Having returned from the family memorial, I’ve not begun to go through all my collected emails, but I did start catching up on articles, op-eds, and taped TV programs. What happened on “Hardball” on Tuesday stuck out, because it reiterates the weird religious moralizing about public policy and abortion that was continually on parade through the late Tim Russert on “Meet the Press”. This time it’s Chris Matthews pontificating about the coming health care reform, and Judge Sotomayor, as he presided over an all male bull session that revealed he believes poor women should be treated differently than women of means.
Oh, and by the way. To make his argument stick, no women allowed on to discuss it. Just Chris, Dick Durbin and Orrin.
MATTHEWS: … .. Now let‘s go to Senator Orrin Hatch, who is on the committee, of course, has been chairman of the committee. Senator Hatch, are you concerned about her position on abortion rights? Because I know, as Senator Durbin just said, the Hyde amendment is settled law. In other words, the federal government can‘t spend federal dollars, taxpayer dollars on abortions. Where do you stand? Do you think it might be a dangerous aspect of the new health care plan, if that‘s included?
I was just reading “The Weekly Standard” this weekend, and the author in that piece said that there‘s a possibility that some committee, which would be made up of the president and the secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, might rule that it‘s in, that a federally organized health care plan, insurance plan, would actually pay for abortions.
As Matthews coaches his male guests, he slips in a question about whether this notion is a “deal breaker,” and then weighs in to pronounce that “it’s going to be an issue.”
Sen. Durbin talked about a “conscience clause,” so that hospitals and doctors won’t have to perform abortions, when asked about the issue. Then Sen. Hatch was brought in to close.
Of course, Chris has no problem with abortions being legal. You know, so that women of means can get an abortion. He just wants to make sure government funds aren’t used. That Medicaid doesn’t widen the access to women who couldn’t afford it without government help. Because after all, the Hyde Amendment is settled law, even if it came before universal health care reform became a necessity to our economic health.
It’s rare when you see men disgrace themselves on TV without a flicker of self awareness.
MATTHEWS: (Judge Sotomayor has) been a supporter of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense Fund, which says that it‘s unconstitutional to deny a woman a taxpayer-supported abortion as part of a health care plan like Medicaid. Do you agree with–do you think that might be a problem for her?
It obviously is a problem for Matthews.
Evidently Matthews believes in two separate health care tiers, especially when it comes to women’s needs. The elite, who always have options, with poor women having to suck it up and deal with it on their own.
You don’t have to like or approve of abortions to understand that refusing this procedure to poor women (who often aren’t insured and won’t be able to afford it unless it’s through government program) does not move our country in the direction of solving health crisis management in peoples lives.
A universal health care system’s very nature is egalitarian, or at least should be. If it’s not then then what’s the point?
Don’t ask Chris that question, because he has no interest in it. He’s coming from a religious perch, rather than a public policy one, which is meant to address all peoples challenges, not just those of the elite.