QUAERITUR: tonight’s “health care” speech by POTUS

During his address to a joint session of Congress, what with Pres. Obama say about public funding for abortion?




Obviously, he did mention it.  And there was a rather lukewarm reaction, wasn’t there?

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  1. DocJim says:

    He will avoid it entirely. He is smart enough to know he cannot spin this one.

  2. trad catholic mom says:

    I think it will be a lot of finger pointing and guilt tripping. But I don’t think he will even bring up abortion.

    There will be lots of “it’s a moral obligation for our country to provide health care”, conveniently omitting that his plan is a mandate for consumers to purchase insurance, and if not they will be fined, and has nothing to do with providing health care to anyone.

    Obama has said from all the way back in the Democratic primaries that he wants a mandate and fine system like Massachusetts has.

  3. Peggy R says:

    He’ll either ignore it or lie that it won’t be covered.

  4. Bill in Texas says:

    Apparently even the more liberal Catholic organizations are now telling Congress that abortion must be specifically named as excluded from coverage. None of this “neutral wording” or “leave it up to DHHS bureaucrats” subterfuge.

    Personally, as an over-60 diabetic who cannot get health care coverage, period, unless I am employed and covered under a group plan, I want to see changes to insurance regulations that would make it possible for me to get covered (and at a reasonable cost, not some astronomical jacked-up figure). But NOT if it means that I have to pay for abortions. I would choose to go without the medication and treatment for my diabetes and go blind/die/both from the effects. Of course, maybe that’s what some of the Dr. Death camp want.

  5. Bill Haley says:

    He is full of promises and platitudes all palatably delivered, but with his notable lack of substance is it worth my time to listen to it?

  6. MargaretMN says:

    I go with the “nothing.” It will be all about access and choice. You can’t do soaring rhetoric about rationing, cost etc. And why focus on sordid details like abortion?

  7. Tominellay says:

    I don’t think he’ll mention abortion.

  8. JohnE says:

    I think he might. If so, in the context of “myth-busting” or seeking “common ground”, perhaps even saying he now agrees that abortion should not be included, but then never explicitly excluding it either. While the media drums up support by praising his level-headedness and willingness to compromise, and tears are shed for not yet achieving the goal Ted Kennedy for so long fought for, he will press hard for a vote. He doesn’t need to fool everyone, he just needs to provide enough cover for those who already want to support it.

  9. shoofoolatte says:

    Abortion is now covered by insurance policies.

    How can he change that without the law being changed to make abortion illegal?

  10. John Enright says:

    I don’t think he’ll say anything at all about conservative values at all. He’s very good at hiding the ball.

  11. I sense that Obama will play “the-I’m-the-Cheshire-cat” card tonight during the course of his address. He will try convince conservativees that tehir fears are irrelevant and that his healthcare policies are the best this country has seen in years.

    IMHO, his whole strategy of late reminds of a fable by Aesop in which the poor crow had to drop its little piece of cheese into the wolf’s mouth. Obama will say anything to conciliate with anybody. It’s the name ofh te game.

  12. MargaretMN says:

    Well, I was wrong. He said no federal funding for abortion. Nancy Pelosi’s face went a whiter shade of pale.

  13. shoofoolatte says:

    “No federal funds will be used to fund abortions.”

    President Obama is more “conservative” than you give him credit for. But I wouldn’t call him “conservative”, I’d call him a man of integrity and deep spirituality.

  14. MargaretMN says:

    Shoo, abortion is not currently funded with federal tax dollars, at least not directly. My state funds abortions but many do not. Private insurance covers whatever the insurer offers in their plan and the employer or individual will pay for.

  15. DJR says:

    I’m watching the speech right now, and he said that his healthcare proposals will not cover abortions and will protect conscience laws- from the looks that Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden gave after he said that, it sounds like they didn’t expect that!

    But, I think this is good that he came out and said it. If he is being honest, which I hope he is, it is a step in the right direction for a President who has had an agressive pro-abortion agenda. If he is not telling the truth, and abortions are funded by this plan, he can be held accountable in 2012 with his own words.

    All in all, putting the politics of the issue aside, his comments on abortion were good to hear.

  16. MargaretMN says:

    Here is the problem. He won’t veto a bill with federal funding for abortion. He isn’t proposing it. But watch this bill and I bet that Democrats try to amend the bill with the stuff that comes outside his “compromise.” The bill will get “improved.” He said so himself.

