Senate Health Care Bill Amendment Would Define Abortion as Preventative Care
by Steven Ertelt
December 1, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — With polls showing as many as 63 percent of Americans oppose abortions and strong majorities against taxpayer funding of it, abortion advocates are desperate to mainstream abortion. One pro-abortion lawmaker has an amendment to the Senate health care bill to do just that.
Yesterday, the Senate began the process of considering amendments to Senator Harry Reid’s pro-abortion health care legislation.
The first amendment offered was Mikulski Amendment No. 2791, sponsored by pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat, dealing with federally mandated coverage of "preventive care."
The amendment would essentially define abortion as preventative care and could result in mandates to private insurance plans that they define abortion as such and provide coverage of it.
Because of that, the National Right to Life Committee issued a letter to members of the Senate urging them to strongly oppose the Mikulski amendment.
"If Congress were to grant any Executive Branch entity sweeping authority to define services that private health plans must cover, merely by declaring a given service to constitute ‘preventive care’ then that authority could be employed in the future to require all health plans to cover abortions," NRLC explains.
"Therefore, NRLC opposes both the Mikulski Amendment No.2791, and the underlying language of Section 1001, unless additional language is added to explicitly exclude abortion from the universe of services that might be mandated as ‘preventive care,’" the letter continues.
National Right to Life says the concerns are not hypothetical and points out how the pro-abortion movement has talked about making abortion considered as "preventative care."
A 2009 publication cosponsored by the National Abortion Federation, Providing Abortion Care, explicitly stated that " APCs [ Advanced Practice Clinicians] are especially well positioned within the health care system to address women’s need for comprehensive primary preventive health care that includes abortion care."
This is the second time Mikulski has offered this amendment and a similar one was added to the Senate HELP Committee version of the health care bill this summer.
At that time, her amendment had the support of the abortion industry, with groups like NARAL and Planned Parenthood sending a letter in support saying that it would allow the Health Resources and Services Administration to issue binding guidelines on preventive services to include abortion.
The NRLC letter to senators says that anyone who is truly against abortion funding with government money should be against declaring abortion as preventative medicine.
"Anyone who genuinely believes that abortion properly will remain outside the scope of future ‘preventative care’ mandates should have no objection to explicitly writing such a rule of construction into the legislation," the letter explains.
NRLC describes how the amendment would change the bill to promote abortion further.
Section 1001 of Senator Reid’s pending substitute, the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," would create a new Section 2713 of the Public Health Services Act, dealing with "Preventive Health Services."
Under this provision, all private health plans would be mandated to cover, without cost-sharing, "(1) evidence-based items or services that have in effect a rating of ‘A’ or’ B ‘ in the current recommendations of the United States Preventive Services Task
NRLC says: "The Mikulski Amendment No.2791 retains that mandate, but further specifies that all health plans would also be mandated to cover ‘with respect to women, such additional preventive care and screenings not described in paragraph (1) as provided for in comprehensive guidelines supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration for purposes of this paragraph.’"
As a result, NRLC explains that the "Reid language makes the ‘recommendations’ of the United States Preventive Services Task Force, regarding ‘preventive services,’ into mandates that will bind all health plans."
"The Mikulski Amendment No.2791 would further empower political appointees at the HRSA to issue mandates that all health plans cover any service ‘with respect to women’ that is declared to constitute ‘preventive care,’ [meaning abortion]," the letter concludes.
Related web sites:
National Right to Life – http://www.NRLC.org
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