although abortion advocates in the House say the bill can’t move forward without it, potentially pulling the public option also squares with the reality in the Senate that a health care measure can’t pass with it.
Sen. Charles Grassley said Monday that a public option is a no go
"I’m still hopeful, but I’m hopeful based on I think you’re talking about something a little less sweeping than what we talked about before," Grassley said about the negotiations in the Senate.
"It’s pretty clear that’s something not on the table," Grassley said of the government-run scheme. "It’s fair to say that not every one of the six is opposed to it, but they realize the reality of it."
Regardless of what happens with the current measures — H.R. 3200 in the House, and the Affordable Health Choices Act (unnumbered) in the Senate — pro-life advocates will continue fighting to remove abortion and rationing or defeat the bill.
As the independent FactCheck.org recently noted, Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.
Obama has said in the past that reproductive services would be covered by his public plan, so its likely that any new federal insurance plan would cover abortion unless Congress expressly prohibits that. Low- and moderate-income persons who would choose the public plan would qualify for federal subsidies to purchase it. Private plans that cover abortion also could be purchased with the help of federal subsidies," the analysis indicated.
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