On Thursday, "President Donald Trump signed a bill Thursday undoing an Obama-era regulation that prohibited states from withholding money from Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health clinics." On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Andrea Mitchell's sense of cruel irony was utterly absent, as she described the bill potentially affecting the nation's largest abortion provider as "a killer decision."
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The setup for the video which follows involved show host Chuck Todd asking panelist Heather McGhee, President of the far-left "public policy organization" Demos Action, if the law passed by Congress and signed by Trump might be some kind of "compromise" which might give the Republican majority political cover if they fail to fully defund Planned Parenthood in the next federal budget.
McGhee predictably complained about the action, while adding another topic to the alleged Trump-is-cruel list. Mitchell then made her clueless comment:
Transcript (full program transcript here):
HEATHER MCGHEE: Listen, I talk to folks in Planned Parenthood all the time, and they do not feel any kind of relief. It's the states where the most vulnerable working-class women, that's their only affordable healthcare. Those are the ones that are going to be in the crosshairs. You know we also saw him sign something that stopped retirement security accounts. Working middle-class people who work for small businesses, who don't have 401ks on the job, that had been starting to innovate at the state and local level. So it's this phony populism that I think has actually been this strain that has been the most consistent.
ANDREA MITCHELL: You're absolutely right about that. This is a killer decision, this Title X decision, done without a press pool in the Oval, no coverage and Planned Parenthood says it's really devastating.
Let's first make sure readers understand that what was under discussion was not a "decision," as Mitchell described it. It was instead a law passed by Congress:
President Donald Trump signed a bill Thursday undoing an Obama-era regulation that prohibited states from withholding money from Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health clinics.
By undoing the law, the White House will allow states freedom to allocate funds to the health programs of their preference; in the case of some red states that will likely mean less funds for abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
If Mitchell wants to properly tag a "killer decision," it was former President Obama's unilateral move to prevent states from spending Title X money on genuine health care for women if that's what certain state legislatures desired. Planned Parenthood recently proved that it is primarily an abortion business by refusing to stop doing abortions as a condition for continued receipt of federal dollars.
As to her whining about how Trump signed the bill "without a press pool in the Oval (Office, and) no coverage," you've got to be kidding me.
Why would Trump do that, when he knows that reporters like the rude Mitchell, who was dressed down last week by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov for her bad manners after she shouted out a question, would like nothing more than to artificially create a hostile scene? Mitchell acts as if presidents have never signed laws in private before. What a crock.
As to McGhee's claim that states which choose to direct their Title X money to providers who do not perform abortion would be hurting "the most vulnerable working class women," because supposedly "that's their only affordable healthcare," I have a smart-aleck question: I thought Obamacare solved all of that — what, you mean it didn't? The fact of the matter is that there are typically Medicaid and other low-cost healthcare alternatives for women who need the services.
Let's also look at McGhee's claim that Trump "stopped retirement security accounts." What got stopped are certain government-sponsored retirement accounts:
Trump signs bill ending safe harbor for city secure choice programs
Rules allowing cities and other large political subdivisions to set up private-sector retirement savings programs were reversed Thursday when President Donald Trump signed legislation disapproving them.
Similar legislation disapproving safe harbors for states was passed by the House of Representatives but has not been scheduled for Senate action. The safe harbors addressed concerns that such programs would be pre-empted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
This is another example of the Congressional Review Act (CRA) being used to reverse an Obama-era regulation, but thus far only partially.
The problem with the entire idea of state- and municipal-sponsored retirement accounts is their huge potential for mischief. By gaining the DOL's safe-harbor exemption, these governmental entities would be able to invest participants' money free of ERISA's fiduciary rule requiring them "to run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits and paying plan expenses."
Why does this matter? Because governmental entities unencumbered by the fiduciary rule can direct participants' retirement funds into all manner of pet projects disguised as "investments." Congress also needs to stop states like California, which is perilously close to mandating that employers who don't have their own retirement plans offer such accounts, from pulling the trigger before it's too late.
Demos's McGhee acts as if Trump's and Congress's halt to the creation of potentially corrupt government-sponsored "retirement security accounts" before they get started prevents people from saving for their own retirement. That's obviously nonsense, given the availability of IRAs and other retirement savings vehicles.
Let's get back to Andrea Mitchell one more time.
If the NBC reporter wants to find a the worst of all "killer decisions," she should look at Planned Parenthood, whose decision to continue performing abortions is fatal to hundreds of thousands of unborn children every year.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.