Stupak & You

I've been following with interest the tactical debate among opponents of Pelosicare about whether it was wise or unwise to support the Stupak amendment banning federal funding of abortion in the healthcare plan (the contra argument being that you should never make a bad bill better, thereby increasing its chances of passing).

Seems to me it's a good thing to have it on record that the majority of the House opposes footing the bill for abortions, although some pro-lifers are pitifully crowing over a pyrrhic victory. The language can be reversed any time and indeed is likely to come out in conference.

Many folks have noticed as Jennifer Rubin does here that the President promised a bill that would not provide federal funding for abortion yet has already sabotaged the Stupak amendment.
Saying the bill cannot change the status quo regarding the ban on federally funding abortions, the President said “there are strong feelings on both sides” about an amendment passed on Saturday and added to the legislation, “and what that tells me is that there needs to be some more work before we get to the point where we’re not changing the status quo.
Rubin points out
Yes, the status quo for more than 30 years has been that taxpayers don’t subsidize abortions. But the president thinks women’s “insurance choices” would be restricted, so the Stupak amendment is kaput.
Note something else about the extreme hostility to the Stupak amendment. The status quo indeed is that taxpayers don't pay for abortions, but it must be admitted that it is also status quo that while plans covering Federal employees don't cover abortion, some --many-- private insurance plans and HMOs do cover it. (Indeed, I know more than one large family whose insurers have helpfully informed them that they'd be covering no further live births, but "terminations" were still covered.)

So when the Dems fret that the Stupak amendment is going to take an option away from many women, it seems to me they are revealing to us that the health care bill is going to leave us with only one plan -- or a "variety" of plans distinct in name only as their terms, conditions and what they will cover will be dictated by Kathleen Sebelius. If there were any, ahem, "choice" envisioned in the bill, the Stupak amendment would pose no problem for the status quo, because people for whom abortion coverage was important would simply choose a non-government option. Stupak interferes with the status quo only because no option to the federal plan is actually envisioned.