Health Care: Making Waves On Women’s Reproductive Health And Choice

Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day — and the 89th anniversary of women winning the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment.

I spent an hour yesterday on a call organized by the White House regarding health care and inequality of coverage and services for women. It’s an important issue, especially since women have the most to gain from better health care provision. 

It was important enough to the WH that Secretary Kathleen Sebelius from Health and Human Services, Melody Barnes who is chairperson of the WH Domestic Policy Council and Tina Tchen, Deputy Director of the White House’s Office of Public Engagement were all on the call.

The interesting thing?

It seems activist women are less than certain about a Democratic commitment to fighting for reproductive health rights.  Every question except one was about reproductive health issues and the current mishmash of bills.

At one point, I asked about "reproductive conscience" issues and whether the Administration would be pushing for express language in the health care bills preventing prescription refusals or refusals of medical care under standard practice guidelines.  Sec. Sebelius explained that the President had issued an EO rescinding the overly broad "conscience rule" from the Bush years back in February which she thought was sufficient.

They are also currently working on rules dealing with allowing for conscience objections while making certain that health care is not compromised.

Does that mean care and reproductive rights will again be compromised?  She didn’t say, but I’ll certainly be following up on that.

When I reiterated that, living in a rural state like WV, women could be severely limited in where they could get health care, and that poorer women, especially, might have difficulty with transportation to another clinic or pharmacy miles away from their home? Sec. Sebelius indicated that she understood that very well, and that was certainly being taken into consideration. But those issues were being tackled separately from the health care bill itself.

And then?

Tina Tchen from the White House Office of Public Engagement stepped in to say that it wasn’t "productive to talk about issues outside the health care process."

In other words, don’t muddy our waters by asking inconvenient questions?

Pardon me if I don’t take that suggestion to heart.

There were several questions directly about abortion and other reproductive services, and why there were limitations in the current spate of bills in both the House and Senate and what the White House planned to push for in the final bill.  The answer?  The White House is watching what Congress is doing, and that the benefit package in the public option would be "decided by a panel of experts."

As though the selection of the panel, the pro- or anti-choice views of said panel members and/or their commitment to science over other considerations wouldn’t have a direct impact on those policy choices?  And yet still no commitment on choice beyond a "we’ll see" attitude and a reference to the limitations of the Hyde Amendment

Again, from Tina Tchen:

"Decisions about what types of medical procedures covered will be made by medical experts, not politicians in political debate." She added, "There is longstanding federal policy around public funding for abortion, stating that there should not be public funding other than through exceptions laid out in the Hyde Amendment. Health care reform is not going to change public policy."

Not if no one bothers to make the case for a need for changes, it won’t. And, of course, if we all stop asking questions unless they are "productive," then no one will push for those changes either.

See how tidy that is?

 
83 Responses to "Health Care: Making Waves On Women’s Reproductive Health And Choice"
Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 05:24 am 1

Morning all — how’s tricks?


dakine01 | Thursday August 27, 2009 05:31 am 2

As most folks know, as long as the health plans cover ED drugs for men, then that’s about the only thing having to do with reproduction that must of DeeCee cares about.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 05:38 am 3
In response to dakine01 @ 2

I was laughing with Mr. ReddHedd this morning about this call yesterday. He was saying that the one thing anyone can do to ensure that I’ll make myself a pain in the ass on an issue is to tell me that I should know my place, so to speak, and not ask questions.

Guess what? *g*


dakine01 | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:03 am 4
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 3

Yeah, “uppity” [fill-in-the-blank] always upset those in charge for not knowing their place in life.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:11 am 5
In response to dakine01 @ 4

Well, honestly, the minute you tell me “don’t ask questions” — I immediately wonder what you might be hiding. Wrong thing to say.


barbara | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:11 am 6

Tina Tchen from the White House Office of Public Engagement stepped in to say that it wasn’t “productive to talk about issues outside the health care process.” (emphasis barbara’s)

I find it ironic that the Office of Public Engagement spokeswarden decides what is and is not “productive” re public engagement conversation(s).


Peterr | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:13 am 7
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 3

On the next conference call, tell them you’re wearing your apron.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:14 am 8
In response to barbara @ 6

I found that a little odd myself. I’m sure it may have been one of those inadvertent slips of the tongue where something comes out a little more stridently than you planned. But, geesh, “not productive” to a call with activists on women’s issues with regard to access to contraceptives and the full range of family planning and choice issues should not have been remotely unexpected given how that has unfolded during the health care debate thus far.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:15 am 9
In response to Peterr @ 7

I almost laughed out loud. Truly. It was just such a funny moment for me. But then, I know how much of a button that “stay in line, peon” kind of language is for me.

