Nebraska Senator Mike Johanns called the Health Care bill agreed to by Senator Ben Nelson, "reprehensible":
The deal struck is tragically insufficient. Nothing less than Stupak abortion language was expected and instead we've been handed a watered down accounting gimmick that leads to Nebraska taxpayers subsidizing abortions in other states.
This is a very bad deal for Nebraskans and I am stunned and incredibly disappointed. If you are pro-life you cannot vote to end debate on this bill. This could very well be our last chance to stop taxpayer-funded abortions.
Re: Abortion issues:
- The manager’s amendment does not prevent federal funds from paying for abortions in the federally –subsidized health care exchange.
- Under the amendment, States can “opt out” of providing insurance coverage of abortions in its exchange.
States can opt-out of providing insurance coverage of abortions, but cannot opt-out of paying for abortions in other states.
The manager’s amendment ensures that Nebraska taxpayers will be paying for abortions in California.
- For the first time, a federally funded and managed health care plan will cover elective abortions.
Each state, through the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM), can provide two multi-state plans and only one of them will exclude abortions.
OPM’s current health care program—the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) does not include any plans that cover elective abortion.
- The manager’s amendment includes the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, without language to prevent federal funding of abortions.
Fails to codify restrictions to prevent federal funding of abortions within Indian health.
Re: Tax and other issues:
- Still increases taxes, fees and penalties on American citizens by a half a trillion dollars. Five Democrats who opposed these tax increases on Tuesday, apparently support them now in the Reid compromise. (Recorded Vote #376)
- Actually INCREASES taxes $30 billion more than the original Reid legislation that has been debated for over two weeks. (initial Joint Committee on Taxation Score = $371.9 billion in tax increases; now = $397.7 billion in tax increases)
- Still imposes almost a half a trillion dollars in Medicare cuts.
Cuts approximately $150 billion from hospitals, nursing homes, hospices, and home health providers.
Cuts Medicare Advantage insurance coverage by $118.1 billion. Approximately 35,000 Nebraskans have Medicare Advantage plans.
- Still imposes a punishing Medicaid unfunded mandate on state taxpayers in all but one state (an earmark for Nebraska exempts our state).
- Still includes an accounting gimmick that even the Democrat Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee called a Ponzi scheme. Eleven Democrats and one Independent voted to remove this program from the bill, yet it remains in the Reid compromise that all Democrats appear to now support. (Recorded Vote #360)
- Still increases the size and reach of the Federal government. The Congressional Budget Office projects the Internal Revenue Service, the Health and Human Services Department, and the Office of Personnel Management will need to increase their budgets by $10 billion to $20 billion just to administer these new entitlements. (page 12 of the CBO report).
And this from National Right to Life:
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of right-to-life organizations in all 50 states, strongly opposes the abortion language contained in the "manager's amendment" filed todayThe manager’s amendment is light years removed from the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives on November 8 by a bipartisan vote of 240-194. The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems.