August 6th, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Should government insurance cover abortion?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

A new government insurance plan that's before Congress would cover abortion - and that could make the debate over health care reform even more complicated and heated than it already is. Currently, federal money can be used only for abortions in cases of rape, incest or danger to the mother's life.

Abortion opponents say the same should hold true in any new legislation; and they call the issue of abortion a sticking point in passing health care reform.

But supporters of abortion rights say that could mean millions of women would be denied coverage for abortion if they leave their employers' insurance plans and choose the public option.

Needless to say - both sides are gearing up for a fight here. The original health care legislation introduced by Democrats didn't mention abortion. And, since it is a legal medical procedure, experts say not mentioning it would let health care plans provide unrestricted coverage.

A compromise approved by a House committee would allow the government plan to cover abortion - but without using federal funds. The author of this compromise says she was trying to find a way to accommodate both sides - and that "with all due respect, not everyone adheres to what Catholic bishops believe."

But over in the Senate, aides say this compromise is unacceptable to Republicans. Critics call it a sham and say the government would still be subsidizing abortions.

Here’s my question to you: Government insurance would cover abortion. Should it?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Government
August 6th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Congress ordering new jets for itself during recession?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As the country struggles with the worst recession since the Great Depression and millions of Americans look for work– Congress is getting ready to spend some big bucks on private jets for itself.

The House has approved almost $200 million to buy three brand new Gulfstream jets - two of them meant for members of Congress and other top government officials. These jets can fly faster than 600-miles an hour; and can go non-stop from Washington to as far as China or Japan without refueling.

The Pentagon only requested one of these jets. But the House Appropriations Committee decided to add two additional planes - saying they should be assigned to the DC area.

Reports say the funding for these Gulfstream jets was pushed through by two members of the committee - both from Georgia, where they are made. One of these congressmen tells ABC News that buying the jets "supports local industry" and will mean jobs for his constituents.

A congressional staffer defends the move saying the military was already looking to update its fleet. And some experts say the jets may be more expensive, but they're worth it because they're more secure and efficient for VIPs.

Critics say members of Congress are a bunch of hypocrites. Remember how lawmakers blasted the auto CEOs when they flew into DC on their private jets last year asking for bailout money?

Here’s my question to you: What message does it send that during the recession Congress is ordering new jets for itself?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress
August 6th, 2009
04:00 PM ET

Are health care protests legit or orchestrated?



FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Depending on who you ask - the protests against health care reform may or may not be the real thing.

Democrats and the White House claim these sometimes rowdy protests that have disrupted meetings and health care events around the country are mostly orchestrated by insurers, lobbyists and Republican activists. They're accusing the GOP of organizing "angry mobs" and trying to destroy President Obama.

Nancy Pelosi even claims protesters are "carrying swastikas and symbols like that" to these meetings.

But Republicans insists these protests are just a sign of real opposition and frustration about the president's health care plan... they say the protests are part of a ground-level movement.

Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele says "We're not inciting anyone to go out and disrupt anything." Steele calls the Democrats' claims "a bunch of baloney" and says there's no upside for the Republican Party in the protests.

Meanwhile - a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows the nation is pretty evenly divided over the president's health care plan - with 50-percent supporting it and 45-percent opposed.

The poll also shows that more than half of Americans have strong feelings about this debate... with one-third saying they strongly oppose Mr. Obama's plans and 23-percent saying they strongly favor them. The poll also suggests that those against the president's plan may be more motivated to attend town hall meetings than those who support it.

Here’s my question to you: Are the protests against health care reform grass roots democracy or orchestrated opposition?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Health care