By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
Abortion coverage is way down on the list of concerns of those who oppose Democratic-led healthcare reform, a new Pew survey finds. A majority of Americans—55 percent—oppose abortion coverage as a "guaranteed medical benefit" in a government-run health insurance plan, but just 3 percent of those who oppose Democratic-led reform volunteer abortion as their top concern, according to the poll.
Among reform opponents, 27 percent name cost as their top concern, while another 27 percent cite a bigger role for the federal government. Eight percent worry most about the complexity of the legislation, and 8 percent cite skepticism that reform will work.
Check out this graph from Pew:
This is welcome news to Democrats, since the debate over how a government-managed healthcare plan should treat abortion coverage threatens to derail the whole reform effort.
But it's important to note what the Pew survey didn't ask: What qualifies as government-funded abortion? If government funds go to healthcare plans that include abortion coverage, even though the plans are using private premiums—as opposed to government money—to pay for the actual abortion coverage, is that government-funded abortion? Abortion foes say yes; abortion rights activists say no.
There's general agreement in Washington that healthcare reform should maintain the status quo of no federally funded abortion. The argument is over what that actually means. Would be interesting to hear what the American people think.