November 10, 2009

Health Care for All Everyone but Working-Class Women!

In lieu of a proper response to the news of the anti-choice Stupak amendment being tacked on to the House health care bill -- I would suggest Michelle Goldberg's latest in the American Prospect as a place to start -- I want to note that the idea of an otherwise good bill being derailed by a bad amendment reminded me of this classic scene:
Kent: With our utter annihilation imminent, our federal government has snapped into action. We go live now via satellite to the floor of the United States congress.
Speaker: Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of --
Congressman: Wait a minute, I want to tack on a rider to that bill: $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.
Speaker: All in favor of the amended Springfield-slash-pervert bill? [everyone boos]
Speaker: Bill defeated. [bangs gavel]
Kent: I've said it before and I'll say it again: democracy simply doesn't work.
A little unfair to the anti-abortion crowd, perhaps, but I get the sense that the Stupak amendment has less to do with preventing public dollars from funding abortions -- which is already prohibited under the Hyde Amendment -- and more to do with conservative Democrats trying to make the larger Democratic Party pay homage to them. After all, it's highly unlikely that the Stupak amendment will survive conference and make it in the final bill. I'd also note how bizarre it is for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to have intervened so strongly in support of the Stupak amendment, something you seldom see them do on other matters of social justice.

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