10 November 2009

Somewhat heartening news. And some disheartening news, just for balance.

According to this piece by Eric Black on MinnPost, every single DFL candidate for next year's gubernatorial race is in favor of 100-percent, straight-up full gay marriage.

While the point of Black's piece is that this very well could end up being a de facto referendum for Minnesota on gay marriage and/or could end up being a significant wedge issue the Republican party uses in the 2010 race for governor, I still can't help but feel a little bit hopeful.

This might help me to avoid the crisis of faith I experienced in the 2006 election. Then again, with T-Paw not running for re-election so he can tell Minnesota to fuck off while he starts his run for president in 2012, half the problem has already solved itself. I still hate that dick from the DFL who told me I was throwing my vote away. Asshole.

Now for the disheartening part. I was at The Boy I Currently Like's place Saturday and we were watching "Weekend Update" on SNL when we learned the House had passed the health care reform bill. Oh my God. Awesome, right? I totally thought so at the time. Oh, but it wouldn't take long for me to see the downside.

That downside is the Stupak-Pitts amendment. This amendment would be the single largest blow to abortion rights since Roe v. Wade was decided. My understanding is that not only will the public option not cover abortion and anyone receving a public subsidy couldn't purchase health insurance that covers abortion, but it also prohibits insurance companies from offering a plan that covers abortion if anyone receiving a subsidy was to buy in to the plan. Insurance companies offering two separate plans, one for those without subsidies and one for those with subsidies, isn't very bloody likely.

Currently, something like 80 percent of private insurance plans cover abortion. So, how is this "reform" really making health care better? I mean, I know we're only women. And the poor women who need this kind of reproductive health care really don't matter.

Mother. Fucker. I am so fucking pissed. I don't want to say "Fuck this health care reform bill," but with the Stupak-Pitts amendment attached to it, I have no other choice. Health care reform is supposed to make ALL health care more affordable and accessible to ALL people. That includes women and it includes abortion, which is a LEGAL MEDICAL PROCEDURE. End of fucking story.

The good news is that people are up in arms about this. I've not seen it mentioned in any sort of "mainstream" kinds of places. I've gotten e-mails from NARAL and Pro-Choice Resources. Planned Parenthood is on the ball. Jezebel has written about it. Rachel Maddow is talking about it. I can only hope the Senate doesn't have any similarly ridiculous amendments and Stupak-Pitts gets dropped in conference committee. Because that isn't health care reform, so it's totally fucking pointless.


Stephanie said...

Honestly, I don't want it to pass, and I hate to say that. Obama said, word for word, that no one's coverage would be compromised under healthcare reform. Um, HELLO? This fixes NO problems. I'm feeling like a Republican on this--butt out, gov't. The implications for what this means for low-income women are horrendous. Thank GOD for Planned Parenthood.

Jess said...

Exactly. It's not reform if you're taking a very important piece of reproductive care away from women.

It's absolutely bullshit. Better to wait and get it right than rush it and fuck it up.

Sigivald said...

Who told you "health care reform" was supposed to make every procedure more available to everyone?

Whoever told you that was full of it, whether intentionally or just from ignorance.

Even at best, given the maximum faith to everyone's unrealistic aspirations, it'll just give poor people better access to common things while shafting other people (both in the pocketbook and elsewhere).

(And I think you'll both find that the vast majority of people don't think the holy fetish* of abortion is the signal and key to reproductive care, and that making people pay for their own [or get a subsidized one from PP] is an attack on women or a "very important piece of reproductive care".

Activists aren't, definitionally, the mainstream.

* in the anthropological sense, naturally.)

Jess said...

Taking away something that's pretty much standard coverage for a single, but large, segment of the population doesn't seem very reform-minded to me. At least not in a progressive sense. And I suppose that's the sticking point, isn't it?

As for whether or not it's an attack on women, I imagine we'll just have to agree to disagree. Making a specific medical procedure more difficult or expensive for all women certainly seems like an attack on women to me.

Anonymous said...

It is harder to pass a healthcare bill than to amend the healthcare bill later to include coverage for abortion procedures. Decades have passed without healthcare reform, failing to pass it now may kill any future chance of it in the near future.

Jess said...

This is one case where I'm absolutely not okay with taking one for the team. If you have to throw women under the bus to get it passed, it's not fixing anything.

Sigivald said...

If the Democrats aren't lying or self-deceiving and it "won't affect existing coverage", then it won't make abortions more difficult or expensive for all women - or even most of them.

This is why everyone who cares about liberty (of any sort) should oppose government "reforms" that take over provisions of anything.

The State is not your friend. And anything that the State controls will be dictated by politics... very likely not in a way you find pleasing.

Lots of people don't want to pay for other people's abortions. You think they should be forced to (evidently, given the argument here, at least).

"Progressive" reform is indeed the sticking point - which direction is "progress", exactly? An ever-increasing machine of State control and political direction of expenditure?

"Progressives" have traditionally tried to tell me that's "progress" - but I maintain that they're confusing change and improvement.

(I don't have a dog in the abortion fight, myself. I do oppose State control of everything, but most especially of health care provision.

I just don't see that "abortion" is actually very important in terms of reproductive care.

It's an important political issue because it's an activist hot-button...)

Jess said...

The Stupak-Pitts amendment isn't a part of the Democrats' plan that "wouldn't affect existing coverage."

I don't like my tax dollars going to the war in Iraq or to government contractors that don't allow their female employees who were raped and held captive to report the crimes to authorities. Quite frankly, I would rather my tax dollars went to comprehensive sex education, STI prevention and contraception so less money was needed for abortion.

Becca said...

Thanks Jess for leaving such thoughtful comments.

Jess said...

You're welcome. And thank you!

Jess said...

Katha Politt has an awesome piece in The Nation about the whole "taking one for the team," bullshit.

"Whose Team Is It, Anyway?"

Thanks to The Boy I Currently Like for the link.