Dude, my taxes fund your paycheck. Pardon me if I get out of line whenever I damn well please. *G*


Peterr | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:17 am 10
In response to barbara @ 6

When the female reproductive system is considered “outside the health care process,” that’s a sign we’ve gone beyond “ironic” and moved into “condescending.”


Peterr | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:19 am 11
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 5

Spoken like the parent of a young child.

*G*


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:20 am 12
In response to Peterr @ 10

I do get the point that reproductive health issues are so highly charged politically that they’d rather not have to tackle much on it in a bill process that’s already craptastic at the moment.

But my reproductive health issues are a part of my overall health question. As they are for pretty much every woman — we can’t help it if we have a uterus and hormones and all sorts of wacky situations not of our own making (you know, like getting impregnated when violently raped without our consent and then having to drive three states over to find a doctor willing to talk to us about all our options and not just the ones “morally acceptable” in some states).


cbl2 | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:20 am 13
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 9

Good Morning Christy and Firedogs -

Was chuckling right along with Mr ReddHedd as I read that – ah Ms Tchen, you must be new here . . .


eCAHNomics | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:22 am 14
In response to Christy Hardin Smith @ 9

Don’t wear a gun to the next conference call. Only wingnuts get to do that. It’s not productive for lefties.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:22 am 15
In response to cbl2 @ 13

In fairness, by the end of the call, she did say that we should “continue expressing our views and pushing for health care reform for all Americans.” I just think her version of what we should be pushing and mine might be ever so slightly different. *g*


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:25 am 16
In response to eCAHNomics @ 14

Hey, I’m a really good shot — I got close to 100% on my accuracy rating the last time I did my conceal carry re-up training. But carrying a gun to a public speaking engagement where Secret Service are present? That is in the “what a dumbass” section of discourse and persuadability for me.


PeorgieTirebiter | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:26 am 17

“…especially since women have the most to gain from better health care provision.”
Help an old guy out here with a short primer. Sometimes, the obvious, isn’t obvious to all of us. I can only speak for myself, but I believe fairness is an argument that resonates with most men.


masslib | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:27 am 18

Next time quote them Hillary from 1993:

In 1993, however, Hillary Clinton was clear that public health insurance should cover abortion — despite Hyde. “It will include pregnancy-related services, and that will include abortion as insurance policies currently do,” she told the Senate Finance Committee that September. We still haven’t seen a statement that strong from the Obama administration. But when it comes to health reform, the issue of abortion is now firmly on the table.

1993…I think we could do as well or better for women in 2009.


Peterr | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:27 am 19

Too bad that Tina couldn’t be up front and say “We’re picking our battles right now, and that’s not one we’re going to fight. We’ll protect the status quo, but trying to advance the reproductive health issues will just have to wait.”

It’s not like the folks on this call don’t understand politics, and they might not be happy with that answer — or even downright angry. But my guess is that one thing the folks on this call hate even worse is being condescended to like a bunch of five year olds or (worse) being straight out lied to.


Millineryman | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:28 am 20

Good morning Christy.

I got nothing but this, WTF?


barbara | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:30 am 21
In response to Peterr @ 19

Too bad that Tina couldn’t be up front and say “We’re picking our battles right now, and that’s not one we’re going to fight. We’ll protect the status quo, but trying to advance the reproductive health issues will just have to wait.”

Tina, meet Peterr. He can help you frame your message.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:30 am 22
In response to PeorgieTirebiter @ 17

It is an argument that resonates with everyone — absolutely. But in terms of benefit, women are much less likely to have benefits with their jobs than men (52% versus 73%), even when they work for an employee that offers coverage, one in six is not eligible to take it, often because they are part-time workers. They end up either covered through a spouse (41%), purchasing insurance directly through the individual market (5%), on public programs (10%), or uninsured (38%). This dynamic has several effects. Single women are twice as likely to be uninsured than married women (24% versus 12%).

Married women in the 55 to 64 age group are particularly vulnerable to a discontinuity of coverage as their spouses go on Medicare. Among this age group, there is a drop in dependent employer-sponsored coverage from 39% to 34%.

