The Boston Globe has
today that debunks the latest anti-healthcare reform myths. One of the baffling
myths is being proliferated by House Republican leader John Boehner (R-OH), who
has written that health care reform "will require Americans to subsidize
abortion with their hard-earned tax dollars."
One has to admire Boehner’s ability to tie together hot-button issues
(Abortion! Higher taxes!) in the name of his political opportunism. The scary
thing is, his misinformation is starting to trickle down. The Scranton Times-Tribune reported last Wednesday about a flyer included in a
church bulletin at the Honesdale Roman Catholic Church in Scranton. This flier
included the following:
"The Bill will also force taxpayers to pay for abortion on
demand." And "The bill establishes mandatory ‘end of life counseling’ for those
age [sic] 65 and older that we suspect will promote assisted suicide and
But this is all flat-out wrong. It’s shrill fear mongering.
The Op-Ed in the Boston Globe responds to the misinformation:
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"The bills filed in various congressional committees are
officially neutral on the question, neither requiring nor forbidding private
insurance plans to offer abortion services. Isn’t that what the noisy critics
of a "government takeover” of health care supposedly want: A free-market
system that lets the consumer decide?
Finding common ground on abortion is as elusive as ever, but
the House bill makes a good stab at it with a provision that every region in
the country must offer insurance plans that cover abortion and plans that
don’t. That way, there is a choice for consumers who feel strongly about the
All of these scare tactics must be responded to quickly and
succinctly, like above; it’s quite possible health care reform could otherwise
be swift boated.