Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Congressman Clearer on Moral Issues than Evangelical Leaders

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich) has a clearer sense of moral implications of the Senate health care bill than evangelical leaders such as David Neff (editor of Christianity Today), Brian McLaren (Emerging Church movement), Joel Hunter (pastor of a Florida megachurch), and Ron Sider (Evangelicals for Social Action).

These and other evangelical bright lights signed a statement of strong support for the current Senate bill. They applauded the bill as protecting life “at all stages” and prohibiting federal funding of abortion and ensuring “conscience protections”.

Astoundingly they believe that the current health system is “an unjust healthcare system that for too long has cost too much while delivering too little.” Maybe “unjust” in not covering everyone. But unjust in “delivering too little”. Hadn’t heard that before. How many Americans are fleeing to other countries for medical care because they get too little of it here?

Strange for these leaders to assert too little care when 58% of Americans rate the quality of US health care as good or excellent. An astounding 81% rate their own health care as good or excellent. Hmm. Maybe these evangelical leaders are in the 20% who have had bad luck with their doctors and medical care.

The Gallup Poll indicated that 69% of Americans say their own health care coverage is good or excellent. And 62% are satisfied with their health care costs. So much for paying too much and getting too little. Are these evangelical leaders that out of touch with most Americans?

As to conscience protections, apparently Rep. Stupak's conscience doesn’t count–-nor does his expertise at understanding legislative language. Stupak found lots of problems in the bill that the evangelicals leaders missed.

Rep. Stupak called the Senate version “unacceptable”. He said the Senate version “indicates a dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage”.

Too bad the evangelical leaders didn’t bother to consult with Stupak before wading into political waters and moral issues obviously above their pay grade.

UPDATE: In an interview with Greta Van Susteren, Rep. Stupak points out that Senator Nelson's language in the Senate bill "recognizes abortion as a benefit . . . underneath the federal plan", requires at least one plan to provide abortion coverage, and requires every person enrolled in the exchange plan to pay $1 per month for reproductive rights which includes abortion coverage.
No, no. The bill's amendment, besides firewall, does a number of things that's a dramatic break from current policy. The Stupak amendment keeps current policy, which says no federal funding for abortion and no federal funding for insurance policies that have abortion as a benefit.

What the Nelson language does, besides the firewall, it, number one, recognize abortion as a benefit in the federal -- as a benefit underneath the federal plan. Number two, it says that at least one plan -- could be nine out of ten plans, but at least one plan must have abortion coverage. Number three, ever[y] enrollee in the exchange (INAUDIBLE) OPM, the Office of Personnel Management, they call it -- would have to pay $1 per month for reproductive rights, which would include abortion coverage. So the Nelson amendment deviates many ways from current law and from the Stupak amendment.
[emphasis added]
H/T The Weekly Standard

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