House GOP Leader Says Health Care Bill Requires Monthly Abortion Premium

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 5, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

House GOP Leader Says Health Care Bill Requires Monthly Abortion Premium

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 5
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — House Republican Leader John Boehner has found another way to alert people to the abortion funding found in the House health care reform bill that will receive votes Friday and Saturday. Boehner says the bill will results in a monthly abortion premium that taxpayers will be forced to pay.

"Health care reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life – not end it," he says in a widely-distributed press release today.

Boehner points out that, on line 17, p. 110, section 222 under “Abortions for which Public Funding is Allowed," the Health and Human Services Secretary is given the authority to determine when abortion is allowed under the government-run plan.

"The Speaker’s plan also requires that at least one insurance plan offered in the Exchange covers abortions," he notes.

"What is even more alarming is that a monthly abortion premium will be charged of all enrollees in the government-run plan," Boehner says, noting that it appears on 16, page 96, section 213, under “Insurance Rating Rules.”

"The premium will be paid into a U.S. Treasury account – and these federal funds will be used to pay for the abortion services," he says. "Section 213 describes the process in which the Health Benefits Commissioner is to assess the monthly premiums that will be used to pay for elective abortions under the government-run plan. The Commissioner must charge at a minimum $1 per enrollee per month."

Boehner says making Americans pay for abortions is wrong and he notes polling data showing a large majority of Americans don’t want to pay for them.

"Speaker Pelosi’s 2,032-page health care monstrosity is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy. The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion," he says.

The argument is a restatement of the analysis put forward by the National Right to Life Committee, which has said the Pelosi health care bill would fund abortions for years to come.

NRLC has one main message it hopes lawmakers and pro-life advocates will understand before the votes take place: "The bill would create a national federal agency health program, the ‘public option,’ and would explicitly authorize that federal agency program to pay for elective abortions."

"This federal agency program will pay for abortions with federal funds (which are the only kind of funds that federal agencies can spend)," its letter to Congress, provided to, spells out.

The letter backs up its abortion funding contention by pointing to the same language Boehner referred to, saying "nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing for . . . coverage of services described in paragraph (4)(A)."

The "services described in paragraph (4)(A)" are elective abortions (i.e., all abortions, abortions without any limitations whatever).

"The language makes it explicitly clear that this authority extends to the entire universe of elective abortions that would NOT be eligible for funding under the federal Medicaid program, because the Hyde Amendment currently strictly limits coverage of abortion under the Medicaid program," Right to Life notes.

NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson told that "Boehner’s post is perfectly accurate" and his group calls the premium the "abortion surcharge."

"It is just one more thing illustrating what NRLC has been saying all along: The bill explicitly authorizes the big new federal government health insurance plan, the public option, to pay for all elective abortions," he said.

"Under the abortion surcharge provision, any citizen who wants to enroll in the new government program would be REQUIRED to pay a surcharge explicitly devoted to paying for elective abortions. The language sets a minimum of $1 per month per enrollee, but there is no maximum," he added.

Johnson said even if the Democratic leadership struck out the "abortion surcharge," the same fundamental problem would remain, because the new "public option" is a federal agency program and its funding of abortion would constitute government funding with money from Americans.

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