It’s coming tomorrow, right? Well, except for American women, who will be subject to a fascinating neo-coverture thanks to the Senate “health” “care” “reform” bill! Go read Natasha Chart over at Open Left for why exactly this scheme will offer millions of American women neither true health care nor reform:
Under the Senate system which makes abortion part of the initial purchasing decision, a woman’s employer, male partner or parents can all potentially prevent her getting insurance coverage for it, whereas now, it usually doesn’t come up because most private plans just cover it. Now, of the one in three women likely to need an abortion in her life, millions of women never have to have that conversation. Under the current wording of the health bill, that second check is the federal spousal and parental notification law that never managed to pass.
Then if the administrative expenses and familial approval weren’t enough, the second check creates a stigmatizing paper trail for anyone worried about public pressure or vulnerable to retribution by disapproving superiors. Even people who might support abortion might be pressured into dropping plans that cover it and one way or another, abortion coverage will end. That’s always been the point of both the Stupak amendment and Nelson’s Senate compromise, which will simply work more slowly to eradicate insurance coverage of abortion.
And you might say, well, it’s just writing another check for $1. Or you might say, hey, even if the insurance doesn’t cover abortion, lots of women will still be able to afford it. And then I’ll tell you, look, you don’t get it, that’s not the point.
Awesome! My recent vacation to a civilized nation that makes health care a right of citizenship and doesn’t make it contingent on one’s relationship to a “head of household” sure puts this into perspective. (That’s the difference, friends, between building your nation on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and “liberté, equalité, fraternité.”) Declaring that all premenopausal girls and women are possible abortion patients, and making sure that we can’t even consider having an abortion without our parents, husbands and/or employers knowing about it sure puts us in our place, doesn’t it?
As we were driving back from the airport this evening, after being out of touch with the U.S. news media for a full week, I heard the radio announcers talking about Democrats possibly using a strategy called the Demon Pass to get the Senate health care bill through Congress. I thought to myself, “wow! Democrats might use something called a ‘Demon Pass,’ like some kind of technically legal but clearly dodgy and possibly dirty Hail Mary pass? I wish!” Then I plugged into the internets, and learned that the “deem and pass” technique is just a boring parliamentary trick and that Democrats don’t have the stones to use it anyway.
Did I miss any news while I was out? Fill me in.