Not Out Of The Woods Yet

A few days ago I mentioned a particularly odious bill that the new Republican house majority was proposing as part of their “Everything EXCEPT Jobs” initiative: H.R. 3. This is the bill that seeks to ‘codify’ the Hyde Amendment regarding federal funds for abortion. The language used in the bill invited a predictable amount of criticism because of its apparent redefinition of rape. The outcry was pretty deafening, with even The Daily Show managing to find some black humor in the misogynist nonsense and resulted in Republicans being forced to back down and rewrite the language. To many, that will seem like a victory and the narrative (sure to be breathlessly repeated by the media) will be that Democrats forced Republicans to compromise.

Except that’s not really the case. As the inestimable Digby lays out here, this seems like a very clever trick by the Right to distract the easily duped Dems and go ahead with their primary goal: restricting access to abortion in the extreme. Notice that in all the talk about the ‘forcible rape’ language, no one thinks to mention that the meat of the bill, the part that will affect federal subsidies for 87% of private insurance plans in America hasn’t changed at all. The gist is that any plan that offers abortion coverage, no matter whether it’s ever actually used, would not be eligible for federal funds. Does your small business cover your employees? Can you afford to do that because of government subsidies to help pay for coverage? Better check the details of the plan because you may no longer qualify. Meteor Blades has an informative rundown of all the ways Republicans want to intrude on every aspect of your private health insurance decisions. So much for smaller government.

This bill will likely never get past the Senate, much less survive an inevitable veto. But it’s important to point out the priorities of the newly elected majority. They’re not content with simply ignoring the number one issue on Americans’ minds. They’re also hell bent on legislating their own narrow morals on all of us, like it or not. So, even though this bill is probably dead in the water, don’t stop keeping an eye on these dangerous lunatics. There’s plenty of other stuff in their crosshairs.



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