Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) today blasted Democrats' amendment to the Kennedy healthcare bill that would require insurers to contract with health providers that offer abortion.
"Most Americans hold human life to be sacred and are rightfully and inalterably opposed to abortion," Hatch said.
The Democrats' amendment to the Affordable Health Choices Act passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Thursday over Republican objections. It would require "essential community providers," which include abortion providers, to be included in health insurance networks under the act. Hatch and other Republicans were overruled by the Democrats, who are in the majority on the HELP Committee, when Hatch requested the inclusion of language to prohibit abortion coverage.
To safeguard the sanctity of human life, Hatch filed several pro-life amendments to the Affordable Health Choices Act -- authored by Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) -- to prohibit federal taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions or assisted suicide.
Under the Democrats' amendment, abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood must now be included in the health insurance networks created in the Affordable Health Choices Act, which Hatch and other conservative Republicans say is a partisan and ill-conceived bill.
The Affordable Health Choices Act, which includes Medicaid expansions to 150 percent of the federal poverty level, is estimated to cost taxpayers more than $1 trillion from 2011 to 2019.