March
20th 2010
Historically historic hope and change!!!!

Posted under: American history, Gender, the body, unhappy endings, wankers, women's history

It’s coming tomorrow, right?  Well, except for American women, who will be subject to a fascinating neo-coverture thanks to the Senate “health” “care” “reform” bill!  Go read Natasha Chart over at Open Left for why exactly this scheme will offer millions of American women neither true health care nor reform:

Under the Senate system which makes abortion part of the initial purchasing decision, a woman’s employer, male partner or parents can all potentially prevent her getting insurance coverage for it, whereas now, it usually doesn’t come up because most private plans just cover it. Now, of the one in three women likely to need an abortion in her life, millions of women never have to have that conversation. Under the current wording of the health bill, that second check is the federal spousal and parental notification law that never managed to pass.

Then if the administrative expenses and familial approval weren’t enough, the second check creates a stigmatizing paper trail for anyone worried about public pressure or vulnerable to retribution by disapproving superiors. Even people who might support abortion might be pressured into dropping plans that cover it and one way or another, abortion coverage will end. That’s always been the point of both the Stupak amendment and Nelson’s Senate compromise, which will simply work more slowly to eradicate insurance coverage of abortion.

And you might say, well, it’s just writing another check for $1. Or you might say, hey, even if the insurance doesn’t cover abortion, lots of women will still be able to afford it. And then I’ll tell you, look, you don’t get it, that’s not the point.

Awesome!  My recent vacation to a civilized nation that makes health care a right of citizenship and doesn’t make it contingent on one’s relationship to a “head of household” sure puts this into perspective.  (That’s the difference, friends, between building your nation on “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and “liberté, equalité, fraternité.”)  Declaring that all premenopausal girls and women are possible abortion patients, and making sure that we can’t even consider having an abortion without our parents, husbands and/or employers knowing about it sure puts us in our place, doesn’t it?

As we were driving back from the airport this evening, after being out of touch with the U.S. news media for a full week, I heard the radio announcers talking about Democrats possibly using a strategy called the Demon Pass to get the Senate health care bill through Congress.  I thought to myself, “wow!  Democrats might use something called a ‘Demon Pass,’ like some kind of technically legal but clearly dodgy and possibly dirty Hail Mary pass?  I wish!“  Then I plugged into the internets, and learned that the “deem and pass” technique is just a boring parliamentary trick and that Democrats don’t have the stones to use it anyway.

Did I miss any news while I was out?  Fill me in.

16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Historically historic hope and change!!!!”

  1. squadratomagico on 21 Mar 2010 at 8:24 am #

    Not much to report… but welcome back!

  2. Emma on 21 Mar 2010 at 11:01 am #

    There’s rumors Obama will sign an executive order banning Federal Funding for abortions in order to get members of the Stupak bloc to vote for HCR. Check it out at TL.

    IOW, you didn’t miss much. Same old, same old.

  3. Historiann on 21 Mar 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Thanks, Emma–I just saw that. I hope it’s just a bluff.

    Surprisingly, my congresswoman Betsey Markey sent out an e-mail last night announcing that she’s a “yea” vote (after voting nay last year on the house bill.) It’s surprising b/c the Colorado 4th CD hasn’t been represented by a Dem for 40 years–I figured that she was an easy no, because it’s a heavily Republican district and a lot of lefties like me are either “meh” or actively against the bill. I guess she’s banking on the moderate urban/suburban vote carrying her through this year. (Either that, or she really thinks that this bill is the way to go. Or both.)

    Squadrato–thanks for your note. You’ve been on fire at your blog–I’m sorry to have missed the conversations.

  4. Digger on 21 Mar 2010 at 11:56 am #

    Welcome home! As others noted, not much new here; women still getting horsetraded. In good news, the weather is beautiful, at least in this neck of the woods!

  5. Indyanna on 21 Mar 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Welcome back, Historiann!! Totally out of commenting shape at this point; need to do a few wind sprints. We’re seeing the ground here in the Eastern Apps, that’s a fairly major change. Deem and pass. Voting without actually voting. That would have come in handy in the 17th and 18th centuries, although I suppose a few “Real Whigs” would have carped. I thought the Demon Pass was something you weren’t supposed to take on the Oregon Trail game!

  6. Kathleen Lowrey on 21 Mar 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Wow, that was a powerful essay. I can’t believe this is all happening — like, seriously? This is what 2010 looks like?

  7. Emma on 21 Mar 2010 at 3:04 pm #

    The only people Obama bluffs are on the left. He’s going to sign an anti-choice EO.

  8. Janice on 21 Mar 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    This is a big part of the reason why I’m not pursuing any opportunities to move back to the states. Canadian health care rocks! We have great doctors and we’ve had speedy referrals to specialists for a variety of issues as needed and women have the right to health care without outside interference.