When employer-based coverage is not an option, some women turn to the individual insurance market. In the 55 to 64 age group, the decline in employer-based coverage is coupled with a rise in the purchase of individual insurance from 5% to 8%. This trend is not seen with men.

That’s all from the HHS link I had above on their report on disparities between women and mean in the health care market. And it doesn’t include the additional burdens on single moms who have to also worry about coverage for children when the father is out of the picture — which is a pretty hefty chunk, sad to say.


barbara | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:33 am 23

This is one of the main reasons I come to FDL, Christy. When you write, I learn. Invariably. Good on ya and good for us.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:33 am 24
In response to masslib @ 18

You’d think, wouldn’t you? Especially at a time when we have a pro-choice president — as Melody Barnes pointed out on the call expressly — and when choice issues have been threatened not just by prior administration policies that have had to be changed but by more recent SCOTUS opinions which narrow the options for women.

There is a reason we want to keep advocating on these issues. Because we really need to do so right now. That should be a no brainer for Democratic politicians, shouldn’t it? And yet…


hychka | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:34 am 25

We attended a Town HAll meeting for Rep Donnelly in Delphi, IN last night and the experience was an eye-opener in many ways. Yelling and appearing angry got people heard over handqwritten and collected questions and petitions and over 2000 letters supporting a “public option.” People repeated every lie we have debunked as if it was straight from the Bible. The most vocal were the “Pro Lifers”, who read stuff straight off the internet whacko pages. One man came all the way fromMontana to “organize opposition.”

Relative to your discussion, I think politicians are well aware of how crazy and whacko the “Pro Life” people are and would like to avoid hearing any more from them. My sense is that the leadership wants to separate that out so that a civial discourse and progress can be made on reforming health care.

As a husband, a father of three women and a grandfather of two teenage girls, I realize that my views on abortion are irrelevant. Ultimately my wife and children and grandchildren will make decisions for themselves. And, fortunately, it is the law in the United States that they have that right.

But I will voice my opinion anyway…As one of the few positive speakers said last night, she never met anyone “pro abortion” and never met a sane person against “choice.” That’s been my experience, too.


SouthernDragon | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:34 am 26

Mr Obama may have signed an executive order on the “conscience rule” but it’s still being practiced in FL. The reichwingers here are trying to make reproductive issues even more of a nightmare.


JLML | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:35 am 27

In a country where a senator can have doctors arrested for thinking they should be allowed to participate in health care discussions…


barbara | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:35 am 28

That should be a no brainer for Democratic politicians

Ah, but all those shades of blue . . . .


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:36 am 29
In response to barbara @ 23

That disparity is even more acute for older women in this country, who were far less likely to have worked outside the home. And, even if they did, they didn’t have jobs with benefits in a lot of cases. If they got benefits through their husband’s workplace, a lot of those disappear after their spouse passes away. And then what?

And, because women live longer than men on average, falling into that “donut hole” in Medicare isn’t fun either — especially when you have a chronic illness that requires daily medication and you are on a fixed income. It is no secret that a lot of seniors end up having to decide between paying for their medication and feeding themselves these days. Because women tend to live longer? They have more years of having to do that. And that’s just for starters.


masslib | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:38 am 30

“There is a reason we want to keep advocating on these issues. Because we really need to do so right now. “

Exactly. Well, they are afraid. It’s not very confidence building.


SouthernDragon | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:39 am 31
In response to hychka @ 25

she never met anyone “pro abortion” and never met a sane person against “choice.”

Right on.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:41 am 32
In response to hychka @ 25

I’ve written about that a lot — no one I have ever met is pro-abortion, even the most strident pro-choice folks that I know. What they recognize is the reality of the world in which we live: sometimes, you face an incredibly wrenching, difficult and heartbreaking choice for which there is no one right answer, but a whole lot of really tough questions that can only be resolved on an individual basis.

