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Keep Politicians Away from Medical Decisions?

On his talk show Thursday night, Mark Levin mocked liberals for demanding the government stay out of the bedroom or steer clear of your body – until it’s time for nationalizing health care. When it comes to abortion, liberals want subsidies for abortion, which would seem to put the taxpayer rather dramatically inside the body. On Tuesday’s Morning Edition newscast on National Public Radio, objections to federal funds for abortion in the newest “reform” proposals drew a Democratic pollster’s ire at the idea that “politicians” would make health-care coverage decisions:

JULIE ROVNER, NPR health reporter: Johnson of the Right to Life Committee says what his side fears most is an effort to use a health overhaul as a way to give abortion rights a government-backed boost.

DOUGLAS JOHNSON: These bills give federal officials the authority to define what benefits must be carried in all health insurance plans, both private and the government plan that’s proposed. And there is no doubt whatever that abortion, elective abortion, would be among those services mandated.

ROVNER: But Mellman says his polling makes it clear that the public doesn’t want Congress to legislate either way on the sensitive issue. It wants someone else entirely to make the decisions about what should and shouldn’t be covered.

MARK MELLMAN, Democrat pollster: Voters overwhelmingly want decisions about coverage made by an independent commission of medical professionals and citizens. They do not want politicians making health care coverage decisions. In fact, they want to keep the politicians as far away from these coverage decisions as possible.

ROVNER: But some politicians seem intent on remaining involved in the abortion issue. Last month, a group of 19 House Democrats who oppose abortion wrote to speaker Nancy Pelosi. They vowed to vote against any health overhaul bill unless it explicitly excludes abortion as a covered or subsidized benefit.

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...


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