Like many Americans, I’m confused about President Obama’s proposed health care plan. Congress is in the process of shaping the bill, and quite possibly the future of America. Around the country, heated debate is taking place in town hall forums. This is democracy at its best.
I see a lot of people screaming as we’re being inundated with media coverage of this issue in real time — but what I’m not seeing are the facts. And how can we?
At this point, we don’t know what final provisions will be included in this important piece of legislation. I’m fairly confident that even some of the congressmen who will vote on it won’t grasp it in its entirety. This is why I’m left scratching my head while pondering an editorial in Tuesday’s Desmoines Register.
The op-ed piece attempts to “clarify” the facts of health care reform legislation for pro-life groups. "Anti-abortion-rights groups either don't have the facts about health-care reform, or they're intentionally distorting them,” it reads.
The paper, however, is actually guilty of the very crime it’s accusing its opponents of committing. The paper says reports that the public health care plan will pay for abortion are flatly erroneous, then it delves into an “explanation” — I use that word loosely — of the public option for health insurance. The alleged explanation clearly misses the point. We don’t want Health Care 101, we want answers to our specific questions.
It seems to me that what the author gives with his left hand, he quickly takes away with his right. Since I’m a reporter and a logophile — “lover of words” — some of the paper’s word choices raise some red flags.
The Register says that the proposed legislation “does not require coverage for specific procedures — including abortion.” But it doesn’t exclude the possibility that my tax dollars might directly or indirectly spring for someone to unjustly take the life of a defenseless human being.
Here’s the kicker. The paper admits that at this stage we only have drafts of legislation and — “obviously, details have not yet been determined, so there is no way of knowing whether or not abortion will be covered.”
Then, why did the editorial claim pro-life groups are wrong?
Now we’ve come to the point of the editorial. The article has already systematically refuted each of its own points, and so it’s on to the next task: flatly attack the pro-life cause rather than dealing with our arguments against abortion. The paper accuses pro-lifers of “latching on” to the health care reform legislation to draw attention to our “agenda” through propaganda. Yet, what it’s doing is no different. The author just used the pages of the Desmoines Register to tell readers to push health care reform through regardless of whether abortion is directly or indirectly funded in Obama’s health care bill.
Why are they right and we’re wrong?
“No one should let a wedge issue derail efforts to help millions of Americans secure affordable, comprehensive health insurance,” he concludes. And what of the millions of Americans who are killed every year by abortion? Why should some Americans be given rights and not others? The author is begging the question by assuming that the unborn are not human and should therefore not be a consideration in this national debate.
Truth is, we don’t know what the final bill will entail. In the meantime, we have every right as Americans to question it. And we don’t need newspaper editorials misleading the public.
Considering Obama’s track record on abortion, we have every right to be worried.