    Restricting women’s access to abortion seems to be staying off the agenda right now in Canadian politics, too. The Supreme court, in 1988, struck down abortion laws because they conflict with our Charter of Rights and Freedom promising “life, liberty and security of person.” Go SCC!

    The situation is far from perfect, with many women having to travel far to get abortions and some provinces not paying for those done outside of hospitals, but it still makes me proud.

  9. Indyanna on 21 Mar 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    No-bluff on the executive order. This is really an embarrassing and disgraceful way for this thing to have come to its denoument. The Demodog/crats who forced this path should be hunted down. But are there really literally no, as in not ANY, Republicans in the House, who would dare to buck their brownshirt leadership on any aspect of this issue? What a disgrace.

  10. Emma on 21 Mar 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    IMO, Republicans are going to run against HCR in the fall. Biggest targets: mandates and the excise tax on “cadillac” health plans. So, no, they aren’t going to vote for it. It’s the best of both worlds for them: Dems pass a Repulican plan and as it fails Republicans get to run against it.

  11. Historiann on 21 Mar 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    “Dems pass a Repulican plan and as it fails Republicans get to run against it.” Yes, exactly. And the President is going to issue an executive order affirming that no, the slutty slutty slut sluts aren’t going to be subsidized.

    I swear: Dems are so dumb. HINT to DEMS: Mitch McConnell is NOT the Wallet Inspector! You’d think they’d have at least a little self-respect, but no. I don’t think so.

    And, Kathleen–wake up, Princess: this is what 2010 looks like. As I’ve asked before: Where the hell is my flying car?

  12. Paul S. on 21 Mar 2010 at 6:03 pm #

    Welcome back – sorry that the news that greets you isn’t as welcoming.

    I do think that “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is a better motto, though, because unlike the French one it is something that might actually be possible for a society to achieve someday.

  13. Historiann on 21 Mar 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Paul–thanks! I don’t think we in the U.S. have yet (or will ever) achieve the ideals of “L, L, and the P of H” for everyone. But, I like the way that the French link individual liberty to a communal responsibility for the whole (with the equality and brotherhood part). They’re both aspirational–but they articulate very different aspirations.

  14. Paul S. on 21 Mar 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    I definitely don’t think the US (or any other country) has actually achieved “life, liberty, and the pursuit of [or opportunity to pursue] happiness”, but I think it might actually be possible for a society to achieve these as basic rights at some point in human history. Not so much with “liberty, equality, brotherhood”. Liberty – absolutely. Equality is much more tricky and probably not possible as long as humans are still humans, and in practice it requires the suppression of liberty. Brotherhood to me has almost a quasi-fascist sound, implying that everyone must have the same goals, or else. This is probably my latent libertarian streak showing, but I tend to be suspicious of the idea of “communal responsibility” because while people certainly should look out for each other, the fact is that “the good of society” has been used as the justification for some of the most hideous evils in history. Since there are many different versions of “what’s good for society”, in practice when the government acts for “the good of society”, it is choosing one version of this good and forcing everyone to follow it whether they like it or not.

    I know that there are much more positive ways to look at ideas like equality and the common good. I just can’t get past how easily they can be abused, and how often they have been historically.

  15. Acid Test » The Silence of the Lambs on 22 Mar 2010 at 10:41 am #

    [...] man out there who’s aware that women are people. All of them not noticeably conscious that women’s most fundamental right was trampled for . . . well, for the obligation to fork over money to private companies. For [...]

  16. Alicia P. on 22 Mar 2010 at 1:45 pm #

    Paul S. the fact is the system we have no is abusing our rights and most social democracy’s are not socialism and have not “abused” anything. In fact I’m applying for citizenship to one such society right now. I’m done with the United States. My vote wasn’t counted in the last election and the two before that were gamed as well and now this from the so called democrats. I’m finished. Canada has universal health care, and I’ve lived there as a landed immigrant before, my vote will matter there, they’ve had a female prime minister without all the hate mongering in the press about it with nary a peep as happened in the U.S. I’m finished. This country doesn’t want women to be equal or have any power and they couldn’t have made it any plainer than they have in the last two years. I’m expecting my application to go through swiftly since I have already completed the landed acceptance before.

    Good luck America, I love you but, you don’t love me back and I’m not good at sticking around making excuses for abusers. I don’t have the rest of my life to wait around hoping to be considered as worthy of equality as the rest of my fellow citizens. I don’t plan any namby pamby dual citizenship either. I’ll be renouncing myself as an American though Obama has added extra fines for doing so a while ago..and extra boot your ass out tax penalties too but, I’ll pay the cost. It’ll be the last time I have to pay and it’ll be worth it.

    The United States has become nothing but, a burden and I’m tired of fighting for causes for others when they never support women as push comes to shove. No more excuses. I’d like to raise my children in a society that doesn’t see health care as for profit industry and certainly doesn’t see a woman’s right to her own decisions about her body as something that belongs to the government or any religion.

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