Americans Have a Right to Know if Their Insurance Covers Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 19, 2013   |   11:56AM   |   Washington, DC

Yesterday, Senator Pat Roberts, a pro-life Kansas Republican, introduced the Senate companion to the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.”

This legislation was introduced in the House by pro-life Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and requires prominent, transparent disclosure of abortion coverage for each plan offered on a health care exchange. It also requires that the amount of the abortion surcharge be clearly identified for each plan that includes elective abortion.

Roberts was joined by 14 Senators in introducing a bill to require the Obamacare exchanges to fully disclose which participating insurance plans offer abortion coverage.

“Americans have a right to know if a plan they are purchasing covers abortion,” Roberts said. “Millions of pro-life Americans oppose the use of their money to cover abortion services, but as current law is written, it is difficult to obtain information about which exchange plans provide such services. My bill further requires this information to be prominently disclosed so consumers can make informed, values-based decisions.”

The bill requires Obamacare exchanges to prominently disclose if an insurance plan offered through the exchange covers abortions. The bill also requires disclosure of the amount of the “abortion fee,” a surcharge required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This abortion surcharge is one dollar or more a month and is used to develop a fund to pay for abortion on demand.

“The failings of Obamacare are painfully clear from loss of coverage to increased premiums, but the secrecy in the law raises serious moral and ethical issues. We need transparency. Consumers have a right to know what these fees are paying for so that they can choose an insurance plan that meets their needs and is in line with their beliefs and values,” Roberts said.

Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). The Senate bill requires Department of Health and Human Services’ compliance within 30 days, the House bill allows 90 days.

In addition to exposing the secretive structure of the Obamacare exchanges with regard to abortion, Roberts has also fought the Administration’s attack on religious freedom by joining Members of Congress in filing an amicus brief in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby when the case was before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

Senator Roberts is pro-life and is an outspoken opponent of Obamacare. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Finance and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and is co-chair of the Senate Rural Health Caucus.

The bill called the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” was sponsored by U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Orin Hatch (R-Utah), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.).