I’ve said this before: that choice is between you, your partner, your family and friends, your doctors and whatever conversation you choose to have with God. And it is no one else’s business. Because no one else can possibly know all the variables in your individual situation.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:42 am 33
In response to SouthernDragon @ 26

I’d really appreciate if political types would stop making the parts of female anatomy a political football. But I know better than to hope that will happen any time soon…


Kassandra | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:42 am 34

I’m just glad there are wimmin like you, Christy, who still ARE activists for wimmin.
This whole brouhaha about whether abortions will be funded on the taxpayer nickel/dime is waaaaaay out of proportion. That’s why they’re being cautious on that one IMO.
But, as you say, men can sure get Viagra…or whatever.
Most of this is a contraceptive/education issue for me. The wing nuts have now invaded our privacy as to whether we can even NOT get pregnant!
Typical friggin’ politicians; they ask for public discourse and then define the limits and meanwhile swish and sway their way out of answering tough questions.
Thanks for doing this, Christy, I prolly would have started yelling… not “productive” fer sure.


SouthernDragon | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:42 am 35

I’m either gonna have to start work later or Christy’s gonna have to post earlier. Yeah, I know which of those is gonna happen. Neither. *g*

Off to swim in the great capitalist cesspool.

US KIA Irak: 4334

US KIA Afghanistan: 805

Be good to yourselves, and all other living things.

Namaste


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:43 am 36
In response to masslib @ 30

The fear really is disheartening — on far too many issues. It’s the same with the Dawn Johnsen OLC nomination. I just want to yell sometimes, “Stand up and fight for what you believe in for a change.” Except I’m afraid that far too many of the people I talk with around the Beltway don’t believe in much of anything. And that really is frightening.


barbara | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:44 am 37

It flat-out never occurred to me that when older spouses hit Medicare age, younger spouse has major insurance problem (assuming they were covered under his employer’s program which, as your stats indicate, is likely).

I’ve seen some signs of AARP surfacing on the health care battlefield, but I’m surprised seniors are not in full battle regalia. Calling Maggie Kuhn!!!


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:44 am 38
In response to Kassandra @ 34

The really annoying thing about the fight on contraceptives is that it keeps getting framed as the “slutty female” debate. Um…hello…last time I checked, it took some sperm to initiate the pregnancy, too.


noblejoanie | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:45 am 39

I’d read somewhere about an end-run on the Hyde Amendment for a public option, that only monies brought in from premiums would be spent on abortion-related services.

Not sure if that’s feasible, to segregate the funds, and possibly as big a political hot potato to do so.

Like the gay marriage issue, the administration would prefer to leave reproductive rights to the passage of time, allowing states to nibble away at it first. (On some things, like basic human rights, I loathe the “states as incubators” notion.)


JLML | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:46 am 40

‘But I will voice my opinion anyway…As one of the few positive speakers said last night, she never met anyone “pro abortion” and never met a sane person against “choice.” That’s been my experience, too.”

A good one. So I will once again repeat my pet peeve – the insinuation into every conversation of the the false dichotomy implied by the terms “pro-life” and “pro-choice” which has become the prevailing rhetoric on both sides of the issue. People, politicians and pundits of sanity should be assiduously reminded to re-boot the discussion by resetting the terms.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:47 am 41
In response to barbara @ 37

We have already started trying to come up with contingency plans for that because that’s exactly the situation Mr. ReddHedd and I are in — I’m several years younger than he is, and when he retires I won’t have insurance. Plus, with my lupus, I’m pretty much uninsurable since my diagnosis came when I was not working — unless I can get into a large “pool” employment situation. And, even then, I could have premiums sky high and have them refuse to pay medications for my pre-existing condition, etc., etc.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:48 am 42
In response to noblejoanie @ 39

That was something that was vaguely discussed in really broad terms yesterday, but not really fleshed out. And I kept thinking, what about poor women who wouldn’t be able to afford an extra premium? Their reproductive services would just be nonexistent, which says that their needs are worth less. And we go right back to the era of rich women being able to get whatever services their money could buy and poor women in back alleys? Not acceptable.


AZ Matt | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:50 am 43

Good Job Reddhedd! I wonder if their Panel of Experts will have any women on it.


barbara | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:50 am 44
In response to AZ Matt @ 43

Excellent snark.


Kassandra | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:53 am 45

No kidding. The double standard was never so apparent as when, a couple of years ago, GMA had three little pregnant girls on the show. I thought “Where are the daddies???”
those poor little girls had to take all the heat for being “bad” and they all said they were gonna “be good” and have their babies.
The fascists cheered


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:54 am 46
In response to AZ Matt @ 43

I’m sure you couldn’t tell that this ticked me off. *g*


kevsters | Thursday August 27, 2009 06:55 am 47

Am I the only one tired of Nazi references and right wing hypocrisy when it comes to the health care debate?

