Just when it seemed that Democrats and Republicans found something to agree about regarding Obamacare, battle lines were re-drawn over whether a new allocation of federal taxpayer funds will be used to cover abortions.
Even though Republicans have long expressed disdain for Obamacare, some recently negotiated potential legislation to attach to the impending budget as omnibus bills with the goal of stabilizing Obamacare, the Washington Examiner reports.
One bill allows insurance companies to waive some of the Obamacare regulations, while providing two-year funding of insurance subsidies. Another gives states $10 billion to establish reinsurance programs, with the goal of lowering premium rates. Both bills have bi-partisan sponsorship, according to the report.
While some House Republicans have considered these bills “’bailouts’ of a law they despise” according to the report, others have compromised.
But the cooperation fragmented when the two parties clashed over whether the Hyde Amendment will apply to the funds in these bills.
The Hyde Amendment is a bill that has been attached to the federal budget every year, banning federal taxpayers’ dollars to Medicaid from providing abortion coverage, except in cases of rape or danger to the mother’s life. Both Democrats and Republicans have supported the bill since 1976.
But this bipartisan support has begun to disintegrate, as evidenced in Hillary Clinton’s campaign promise to repeal the Hyde Amendment and allow taxpayer funding of abortion on demand, should she be elected, as Life News previously reported. The Democratic National Party platform also now supports forcing taxpayers to fund abortion on demand.
Now, Democrats are resisting Republicans’ demands to ensure that the two omnibus bills will not force taxpayers to fund abortions, the Hill reports.
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi’s spokesman, Henry Connelly, declared Tuesday, “Make no mistake: Republicans are saying they will only agree to lower Americans’ health costs if they can strip comprehensive health coverage away from millions of women at the same time.”
“Republicans are not asking to reiterate Hyde,” he added. “They are trying to radically expand it to control how private insurers use private dollars.”
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House Speaker Paul Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong stated last week: “While the decision for its inclusion has not been made, any appropriation for CSRs [i.e., cost-sharing reductions] or reinsurance would need to be Hyde compliant. That is not negotiable for House Republicans.”
“Hyde language needs to be in whatever we do,” added House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Oregon.
Some Republican Congress members may be willing to compromise on some points, but they do not when the lives of millions of unborn Americans are at stake. The Hyde Amendment has saved more than 1 million unborn babies as of 2015.
What’s more, polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. A Marist poll found that more than two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, including a majority of women and people who identify as pro-choice.
In October 2016, a Politico/Harvard University poll also found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it.
The two parties have until March 23 to reach a truce, the Hill reports.