The Republican crusade against abortion

You know, there’s a lot going on in this nation and the world that could use attention from Congress. The economy is sputtering. The long-term debt is out of control. Coal mines aren’t safe places to work. Port security isn’t what it ought to be (let’s not let down our guard just because Osama bin Laden is dead). So what did House Republicans take time out of their busy schedule to do today: Pass a restrictive anti-abortion bill that has zero chance of becoming law.

The bill would enshrine in permanent law the Hyde Amendment, which for years has prohibited spending federal money on abortions through Medicaid and most other federal programs. The Hyde Amendment must be reapproved occasionally. This law would be permanent.

But, naturally, it goes further. The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act prohibits health insurance policies that cover abortion from receiving federal tax credits through the Affordable Care Act. Such credits, after all, act as an indirect subsidy of abortion. It also prohibits deducting the cost of an abortion as a health care expense.

Not only that, if the health plan you’re covered by includes coverage of abortion – even if you would never think about getting an abortion – you lose the ability to deduct all your health care premiums from your taxes. This is huge and would inevitably result in most major insurance plans dropping coverage for abortions.

This is how Republicans believe the world ought to be: No individual mandate to require people buy insurance, but a federal mandate ensuring that the insurance people do buy does not include coverage for a medical procedure they disagree with.

Again, there are more important things happening in this nation that demand congressional attention. This is the party the American public gave control of the U.S. House to last November. Buyers’ remorse yet?

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