The issue of abortion being taxpayer supported under health care reform legislation, has many in strong opposition to government mandated health care. America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (PDF Senate version and PDF House version) continues to be debated, with Democrats insistent there has to be reform NOW.
Despite the persistent claims that the president and legislators make that abortion will not be funded, see how the knowledgeable Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Chairman, USCCB Committee on Pro-Life Activities, exposes the reality that abortion WOULD be covered. The truth emerges that the Democrats in support of health care reform would rather keep hidden. See how it can happen. The entire letter is well worth reading.
..the Act remains seriously deficient:
- The legislation delegates to the Secretary of Health and Human Services the power to make unlimited abortion a mandated benefit in the “public health insurance plan” the government will manage nationwide. This would be a radical change: Federal law has long excluded most abortions from federal employees’ health benefits packages, and no federal health program mandates coverage of elective abortions.
- Because some federal funds are authorized and appropriated by this legislation without passing through the Labor/HHS appropriations bill, they are not covered by the Hyde amendment and other federal provisions that have long prevented federal funding of abortion and of health benefits packages that include abortion. The committee rejected an amendment to extend this longstanding policy to the use of federal subsidies for health care premiums under this Act. Instead the committee created a legal fiction, a paper separation between federal funding and abortion: Federal funds will subsidize the public plan, as well as private health plans that include abortion on demand; but anyone who purchases these plans is required to pay a premium out of his or her own pocket (specified in the Act to be at least $1.00 a month) to cover all abortions beyond those eligible for federal funds under the current Hyde amendment. Thus some will claim that federal taxpayer funds do not support abortion under the Act.
But this is an illusion. Funds paid into these plans are fungible, and federal taxpayer funds will subsidize the operating budget and provider networks that expand access to abortions. Furthermore, those constrained by economic necessity or other factors to purchase the “public plan” will be forced by the federal government to pay directly and specifically for abortion coverage. This is the opposite of the policy in every other federal health program. Government will force low-income Americans to subsidize abortions for others (and abortion coverage for themselves) even if they find abortion morally abhorrent.
Please consider the broader context. No federal program mandates coverage for elective abortions, or subsidizes health plans that include such abortions. Most Americans do not want abortion in their health coverage, and most consider themselves “pro-life,” with a stronger majority among low-income Americans. About 80 percent of all hospitals do not generally provide abortions, and 85 percent of U.S. counties have no abortion provider. By what right, then, and by what precedent, would Congress make abortion coverage into a nationwide norm, or force Americans to subsidize it as a condition for participating in a public health program?
H.R. 3200 lingo does not explicitly say abortion will be funded, but the legalese allows funding indirectly. Politicians time and again claim it will not be covered, despite evidence to the contrary. Fact Check contradicted President Barack Obama.