Here is an example.

http://progressnotcongress.org/?p=2694


Diane | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:01 am 48

Since this issue has always been legislated by men, it is not their dicks to blame, it is that “slutty female vagina”, therefore contraceptives are for sluts & Viagra is for the real men who use those sluts.


noblejoanie | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:02 am 49

Christy–not that the abortion-related services would come from an individual’s premium payments but rather from the pool of monies from those payments. In other words, that fund would pay for a poor woman’s abortion. A silly exercise but one that gets around Hyde.


AZ Matt | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:05 am 50

That did come across! Just what women need is the daddy figures deciding what is best.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:06 am 51
In response to noblejoanie @ 49

Yeah — that part of the call discussion was incredibly vague, so it was really impossible to get any substantial context on that.


Kassandra | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:06 am 52
In response to kevsters @ 47

Ummmm…no, you’re not.
This side of the “discourse” is in the loony bin. I love it when they project, don’t you? We just got away form our first coup de etat and real live dictator…and are paying off his bills to the whole wide world, and they have the nerve to call a moderate Dem a “fascist”.
I could just wish he wasn’t so “moderate”.
I really resent being called “the left of the left”; I didn’t think there WERE any lefties still out there ’til I found this board…and a few others.
The true left has been buried so long, we look like extremists!


twolf1 | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:06 am 53

Kassandra | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:10 am 54
In response to AZ Matt @ 50

I almost, almost think that’s why the Reagan revolution in the first place…and the “moral majority” for sure… to get us uppity wimmin back into our places.
I sure noticed all the wimmin’s presses and bookstores disappear tut sweet in the Reagan recession. It hit the wimmin’s movement the hardest and the fastest


DeanOR | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:12 am 55

I continued working longer than I would have otherwise so that my younger wife would be Medicare age when my health insurance ended. Another example of people making important life decisions based on the need for health insurance.
btw, not to make waves, but did anyone ask if the administration supports the 19th amendment, just to be sure?


hackworth1 | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:15 am 56

Considering the rapid, unsustainable extraction of earth’s resources (water, for example) speeded up or caused by technological advancements, greed and ridiculous population growth, I think that pro-abortion and atheism make the most sense.

The planet growns each time it registers another birth. – Paul Simon


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:15 am 57
In response to DeanOR @ 55

That’s one of the options we’ve talked about, among others. It’s not something that is easy to plan for, either — how can you possibly anticipate health contingencies on an individual basis, ya know?


MrWhy | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:18 am 58

Minor aside. I’m sure this isn’t original with me, but the bumper sticker slogan

I am both pro-choice and pro-life.
This is not a paradox.


MrWhy | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:20 am 59

I’m sure you’ve already said no to this…

CHS for head of OLC!


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:26 am 60
In response to MrWhy @ 59

Yeah, you think they are throwing a hissy fit about Dawn Johnsen? HAHAHAHAHAHA


PeorgieTirebiter | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:26 am 61

Thanks, I guess I should have connected most of them as obvious consequences of a root inequality. But the Medicare/Spouse problem would not have occurred to me. Thanks again.


Christy Hardin Smith | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:29 am 62
In response to PeorgieTirebiter @ 61

You are very welcome. It’s one of those things that most of us don’t really think about until it touches us somehow, I think. But even I was shocked by the raw numbers on disparity.


RevDeb | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:37 am 63
In response to JLML @ 40

I’ve taken to using the terms “Pro-choice” and “No-Choice” just for that reason.

Christy, the same thing came up on the “conference call” with the faith based people. That one though really wasn’t a conf. call it was a rally the base publicity thing. This WH doesn’t know how to do anything but equivocate on the choice issue. They pander to the no-choicers thinking that the rest of us will keep our mouths shut and lie back and take it. Doesn’t work for me.

All legal needed medical procedures should be covered. Period. That’s what their answer should be.


AngelsAwake | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:42 am 64

The White House is incapable of figuring out that we’re progressives, aren’t they? We always ask inconvenient questions, it’s what we do!


whyknot | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:52 am 65

The anti-abortion people struggled mightily against the chemical abortion drugs b/c that would enable women who were wishing for their period to come to just pop a pill and make it so. Which is a private decision. Most young women I know have the ‘just in case’ pill in their medicine cabinets. Now that it is more difficult to punish women with an unwanted child, in short order the argument that abortions have fallen dramatically will bring about the overturn of that odious Hyde amendment, I think.


