SYMPOSIUM ON HEALTH CARE: COSTS, ETHICS & THE LAW: ARTICLE: HEALTH CARE REFORM AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE: HOW THE PROCESS FAILED Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2011 Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy
Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy

SYMPOSIUM ON HEALTH CARE: COSTS, ETHICS & THE LAW: ARTICLE: HEALTH CARE REFORM AND RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE: HOW THE PROCESS FAILED

2011

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy

25 ND J. L. Ethics & Pub Pol'y 593

Author

William L. Saunders, Jr.* & Anna R. Franzonello+

Excerpt



Introduction
 
On March 24, 2010, behind closed doors, without reporters, President Barack Obama signed an executive order, "Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" (hereafter "the Executive Order" or "the Order"). 1 The Order, as its title suggests, purported to restrict the abortion funding in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), 2 an historic piece of legislation the President signed into law just one day earlier with much mass-media presence and attention. 3 Whether the Executive Order would - or even could - achieve its espoused goal is a central question examined by this Article.

In 2009 Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress by wide margins. 4 In fact, they had a "filibuster-proof" majority in the Senate: that is, with a three-fifths majority, the Democrats could prevent Republicans from taking advantage of the rules that generally allow a senator to speak for as long as he or she wishes (and thus obstruct, or "filibuster," a bill from moving forward) by invoking "cloture," which limits debate. 5 Energized by the historic election of Democrat President Obama, who campaigned on a promise of "hope" and "change," Congress aggressively took on the agenda of the White House and set out to "reform" health care, a long desired goal of the party. In total, the Democrats produced five health care reform bills.

The PPACA was the last of these bills to materialize. It was introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader ...
 
 
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