White House at Odds with Bishops Over Abortion Coverage in Reid "Health Care" Bill
(Hat tip: Tito at The American Catholic)
Here we go again:
WASHINGTON – The White House is on a collision course with Catholic bishops in an intractable dispute over abortion that could blow up the fragile political coalition behind President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.
A top Obama administration official on Thursday praised the new Senate health care bill's attempt to find a compromise on abortion coverage — even as an official of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said Sen. Harry Reid's bill is the worst he's seen so far on the divisive issue.
The bishops were instrumental in getting tough anti-abortion language adopted by the House, forcing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to accept restrictions that outraged liberals as the price for passing the Democratic health care bill. Reid, D-Nev., now faces a similar choice: Ultimately, he will need the votes of Democratic senators who oppose abortion to get his bill through the Senate.
So far, Reid has steered the Senate bill in a direction that abortion rights supporters can live with: allowing coverage for abortion in federally subsidized health care plans, provided that private funds are used to pay for the procedure. But abortion opponents say his compromise would gut current federal restrictions on abortion funding.
Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the bishops' conference Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, said Reid's "is actually the worst bill we've seen so far on the life issues."
He called it "completely unacceptable," adding that "to say this reflects current law is ridiculous."
Previous Pro Ecclesia posts on this subject:
"Pro-Life" Harry Reid Strips Stupak Language from Senate ObamaCare Bill