House Health Care Bill Gets More Criticism for Taxpayer-Funded Abortion Coverage
by Steven Ertelt
June 29, 2009
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The House version of the governmental health care bill, put together by three chairmen of key Congressional committees, is drawing more opposition. A top pro-life group has already issued a letter strongly opposing the measure and now leading pro-life Congressman Chris Smith has joined it.
The bill numbers 850 pages and it is still under review by leading pro-life advocates.
However, the current drat would result in mandated abortion coverage, paid for at taxpayer expense, nationwide. In addition, poor Americans would receive a taxpayer subsidy to purchase health care plans that pay for abortions.
Under the proposed House bill, all Americans will be required to have a plan that provides government defined minimum health benefits coverage.
Such coverage is defined in very broad terms in the legislation and a Benefits Advisory Committee, in conjunction with pro-abortion Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, would further define the benefits under the plan. Pro-life advocates are concerned that the federal government, or the courts, would define abortion into the plan unless a clear exception is included.
In a letter written to every member of the House, Smith explains the problem further.
‘I am deeply disappointed that the health care reform package unveiled last week poses a grave threat to the unborn in our nation," he said.
"I am wholeheartedly committed to providing health care solutions that advance the goal of universal access to health care that Americans need and deserve," Smith added. "However, we cannot approve a plan that will put the unborn at greater risk. This plan does precisely that."
"Without abortion explicitly excluded from any government mandated or government funded benefits package, abortion will be included," Smith warned in the letter LifeNews.com received. "Time and time again, bureaucrats and courts have decided that abortion must be included in public health programs unless Congress explicitly provides otherwise."
"If the proposed plan moves forward without an explicit exclusion that ensures that abortion is excluded from any government mandated or government subsidized benefits, health care reform will be a death sentence for thousands of unborn children," Smith wrote.
"The unborn and their moms deserve better than abortion. There are always two patients, mother and baby. We must establish a health care system that respects, protects and cherishes both," he concludes.
The Smith letter follows a similar "Dear Colleague" letter written by Rep. Dan Boren, a pro-life Oklahoma Democrat, and 17 other pro-life Democrats, saying that they can’t vote for a health care plan without an abortion exemption.
It also follows a letter the National Right to Life Committee sent to members of Congress outlining the concerns of not specifically ensuring that abortion is not included in the list of taxpayer-funded benefits.
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