The pro-life advocacy group March for Life Action threatened to score against the entire GOP spending bill Monday unless Hyde amendment protections are added to Obamacare plan cost-share reduction (CSR) bailouts ensuring that taxpayers will not fund abortion.
“Obamacare deviated from the longstanding Hyde amendment principle by funding insurance plans that cover abortion,” Thomas McClusky, Vice President of Government Affairs with March for Life Action, pointed out in a letter to Congress. “Because of that today hundreds of subsidized Obamacare plans currently cover abortion. Reinsurance and CSR payments will increase abortion coverage in healthcare by adding additional funding stream for these abortion-covering plans if they do not include Hyde- life protections.”
The Hyde Amendment is a spending rider that prohibits taxpayer funding of abortions except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother, recognizing that many taxpayers might have moral objections to their money being used for abortions.
“The reinsurance and CSR effort under discussion also includes appropriating more than $21 billion in new funds over two years to subsidize plans, including those that cover elective abortion on the exchanges for over 1.2 million people,” McClusky added. “If such a bill does not explicitly include the Hyde Amendment protections, cost-sharing reduction payments to insurers will fund plans that cover abortion.”
“In other words, a pro-life Congress will have opened the doors to more taxpayer funding of abortion. March for Life Action is totally opposed to such an effort,” he emphasized. “If these healthcare bailout programs do not include Hyde-life protections, March for Life Action will score against the entire spending bill in our annual scorecard for the First Session of the 115th Congress.”
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The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List issued a similar warning last week, saying it would oppose any spending bill that did not include Hyde amendment protections.
“The pro-life Republican Congress promised voters it would repeal and replace pro-abortion Obamacare, not prop it up,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said. “SBA List will vigorously oppose any spending bill that includes Obamacare bailout funding that is not protected by the Hyde Amendment. Preventing taxpayer funding of abortion should be a bare minimum requirement for any new Obamacare spending advanced by a Republican Congress.”