Abortion has become the defining issue of the Democratic Party. Killing unwanted babies in the womb seems to trump every other issue.
Last post I told you how Democrats had thrown the interests of Catholics under the bus in favor of abortion (Democrats Choose Abortion Over Catholics). Today we’ll see how seeking abortion funding is more important to them than funding that lowers premiums for low-income Americans.
Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments
In an earlier post (ObamaCare – To Save or Not to Save?) I explained the debate that was raging in Congress over cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which are payments to insurers by the government intended to lower premiums and deductibles for healthcare purchased by low-income individuals on the exchanges. These CSRs were illegally made by the Obama administration without Congressional appropriations.
The Trump administration ceased these illegal payments until Congress took appropriate steps to authorize them. This issue was part of the recent Congressional debate before passage of the omnibus spending bill.
Republicans were willing to approve the CSRs in an effort to lower premiums and deductibles for low-income Americans. Democrats wanted the same thing – so where’s the problem? Democrats also wanted to throw out the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortion except in extreme circumstances. The Hyde Amendment has been in effect since first passed in 1976.
Democrats Choose Abortion
The $1.3 Trillion spending bill is now history. It was passed and reluctantly signed by President Trump last week. Who won and lost in the CSRs v. Hyde Amendment debate?
The clear losers are low-income individuals who will have to pay higher premiums and deductibles next year. The CSRs were not approved. The Congressional Budget Office estimates premiums will rise about 10% on the exchanges next year.
Why weren’t the CSRs approved? The Wall Street Journal says Democrats are blaming Republicans for “demanding the inclusion of abortion restrictions they knew would be unacceptable to Democrats. Republicans say they negotiated in good faith and that Democrats rejected reasonable rules on abortion.”
Notice that both sides agree that the issue of contention is abortions, not lowering premiums and deductibles for low-income Americans! In other words, Democrats have chosen the issue of abortion over the issue of lower-cost healthcare for low-income Americans.
Democrats seem to believe that defending abortion is a bigger political issue than the cost of healthcare. It’s a bigger issue even than propping up their failing ObamaCare. Perhaps they believe that when premiums rise in November, just before the mid-term elections, voters will thank them for fighting for abortion funding even though this fight resulted in higher healthcare costs for them.
Could there be another explanation?
It’s also just as possible that Democrats believe that voters will blame Republicans for their higher healthcare premiums and not blame Democrats for insisting on government funding of abortions. Just as Democrats seem to believe that keeping DACA legislation unsettled is a better election issue than actually solving the problem, they may believe that higher healthcare costs is a winning issue – even though the cause is ObamaCare – and their insistence on funding abortions.