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Old 08-24-2009, 09:37 AM   #581
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:09 PM   #582
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time.com

Monday, Aug. 24, 2009
How Abortion Could Imperil Health-Care Reform

By Michael Scherer / WASHINGTON

The Commander in Chief has, of late, become something of a fact-checker-in-chief. In town halls, interviews and meetings with interest groups, President Barack Obama repeatedly harps on what he calls "myths" and "fabrications" about health reform.

The list runs from "death panels," which have not been proposed by Congress, to illegal immigrants, who will not get coverage under current proposals, even though 55% of Americans believe otherwise, according to one recent poll. The President also routinely mentions the issue of abortion. "You've heard that this is all going to mean government funding of abortion," Obama said recently in a call to religious leaders. "Not true."

But this last statement, while technically correct, does not tell the whole story. The health-care reform proposed by House Democrats, if enacted, would in fact mark a significant change in the federal government's role in the financing of abortions. "It would be a dramatic shift," says Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat who has vowed to oppose the bill because of its impact on abortion. Stupak says dozens of House Democrats may join him in opposing a final health-care compromise unless the abortion language is changed, presenting a clear challenge to Democratic vote counters that could imperil a party-line vote.

To understand the change, one must first look at the strictly hands-off role the federal government has historically taken toward abortion services. Since 1976, Congress has mandated through the so-called Hyde Amendment that no federal funds will be used for abortion, effectively preventing Medicaid dollars from being used for the procedure, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. Private health plans offered to government employees, including members of Congress, have also been barred from offering abortion coverage, as has the military.

The health reform bill proposed by House Democrats does not actually override those restrictions. But it does find a way for the federal government to expand the coverage of abortion services through a government-run program, the so-called "public option," without specifically spending what it defines as federal dollars on abortion. Instead, the only money the "public" insurance option could spend on abortion that does not involve rape, incest or the life of the mother would be money collected from members dues; or, in the words of supporters like Elizabeth Shipp, of NARAL-Pro-Choice America, the plan "could only use private funds to pay for abortion services."

The member dues, or premiums, to pay for expanded abortion coverage would be segregated from the federal tax dollars by keeping the money in separate internal accounts. The problem is that all those who sign up for the public option would have to pay into the account for abortion coverage, an amount "not less than $1 per month," according to the legislation. So in effect, anyone who wanted to sign up for the public option, a federally funded and administered program, would find themselves paying for abortion coverage. "You are spreading the cost of the procedure over a public plan," explains Stupak. Under the legislation, the executive branch would have to make a determination that abortion is a basic medical service for the service to be provided, something that the Obama Administration is expected to do.

Meanwhile private insurance companies, which could receive taxpayer subsidies to cover low-income individuals, would continue to choose for themselves whether or not to offer abortion coverage. But if they did offer abortion, they would also need to segregate the funds to pay for the procedure, to insure that direct taxpayer subsidies are not involved. And no consumer would be forced to choose a health plan that covered abortion. By using a new federally managed marketplace for purchasing health insurance, a so-called exchange, uninsured consumers would be able to choose not to join the "public plan" in favor of a plan that does not cover abortion services. Opponents of abortion, including Stupak, want language that would prohibit any private insurance company that accepts federal funds from offering to any policyholders abortions other than those already eligible under Medicaid.

Nonetheless, the new system differs markedly from the old federal policy of not involving the government in abortion services unless issues of rape, incest or the life of the mother are at play. "It does represent a policy shift in favor of the abortion rights community that it would not have received under George W. Bush's Administration," explains Glen Halva-Neubauer, a political scientist at Furman University, who has studied the politics of abortion.

For supporters of abortion, the House bill offers a neat compromise, which they describe as a continuation of the status-quo, allowing the federal role in health care to expand, without significantly changing the offerings in the private marketplace. "[American consumers] get to choose which plan they want," says Shipp, of NARAL. "They get to choose a plan without abortion."

But for opponents of abortion, including a number of House Democrats, the proposal represents a major reversal of a decades-old policy of keeping the federal government out of the abortion business. In a recent letter to members of Congress, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops called the House proposal a "radical change" built around the "illusion" that public funds can be segregated from private funds in a government-run plan, or in private plans that accept federal subsidies. "Funds paid into these plans are fungible, and federal taxpayer funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider networks that expand access to abortion," writes Cardinal Justin Rigali, in a August 11 letter to members of Congress.

