Obama Admin Bows to Pressure, Appears to Limit Abortion Funding in Health Care

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 29, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Obama Admin Bows to Pressure, Appears to Limit Abortion Funding in Health Care

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
July 29
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The Obama administration appears to have bowed to pressure from pro-life groups that discovered it had authorized abortion funding in three states under the new high risk health insurance programs created under the new government-run health care bill, President Barack Obama signed into law.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a new regulation today that it says prohibits the high risk health insurance pools from covering elective abortions with federal taxpayer funds.

However, pro-life groups informed LifeNews.com that the limits do not apply to all aspects of the health care law, just the high risk insurance pools.

The new regulation says the subject of taxpayer funding of abortion under the new health care bill was addressed in the executive order Obama released that pro-life groups said was not sufficient to prevent abortion funding.

It also said the health care bill did not overturn current limits on abortion funding such as the Hyde Amendment, although the amendment does not apply to the health care law.

"These restrictions currently apply to certain Federal programs that are similar to the PCIP program," the regulation says — though it does not say they cover the high risk pools created under the ObamaCare law.

“The program is Federally-created, funded, and administered (whether directly or through contract); it is a temporary Federal insurance program in which the risk is borne by the Federal government up to a fixed appropriation," the new regulation says. "As such, the services covered by the PCIP [Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan] program shall not include abortion services except in the case of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.”

White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle offered further explanation of the new regulation on the official White House blog, according to a report in The Hill.

“Much has been made of this policy by both sides of the debate,” she said.“But, in reality, no new ground has been broken."

"This policy meets the President’s commitment throughout the health reform debate to neither expand nor scale back current restrictions on federal funding for abortion and ensures that no federal funds will be used to cover abortion services other than the exceptions mentioned," DeParle claimed.

"The program’s restriction on abortion coverage is not a precedent for other programs or policies given the unique, temporary nature of the program and the population it serves. It does not restrict private insurance choices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act will continue to be guided by the law and the President’s Executive Order," she said.

The regulation is a temporary proposed rule, known as an interim final regulation, that begins a 60-day comment period in which the public and groups on both sides of the abortion divide can weigh in on the regulation.

The new regulation follows one day after a Congressional Research Service report confirming pro-life groups’ analysis saying the new health care law allows for massive abortion funding. https://www.lifenews.com/nat6587.html

The CRS report indicated the supposed limits on taxpayer funding of abortions "would not appear to apply specifically to the funds made available for high risk pools by section 1101."

The National Right to Life Committee discovered that, in three states, Obama officials had approved paying for abortions under new high risk insurance programs created under the national health care law.

NRLC exposed the abortion funding and the Obama administration responded at first by claiming the executive order Obama signed prohibits the funding NRLC uncovered

Then, Obama officials revised the statement to say they promised the high risk insurance programs would not fund abortions in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maryland or any other states.

Related web sites:
New regulation – https://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2010-18691_PI.pdf


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