Obama’s Government-Run Health Plan Still Requires a Monthly Abortion Fee
by Rep. John Boehner
February 23, 2010
LifeNews.com Note: Rep. John Boehner is the Republican House Minority Leader in Congress and is a representative of a district in Ohio. He has had a strong pro-life voting record since becoming a member of Congress and is supported by pro-life groups.
President Obama’s "new" health care proposal would still levy a new "abortion premium" fee and use government funds to subsidize elective abortion.
Just like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reids (D-NV) 2,074-page health care managers amendment, that passed the Senate in December, and just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosis (D-CA), the Presidents new proposal levies an abortion premium and does not fix the problem of government funds being used to subsidize elective abortions.
Under the Presidents proposal – modeled after Senator Reids plan that passed the Senate, according to ABC News – there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange.
Instead, the proposal includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the Exchange or the new government-run plan that will be managed by the Office of Personnel Management must establish allocation accounts when elective abortion is a covered benefit (p. 2073-2074). Everyone enrolled in these plans must pay a monthly abortion premium (p. 2072, lines 18-21), and these funds will be used to pay for the elective abortion services.
The Obama proposal directs insurance companies to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage (p. 2074-2075), and charge a minimum of $1 per enrollee per month (p. 2075, lines 8-10).
In short, the Presidents proposal continues to defy the will of the American people and contradict longstanding federal policy by providing federal subsidies to private health plans that cover elective abortions. The proposal does include a state opt-out provision if a state passes a law to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion, but its a sham because it does nothing to prevent one states tax dollars from paying for elective abortions in other states.
A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage.
Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees health benefits plan. Under the Presidents proposal the new health care plan that will mirror the federal employees plan and be managed by the Office of Personnel Management will NOT be subject to the Smith Amendment.
President Obamas health care proposal 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.
The pro-life Stupak/Pitts amendment passed the House by a vote of 240 to 194, enjoying the overwhelming support of 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats. The Stupak/Pitts Amendment codifies current law by prohibiting federal funding of elective abortions under any government-run plan or plans available under the Exchange. The Presidents plan ignores the will of a bipartisan majority of the House, and indeed the American people.
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 – and the American people agree.
House Republicans have offered a common-sense, responsible solution that would reduce health care costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life.
The Republican plan, available at HealthCare.GOP.gov, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.
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