One reality of 2018 is that both parties are in a contest for who can isolate more voters with radical positions that don’t represent most Americans. The Democrats may be winning this one.
Congress this week is debating a deal that would prop up ObamaCare for three years with tens of billions of dollars. Yet Democrats have revolted because the deal includes the 1970s Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds from subsidizing abortion.
The left claims this is some new GOP initiative. But Hyde protections have long applied to: Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, the Indian Health Service, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the military health-care program Tricare, among others, as Republicans have pointed out. Such guarantees are standard for appropriations bills.
States can deploy their own funds for coverage, and some do. Medicaid is the second most common method of payment for abortion patients, according to a Guttmacher Institute fact sheet. Some 25 states ban abortion coverage for plans on the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Six more allow coverage but have no ObamaCare plan that offers it.
The left has abandoned the idea that abortion is a personal choice and now regards it a self-evident right that everyone must subsidize. This article of faith apparently trumps the lifetime Democratic achievement of ObamaCare.
Appeared in the March 21, 2018, print edition.