05 March 2010

Dangerous times continue - pro-lifers could give new life to Obamacare

Much has been made of Rep. Stupak and his 12 fellow pro-life Democrats who have indicated they will nto vote in favor of the Senate version of Obamacare without protections against funding of abortions.

Because it seems likely that an "abortion fix" could be attached via reconciliation, Steny Hoyer has proposed  separate piece of "abortion fix" legislation. NRO's Marc Thiessen calls it "the Hoyer gambit." Many commneters seem to think this move is a desperate one, and signals the impossibility of getting the pro-lifers on board.


I’m afraid I don’t quite share that confidence that this maneuver can’t work. I can imagine two scenarios in which it would.

First, separate, pro-life legislation pertaining to funding of abortions might be crafted in such a way as to apply to any future bills, and passed in advance of a House vote on the current Senate bill. Such legislation could pass both houses with strong Republican support, as did the original Stupak amendment.  With pro-life protections in place, the “Stupak 12” could then vote in good conscience for the Senate bill.

Second, Republicans could vote against this new bill. (Recall that at the time of the Stupak Amendment, some were condemning Republicans who voted in favor, since this amendment got the whole monstrous bill over the top for passage.) This time, if pro-life Republicans of principle vote against a pro-life bill as a purely cynical tactic to stop Obamacare, there is a risk of the “pro-life Democrats” voting for the Senate bill as a backlash against “Republican hypocrisy.” In exchange, they would likely get some sort of promise to re-introduce the pro-life bill after Obamacare is law – a fig leaf to show they stood up for their own principles. They would have their pro-life cover, the Republicans would be portrayed as obstructionists with no principles, and Obamacare would become the law of the land.

I hope I am not over-thinking this thing.

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