Last Thursday, Politico reported that the Republican National Committee (RNC) has been offering coverage for elective abortions in their employee insurance plans since 1991—which as Politico points out is “a procedure the party’s own platform calls ‘a fundamental assault on innocent human life.”"
This of course shows the hypocrisy of the 76 Republican members of Congress who voted for the Stupak Amendment which prohibits federal funds from being used to buy health insurance that covers elective abortions.
Since this information has come to light, pro-life conservatives, such as, those on RedState.com have not only called for the removal of that policy provision but have also stated that “no pro-lifer in good conscience can give [the RNC] a dime until” until the RNC “disclose[s] the names of all people involved in any way of the selection of their health care plan. And those people must be summarily fired. No severance packages, no golden parachutes; fired. For cause.”
So far, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has not responded to the call to make heads roll but he has declared that “Money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose” and “I don’t know why this policy existed in the past, but it will not exist under my administration. Consider this issue settled.”
Such a move has received praise from former presidential candidate and former governor of Arkansas turned television host, Mike Huckabee, who reportedly stated,
“I think we need to commend Michael Steele for his quick and decisive corrective action on this. I am appalled that it was ever covered and it shouldn’t have been, but Michael didn’t create the problem, he inherited it without realizing it, but when brought to his attention, he did the right thing.”
Unfortunately for Steele, even with Huckabee’s support this issue is far from settled. For one, it is unlikely that removing the option will assuage pro-lifers who concur with the demands of Red State blogger Leon Wolfe that those responsible need to be terminated. For another, it is also clear that donations to the RNC will still continue to fund elective abortions because money paid to Cigna from the RNC goes into a pool which Cigna uses to cover other clients—even clients that offer their employees elective abortion coverage.
Unless the RNC finds an insurance carrier that does not offer any clients elective abortion coverage, their money will go to support such practices. For that matter, I have to wonder—are Leon Wolfe and the other pro-lifers out there are subsidizing abortions via their own insurance plans? It is unlikely they do not because such coverage is a standard provision offered by most insurance companies.
So what is the RNC going to do? Are they going to find an insurance company that doesn’t offer any abortions? Does such a company exist? If not what are they going to do about it?
How will Michael Steele react to the demands of Leon Wolfe and the pro-lifers who have loyally donated to the RNC and are now feeling betrayed? Will he acquiesce to their demands or will he go on the attack and investigate their health plans? I would prefer the latter but even the former would make for a pretty interesting week.
Update: Could the RNC plan also cover “death panels”???? This may bear some further investigation because as Think Progress has discovered Cigna does provide end-of-life services and, in fact, Cigna offers “indepth information on the practice on its website.” The website states, “you will face many hard decisions as you near the end of life. Those decisions will include what kind of care you’d like to receive, where you’d like to receive care, and who will make decisions about your care should you not be able to make decisions yourself. No one knows when his or her time may come. So it’s a good idea to spend some time planning what you want at the end of life.”
It is hard to see how this could be considered a death panel.
This could be another bombshell sine it would be further proof of the RNC’s hypocrisy. As Think Progress reports, Steele and the RNC supported Palin’s hyperbolic use of the phrase “death panels” to bash end-of-life provisions in the health care bill.
These of course were shown to be nothing but a myth meant scare the public into opposing health care reform.
To be fair not all Republicans backed such rhetoric. When Senator Isakson (R-GA) was first asked about the Palin death panels he stated, “I have no idea. I understand — and you have to check this out — I just had a phone call where someone said Sarah Palin’s web site had talked about the House bill having death panels on it where people would be euthanized. How someone could take an end-of-life directive or a living will as that is nuts. You’re putting the authority in the individual rather than the government. I don’t know how that got so mixed up. [...]“
But for the most part Repuclicans and the RNC endorsed such charges as a means of taking control of the debate and stopping health care reform.
Now that it is known that Cigna, the health care provider of the RNC, supports end-of-life care, can the RNC in good conscious still obtain their insurance from this company? For conservative voters it will be bad enough that their money will be used to pay for elective abortions for other Cigna clients…now their money will also be used to pay for corporate death panels. Unless of course, the RNC thinks it is perfectly acceptable to allow corporations to “dictate” American’s “end-of-life” i.e. the charge they leveled against the health reform bill in an RNC July research document.
So there you have it: At best RNC money is funding “death panels” at worst they are actually offering “death panels” as a service to their own employees. Regardless, I don’t see how the RNC can keep using Cigna as their insurance provider, unless all their talk of not using donations to fund abortions and the fear mongering over death panels is the talk of a bunch of political hypocrites.
Check these other Care2 posts on the Stupak Amendment:
Photo Credit: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/img/story/Steele
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