Congressional Research Service Report: Health Care Bill Allows Abortion Funding
by Steven Ertelt
July 28, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Congressional Research Service has released a new report verifying the analysis the pro-life movement gave about the national health care bill President Barack Obama signed into law. The CRS report affirms the national health care program will contain abortion funding despite protests to the contrary.
The report indicates one of the provisions of the ObamaCare law allowing abortion funding is the one setting up new health insurance exchanges by 2014.
Before those go into effect, states are setting up state-based high risk health insurance pools operated with federal funds to cover people with pre-existing conditions who may not otherwise qualify for most health care plans.
The CRS report indicates the supposed limits on taxpayer funding of abortions "would not appear to apply specifically to the funds made available for high risk pools by section 1101."
The report concurs with what pro-life groups have said throughout the debate, namely that the executive order Obama issued that supposedly prevents taxpayer funding of abortions does not sufficiently do so. The order, CRS said, "does not specifically address high risk pools and the funds provided under section 1101 of (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act)."
Further, the report says the Health and Human Services department is responsible for promulgating the guidelines the high risk health insurance pools but the guidelines issued to date "neither explicitly provide the authority to cover elective abortions with federal funds, nor do they specifically prohibit the use of federal funds."
The CRS report has already generated a response from lawmakers, as The Hill reports 13 Republican senators have already signed off on a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius urging her to issues regulations to prohibit federal funds from paying directly for abortions in the high risk pools.
"Absent such contractual requirements, it will be necessary for Congress to modify the current law to include restrictions to prevent federal dollars from being used to provide such coverage," they wrote pro-abortion HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"We request that you identify the specific actions and timeline you will take to address these concerns by July 30, 2010," they said.
The National Right to Life Committee discovered that, in three states, Obama officials had approved paying for abortions under new high risk insurance programs created under the national health care law.
The National Right to Life Committee exposed the abortion funding and the Obama administration responded at first by claiming the executive order Obama signed prohibits the funding NRLC uncovered
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee who uncovered the abortion funding, reviewed the back and forth with LifeNews.com recently.
"The available evidence indicates that the Obama Administration bureaucrats had no intention whatever to impede the funding of abortions through the new federal program to establish high-risk insurance pools — until NRLC sounded the alarm and put the spotlight on what they were up to," he said.
"Regrettably, there are many other programs and authorities in the 2,000-page health care law that will provide the Obama Administration with additional opportunities to expand abortion — and we can expect that they will try to do so, particularly when they think they can accomplish something under the public’s radar," Johnson continued.
Republicans on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee requested the report from CRS in response to the abortion funding dustup.
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