Associated Press Again Confirms Health Care Bills Include Abortion Funding

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 12, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Associated Press Again Confirms Health Care Bills Include Abortion Funding

by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 12
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The Associated Press has confirmed again that the current health care reform bills in Congress include massive abortion funding and mandates. Top Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs may want to read the article because he wrongly told reporters twice last week that the Hyde Amendment stop the funding.

In a new analysis of the health care bills written by AP reporter Charles Babington, the news service answers the question, "Would new health care legislation allow abortions to be funded with tax money?"

"The proposed legislation would permit government-sponsored health plans, open to non-Medicaid patients, to cover abortions," Babington writes.

"In seeking a political compromise, a House version would require publicly sponsored plans to pay for abortions," and that the money could come from "customers’ premiums."

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for National Right to Life, emailed to respond and said the AP story is "accurate" on those points.

Still, he disagreed with AP’s characterization of the funding as coming from "private" dollars" because the money becomes public taxpayer dollars once citizens send it to the government.

"The government-run public plan will use federal funds to pay for those elective abortions, because federal funds are the only kind of funds that the federal government can spend," he said.

"The current claim by senior congressional Democrats that under the Capps Amendment the government plan would pay for abortions with private funds is an impossibility and a political hoax," he added.

AP noted that the Hyde Amendment is currently in place, but disabused Gibbs by noting that it has limits that make it so it does not apply to the health care plans.

"For years, a restriction in the law that governs Medicaid — health insurance for the poor — has barred federal funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest and danger to the mother’s life," AP writes.

Johnson responded: "The claim made twice this week by the president’s press secretary, that an existing federal law would prevent federal funding of abortion under the new program, lacks any factual foundation whatever."

This is the second time that AP has confirmed that the health care bills fund abortions, reversing itself from arlier denying it.

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