  17. Jacob says:

    “No federal funds will be used to fund abortions.”
    President Obama is more “conservative” than you give him credit for. But I wouldn’t call him “conservative”, I’d call him a man of integrity and deep spirituality.
    Comment by shoofoolatte — 9 September 2009 @ 7:41 pm

    I am curious about what actions he’s taken since coming into office that illustrate his integrity in your eyes. Thanks in advance.

  18. Luis says:

    He has mentioned abortion. He denies federal funds will be used which is a prevarication. He also said illegal immigrants will not be covered. That is a prevarication since as soon as the law passes the courts will expand the law to include the coverage. I am sure the Constitutional Law professor knows that… integrity! Hardly. Sip, sip… this koolaid is great.

  19. maynardus says:

    “President Obama is… a man of integrity and deep spirituality.”

    As was Ted Kennedy. And Nancy Pelosi is a devout Catholic.

    How dare anyone doubt them, they’ve said so themselves! And I’m sure Fr. Fleger and Rev. Wright will attest to the president’s spirituality to boot!

    Clinton usually got all folksy when he was lying to us, this president gets louder and rather shrill. I take no joy in admitting that I simply don’t believe him about anything to do with abortion, regardless of what the apparent facial expressions of the V.P. and Speaker might be. Re-read what he said, there’s nothing substantive there, no explicit pledge not to sign a bill which fails to specifically exclude abortion, it’s all smoke and mirrors as usual.

  20. shoofoolatte says:

    Jacob, the first thing that Obama did after taking office was to end torture.

    THat illustrates integrity in my eyes.

    Am I the only one to find the final themes of this speech to be very Catholic?

  21. “Man of integrity and deep spirituality”? Maybe in the Bizzaro universe, but not here. He has used tactics to advance his agenda that would have made Nixon, Clinton, and Johnson blush. His appointments have been an embarrassment. His spirituality seems to be a mishmash of Marx and New Age syncretism.

  22. MargaretMN says:

    The same day he “ended torture” he signed the order rescinding the mexico city policy.

  23. shoofoolatte says:

    Hmmmm. Something tells me I don’t belong here …

  24. gloriainexcelsis says:

    He lied.

  25. danidunn says:

    Supposedly the health care system is broken. The first question to ask is what is the health care system? For most of us, that means that we have health insurance through our work. That health insurance, for the most part, pays for nearly all of our health care minus a “minimal” co-pay.

    This system distorts the cost of health care. So, what is the solution? Doubling down! Making everybody have health insurance! How is that going to possibly contain costs?

    The real solution would not be to continue business as usual where the doctors and hospitals make tons of money. The Democrat solution is to replace the insurance companies. Insurance companies are not the reason doctors and hospitals charge a lot of money for health care. They have as much incentive to lower costs as the government does. Of course, they are demonized for that. And, the opposition to the Democrat plan is demonizing that plan along the same lines by claiming that the government run health care will lead to rationing.

    The solution is to get rid of the middle man and allow people to understand how much they are really paying for their medical care. And, to allow real competition by destroying the AMA’s monopoly on certifying and thereby rationing the number of doctors.

  26. EXCHIEF says:

    Can’t speak for anyone else and certainly not for Fr. Z but the majority of folks who post here are what may best be described as orthodox Catholics. Speaking only for myself I cannot believe nor support any elected official who does not put reverence for life from conception to natural death at the very top of his/her priority list. Even if I agreed with you that his decision on “torture” (which the CIA’s actions did not constitute under Geneva Convention definitions) was appropriate (and I don’t agree with you) I would still be unable to support him because of his consistent support for abortion and, more than that, infanticide.

    IMO Mr. Obama speaks out of not just both but all sides of his mouth. He will lie to one group and then lie to another taking opposing positions each time just to get his way. Unfortunately that is the gameplan out of his mentors’ books and the gameplan of Chicago-land politics where he learned his trade.

    On another subject (and admittedly this is not very Christian) I did not watch the address to Congress. I find it impossible to watch Obama though I generally read printed versions of his speeches after the fact. I was amused at one poster’s comment that Pelosi turned an even whiter shade of white. My uncharitable question is did both she and Biden burst their botox over BO’s remarks?

  27. robtbrown says:

    President Obama is more “conservative” than you give him credit for. But I wouldn’t call him “conservative”, I’d call him a man of integrity and deep spirituality.
    Comment by shoofoolatte

    I don’t see any evidence of either.

    Frankly, I have been surprised by him. I expected an intelligent man able to adjust to DC politics. What I have found, however, is a self righteous liberal who is offended whenever someone opposes him. And–this has really been a surprise–he seems an accomplished BS artist.

  28. robtbrown says:

    Jacob, the first thing that Obama did after taking office was to end torture.

