The Georgia state House voted this week for an amendment to a bill that would ensure no taxpayer dollars can be used to pay for abortions under the state health care exchanges created under Obamacare.
Georgia lawmakers have not approved creation of a health exchange in the state, but lawmakers approved legislation Tuesday on a 98-63 vote that would have the state join a health care compact and the amendment added to the bill would prevent any abortion funding in the compact.
Now, according to an AP report, the state Senate must approve of the changes the state House made to the Senate-passed bill before it goes to pro-life Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature.
Under the new health care law, states will be in charge of their own health care exchanges that are available for individuals and small businesses. The exchange doesn’t go into effect until 2014 and states are filing lawsuits seeking to stop the pro-abortion health care bill in its other pro-abortion provisions entirety, but states are moving now to exercise their right to opt out of some of the abortion funding.
Denise Burke, an attorney with Americans United for Life, has explained the opt out clause contained in the Obamacare bill, which otherwise fails to contain sufficient limits on abortion funding.
“Specifically, the new law prohibits health insurers participating in the state-run health insurance exchange (scheduled to go into effect in 2014) from offering plans or policies that cover abortions except in rare cases in which the mother’s life is in danger,” she said.
She said the day after Congress passed the health care reform legislation, AUL made its “Federal Abortion-Mandate Opt-Out Act” available to lawmakers in all 50 states.
“We continue to work with dozens of states that are considering opt-out legislation either this year or when their legislative sessions reconvene in 2011,” she said.
When Congress passed the government-run health care bill, it did so without any limits on abortion funding and language mandating taxpayer financing of abortion in certain circumstances.
Obama eventually issued a controversial executive order supposedly taking the abortion funding issue off the table.
However, virtually every pro-life group said it would not mitigate the abortion funding because it doesn’t have the effect of law, could be reversed in the future, and because it didn’t tackle much of the abortion funding in the bill. The Obama administration could also ignore the order and not put it in place when the health care law goes into effect.
Arizona, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri, and Louisiana have passed similar bills that have already been signed into law by governors in those states and several other states are expected to consider legislation in their upcoming legislative sessions. Governors in Oklahoma and Florida vetoed similar legislation last year. Other states such as South Carolina and Florida are working on similar legislation in 2010.