No Stupak Language in Senate Bill; Boxer "Couldn't Be Happier," Hatch Promises "Holy War"
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At Majority Leader Harry Reid's announcement yesterday about the health-care bill he seeks to introduce on the Senate floor, the elephant in the room was women's reproductive rights, which were not addressed from the podium.
But ever since the House passed its health-care bill with the egregious Stupak amendment attached -- which bars virtually all abortion coverage from being offered in the exchanges through which most individual policies will be purchased -- battles over reproductive rights have taken center stage as the Senate hammered out its version of the legislation, titled the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
The Washington Postreports that the bill does not go the Stupak route, and instead establishes a "firewall" between federally-funded subsidies for insurance premiums and private funds that could be used to pay for plans that contain abortion coverage. ""I couldn't be happier," Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., told the Post. "For those who want to keep abortion out of this bill, Senator Reid did it the right way." Boxer is regarded as the Senate's foremost pro-choice advocate.
Adele M. Stan is AlterNet's Washington bureau chief.