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Obamacare Exchanges Hide Info on Abortion Coverage, Mandatory Abortion Surcharge

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/12/13 3:16 AM

National

With the exchanges of Obamacare activated this month, it has become evident that it is nearly impossible for individuals to try to determine which exchange plans on their state exchange, if any, exclude abortion, said a group of lawmakers at a bipartisan press conference Wednesday.

U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (NJ-04) unveiled his legislation, H.R. 3279, the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” —cosponsored by 70 other Members of the House—to ensure full disclosure of abortion coverage, requiring prominent and transparent disclosure of abortion coverage for each plan offered on an exchange. This is crucial information for millions of Americans since the many plans that include elective abortion are required by law to impose a monthly mandatory abortion surcharge. Many Americans object to paying a surcharge into a fund to be used solely for the purpose of aborting unborn babies.

Smith said the inauguration of the Obamacare exchanges reveals that many health insurance plans throughout the nation will include abortion on demand—even late term abortions. Smith recalled that in October 2009, President Obama said in a speech to a joint session of Congress that, “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion… .” A week after the Obamacare rollout, many are now discovering that—contrary to solemn promises made by the President himself—Obamacare violates the Hyde Amendment by funding plans that include abortion.

“The new law requires premium payers to be assessed an abortion surcharge every month to pay for abortions,” said Rep. Smith. “But many pro-life Americans may unwittingly purchase pro-abortion plans because of a marketing secrecy clause embedded in Obamacare which stipulates that the surcharge be minimally disclosed only at the time of enrollment. In other words, bury it in the fine print. This is a Right to Know bill. Americans have a right to know upfront and with full transparency when they are purchasing a plan that subsidizes the killing of unborn children. Even the most ardent advocate of abortion should embrace full disclosure.”

Joining Smith and Dan Lipinksi (D-IL), co-chairs of the Pro-Life Caucus, were Reps. Joe Pitts (PA-16) and Diane Black (TN-06), Vicky Hartzler (MO-04) and Trent Franks (AZ-08).

“Americans buying their insurance through the new healthcare exchanges shouldn’t have to spend hours trying to figure out if the money they pay for premiums will be spent to provide abortions. This bill will give the American people the transparency they need to make informed decisions that are in line with their religious and moral beliefs,” Rep. Dan Lipinski said. “None of this would be a problem if we pass the ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.’ There is a longstanding principle in our country that the federal government does not subsidize abortions. Yet under Obamacare, taxpayer money under the guise of federal subsidies will be paying for insurance that covers elective abortion. This needs to stop.”

“The President tells Americans that they can go online, find the plan that covers what they need, and make a selection,” said Rep. Joe Pitts. “If Obamacare is all about choice, then why is the administration making it so difficult for people to find out about whether a plan pays for abortion? It’s time that we got some truth in advertising.”

“The Obamacare exchange launch has been an unmitigated disaster,” said Congressman Diane Black. “One of the most troubling problems is that many consumers are unclear as to what exactly will be covered by the plans they purchase online. Clearly Americans who are pro-life would object to paying for a health care plan that included abortion coverage and then be forced to pay an abortion surcharge into a fund that is meant to be used solely for the purposes of destroying human life. And this is equally problematic for the millions of Americans who simply don’t believe the federal government should be subsidizing abortions. The Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act would simply require that all plans on the exchanges disclose whether or not the plan includes abortion coverage. This is not a partisan issue—this is commonsense.”

I support the legislation that Rep. Chris Smith has put forward, and I adamantly believe that we need to lift the veil of secrecy from Obamacare while ensuring transparent policies,” said Rep. Vicky Hartzler. “I commend every member that has signed on to this bill, and I also encourage members of both parties and the Senate to vote for this common-sense legislation. We must eliminate the “secrecy clauses” and “abortion fees” from current taxpayer subsidized insurance plans and fight to restore individual religious liberty and moral conscience to our medical decisions.”