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RNC’s insurance covers elective abortion for staff

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POSTED November 15, 2009 2:11 a.m.
The devil, they say, is in the details.

News that the Republican National Committee staff has been providing insurance coverage for their employees since 1991 that includes paying the tab for elective abortions has thoroughly embarrassed the Grand Old Party’s top policy and campaign strategy wonks.

GOP National Chairman Michael Steele after being informed that the RNC was providing its employees with coverage for elective abortions ordered the insurance provision cancelled immediately.

Now those who like to goad the GOP will point out it is amusing to have abortion insurance given the party’s extremely staunch position in presidential policy platforms against abortion adopted over the past several decades. The stoning squads that like to hurl snarky remarks dripping with sarcasm will have a field day with this one.

While abortion is a hot button issue, the real travesty here is the fact it underscores that the men and women who want a big say in running this country rarely read the fine print whether it is in insurance coverage they obtain for their organization or in legislation that they pass to govern the rest of us.

Both sides of the aisle are guilty on this one.

How many politicians of different stripes have you heard in the past several months remark they didn’t realize the stimulus packages they approved would do certain things?

It is no longer about the end result when the legislature meets in Sacramento or congress gathers in Washington, D.C. It is all about “your side” winning and not the country’s best interests.

The water deal cobbled together in Sacramento is a prime example. It is broad in nature and opens the door to putting more critical decisions in the hands of a few that answer to no one. Less than 50 years ago partisans as well as special interests managed to sit down and put together a comprehensive water package that addressed all issues and had buy in from virtually everyone.

That’s not what happens anymore. The art of compromise is gone. It’s all or nothing. In the increasing din of the rhetoric it seems less and less of those who believe they are the chosen ones bother to read fine print of what they push, sign or advocate. As a result real power is given to the bureaucrats.

The head of the RNC – or the top brass – had no idea that they had abortion coverage in their insurance policies since 1991. Do they think the big businesses – and even small businesses – they claim to have the best interest of would ignore such a detail? Of course not. What you offer in your insurance coverage drives price as well as is an employee benefit. Controlling costs and retaining solid employees should be the goal of any organization that relies on people and either handles the public’s money or is operated for a profit.

So what is the solution?

For starters, there needs to be a limit on the amount of trees killed to create legislation. Lawmakers need to be limited to the amount of bills they can introduce. And unless there is a pressing national security issue, there needs to be a reasonable amount of time between the point a bill is approved by a committee and is voted on by the full House or Senate. It is laughable that during the health care debate some lawmakers were given just 72 hours to study the actual bills they were voting on.

That also means public input is nil.

Of course, the proponents will tell you it was done so the opponents wouldn’t twist the language within the bills and distort the debate. Is that really open government especially given the fact special interest groups that walk in lock step with efforts to advance or kill legislation already have the inside track on what is happening?

The fact the RNC had abortion coverage up until this week is a symptom of what’s wrong with how the people who put together policies that ultimately will decide everyone’s quality of life. Details mean nothing to them. It’s all about huffing and puffing and winning.
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