The Senate Finance Committee’s silver lining

As you all know, the Senate Finance Committee voted twice yesterday not to endorse a government-run healthcare option, or “public option.” What you might not know, however, is that, during the same meeting, this group chose to re-fund abstinence-only sex education programs. The following clip comes from Salon:

We’ve all heard about the major disappointment of yesterday’s Senate Finance Committee meeting. But the defeat of the public option wasn’t the senators’ only poor decision of the day. As the Associated Press reports, the committee spent the evening approving a measure to restore $50 million of federal funding to abstinence-only sex education. That’s right, folks: These 23 senators think it’s more important to devote several million dollars to teaching your children lies than to provide a realistic public alternative to a healthcare hell created by private insurance companies. Are you pissed off yet?

The committee voted 12-11 to support the measure by (who else?) Sen. Orrin Hatch. And guess what? As with the public option, it was Democratic disunity that pushed Hatch’s plan through. Two Democrats, Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, voted with all 10 Republicans in favor of the measure. (At least Baucus was on the right side of this one. According to the AP, “Hatch said abstinence education had been shown to work, though Baucus disagreed.” Of course, unless by “work” Hatch means “increase the teen birth rate,” we know who’s got the facts on his side.)…

Hopefully that will be some comfort to the 44,000 Americans who die each year because they don’t have health insurance. At least they’ll know that the kids the leave behind won’t be told where babies really come from.

Speaking of abstinence-only education, I wonder how those girls at Timken High are doing.

And I don’t have a lot of money to spare at the moment, but if someone could point me toward a candidate with a realistic shot of beating Kent Conrad in North Dakota, I’d appreciate it. The same goes for Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas. I’ll gladly forego my weekly trip to the Indian buffet and direct that money toward their Democratic challengers.

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  1. Trish
    Posted September 30, 2009 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t it amazing how much you can get done when your party controls both houses and the presidency? It’s like a dream come true.

  2. Posted October 1, 2009 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    I just can’t believe that, even though we’re facing these huge problems as a nation, we still have politicians looking to appease the religious extremists among us. Abstinence-only education has been proven, again and again, not to work, any yet we have these people throwing $50 million at it, because they want to be seen as anti-sex. Meanwhile, people without insurance are dying… I long for a time when we can address issues as adults.

  3. Kim
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    The Republican party isn’t a party built on facts.

  4. EOS
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    More smoke and mirrors? You forgot to mention that the Senate Finance committee voted along party lines to reject an amendment to prohibit government funds from being used to provide abortions and an amendment to protect health care workers whose moral values would prohibit them from performing abortions. And they also rejected, along party lines, a proposed requirement that immigrants prove their identity with photo identification when signing up for federal healthcare programs.

  5. Mike want longr name
    Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

    Man, I have grown so bored with this blog.

  6. Brackinald Achery
    Posted October 2, 2009 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    That’s just the gloomy weather talkin’.

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