The Corner

Casey Non-Compromise

Congressional Quarterly has this:

Nelson said Casey’s abortion language was another in a series of congressional attempts to segregate funds used to pay for abortions from federal subsidies; he said the language had been sent to some “constituency groups” for vetting, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

A representative of the bishops’ group did not respond to an inquiry Wednesday. But in a Dec. 14 letter to the Senate, the bishops’ secretariat of pro-life activities made clear that schemes to segregate federal funds from money used to pay for abortions would not pass muster.

“Attempts to achieve such segregation are irrelevant to current policy, which bars federal funds from being used for any part of a package that covers elective abortions,” the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, wrote.

DiNardo noted that on Dec. 13, the Senate cleared a spending bill that renews existing federal restrictions, known collectively as the Hyde amendment, which prohibit federal health care programs from covering abortion services. The law also prohibits private insurance plans serving Medicaid beneficiaries and federal employees from covering abortion.

The bishops and other anti-abortion groups want the same standards applied to programs created by the Senate’s health care bill, including insurance plans that would receive federal subsidies.

Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, has seen a summary of the Casey proposal. He called the language “entirely unacceptable.”

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