After a meeting between Pro-Life Democrat Bart Stupak and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi over abortion coverage in the House health care reform bill, it does not appear that the Speaker of the House is going to budge much. A Democratic Aide close to the process tells The Brody File the following about what transpired at the meeting:
“The meeting was productive -- they had a good discussion. The Speaker and leadership want to listen to all members of their caucus. The bottom line is that the status quo is likely to prevail -- no federal money to be used to pay for abortion services, as stated in Capps amendment.”
To read the Capps amendment click here.
To read the take by Rep. Louis Capps on her amendment click here. Here's a quick take on what Rep. Capps has to say about her amendment:
Unfortunately many -- from politicians to pundits -- misunderstand or intentionally misrepresent my amendment as a significant departure from current law. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, many independent fact checkers and even the non-partisan Congressional Research Service have found the amendment preserves the status quo in federal abortion policy.
As I mentioned earlier, under my amendment no federal funds may be used to pay for abortions that are not allowed by current law (the Hyde Amendment, which makes exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman). The only funds that may be used to pay for other abortion services are from private funds generated by the policyholders' premiums, whether the policyholder is covered by a private plan or the public option.
Pro-lifers say wait a minute. Those "private funds" go into the U.S. Treasury thus become federal funds. They call it an accounting loophole. In addition they point out a few other things. First off, they are concerned that with a Democratic Congress and President Obama as President, the Hyde Amendment, which has to be renewed every year could be in serious jeopardy. Plus, they say the Hyde Amendment applies to Medicare not this specific health care reform bill so unless there is specific language (other than the Hyde amendment) in the bill then it will allow for abortions.
They'll be a test on this later.
Don't be surprised if the Capps amendment is tinkered with a little bit to try and satisfy Pro-Life Democrats who could hold up the bill if they don't like what they see. Having said that, it looks like the Capps Amendment is not only not going away but it will remain largely in its current form.