Supreme Court Upholds Taxpayer Subsidies to Over 1,000 Obamacare Plans That Fund Abortions

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jun 25, 2015   |   10:40AM   |   Washington, DC

In a major victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme court has issued its second major decision up-holding abortion-funding Obamacare. The Supreme Court has upheld a key provision of ObamaCare today in their decision in King v. Burwell, ruling that millions of Americans can continue to receive taxpayer subsidies to allow them to purchase health care plans under Obamacare.

The 6-3 decision authored by Chief Justice John Roberts was the second time the high court rejected efforts by Obamacare opponents to limit or stop Obamacare. Opponents of Obmacare argued that the Affordable Care Act only allowed subsidies to be used in state exchange marketplaces rather than in the federal marketplace but the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

With regards to abortion, the case underscores the fact that millions of Americans are now eligible to have Obamacare health care plans receiving federal subsidies that fund abortions. Some 34 states and 6.4 million people are getting subsidies to help them purchase insurance plans under Obamacare and over 1,000 plans eligible for federal subsidies currently cover elective abortion. That, pro-life groups say, underscores the need for the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a Congressional bill that would zero out abortion funding under Obamacare.

That bill is authored by pro-life Congressman Chris Smith, who has talked about the important need for the legislation.

In order to gain the votes of several pro-life holdout congressional democrats needed for passage of the Affordable Care Act, President Obama issued an executive order on March 24, 2010 that said: “the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges.”

The Hyde Amendment—named after the late Congressman Henry Hyde of Illinois—is current law and prohibits federal funding to any health insurance plan that includes abortion except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. The Hyde Amendment, however, only legally applies to health programs administered under the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related Agencies Appropriations Act, including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Because the health care exchanges and other programs authorized and appropriated under the Affordable Care Act are separate from all other appropriations laws, the President’s promise to extend the Hyde amendment to the “newly created exchanges” was the game changer. The President got the votes of several pro-life democrats needed for passage.

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Recent history now shows the President’s solemn promise to extend Hyde to the Affordable Care Act was a lie.

While the Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds to any health plan that includes abortion except for rape, incest or to save the life of the mother, the Secretary of the Treasury pursuant to notice by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, is today making monthly advance payments with U.S. taxpayer funds to insurance companies or to exchanges to pay for health insurance plans that subsidize abortion on demand.

It couldn’t be more clear—the President is not extending the Hyde Amendment to the “newly created exchanges.”

Last year, a GAO report found that nearly all of the insurance issuers sampled are not itemizing the required separate abortion surcharge on its bills – confirming that the Obama Administration is ignoring the law’s abortion accounting gimmick. GAO found taxpayers are funding over a thousand Obamacare health plans that subsidize abortion on demand—even late-term abortion—in defiance of the Hyde Amendment Obama publicly said he would honor.

Among GAO’s findings:

  • every ObamaCare taxpayer subsidized health insurance plan in New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Hawaii pays for abortion on demand
  • in New York a 405 out of 426 ObamaCare plans subsidize abortion on demand
  • in California—86 of 90
  • in Massachusetts—109 0f 111
  • in Oregon—92 of 102
  • in Washington, DC—23 of 34

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) April 2014 estimate, between 2014 and 2024, taxpayer subsidies to buy ObamaCare health plans will total $855 billion, making taxpayers unwittingly complicit in abortion.

GAO found that even an accounting trick embedded in ObamaCare requiring premium payers to be accessed a separate monthly abortion surcharge is being completely ignored. The surcharge would have added some modicum of transparency so individuals would know whether they are purchasing a pro-life or pro-abortion health insurance plan if faithfully implemented.  According to GAO, none of the 18 insurance companies they interviewed are collecting the abortion surcharge separately.

US Supreme Court