Friday, January 15, 2010
House version vs Senate version
Here is a letter from Martha Coakley's campaign explaining the difference between the House bill (which she rejected) and the Senate bill (which she "reluctantly" accepted):
Thank you for being in touch with the campaign, and for sharing your thoughts on health care reform. It is true that Martha would reluctantly support the Senate healthcare bill. As a feminist and a
person committed to true reform with a public option and one that does not compromise women’s rights, she certainly understands your disappointment in this decision. However, she is unwilling to let Republican obstructionism thwart reform altogether. She has long said that she would vote for a reform bill only if it greatly expands coverage, improves quality and contains costs. While far from perfect, Martha believes the Senate bill takes significant steps toward
reaching these goals. She understands that the fight for a better healthcare system will not end with the January vote. Rather, once the bill is passed, Martha will continue fighting for the progressive improvements that we agree would achieve the most affordable and comprehensive coverage for all Americans.
To your comment, Martha finds the abortion language in the Senate bill troubling. As Attorney General, she fought hard to ensure a woman’s right to choose, defending legislation that would create and expand
buffer zones around reproductive healthcare facilities and, earlier this year, filing lawsuit challenging Bush administration provider conscience regulations that jeopardized a woman’s ability to access reproductive healthcare services. That said, there are important
distinctions between what was passed in the House and what was passed in the Senate. As you note, the House provision would effectively bar any insurance plan accepting government subsidies from covering
elective abortions. The Senate bill, on the other hand, would allow such insurers to sell plans covering abortions, but would require women to pay for that portion of the coverage separately. While this
is a disappointing, added administrative burden, the Senate bill will still allow people to buy this coverage, provided that they pay for the portion covering abortions separately.
Martha understands that a much better bill can be imagined, but she is unwilling to block reforms that Democrats and other progressives have sought for decades. We hope this information will change your mind about the upcoming election, and you will decide to vote on January 19th.
Posted by 1950 Democrat at 12:33 AM