Roundup: GOP Unveils Health Care Plan

Roundup: GOP Unveils Health Care Plan

Emily Douglas

GOP introduces plan for health care reform; more perspectives on the Gallup poll; Texas sex ed bill fails.

GOP Introduces Plan for Health Care Reform

Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced a plan for health care reform, CBS reports. The plan embraces many of the same principles as Democrats have articulated, the "Republican plan, however, promotes very different policies," Stephanie Condon writes:

"Universal access to affordable health care for all Americans should be guaranteed," a summary
of the legislation reads. "Congress should enact a comprehensive
solution that will make our health care system work for every American
every time."

The bill would also promote the individual health insurance market by
redirecting funds that currently subsidize employer-based funds to
individuals in the form of tax credits. It also focuses on reforming
Medicare and Medicaid, improving preventative medicine, and legal
reforms. The legislation does not include any mandate for individuals
to sign up for health insurance — something Democrats are considering.

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The Wall Street Journal adds, "Karen Davenport, director of health policy at the liberal-leaning
Center for American Progress Action Fund, said the Republican plan’s
tax subsidy wouldn’t cover half of the cost of the average family’s
health-care premiums."

In a statement, Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the the National Women’s Law Center said that "While I commend
Senators Coburn and Burr and Representatives Ryan and Nunes for
recognizing that our current health care system is ‘broken’ and in
major need for reform, unfortunately, for every step forward in this
plan, it takes two steps back."

A prime example of this
is its claim to provide a consistent and fair market so that everyone
can afford coverage, while omitting any protection against insurance premiums rating based on age, gender, health status, or any other factor. For the thousands of women left on their own to buy insurance directly from health insurers – who are often charged more than men for the exact same coverage – this proposed plan will not create
a market that is fair, equitable, or affordable. Instead of ending
these discriminatory practices to level the playing field and make
health care affordable for all Americans, this proposal allows unfair
insurance industry practices to continue in perpetuity.

More Perspectives on the Gallup Poll

AllGov offers an explanation for the uptick in "pro-life" identification in the recent Gallup poll — it over-sampled Republicans: 

it turns out, there is serious reason to question the sampling methods
employed by Gallup for its May 7-10 survey. In eight previous polls
taken by Gallup in 2009, the average party identification had been
Democrats 35.4% and Republicans 27.1%, a difference of more than 8
percent. This includes Gallup’s most recent poll of April 20-21, which
gave Democrats a 9 percent advantage. Yet in the poll with the pro-life
results, the respondents were evenly split, 32%-32%. Because
Republicans are more likely than Democrats to oppose abortion, this
unusual division in party identification would skew the results in
favor of “pro-life.”

MSNBC offers a more comprehensive look at recent polls about abortion, noting that "a new CNN/Opinion Research poll, 69% of Americans do not want the Supreme Court to overrule Roe v. Wade."

And of course you want FiveThirtyEight‘s take on the poll: "Although two recent surveys — the Pew poll conducted last month and an
NBC/WSJ poll conducted in September — indicated smaller-than-usual
margins for the legal option, this is countered by a large amount of
data from earlier in 2008 which indicated support for legal abortion at
about its typical levels in the mid-50’s. While it’s possible
that public opinion has shifted more dramatically on this issue since
sometime late last year, it seems highly unlikely. Polls don’t move
without reasons, and abortion hasn’t been particularly in the news of

Texas Sex Ed Bill Fails
The Texas House approved a bill to "strengthen school health advisory councils," the Austin Statesman reports, without a provision to require sex education

Rep. Mike Villarreal, D-San Antonio, proposed amending the bill to
say that if schools teach about contraception, that the curriculum
include “only medically accurate and age-appropriate information.”

His amendment — which he said was an attempt to address Texas’ high teen pregnancy rate — was killed on a point of order.

Other News to Note
May 20: Orlando Sentinel: We asked you: Are you pro-choice or pro-life?

May 19: WSJ: Obama Scored Big at Notre Dame

May 20: Citizen Link: ADF Takes Pro-Life License Plates to Supreme Court

May 20: LifeNews: Fourth Poll This Month Shows U.S. Public Opinion Trending Pro-Life on Abortion

May 20: The Progressive: The Abortion Terms Have Changed

May 20: The Sun (UK): The pill for blokes is a long way off

May 21: Science Daily: Couples To Rely On Male Contraceptive For New Trial

May 20: Jakarta Post: City to give free contraceptive treatment in health posts by 2010

May 20: National Review Online: Chris Matthews Hosts ‘Debate’ on Abortion

May 20: Springfield News-Leader: Birth control better than writer states

May 20: Catholic News Agency: Editor of Vatican newspaper says ‘Obama is not pro-abortion’

May 20: The Oregonian: Abortion still an issue for Republicans

May 19: Christian Science Monitor: Obama’s anger management on abortion

May 20: LifeNews: Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire Says State "Blessed" by Pro-Abortion Group

May 20: Kansas City Star: Reduce abortions, fund Planned Parenthood

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