Congressmember Lois Capps sent off a letter scolding Republican minority leader John Boehner, accusing him of distorting language in the healthcare reform package just approved by the House by stating it would force providers to cover abortions. Capps said federal law already prohibits the expenditure of federal dollars for abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or the health of the mother, and that the current legislation would not change that.
Capps, who voted the healthcare plan out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said she wrote an amendment that would prohibit abortion from being covered as part of the plan’s essential benefit package. She suggested that “ratcheting up the rhetoric : does disservice” to those seeking common ground.
Capps has been chided in turn by local Tea Party representatives for declining to attend a Tea Party meeting on August 21 convened by skeptics and critics of Congress’s healthcare package. Such meetings have been the occasion for loud and raucous objections by critics of the plan. Capps will be in Latin America on Congressional business on that date. Capps hopes to convene a local meeting on the subject in September.