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John Nichols, Terry O'Neill On 'Bill Moyers': Health Care Overhaul Needs More Reforms (VIDEO)

Bill Moyers

First Posted: 05/26/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:00 PM ET

Bill Moyers tackles health care reform Friday evening on "Bill Moyers Journal" in an interview with journalist John Nichols of The Nation and women's advocate and NOW President Terry O'Neill.

While both Nichols and O'Neill agree that the Democratic overhaul of health care has brought the nation's health care system to a place where real reform is possible, they say that without further changes, the bill is insufficient.

O'Neill says that she's worried that the abortion language in the health care reform bill could eventually lead to insurers dropping abortion care. She blames the Hyde amendement, legislation that keeps federal funds from paying for abortions.

O'Neill: Hyde is the basis for this language that actually got into the law that actually, according to the George Washington School of Public Health, this law, if it's not changed, Over a period of years, insurance companies -- all insurance companies in all plans -- will eventually conclude that it is too much trouble to offer abortion coverage at all. 87 percent of private insurance policies today cover abortion care. That goes away if we don't make changes to this law.

Nichols argues that the only mistake progressives could make would be to defend the health care reform law as it was passed.

Nichols: The fact is, this bill is never going to be repealed. It's not going to be thrown out. We've opened up a great debate in this country.... The only mistake that progressives would make would be to think that it is the job of progressives to defend this bill as is. If there are pulls from the left and the right, then the compromises if you will, will be in a good direction. If there are not pulls from the left. If the left simply becomes an amen corner for the bill that was passed. It will get steadily worse because all of the noice will come from the right

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Filed by T.J. Ortenzi  |