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Baby Killer March 22, 2010

Posted by Amir Roth in drama, politics, society.
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The house health insurance reform bill passed last night, 219-213. Ending the truly evil practice of coverage termination or denial due to pre-existing conditions. Allowing young adults to stay covered under their parents’ plan until the age of 26. Helping small businesses buy health insurance for their employees. Temporarily saving the Obama presidency. Oh, and providing health insurance for 32 million currently un-insured Americans. By 2019. And there was much rejoicing. Especially by Nancy Pelosi.

This bill, which must still clear some hurdles before it becomes law, has elicited some venomous response from right, right-center, and even center. Ten states are planning a federal lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. And this includes Pennsylvania. Which has a Democratic governor! Come on, Ed, you’re jeopardizing your chance for a night in the Lincoln bedroom! But the most famous sound-bite of this episode has to be  “baby killer“, shouted by Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) while Bart Stupak (D-Michigan) was explaining that he was voting for the bill in exchange for an executive order retaining the current limits on federal funding for abortion. In a brilliant rear-covering stunt, Neugebauer claimed that he was referring to the deal between Stupak and the White house as BK, not to Stupak himself. Of course, this doesn’t make any sense Stupak is anti-abortion and the deal maintains the status quo regarding abortion funding. I wasn’t calling you fat, I was calling your reflection in the mirror fat! But that’s not important. It sounds good!

But here’s what doesn’t sound good. The fact that such a deal was necessary to pass the bill in the first place. Some media outlets will have you believe that the deal was in fact not necessary to pass the bill, it was only necessary to pass the bill by a sufficient margin to protect vulnerable Democratic house members from being labeled as the “swing vote on the health insurance bill” by their Republican opposition come November. I’m sorry, but does anyone actually believe this? I’ve seen bigger cushions in a monastery! The deal was needed to pass the bill at all and that’s really sad.

There is a lot of hypocrisy and self-righteousness in this country. No issue makes these rear their ugly head like abortion. Not immigration. Not even gay marriage. And no recent incident illustrates this better than the Stupak amendment. You see, it’s the same people who want to protect the rights of an unborn child on one hand who don’t want to give that child health insurance on the other. America, 99% of the civilized world has gotten over the abortion issue, legalized it in all reasonable cases, and … moved on to more important problems! The only countries in which abortion is illegal are either predominantly Catholic, predominantly Muslim, or predominantly Neanderthal. And I don’t know this for a fact but I imagine that no political party in any country plays the abortion card as often and as heavy-handedly as the GOP. Similarly, I imagine that in no other country do politicians hold their own party hostage over this issue like we do here in the US. People, we have real problems to solve! Jobs, education, energy, climate change, immigration, health care for G’s sake! Federal funding for abortion is not one of those problems! Can we please let this abortion thing go so that we can make some progress on real issues?

P.S. In other news, wow! I can’t wait to see the next move in this game.

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