Democrats Outraged That Republicans are Trying to Stop Obamacare From Funding Abortions

National   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 20, 2018   |   10:15AM   |   Washington, DC

One of the clearest signs that the Democratic Party has become the abortion party is the issue of taxpayer funding for abortions.

Polls indicate both Democrat and Republican voters strongly oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, but leading Democrats have been pushing the issue anyway.

This week, top Senate Democrats are demanding that taxpayer funding be used to subsidize abortions through Obamacare. The debate surrounds a $1.3 trillion spending bill to keep the government running, according to the Washington Post. If the bill does not pass by the end of the week, there could be a government shutdown.

Within the bill are various measures meant to attract bi-partisan support, including one to restore Obamacare insurance subsidies. However, Democrats are holding up the bill because the measure prohibits the taxpayer-funded subsidies from supporting insurance plans that cover abortions, the Boston Herald reports.

U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican, told the Los Angeles Times the measure simply is a continuation of the 42-year-old Hyde Amendment, which historically has had strong bi-partisan support. It prohibits federal tax dollars from funding abortions through Medicaid.

“The argument is about the mechanics of applying the Hyde law, not about the basic law and I am astonished that Democrats would want to turn [aside] an opportunity to give a plumber making $60,000 a year a chance to reduce his health insurance from $20,000 to $12,000,” Alexander said.

“If you are running for U.S. Senate or U.S. House in November, do you really want to stand up and say: I’m going to vote not to lower insurance rates by 40 percent?” he added. “This is an astonishing development.”

However, U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, a pro-abortion Democrat from Washington state, criticized the measure as a “harmful restriction on abortion coverage for private insurance companies instead of working with Democrats to wrap up what have been bipartisan efforts to reduce health care costs.”

When President Barack Obama signed the Obamacare bill into law, he promised the American people that it would not pay for abortions. However, a 2014 Government Accountability Office report found otherwise.

The report found nearly all of the insurance issuers sampled were not itemizing the required separate abortion surcharge on their bills – confirming that the Obama Administration was ignoring the law’s abortion accounting gimmick. GAO found taxpayers were funding more than a thousand Obamacare health plans that subsidize abortion on demand—even late-term abortions —in defiance of the Hyde Amendment that Obama publicly said he would honor.

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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 April 2014 estimate, between 2014 and 2024, taxpayer subsidies to buy Obamacare health plans would total $855 billion, making taxpayers unwittingly complicit in abortion.

The Trump administration slashed the Obamacare insurance subsidies in 2017, but lawmakers proposed restoring them in the new spending bill to attract bipartisan support.