    Did he? Or was it merely a political gesture?

    This war against terrorism is a dirty war, and most of what is being done is invisible to most of us. There have been Al Qaeda lieutenants who had their throats slit in the middle of the night.

    The Sausage Factory principle applies.

    THat illustrates integrity in my eyes.

    Am I the only one to find the final themes of this speech to be very Catholic?
    Comment by shoofoolatte

    What were the specifically Catholic themes?

  29. priest up north says:

    The president may say no funding for abortions, but that is not the same as saying he will put an end to abortion. Remember, this is life and death! There is no compromise to killing!

  30. Charivari Rob says:

    “No federal funds will be used to fund abortions.”

    Does that mean, “Abortions will not be covered under anybody’s federally funded/administered health insurance, however – the federal government will give grant money to states and municipalities for community health initiatives, including ‘reproductive health’ services”?

    “…has used tactics to advance his agenda that would have made Nixon, Clinton, and Johnson blush.”

    Is there any sort of historical record that would suggest the existence of anything that would ever have made LBJ blush?

  31. j says:

    “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”

    The conscience law pledge seems hard to get around.

    The no federal dollars pledge would be easy to circumvent if Obama wished to by providing federal dollars to the “public marketplace” and having the insurance companies so funded then provide abortion. He may have painted himself into a corner if he wishes to fudge on abortion through Medicaid.

    of course, assuming he is a man of his word….

  32. patrick_f says:

    What you have to remember about our president, and the congress, and presidents before him for the most part, is (and this is why the system is somewhat broken), they spend most their term trying to get re elected

    This is all President Obama has done, aside from advancing his own agenda, which as liberal as it may be, is his agenda.

    Is he lying? Probably. Was there some catholic essence to parts of his speech? Sure. But anyone can “sound catholic”. Its not that hard to do, and even our highest elected officials in the church have sounded and acted catholic when it suited their interests.

    However, IMHO, “sounding catholic” should be taken with a grain of salt, as simply “sounding catholic”. Speeches, should do nothing to convince the citizen. Actions should. When you rely on speeches, you essentially create a “dictator”, which I am sure no one wants. Speeches exist solely to give a politician something to do to waste his time.

    The problem with us as a people, on both sides of the isle, is we have a blind stupid ambition that any of these guys are going to be truthful 100 percent of the time. We should be more aware of actions then words, and start holding these folks accountable.

    I also firmly believe, that we will not win the pro life struggle with the pen and the paper alone. It will take prayer for mercy from Almighty God, prayer to the Holy Spirit that He will inspire those elected officials will make the right decisions. Even if we had the Pope himself as president, and he outlawed abortion, someone would just rally congress to over throw it. Its going to take more then laws alone. However, preventing new abuses is certainly something that needs to be done as well

    We cant give in on our side to screaming and yelling or worse shouting “Liar” (as an example), because it immediately can be used to discredit us. To coin a corny modern song , “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”. Love, and prayer will change abortion, nothing else.

    Granted the discussion is avoiding having federal tax dollars funding abortions, death panels, and the so called “public option”, but, writing laws are only part of the problem. Did not our Lord criticize the Pharisees for holding to the law on paper, but not in their hearts? Makes no difference if there is a law, if people ‘s hearts arent there

    Finally, in response to a thought of “shoofoolatte” , I would challenge that anyone who is seeking truth in their faith, belongs “here”. The very fact one went through the effort to register, shows that there is some inclination. I dont know you, nor do I know where God has you on your journey, but the one challenge I would make is, being a Catholic, we have to not only be concerned with social justice, but also what is demanded of us from Holy Scripture. Number 5 is “Thou shalt not Kill”. If one misses that, to feed the poor, or house the homeless, one still missed the bar. A politician can brag his Christianity all he wants. His actions will be the proof.

  33. kelleyb says:

    When a health care bill is passed,it will probably not include abortion coverage. However, my guess is that 60 seconds after it goes into effort a lawsuit will force us to pay for all of them.

  34. paladin says:

    shoofoolatte wrote:

    Hmmmm. Something tells me I don’t belong here…

    Well… that rather depends on what you want, what you expect, and how you’re willing to act, I think. Fr. Z.’s clarity and style largely attracts orthodox (i.e. faithful and well-informed) Catholics to his blog–who look with great alarm (or worse) at any attempt to minimize or (though I shudder to use the word) “nuance” the 50,000,000+ deaths by dismemberment, saline burning, etc., through some ill-conceived comparison to promoting other lesser goods, such as health care reform (though it need not be managed by the federal government), care of the poor (as if the Church hadn’t surpassed every government in the world, in that respect!), and the like.

