Ah, it's nice for my progressive and once-Catholic soul to see the head of the Catholic Health Association coming out in favor of the Senate health insurance reform bill -- the abortion language being just fine with her.
Sister Carol Keehan makes a lot of sense when she says that supporting the bill is a pro-life stance.
In her statement Saturday, Keehan made it clear she thinks any qualms about abortion language in the Senate version can be resolved, and in any event are not enough to justify opposition to what Catholic leaders say is a pro-life issue and a "human right" -- universal and affordable health care.
Well, yeah, when 44,000 Americans are estimated to die each year because they don't have health insurance, universal and affordable health care definitely is pro-life.
So anyone (I'm talking to you, wavering House Democrats) who opposes health insurance reform because of an insignificant difference in the abortion-related provisions in the House and Senate bills is on the pro-death side.
Those who only watch Fox News and listen to right-wing talk radio probably think that the Senate bill allows government funding of abortions, which is prohibited by the Hyde Amendment.
Not true, as Politics Daily analyzes in detail.
A close reading of the two bills, however, informed by analyses from a range of experts, reveals that the pro-life claims about the Senate bill and its abortion financing provisions are, in fact, mistaken. Indeed, the Senate bill is in some respects arguably stronger in barring abortion financing and in promoting abortion reduction.
The House bill says that women who want abortion coverage in a policy offered through health insurance exchanges have to buy a separate rider. The Senate bill says that a woman has to pay for that element of the coverage with a separate check that goes into a different account.
Either way, there is no government financing of abortions.
Requiring a separate abortion policy rather than a separate premium is an administrative technicality. It merely requires one more piece of paper.
So it's no wonder Catholic hospitals favor the Senate health insurance reform bill that the House will be voting on next week. They're anti-abortion and pro-life, which is exactly what "Obamacare" stands for.