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Opinion: In today’s pages: Coverage for abortions and the real story of the Berlin Wall

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Public option, shmublic option. If you really want to get people worked up about healthcare reform, start talking about whether it should cover abortions and illegal immigrants. Today, the editorial board tackles both those issues, saying that abortion opponents are looking to ‘extend federal prohibitions into private pocketbooks. By restricting coverage offered through the exchange, they hope to make abortion coverage so unattractive that insurers eventually stop offering it in the market for individual and small-group policies.’ Healthcare reform thus should not restrict those who receive subsidies from buying extra coverage for abortions. And it’s an odd healthcare policy that would eliminate all possibility for illegal immigrants to participate in subsidized care, but require them to purchase their own coverage regardless of their personal finances, the board argues.

‘Extraordinary rendition’ is just a dressed-up word for kidnapping in the editorial board’s eyes, and it praises Italy for recognizing that fact, if mainly symbolically, by convicting 23 Americans and two Italians in absentia for grabbing an Egyptian cleric in Milan six years ago.

On the other side of the fold, the author of a book on the Cold War argues that former President Reagan’s seemingly bold words to Mikhail S. Gorbachev --'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.’ -- were for the most part a cover intended to build popular support for the president while he worked on effective diplomatic relations with the then-Soviet president.

And writer Joe Mathews raises his hand for the job of lieutenant governor. It’s not that he has ambitions to run anything, he says, and that’s exactly what qualifies him for the job. Meanwhile, think of all the spare time he’d have for blogging.

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-- Karin Klein


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