For Stupak, the pro-life Democrat, the battle over abortion in health reform is certain to continue when Congress returns from recess. "We are going to do everything we can to stop the rule, or the bill, from coming to the floor," Stupak said, adding that he may have as many as 39 Democratic members of Congress join him in the effort. It remains unclear how the Senate will deal with the abortion issue. There is also no consensus within the Democratic party about whether or not a public option should be included in final health reform legislation.

In the meantime, Stupak says that Obama's statements during recent public events signal one of two things: either he does not fully understand the current House bill, which Stupak maintains has the effect of publicly funding abortion, or "if he is aware of it, and he is making these statements, then he is misleading people."
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:03 PM   #583
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On Death Panels
They exist already:

Indeed they do. But you seem to be okay with them as long as they're not government-run.

Unless you want to suggest that private insurers never deny coverage for desired medical treatment.
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:16 PM   #584
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Indeed they do. But you seem to be okay with them as long as they're not government-run.

Unless you want to suggest that private insurers never deny coverage for desired medical treatment.
No, no, I see it as becoming worse under Obama's plan.

It also appears that he's becoming more and more disingenuous as the days roll on.

<>
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Old 08-24-2009, 03:21 PM   #585
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No, no, I see it as becoming worse under Obama's plan.
But you guys love private insurance companies right now, you must defend.


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It also appears that he's becoming more and more disingenuous as the days roll on.

<>
What does this have to do with healthcare or Sean's post?
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Old 08-24-2009, 05:48 PM   #586
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The health-care reform proposed by House Democrats, if enacted, would in fact mark a significant change in the federal government's role in the financing of abortions. "It would be a dramatic shift," says Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat who has vowed to oppose the bill because of its impact on abortion. Stupak says dozens of House Democrats may join him in opposing a final health-care compromise unless the abortion language is changed, presenting a clear challenge to Democratic vote counters that could imperil a party-line vote.
I really thought this issue and access for illegal aliens (also denied by disingenuous supporters of the bill) would be the first major stumbling blocks. Not the public option.

Interesting article.
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:58 PM   #587
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Here we have some free market in action:

CtW Investment Group Calls for Whole Foods Board to Remove Chair and CEO John Mackey
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:49 PM   #588
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deeply offended a key segment of Whole Foods consumer base
...by simply explaining the success the company has had in controlling health care costs and offering that as an alternative to the health care reform now under consideration.

Champions of diversity in all but thought.
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:59 PM   #589
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They haven't done anything to control health care costs, who are you fooling?

They found a way to save the company money and based on the fact that most of their employees are young and healthy they could get away with it... while screwing over their older less healthy employees.

Plus, I'm not sure tolerance is something conservatives want to preach about when it comes to health care talk...
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Old 08-26-2009, 08:41 AM   #590
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...by simply explaining the success the company has had in controlling health care costs and offering that as an alternative to the health care reform now under consideration.

Champions of diversity in all but thought.



firstly, i got annoyed at the protesters outside the Whole Foods where i spend far, far too much money. the CEO can think what he wants. i'm still going to buy food there because it's shockingly convenient for me right now, and it is possible to find reasonably priced items.

however, i find your comment disingenuous. if, say, a company dropped it's ad dollars from, say, the Orbitz website because a bunch of Christians got together and boycotted Orbitz for actively courting and supporting the gay community, would you feel the same way? would you be angry at these people for smashing diversity? or would you be applauding their organizational abilities and conviction and using good old fashioned political protest like they did in, you know, Selma?

because this seems wildly hypocritical.

when the left gets organized, they're intolerant (all the whining after the Prop 8 debacle in California). when the right gets organized, they're just being good Americans and exercising their right to wildly uninformed free speech.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:14 AM   #591
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because this seems wildly hypocritical.
It does, doesn't it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 09:21 AM   #592
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Interesting..can apply to so many other issues as well

Health Care Debate Based on Total Lack of Logic
Jeanna Bryner
Senior Writer
livescience.com 1 hr 42 mins ago

Heated partisan debate over President Obama's health care plan, erupting at town hall meetings and in the blogosphere, has more to do with our illogical thought processes than reality, sociologists are finding.

The problem: People on both sides of the political aisle often work backward from a firm conclusion to find supporting facts, rather than letting evidence inform their views.

