Will Obama Next Force Insurance Companies to Fund Abortions?

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 10, 2012   |   4:34PM   |   Washington, DC

In response to criticism of its recent regulation requiring coverage of FDA-approved birth control drugs and devices, the White House today announced a purported “compromise” under which insurance plans will be required to provide the coverage in all plans, without charging anything additional for it.

The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), says it is very concerned the revised Obama mandate puts forward an Obama administration position that insurers can be required to provide the coverage for “free” because birth control is less expensive than childbirth.

NRLC legislative director Douglas Johnson says that could lay the groundwork for, if elected to a second term, Obama to force insurance companies to pay for more than just drugs that may cause early abortions — but surgical or RU 486 abortion drug-induced abortions themselves.

“President Obama today promulgated a scam that, if he is re-elected, will allow him to mandate that every health plan in America cover abortion on demand,” Johnson said. “The same twisted logic will be applied:  By ordering health plans to cover elective abortion, health plans would save the much higher costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and care for the baby — and under the Obama scam, if a procedure saves money, then that means that you’re not really paying for it when the government mandates it.”

“By this form of doublespeak, one could say that the federal Medicaid program was not really “funding abortion” when it paid for 300,000 abortions a year (prior to adoption of the Hyde Amendment in 1976), because after all, every abortion that the government paid for also saved the government money,” Johnson continued. “The Obama “you must pay, but nobody pays” scam might also be applied to other “cost-cutting” mandates.  Perhaps every health plan will be mandated to cover physician-assisted suicide, in states in which assisted suicide is legal.  After all, each suicide would result in a net savings to the plan, and under the Obama scam, that means it is really free and nobody really pays for it.”

At current, 46 percent of private health insurance plans cover abortions, according to May 2008 research from Dr. Robert Moffitt, who was the deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services during the Reagan administration.

“Forty-six percent of workers today in employer-based health insurance finance abortion,” he said. [related]

Moffitt suggested that employers and employees find out whether their insurance company pays for abortions. If so, he urged pro-life advocates to switch to another health care plan or look to one of the many plans funded by Catholic and Protestant Christian groups that don’t include abortion coverage.

Meanwhile, Johnson says some journalists have wrongly reported that the ObamaCare law contains language prohibiting the federal government from mandating that health plans cover abortions.

“This is erroneous,” he says. “The law prevents the Secretary of Health and Human Services from including abortion in a list of federally mandated “essential health benefits.”  But the birth control mandate is based on an entirely different provision of the law, which allows the Secretary to mandate that all health plans cover any service that the Secretary places on a list of “preventive” services.”

“There is nothing in the law to prevent the Secretary from placing abortion, assisted suicide, or any other additional services on the preventive services list, nor does the Secretary require the agreement of any other authority in the government to do so — except, perhaps, the president,” he said.