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Mandatory Fee Has All Obamacare Plans in Rhode Island Paying for Abortions

by Barth Bracy | Providence, RI | LifeNews.com | 10/23/13 6:23 PM

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In today’s “PolitiFact” piece, the Providence Journal confirmed the existence of the mandatory abortion fee in HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s Obamacare exchange, which was first exposed by the Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee (RIRTL) last June.

All of the 28 plans available through HealthSource RI include coverage for elective abortion and, thus, under the provisions of the Obamacare law (45 CFR ยง 156.280, PPACA Section 1303), require the insurers to collect from each enrollee in these plans separate premium payments to pay for the elective abortions covered under the plan.

The law requires that the additional mandatory abortion fee be charged to all enrollees in the health plan “without regard to the enrollee’s age, sex, or family status” and whether they object to abortion or not. And if the premium for the plan is paid for by direct deposit from an employee’s pay, the employer will be required to make a separate direct deposit for the abortion fee.

“PolitiFact” disagreed with RIRTL that NARAL board member and R.I. Governor Lincoln Chafee is responsible for the mandatory abortion fee even though the exchange was established and operates under his executive order, and even though his administration opposed legislative attempts at providing alternative plans for conscientious individuals who object to paying a mandatory abortion fee.

Remarkably, “Politifact” quoted Chafee spokeswomen Christine Hunsinger as confirming that it was the Executive Committee on Health Reform (ECHR), established under Chafee’s executive order, that selected the “benchmark plan” and determined the “essential health benefits,” but takes the position that the decisions of the ECHR can not be attributed to the Governor under whose authority it operates.

“PolitiFact” then paraphrases Hunsinger as saying that: “The plans the insurance companies chose to submit covered abortion.” No explanation was given as to the contradiction between this statement and Hunsinger’s preceding assertion that the ECHR selected the benchmark plan and determined the benefits and services that all qualified health plans must offer.

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Not only is Hunsinger contradicting herself, she is apparently unaware that it is a matter of public record that at least one insurance company submitted a plan that excluded coverage for elective abortion. Is the Chafee administration trying to deny that they had any role in demanding plan revisions and shaping the final exchange offerings?

We call upon Governor Chafee,” continued Bracy, “to tell the full truth about his administration’s involvement in the mandatory abortion fee. And we call upon Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health, and Neighborhood Health to either confirm or deny Chafee’s allegation that they were the ones who refused to submit plans that excluded coverage for elective abortion.

LifeNews Note: Barth Bracy is the executive director of Rhode Island Right to Life.