The result: A survey out this week finds voters split strongly along party lines regarding their beliefs about key parts of the plan. Example: About 91 percent of Republicans think the proposal would increase wait times for surgeries and other health services, while only 37 percent of Democrats think so.

Irrational thinking

A totally rational person would lay out - and evaluate objectively - the pros and cons of a health care overhaul before choosing to support or oppose a plan. But we humans are not so rational, according to Steve Hoffman, a visiting professor of sociology at the University of Buffalo.

"People get deeply attached to their beliefs," Hoffman said. "We form emotional attachments that get wrapped up in our personal identity and sense of morality, irrespective of the facts of the matter."

And to keep our sense of personal and social identity, Hoffman said, we tend to use a backward type of reasoning in order to justify such beliefs.

Similarly, past research by Dolores Albarracin, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has shown in particular that people who are less confident in their beliefs are more reluctant than others to seek out opposing perspectives. So these people avoid counter evidence all together. The same could apply to the health care debate, Albarracin said.

"Even if you have free press, freedom of speech, it doesn't make people listen to all points of view," she said.

Just about everybody is vulnerable to the phenomenon of holding onto our beliefs even in the face of iron-clad evidence to the contrary, Hoffman said. Why? Because it's hard to do otherwise. "It's an amazing challenge to constantly break out the Nietzschean hammer and destroy your world view and belief system and evaluate others," Hoffman said.

Just the facts you need

Hoffman's idea is based on a study he and colleagues did of nearly 50 participants, who were all Republican and reported believing in the link between the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and Saddam Hussein. Participants were given the mounting evidence that no link existed and then asked to justify their belief.

(The findings should apply to any political bent. "We're not making the claim that Democratic or liberal partisans don't do the same thing. They do," Hoffman said.)

All but one held onto the belief, using a variety of so-called motivated reasoning strategies. "Motivated reasoning is essentially starting with a conclusion you hope to reach and then selectively evaluating evidence in order to reach that conclusion," explained Hoffman's colleague, sociologist Andrew Perrin of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

For instance, some participants used a backward chain of reasoning in which the individual supported the decision to go to war and so assumed any evidence necessary to support that decision, including the link between 9/11 and Hussein.

"For these voters, the sheer fact that we were engaged in war led to a post-hoc search for a justification for that war," Hoffman said. "People were basically making up justifications for the fact that we were at war."

Their research is published in the most recent issue of the journal Sociological Inquiry.

Hot health care debate

The proposed health care plan has all the right ingredients for such wonky reasoning, the researchers say.

The issue is both complex (no single correct answer), emotionally charged and potentially history-changing, while debates often occur with like-minded peers in town hall settings. The result is staunch supporters and just-as-staunch critics who are sticking to their guns.

"The health care debate would be vulnerable to motivated reasoning, because it is, and has become, so highly emotionally and symbolically charged," Perrin said during a telephone interview, adding that images equating the plan with Nazi Germany illustrate the symbolic nature of the arguments.

In addition, the town hall settings make for even more rigid beliefs. That's because changing one's mind about a complex issue can rattle a person's sense of identity and sense of belonging within a community. If everyone around you is a neighbor or friend, you'd be less likely to change your opinion, the researchers say.

"In these one-shot town hall meetings, where you have an emotionally laden complex issue like health care, it's very likely you're going to get these ramped up emotionally laden debates. They're going to be hot debates," Hoffman told LiveScience.

Two-sided discussion

To bring the facts from both sides to the table, Hoffman suggests venues where a heterogeneous group of people can meet, those for and against the proposed health care system overhaul. And at least some of these gatherings should include just a handful of people. In groups of more than about six people, one or two members will tend to dominate the discussion, he said.

For either side, logical arguments might not be the key.

"I think strategically it's important that the Obama administration and advocates of a health care plan really pay attention to how people feel and the symbolism they are seeing, and not just the nuts and bolts of the policy," Perrin said. "People don't reason with pure facts and logic alone."
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:04 AM   #593
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firstly, i got annoyed at the protesters outside the Whole Foods where i spend far, far too much money. the CEO can think what he wants. i'm still going to buy food there because it's shockingly convenient for me right now, and it is possible to find reasonably priced items.

however, i find your comment disingenuous. if, say, a company dropped it's ad dollars from, say, the Orbitz website because a bunch of Christians got together and boycotted Orbitz for actively courting and supporting the gay community, would you feel the same way? would you be angry at these people for smashing diversity? or would you be applauding their organizational abilities and conviction and using good old fashioned political protest like they did in, you know, Selma?

because this seems wildly hypocritical.

when the left gets organized, they're intolerant (all the whining after the Prop 8 debacle in California). when the right gets organized, they're just being good Americans and exercising their right to wildly uninformed free speech.
Economic or monetary matters are a different matter than social issues which tend to be more personal. As a conservative I can't imagine I share the views of Ben & Jerry on tax rates, global warming or government run health care. But I also can't imagine a summer without their ice cream.