    Point to ponder: don’t you think it’s possible to support all those (admittedly good) things, **AND** fight the inhuman crime of abortion with all our strength? Seriously, I do not see a contradiction between the two… and any politician who “splits the difference” by supporting the former at the expense of the latter needs to be voted out of office (or kept out of office) until he gets his sanity back.

    When you support the “let’s buy lesser goods, at the cost of tolerating and enabling the mass-murder of unborn babies”, then yes… you’ll face a great deal of consternation, here (though I’ve found the restraint of such peopel on this blog, as of late, to be remarkable, almost to the level of heroic)… since no sane Catholic who knew anything about the Faith could possibly support that idea… and those who “pop in” and promote it, without preamble, will come across as trolls who simply want to stir up trouble with inflammatory comments.

    Does that clarify?

    Am I the only one to find the final themes of this speech to be very Catholic?

    I couldn’t say… because, in these days when Kathleen Sebelius can call herself “pro-life”, and when Nancy Pelosi can call herself a “faithful Catholic”, the secular use of the word “Catholic” is almost meaningless… and that seems to be your use of the word.

    Check out C.S. Lewis’s “Mere Christianity”–especially the bit about the gradual dilution and destruction of the word “Christian” (now meaning “anyone whom we now want to praise, for whatever reason).

  35. Shzilio says:

    “What you have to remember about our president, and the congress, and presidents before him for the most part, is (and this is why the system is somewhat broken), they spend most their term trying to get re elected”

    Patrick_f, I have to disagree with you a little on this point. The system isn’t perfect but it’s not broken. I would submit that people who make up the system are broken or perhaps fractured. Too much self interest guides the people in the system, but it’s the people who make the system that are often the cause of the problem, not necessarily the system itself.

  36. Girgadis says:

    While I won’t support or stand by idly and watch a bill pass that subsidizes abortion, euthanasia or embryo destruction, something has to be done about discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions. To allow this to continue, imo, flies in the face of defending life at all stages. When an insurance company can tell a person they’re too expensive or too “risky” to cover, how exactly is that different from a death panel who decides who is and isn’t worth saving? The pro-life side of the aisle, including the handful of Democrats who support defending life, need to come up with something other than saying no to the president’s plan and offer an alternative that will end the pre-existing condition clause that causes too many Americans to face personal bankruptcy or slow death because they weren’t born perfect.

  37. MargaretMN says:

    Girgadis raises a good point. But here is something to think about: much of the apparent inequity that the President used as examples to support his point have to do with how different the health insurance markets are in the 50 states. There is now a great deal of variation of how well you will be treated and what your costs are depending on, not just your employer’s choice but your state’s laws. There is no national market for health insurance. The examples he gave about people being booted or having benefits cut arbitrarily (assuming that’s the whole story) couldn’t happen in MN. Pre-existing conditions are covered, provided one can prove that they had insurance previously (I can’t remember if it’s 30 or 90 days). So if you switch insurance due to job loss or something else, you only have to prove that you had insurance recently. Obviously that’s the prevent somebody getting sick and then signing up for insurance when they never wanted to pay for it before. But if you were previously covered, the insurer must cover you. (We also have a lot of “must cover” mandates). The flip side is that insurance is very expensive in MN compared to other states, especially if you are a relatively healthy person. This means that young healthy people are less likely to see the worth of purchasing individual policies and will tempt fate by going without.

    We also have a solution for the self employed who are refused by the private insurer. There is a state pool for people who fall into that category. You still have to buy insurance but it’s offered to you through this state group plan. If you can’t afford the rate, there is a subsidy. This is in addition to MNCare which is a program specifically for the poor who don’t fit into Medicaid or S-Chip.

    If health insurance goes federal, I think all these solutions to the specific problems of the uninsured will go out the window. We in MN will probably be worse off but people in Alabama will probably be better off.

  38. Eric says:

    The president said a public option for health care would keep down health care costs like public universities keep down the cost of higher education.
    Hello, the cost of college tuition has skyrocketed over the last twenty years. It has outpaced healthcare increases by nearly two to one. College tuition has one of the highest rates of increase of any major expense in the country.
    Yeah, I want health care to be like that!
    The numbers belie the concept. knock, knock ,knock anybody home?

  39. JohnE says:

    while (supportForHealthCarePlan < supportNeeded && abortionIsFunded)) {
    System.out.println(“No federal funds will be used to fund abortions.”);

  40. Supertradmom says:

    He lied, as lying is in intention to cover up.

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