As Democratic presidential hopefuls face off in the second round of primary debates, several candidates are sparring over their expansive health-care plans. On Monday, California senator Kamala Harris unveiled her version of Medicare for All, which despite her repeated reversals on the question would retain some form of private health insurance.
According to the Bernie Sanders camp, this means Harris can’t actually call her plan “Medicare for All.” Expect the candidates to spend plenty of air time hashing this out during the debates in Detroit.
But even as Democrats tussle over the distinctions between their competing forms of statist health care, there’s one thing most of them agree on: Whatever health-care program the federal government offers should cover abortion.
The unstated premise underlying this demand, of course, is flawed. Whether or not you believe a woman has a right to it, abortion isn’t “health care.” It’s a scientific fact that every abortion procedure ends the life of a distinct human being. Health care heals; it doesn’t kill. Pregnancy isn’t a disease; it’s the proper functioning of a natural capacity of the female body.
It is easier, though, for Democrats to defend a woman’s right to make private medical decisions than to admit that abortion kills a human being and defend it on those grounds. So now abortion is “health care.” This tactic was evident in Planned Parenthood’s recent PR campaign: the nation’s largest abortion provider parading under the slogan “This Is Health Care.”
This useful lie undergirds left-wing efforts to ensure that all abortion procedures, even elective ones late in pregnancy, will be covered by federally funded health-care programs. So even as Democratic candidates try to distinguish themselves on health care, all of them who have opined on the topic support a national health-care program that would finance every woman’s abortion — at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason.
Bernie Sanders, who has been a socialist for longer than many of the Democratic presidential candidates have been in politics, has wanted to eliminate all restrictions on the federal funding of abortion for his entire career. His Medicare for All plan would take this a step further, not only nullifying the Hyde Amendment, which currently prevents Medicaid dollars from directly reimbursing abortion procedures, but also providing “comprehensive reproductive . . . care,” a favored euphemism for abortion.
This spring, four of Sanders’s primary competitors signed on to his bill — Harris, along with Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. Since then, only Harris has released her own full-fledged health-insurance plan, but it, too, would cover “comprehensive reproductive health care services.” (Again it’s worth noting their unwillingness to say the word “abortion.”)
Warren, meanwhile, released a statement this spring outlining what she calls “congressional action to protect choice.” Though not a full-fledged health-care policy, the statement proposes a federal law to “guarantee reproductive health coverage as part of all health coverage” and opposes any prohibitions on federal abortion funding for abortion. “We should ensure that all future health coverage — including Medicare for All — includes contraception and abortion coverage,” Warren adds.
Even Joe Biden, who has proposed the most moderate health-care plan of any Democratic front-runner, has caved to the demands of the abortion-rights lobby on this question. His plan would add a public option to Obamacare, which would “cover contraception and a woman’s constitutional right to choose” — another euphemism for directly funding abortion procedures, along with birth control (presumably including emergency contraception and IUDs, both of which can induce abortion).
Currently, abortion is excluded from the list of procedures that insurers must cover under the Affordable Care Act, and if they do cover abortion, they are required to segregate federal funding so that taxpayer dollars aren’t directly reimbursing abortion procedures.
While a number of less prominent Democratic candidates have yet to go all-in on Medicare for All, the party’s front-runners evidently have gone all-in on the notion that women should be able to do away with their unborn children — at the expense of the American taxpayer.