House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Demands Public Option in Pro-Abortion Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Sep 4, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Demands Public Option in Pro-Abortion Health Care

by Steven Ertelt Editor
September 4
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — In some of her strongest comments yet, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is demanding that the final government-run health care bill Congress approves contain the "public option." That is the national health insurance plan run directly by the federal government that would open the door for massive abortion funding.

President Barack Obama appears to be retooling his strategy on promoting the bill and is said to be considering asking members of Congress to drop the government option.

Obama would have to battle with members of the House, who are demanding the government-run system be kept in HR 3200. But, he is also battling members of the Senate who say they can’t envision the chamber approving the bill with the public option.

According to Politico, Pelosi said late Thursday any bill "without a strong public option will not pass the House."

She presented the supposed need to keep the public option in place as a battle with insurance companies.

“Any real change requires the inclusion of a strong public option to promote competition and bring down costs,” Pelosi said. “If a vigorous public option is not included, it would be a major victory for the health insurance industry.”

“President Obama has said that a public option will keep the insurance companies honest. If someone has a better idea for promoting competition and reducing health care costs, they should put it on the table,” Pelosi said. “But for the past month, opponents of health insurance reform have demonstrated that they are afraid of the facts."

"They have only offered distortions, distractions and misrepresentations to try to kill this historic legislation," she claimed.

Even if the scheme is dropped, the second portion of the health care proposal, which would provide subsidies to help tens of millions of people buy health insurance, also includes abortion funding.

Regardless of what happens with the current measures — H.R. 3200 in the House, and the “Affordable Health Choices Act” (unnumbered) in the Senate — pro-life advocates will continue fighting to remove abortion and rationing or defeat the bill.

When it comes to the public option, HR 3200 would kick it off with $2 billion in start-up funds from the Treasury and, as amended, the bill "explicitly authorizes the Obama Administration to fund abortion for any reason under the public plan, from day one," says Douglas Johnson of National Right to Life.

"So, once the Secretary of HHS has ordered that all abortions be covered under the ‘public option,’ what would that mean? It would mean that you would not be allowed to enroll in the new government plan unless you were willing to pay an additional premium to cover the cost of elective abortions — in effect, an abortion surcharge," he explains.

Johnson told the Capps amendment added to the House bill Pelosi wants approved "explicitly requires that the federal official who runs the program must calculate the total cost of abortions and increase the premium for all enrollees enough to pay for the aggregate cost of the abortions."

"The amendment specifies that this ‘abortion surcharge’ (my term) cannot be less than $12 per enrollee per year, but the amendment does not set an upper limit," he says.

‘Again, this abortion premium is not optional: If you want to enroll in the government’s public health plan, you would be required to pay the abortion surcharge. If you did not want to pay for abortions, you would not be allowed to take advantage of the government program at all," he concludes.

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