NYT Letter to Editor by Congresswoman Capps Rebuts Stupak Editorial

Jodi Jacobson

The NYT published a Letter to the Editor by Congresswoman Capps published this weekend rebutting points made by Cong. Stupak in his editorial last week.

In a Letter to the Editor by Congresswoman Capps (D-CA) published this weekend in the New York Times, Capps writes:

"I agree with Representative Bart Stupak
that there is a lot of misinformation about abortion coverage in the
health reform bill (“What My Amendment Won’t Do,” Op-Ed, Dec. 9).

Unfortunately, I believe that his article only adds to the confusion.

example, she continues:

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my amendment continued the prohibition of federal funding of
abortion services, but did so without restricting insurance coverage of
this legal medical procedure when it is paid for with private funds.
Reputable third parties, like a recent study from George Washington
University, have found that the practical effect of the Stupak
amendment would be to restrict coverage of abortion services even when
paid for entirely with private funds.

Capps notes that Stupak compares his amendment’s

burdensome requirement — that insurance
companies in the health exchange that offer a plan covering abortion
services must offer another plan without abortion services — to my
amendment’s requirement guaranteeing choice in the marketplace by
ensuring that the exchange, rather than individual companies, include
at least one plan that provides abortion services and one that doesn’t."

But as several reputable third parties have stated:

under the Stupak amendment
insurance companies won’t bother to offer plans with abortion services
because it wouldn’t make any business sense to offer a plan that would
be available only to a small number of potential customers (the 15 to
20 percent who aren’t eligible for any federal assistance).

Finally, she concludes:

a recent poll conducted by the Mellman Group showed that the majority
of Americans find my amendment to be a reasonable compromise: no
federal funds for abortion and no government interference with
privately funded procedures.


Lois Capps
Member of Congress
23rd District, Calif.
Washington, Dec.
9, 2009


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