President Donald Trump wrote an op-ed highlighting a major policy issue for Sen. Bernie Sanders‘ (I-Vt.) “Medicare for all” pointing out that it would end Medicare as we know it.” What the president doesn’t mention is that the bill would also guarantee taxpayers fund all abortions while eliminating the conscience rights of millions of health care professionals.
Sen. Sanders’ plan is co-sponsored by 15 of his Senate colleagues (including virtually every Democrat whose name is being thrown around to run in 2020) and about half of current House Democrats have signed on to a Medicare for All bill in that Chamber as well.
Medicare for all is not your run of the mill proposal. The legislation would outlaw private insurance, which Vox points out would mean 153 million Americans would lose coverage they get from their employers as well as the freedom those plans afford. Vox also points out repealing the Hyde Amendment is “front and center” in the bill.
The Hyde Amendment has largely prevented federal Medicaid dollars from paying for abortions and for over 40 decades has garnered widespread, bipartisan support. According to the most recent Marist polling, on the subject a supermajority — 60 percent — oppose tax dollars financing abortions in the U.S., with just 36 percent in support. This includes 60 percent of women. A study by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, which is the best research available, indicates that the Hyde Amendment has saved over 2 million unborn children since 1976.
Even though the Hyde Amendment still has strong backing, the leadership in the Democratic Party wants to do away with it. In 2016, Democrats called for an end to the Hyde Amendment in their party platform and Democrats in the House and Senate have made sure that their legislation reflects that radical position.
Section 701 of Sanders’ Medicare for all is titled “Universal Medicare Trust Fund” and states that “any other provision of law in effect on the date of enactment of this Act restricting the use of Federal funds for any reproductive health service shall not apply to monies in the Trust Fund.” Since Hyde restricts federal funds from being used toward abortion, section 701 is effectively stating that Hyde doesn’t apply to Medicare funds.
Conscience rights also are eliminated under the bill. Sec. 104 explains that “No person shall, on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex, including sex stereotyping, gender identity, sexual orientation and pregnancy and related medical conditions (including termination of pregnancy), be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination by any participating provider as defined in section 301, or any entity conducting, administering, or funding a health program or activity, including contracts of insurance, pursuant to this Act.”
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In other words, this proposed legislation would strong-arm doctors, nurses and all other health care professionals into performing and participating in abortions — regardless of whether they have any moral objections. Section 104 goes on to say that refusing to participate could result in heavy court damages and fees.
This is certainly why the pro-abortion rights groups have enthusiastically endorsed the bill. NARAL Pro-Choice America, released a statement saying the Democrat’s proposal is “a groundbreaking advancement for a simple truth: we will never solve our healthcare crisis until women have full access to reproductive services.” All* Above All, an organization formed to specifically eliminate the Hyde amendment, states it “recognizes what people across the country already know: that health insurance plans should cover the full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion.”
The sponsors themselves hope the legislation can be used to eliminate any pro-life protections Americans have fought for and passed over the last 40 years. At its unveiling Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) made it clear that you should “(c)onsider the Hyde Amendment history if we pass “Medicare for All.” And all those other restrictions on reproductive rights.”
Democratic Leadership is no longer trying to hide their radicalism when it comes to eliminating the unborn. But the more they support legislation like Medicare for all, the more they show themselves to be outside the mainstream, American consensus which favors protecting life.
LifeNews Note: Tom McClusky is the president of March for Life Action.