Americans Deserve to Know if Their Health Care Plans are Paying for Abortions

Opinion   |   Rep. Chris Smith   |   Oct 21, 2013   |   9:52AM   |   Washington, DC

Americans deserve to know if their health plan will be subsiding a culture of death.

As the Obamacare exchanges have gone “live” this month, it has become evident that it is nearly impossible for individuals seeking exchange plans to identify which, if any, plans on their state exchange exclude abortion.

The new law requires premium payers to be assessed an abortion surcharge every month to pay for abortions.  But many pro-life Americans may unwittingly purchase pro-abortion plans because of a marketing secrecy clause embedded in Obamacare which stipulates that the surcharge be minimally disclosed only at the time of enrollment.  In other words, bury it in the fine print.

To overcome this highly deceptive practice, pro-life buyers of Obamacare health insurance plans must ask—no, they must insist on knowing with certitude before signing up that the plan they intend to purchase does not fund abortion on demand.

If we fail to ask, the new law will compel us to directly subsidize the killing of unborn children by our surcharge payments to an abortion-only fund.  Purchasing a pro-abortion health insurance plans makes us complicit in the culture of death.

This is also why over 100 Members of Congress and I introduced the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, H.R. 3279, a bill that requires information regarding either inclusion or exclusion of abortion coverage as well as the existence of an abortion surcharge to be “prominently displayed” in all marketing or advertising materials, comparison tools or summary of benefits and coverage explanations.

I  logged onto the DC exchange myself and looked at the summaries of benefits listed online but there was no abortion coverage explained in any of the materials available. Preliminary anecdotal evidence gathered by my staff also has shown that this basic information is either completely unavailable or incredibly difficult to obtain.  A representative with the federal government’s “Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat” said, “You may have to wait until you pick a plan to see if they cover abortions.”  A telephone representative with the D.C. Health Link said that persons wishing to learn whether or not abortion is covered should call each individual health insurance carrier directly.

So far the only clear information we have identified about abortion coverage has revealed that all the plans in Connecticut and Rhode Island include elective abortion.



The average person seeking coverage on a marketplace should not have to spend hours trying to obtain basic information about whether or not they will have to pay a surcharge for a procedure that dismembers and chemically poisons innocent unborn children. My legislation will end the uncertainty for purchasers and ensure transparency.

This is a Right to Know bill. Americans have a right to know upfront and with full transparency when they are purchasing a plan that subsidizes the killing of unborn children.

Even the most ardent advocate of abortion should embrace full disclosure.

(To rid Obamacare of its massive expansion of abortion on demand facilitation and funding, I along with 136 bipartisan cosponsors have also introduced the No Taxpayers Funding for Abortion Act, H.R. 7)

Abortion isn’t health care—it kills babies and harms women.  We live in an age of ultrasound imaging—the ultimate window to the womb and the child who resides there and are in the midst of a fetal health care revolution, an explosion of benign interventions designed to diagnose, treat and cure the youngest patients.

We should all be able to agree that consumers should have the tools to choose whether to buy one of Obama’s abortion plans or to find a plan that excludes abortion coverage.

LifeNews Note: Congressman Chris Smith is a Republican from New Jersey.