With the announcement earlier this afternoon by Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak of Michigan that he is willing to support the Democratic health care “reform” bill in return for assurances from President Obama of an executive order supposedly guaranteeing that there will be no federal funding of abortion if the bill becomes law, its passage is now all but assured.
Stupak made the announcement surrounded by a handful of Democratic lawmakers who had held out their “yes” votes on the bill set for a vote on Sunday. The swing means a movement by as many as a dozen Democrats who had said they wanted stronger restrictions on abortion funding in the 10-year, $870 billion legislation.
Assuming the President’s bill is signed into law tonight or tomorrow, at least history will record the shady way in which this legislation was actually passed into law. To avoid Democratic lawmakers having to endure too much public wrath of their constituents, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership called the House of Representatives into session on a Sunday-a day when most Americans are relaxing with family and friends, enjoying today’s NASCAR race at Bristol, or most likely attending their local house of worship. Americans generally don’t think much about politics on Sunday, which is what the Democrats were hoping for. While Sunday sessions are legal, they are virtually unheard of except in times on national emergency. This legislation is nothing that could not have waited 24 hours, but if it did, it would almost certainly fail.
Even on Sunday, protestors lined the area around the federal Capitol shouting “kill the bill” and “we will remember.” In Congressman Stupak’s case, he accepted a paper assurance of law that is very easily undone and sold his pro-life birthright for a mess of pottage. He will be remembered as the new Esau of the pro-life movement.
“That is not the rule of law. That’s the rule of man. One man can sign an executive order and one man can repeal that again, the president of the United States,” said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., appearing on “Fox News Sunday” before the deal was announced. “So for those of us in the pro-life movement and the — and my Democrat friends who are pro-life, that doesn’t cut it. A executive order is not something that is permanent law.”
House Minority Leader John Boehner added that the executive order “can direct members of the executive branch, it cannot direct the private sector.”
“Because of Roe v. Wade, courts have interpreted the decision as a statutory mandate that the government must provide federal funding for elective abortion in through federal programs. In other words, no executive order or regulation can override a statutory mandate unless Congress passes a law that prohibits federal funding from being used in this manner,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement.
Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., added that pro-life Democrats should be alarmed by a promise coming from a politician with a 100 percent rating from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
“This puts the fate of the unborn in the hands of the most pro-abortion president in history,” he said.
Perhaps most alarming for States like Tennessee, which collectively knows all about having to clean up the sad mess of a failed government health care system in TennCare, is that under this legislation which appears to be headed toward passage, we could be placed on the hook for unfunded mandates potentially hundreds of billions of dollars beginning in 2016:
Under the bill, Democrats require the federal government to pick up the entire cost of new Medicaid patients through 2016. But then the states start to pick up more and more, first by 5 percent, then it rises year-by-year to 10 percent.
But the states are having a hard time now and many say even a small share of insuring 16 million more Medicaid patients down the road will be tough.
“Every member of Congress will be hearing from their governor, from every political person in their state saying we don’t have the money,” said Jospeh Antos, a health care scholar with the American Enterprise Institute.
He told Fox News that pushing 16 million more into that system will stress it to the breaking point. That’s because Medicaid reimburses so far below private insurance — even below Medicare — that Medicaid patients have trouble even finding a doctor.
“You can wait a very, very long time,” Antos said. “People talk about the problem with waiting lines, and rationing and so on. It’s happening right now in the Medicaid program.”
Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., called health care reform an “entitlement expansion.”
“They spent $400 billion to put 15 million on Medicaid and we all know that Medicaid doesn’t really deliver the goods,” he said. “It’s really a false promise.”
So how will Tennessee pay for this expanded federal tyranny? Unless we have the intestinal fortitude to tell the federal government simply to shove their health care and their unfunded mandates up their collective rear end (which I hope we do), be prepared for the never-ending income tax debate-the one that was supposed to be dead, remember-to be reopened in about seven years.