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News Anchors and the L Word

November 10, 2009

No, I’m not talking about the word Liberal. I’m talking about Liar. On MSNBC’s Morning Meeting today, anchor Dylan Ratigan called a guest a liar.

“Just coming on television and lying is not journalism, nor is it useful to the country… If you answer my question, I’ll keep you all day. If you just want to talk, I’m going to ask you to go away.”

The guest was Kathy Ruse, senior fellow at the Family Research Council a socially conservative lobbying group and division of James Dobson’s Focus of the Family. Ruse described the Stupak Amendment to the health care legislation recently passed by the House as a ‘win’ for women and their families. She claims the Stupak amendment prohibits federal funding of elective abortions but allows women participating in the Exchange to use their own money to purchase an elective abortion.

I’ve skimmed the Amendment and it seems to me that nobody’s quite on point here (see page 2, lines 18-21). Seems to me that a private insurance company could offer coverage for elective abortions, but couldn’t participate in the Exchange if they did so.

It’s the companies that are excluded from the Exchange if they cover abortions, not the people.  That sounds OK, until you think about it.

Can you really imagine insurance companies turning down the federal subsidies for participating in the Exchange? Seems to me the only companies that would turn off the federal money-spigot would charge their customers a helluva lot of money for insurance policies.

So imagine you’re part of the working poor. You’re a woman. You need an abortion. None of the companies in the  Exchange offer coverage for that so you can’t get one there. But you’re part of the working poor… you can’t afford the policies that cover abortion. Ipso facto, you don’t get an abortion.

Does the phrase back alley occur to anyone else?

And anyway, back to the point. Was Kathy Ruse lying? She wasn’t telling the truth. Maybe it’s a Win for rich women, but I fail to see how that’s a win for the country.

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