SaltinWound | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:52 am 66

To me, the biggest inequality is that women’s life expectancy is so much longer than men’s. All of these imbalances Christy writes about should be addressed, but if men were living longer than women, I think we’d be talkiong about it.


RevBev | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:54 am 67

I know you are some years away…but I wonder if groups like AARP or your Bar Asso would avoid the pre-existing condition question. Don’t know…that is a difficult MediCare hole. I am surprised (maybe) that hasn’t been corrected.


ThatGuy | Thursday August 27, 2009 07:58 am 68

Then you’ve never met me. Because I am.


ThatGuy | Thursday August 27, 2009 08:00 am 69

Then you’ve never met me. I am.


BargainCountertenor | Thursday August 27, 2009 08:05 am 70

My colleague next door is a retired forensic accountant. He’s teaching accounting and fraud investigation for us not because he needs the money. He’s teaching for us because his wife is 10 years younger than him, and while he’s in Medicare she’s not eligible.

He’s working for the health insurance. Fortunately for us, he needs the health insurance: he’s a really fine teacher and he enjoys the classroom. But it’s another case of our perverse health care finance system forcing choices on people.


alank | Thursday August 27, 2009 08:24 am 71

I’m late to this blog, but will EPU this original contribution:

Sebelius is a rat bastardette!


TomWells | Thursday August 27, 2009 08:45 am 72

On what progressive issues does Obama’s admin not tell progressives to STFU?

Sometimes they do it nicely, sometimes not, but that is the message.

Over and over and over.

And now Obama has lost his base.

On healthcare, young folks don’t seem to care and the Obaama fad has faded. Jobs interest recent college graduates.

And people here, like me, are putting money and time into the stand up for the public option project, which is really a threat to defeat a bill without a robust public option.

Obama is losing AFL-CIO support, as Trumka focuses on blue dogs and threatens to cut campaign contributions.

The arrogance of the admin, however, is undying.

They think we don’t mean it, even as they see their bus across America for healthcare being met with yawns.

Will they learn? Rahm wants that PHRMA money and Big Insurance money. Mandates for insurance company profits will be the bill, unless we save the Democratic adminsitration from itself.


whyknot | Thursday August 27, 2009 08:50 am 73
In response to TomWells @ 72

You have packed a lot of assumptions into that post and some self-aggrandizing as well, sir.


Mauimom | Thursday August 27, 2009 09:42 am 74
In response to eCAHNomics @ 14

Sheesh, I would say WEAR a gun to the next conference call –and shoot the phone!!


earlofhuntingdon | Thursday August 27, 2009 09:48 am 75

Rahm has turned out to be Karl Rove with a head of hair. The best thing Mr. Obama could do for his administration would be for him to fire Emanuel. Or would Mr. Obama consider that to be like JFK firing Bobby? In which case, 2012 will be an interesting election for more than just Congresscritters.


Funnydiva2002 | Thursday August 27, 2009 11:47 am 76
In response to Peterr @ 7

And ironing your husband’s shirts.
Feh.
FWDiva


Funnydiva2002 | Thursday August 27, 2009 11:57 am 77

Thanks for this, Christy
I just sent Rachel Maddow an email linking to your post and encouraging her to get a clarification from Ms Tchen. I said it’s time to call out the WH on how which voices it’s selecting and silencing in this debate.
FunnyWheelieDiva


babalula | Thursday August 27, 2009 01:34 pm 78

Sen. Colburn made a really clever comment a few days ago at his town meeting. A tearful woman in his constituency made a plea for help for a family member who needed serious care, costing serious money and help was not forthcoming from her health care provider. The senator’s response was… Yea, we’ll help. We’ll see what we can do through our office. He went on to say… we need to act as neighbors. Help people who need our help. Now doesn’t that sound nice? He even got a nice round of applause. So Colburn’s solution is what… this lady’s supposed to take up a collection, plead her case in the Merchandiser or put up a 3” x 5” card asking for contributions in the laundry mat. What about the guy sitting three chairs to her right whose wife just had a stroke and needs constant care and he hasn’t been able to afford health insurance since he lost his job last year. Should he try for a 5” X 7” card at the Giant, or just go door to door? Senator Colburn went on to say towards the end of his answer… those who think government is the answer are inaccurate. Now I’m confused… didn’t he say initially that… he’d get involved/ we’ll see what we can do through his office? Yoo-hoo… Senator… you are the government. You can help this woman not because you’re Tommy Colburn who works at the Dairy Queen cross-town but because you’re Tom Colburn a United States Senator. You are, unfortunately, an influential government official who can use the power of the federal government to pressure change for this woman. Senator please, try to make sense and try, occasionally, to tell the truth.


