Unhappy that the Supreme Court didn’t overturn the Obamacare law that includes taxpayer funding of abortions and rationing concerns, leading pro-life groups are urging members of the House, when they vote Wednesday, to vote to repeal the law wholesale.
In a letter to members of Congress today, the National Right to Life Committee told lawmakers it would score the vote on the Obamacare repeal in the annual listing of pro-life votes it scores and sends to millions of pro-life voters. NRLC is concerned about both abortion funding and health care rationing.
“NRLC vigorously opposed enactment of the Obamacare law in 2009-2010, because of its multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance, multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates, and multiple provisions that will place unacceptable limits on the right of vulnerable Americans to use their own money, if they choose, to obtain both health care and health insurance less likely to deny needed health care,” the pro-life group explained.
It continued: “Since its inception, the pro-life movement has been as concerned with protecting the lives of older people and people with disabilities from euthanasia, including the involuntary denial of treatment, food, and fluids necessary to prevent death, as it has been dedicated to protecting unborn children from abortion.”
In fact, for NRLC, the controversial Independent Payment Advisory Board is as much of a reason to vote to repeal as is abortion funding.
The focus of many on discussion about the Independent Payment Advisory Board’s (IPAB) authority over Medicare reimbursement rates, as described in finding (4) of the bill, has resulted in far too little attention being given to the grave threat the board poses to the ability of Americans of all ages to obtain life-preserving health care after 2015: IPAB’s key role in suppressing nongovernmental health care spending so that private citizens are not even allowed to keep up with the rate of medical inflation. The health care law empowers IPAB, in conjunction with the federal Department of Health and Human Services, to achieve this goal by limiting what treatment doctors are allowed to give their patients.
IPAB is instructed by the health care law to make recommendations to limit what all Americans are legally allowed to spend for their health care so as to hold it below the rate of medical inflation. The health care law then authorizes the federal Department of Health and Human Services to implement these recommendations by imposing so-called “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers. The documentation can be found here: https://www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/Life at Risk Routes to Rationing 6272012 (1).pdf
What happens to doctors who violate a “quality” standard by prescribing more lifesaving medical treatment than it permits? They will be disqualified from contracting with any of the health insurance plans that individual Americans, under Obamacare, will be mandated to purchase. Few doctors would be able to remain in practice if subjected to that penalty.
This means that treatment a doctor and patient deem advisable to save that patient’s life or preserve or improve the patient’s health — but which exceeds the standard imposed by the government — will be denied even if the patient is willing and able to pay for it. Repeal of Obamacare is critically important to prevent this rationing of life-saving medical treatment.
Obamacare also authorizes the imposition of limits on the ability of all Americans to choose to pay for, and on the ability of senior citizens’ to add their own money on top of the government Medicare payment to pay for, health insurance less likely to deny medical treatment, as more fully described and documented at https://www.nrlc.org/HealthCareRationing/Life at Risk Routes to Rationing 6272012 (1).pdf
Meanwhile, the Susan B. Anthony List is urging members to vote for repeal as well and is focusing on abortion funding.
“Obamacare creates heavy federal subsidies – your tax dollars – to help pay for insurance plans that cover elective abortion,” it said in an action alert to its membership. “Millions of Americans will be enrolled – many unknowingly – in health care plans that include elective abortion coverage.”
“These plans will charge enrollees, regardless of age and gender, a minimum of $1 per month – an “abortion surcharge” that will go into an abortion slush fund. Under a rule recently issued by Health and Human Services (HHS), the existence of the “abortion surcharge” only needs to be disclosed once – in the fine print – during the enrollment process,” SBA continued. “This surcharge is included without itemization in the monthly premium and is never disclosed again.
“The “preventive care” mandate in Obamacare is already being used to force employers – regardless of moral or religious objections – to pay for insurance plans for their employees that include coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization,” SBA added. “Tell your Representative to vote for the repeal of Obamacare, the largest expansion of abortion on-demand since Roe v. Wade.”
Americans United for Life Action also joined int he call to repeal Obamacare. As AUL president Charmaine Yoest said:
“Obamacare is the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade—it contains a Trojan horse of anti-life policies that must be completely removed to protect the many people who will be harmed by the law’s anti-life provisions, including the covert abortion premium mandate and the life-ending drugs and devices mandate. Of equal concern is the law’s failure to provide comprehensive conscience protections for individuals, employers, and insurance companies allowing attacks on Americans who have religious, ethical, or moral objections to abortion.”
“Americans United for Life Action now calls on Congress to repeal the healthcare law to protect Americans from the anti-life policies woven into its framework. Not only do the smallest number of Americans today identify themselves as ‘pro-choice,’ voters choose life by a margin of 2 to 1. The current debate over the anti-life healthcare law should embrace the majority view that 7 in 10 Americans do not want their tax dollars funding or otherwise subsidizing abortion. When given a choice, most Americans choose life and choose to distance themselves from the abortion lobby.”
The text of the bill includes findings that touch on the numerous concerns pro-life, Catholic and other religious groups have had about Obamacare, its problematic abortion funding and religious mandate components:
While President Obama promised that nothing in the law would fund elective abortion, the law expands the role of the Federal Government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. The law appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides Federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions. Moreover, the law effectively forces millions of individuals to personally pay a separate abortion premium in violation of their sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
Until enactment of the law, the Federal Government has not sought to impose specific coverage or care requirements that infringe on the rights of conscience of insurers, purchasers of insurance, plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, such as individual or institutional health care providers. The law creates a new nationwide requirement for health plans to cover ‘‘essential health benefits’’ and ‘‘preventive services’’, but does not allow stakeholders to opt out of covering items or services to which they have a religious or moral objection, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103–141).
By creating new barriers to health insurance and causing the loss of existing insurance arrangements, these inflexible mandates jeopardize the ability of institutions and individuals to exercise their rights of conscience and their ability to freely participate in the health insurance and health care marketplace.
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Until Democrats no longer control the Senate and White House, repeal of Obamacare will remain limited to the House. However, a new poll today from Rasmussen Reports finds 80 percent of Americans think repeal is likely if Romney beats Obama and Republicans regain control of the Senate from pro-abortion Democrats.