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President Obama's Government-Run Health Plan Still Requires A Monthly Abortion Fee

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Location: Washington, DC

President Obama's Government-Run Health Plan Still Requires A Monthly Abortion Fee

President Obama's "new" health care proposal would still levy a new "abortion premium" fee and use government funds to subsidize elective abortion. Just like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-NV) 2,074-page health care "manager's amendment," that passed the Senate in December, and just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-CA), the President's "new" proposal levies an abortion premium and does not fix the problem of government funds being used to subsidize elective abortions.

Under the President's proposal - released this morning at 10am and modeled after Senator Reid's plan that passed the Senate, according to ABC News - there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange. Instead the proposal includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the Exchange or the new government-run plan that will be managed by the Office of Personnel Management must establish "allocation accounts" when elective abortion is a covered benefit (p. 2073-2074). Everyone enrolled in these plans must pay a monthly abortion premium (p. 2072, lines 18-21), and these funds will be used to pay for the elective abortion services. The Obama proposal directs insurance companies to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage (p. 2074-2075), and charge a minimum of $1 per enrollee per month (p. 2075, lines 8-10).

In short, the President's proposal continues to defy the will of the American people and contradict longstanding federal policy by providing federal subsidies to private health plans that cover elective abortions. The proposal does include a "state opt-out" provision if a state passes a law to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion, but it's a sham because it does nothing to prevent one state's tax dollars from paying for elective abortions in other states.

A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage. Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees' health benefits plan. Under the President's proposal the new health care plan that will mirror the federal employees' plan and be managed by the Office of Personnel Management will NOT be subject to the Smith Amendment.

President Obama's health care proposal is an affront to the American people and drastically moves away from current policy. The American people deserve more from their government than being forced to pay for abortion. The pro-life Stupak/Pitts amendment passed the House by a vote of 240 to 194, enjoying the overwhelming support of 176 Republicans and 64 Democrats. The Stupak/Pitts Amendment codifies current law by prohibiting federal funding of elective abortions under any government-run plan or plans available under the Exchange. The President's plan ignores the will of a bipartisan majority of the House, and indeed the American people.

Health care reform should not be used as an opportunity to use federal funds to pay for elective abortions. Health reform should be an opportunity to protect human life - not end it - and the American people agree. Congressman John Boehner and House Republicans have offered a common-sense, responsible solution that would reduce health care costs and expand access while protecting the dignity of all human life. The Republican plan, available at HealthCare.GOP.gov, would codify the Hyde Amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.


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