hipparchia | Thursday August 27, 2009 09:36 pm 79

i like that you tried to nail them down on the questions they wanted to evade. thanks for doing that.

but i take issue with this —

I’ve written about that a lot — no one I have ever met is pro-abortion, even the most strident pro-choice folks that I know. What they recognize is the reality of the world in which we live: sometimes, you face an incredibly wrenching, difficult and heartbreaking choice for which there is no one right answer, but a whole lot of really tough questions that can only be resolved on an individual basis.

count me firmly in the pro-abortion camp. it’s just another medical procedure, and it needs to be safe, legal, affordable [well, *i* think it should be taxpayer-funded and completely free], widely available [in hospitals, not off in some shabby building on the edge of town, where the women, and the medical staff, are vulnerable to bomb-throwing, gun-toting outlaws], and common enough that any woman who wants an abortion [for whatever reason] lives within a reasonable distance of a practitioner who’s got up-to-date skills [you would expect no less if you needed heart surgery].

and what’s with all this handwringing? incredibly wrenching, difficult, and heartbreaking? puh-leeze. yes, if it’s discovered late in a wanted pregnancy that something is terribly wrong, you’re right, it’s an emotionally-fraught decision.

the overwhelming majority of abortions are first-trimester, and they are the backup for when the primary method of birth control failed. yes, for some women this is still an emotionally difficult decision, and this too is perfectly legitimate.

but for many women the only guilt and angst they feel is over the fact that they DON’T feel guilt and angst over ending a pregnancy that they were explicitly trying to prevent in the first place. they DON’T feel like they’re ‘killing their baby’. what they feel is relief. meanwhile, the society they live in, including their sisters in reproductive freedom, continue to insist [or subtly suggest] that the only normal and correct feelings are the emotionally wrenching ones.

either one, or a mixture of both, is perfectly legitimate and common and ordinary and acceptable, and we need to make this a part of the conversation.

and this —

I’ve said this before: that choice is between you, your partner, your family and friends, your doctors and whatever conversation you choose to have with God. And it is no one else’s business. Because no one else can possibly know all the variables in your individual situation.

i’m with you on the it is no one else’s business, so why the family, friends, partner, and god? the doctor needs to be available for medical advice, and for performing any procedures, but the rest of the people can butt out unless the woman specifically wants their help, advice, input, or support.

we need to change the conversation so that it is NOT the norm to expect women to need or want the input of all these other actors. fine and good and totally legitimate if a woman wants to look to others for help, in which case they need to step up and provide that help and society needs to expect them to if they are asked to, but we need to undo the default societal assumption that women are somehow incapable of making this decision on their own.


hipparchia | Thursday August 27, 2009 09:37 pm 80

[that was interesting, is there a limit on comment length? continuing…]

and this —

I’ve said this before: that choice is between you, your partner, your family and friends, your doctors and whatever conversation you choose to have with God. And it is no one else’s business. Because no one else can possibly know all the variables in your individual situation.

i’m with you on the it is no one else’s business, so why the family, friends, partner, and god? the doctor needs to be available for medical advice, and for performing any procedures, but the rest of the people can butt out unless the woman specifically wants their help, advice, input, or support.

we need to change the conversation so that it is NOT the norm to expect women to need or want the input of all these other actors. fine and good and totally legitimate if a woman wants to look to others for help, in which case they need to step up and provide that help and society needs to expect them to if they are asked to, but we need to undo the default societal assumption that women are somehow incapable of making this decision on their own.


hipparchia | Thursday August 27, 2009 10:05 pm 81

apparently it’s something else about my comment that’s not getting through. oh well.


Christy Hardin Smith | Friday August 28, 2009 04:43 am 82
In response to hipparchia @ 81

It’s the italics — I have a hitch in my blog code that hiccups with italics or bolding for some weird reason. If you refresh your screen, it’s there — you just have to refresh.


hipparchia | Friday August 28, 2009 04:44 pm 83

ah, i see. thanks.


Sorry but the comments are closed on this post

Close