Reports today are that health reform legislation is not making much headway all of a sudden. Last week saw the House bill pass through 2 of 3 committees, but now the Blue Dog (moderate-to-fiscal conservative) Democrats are starting a fight over the need for better cost control measures. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the finance committee continues to encounter problems reaching a consensus. The Obama Administration, too, appears to have backed off of its strict pre-August Congressional recess timetable.
Now, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea to take the time to consider things carefully, but I do worry that as the effort loses momentum, the likelihood of passage decreases.
At the same time, a contentious moral issue has crept its way into the debate. There is talk that the public plan option would include coverage for abortion services. Of course, this is an unfavorable notion to many people. I’m torn, myself. While I support a woman’s right to choose from a medico-legal perspective, because I don’t believe that morality can be legislated, my personal values hold that all life is sacred. On that basis, I rather support the third option that Obama mentioned during the Faith and Values Forum last fall. To paraphrase, “We should stop talking about pro-life vs. pro-choice and start talking about something that we can all agree on, and that’s focusing on reducing the need for abortions.”
The question is: Given that abortions are legal in this country, should they be included as part of a standard government benefit package, or, would this equate to government sponsorship of a practice that both Republicans and Democrats would like to eliminate the need for in the first place? In the latter case, abortion would remain perfectly legal, but would be treated as an elective procedure–the responsibility of the individual making the choice, rather than a government benefit. So, which (if either) position do you support and why?