On the other hand, I would give considerate thought to boycotting a product of theirs called Same-Sex Marriage Double Banana & Nut Vanilla Custard.
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:15 AM   #594
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On the other hand, I would give considerate thought to boycotting a product of theirs called Same-Sex Marriage Double Banana & Nut Vanilla Custard.





Champion of diversity in all but thought.

(though a golf clap is deserved for the innuendo)
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Old 08-26-2009, 11:37 AM   #595
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I stopped eating Carl's Junior around 25 years ago after I discovered how much money Carl Karcher donated to anti-choice groups.

And that was a huge deal, because that was back when Carl's Junior had good food.

And I've never eaten Domino's Pizza for the same reason. Although I suspect I'm not missing much.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:19 PM   #596
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And I've never eaten Domino's Pizza for the same reason. Although I suspect I'm not missing much.


you know, i always tell people, "that Martha, she's a good egg." glad to see i'm only spreading the truth.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:30 PM   #597
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has more to do with our illogical thought processes than reality, sociologists are finding.
But sociologists are socialists, so they don't count.

I mean just look, they're almost spelled the same...
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:36 PM   #598
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I stopped eating Carl's Junior around 25 years ago after I discovered how much money Carl Karcher donated to anti-choice groups.

And that was a huge deal, because that was back when Carl's Junior had good food.

And I've never eaten Domino's Pizza for the same reason. Although I suspect I'm not missing much.
Our ubiquitous chain of Canadian coffee and donut shops, Tim Hortons, has been expanding into the US. A few weeks back, we read that a store in Rhode Island was sponsoring some local "(heterosexual) marriage day" celebration. I knew when I heard it that once the Canadian head office got wind of it, it'd be stopped, and sure enough it was. They put out a statement saying that while they heavily sponsor lots of local organizations (lots of kids sports, sending kids to camp, etc), they don't sponsor events surrounding religious, political or lobby groups. Yay for corporations doing the right thing! I'm so glad I don't have to boycott them.

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Canadian doughnut mogul Tim Hortons has walked away from a plan to sponsor a Rhode Island event promoting heterosexual marriage after word of the company’s involvement caused an Internet dustup that flooded the Canadian news media.

...

Inundated with criticism, Tim Hortons pulled its sponsorship Monday, announcing on its home page that company does not sponsor events “representing religious groups, political affiliates or lobby groups.”

“It has come to our attention that the Rhode Island event organizer and purpose of the event fall outside of our sponsorship guidelines,” the statement read. “As such, Tim Hortons cannot provide support at the event.”
Tim Hortons drops role in marriage day | Rhode Island news | projo.com | The Providence Journal


Anyway, to get back to the topic, I think it's entirely reasonable to call for the removal of the CEO. If a progressive executive in a service-related company in a primarily conservative area began promoting his or her political or social views, and that resulted in customer dissatisfaction and boycotts, would we expect anything less?
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:01 PM   #599
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Our ubiquitous chain of Canadian coffee and donut shops, Tim Hortons, has been expanding into the US. A few weeks back, we read that a store in Rhode Island was sponsoring some local "(heterosexual) marriage day" celebration. I knew when I heard it that once the Canadian head office got wind of it, it'd be stopped, and sure enough it was. They put out a statement saying that while they heavily sponsor lots of local organizations (lots of kids sports, sending kids to camp, etc), they don't sponsor events surrounding religious, political or lobby groups. Yay for corporations doing the right thing! I'm so glad I don't have to boycott them.


sounds like they're just punishing diversity of thought.

and liberals are supposed to be so open-minded!
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Old 08-26-2009, 01:07 PM   #600
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Rush got taken to school today by a woman talking about supposed "death panels" and all he could do was tell her to "grow up" and "open your mind"... and cut her off.

It made me laugh.

This is why they fear the fairness doctrine so much because they would have to engage. These guys have talk shows on AM for a reason, they can't engage.
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