Today, U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Senators Thune, Paul, Ron Johnson, Inhofe, Boozman, Grassley, Wicker, Risch, Vitter and Roberts introduced the "PROTECT" Act. The PROTECT Act would amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to ensure taxpayers are not forced to subsidize coverage of elective abortion under the newly-created multi-state health plans (MSPs).
"This legislation protects the consciences of Americans who are morally opposed to paying for elective abortions," Dr. Coburn said. "While I support a comprehensive federal ban on taxpayer-funded coverage of elective abortions, this important legislation would ensure none of the newly-created multi-state plans forces any American to pay for elective abortions."
Under the PPACA, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will create MSPs and offer them through state health care exchanges. MSPs are required to comply with the same standards as other "qualified health plans," as mandated by the PPACA. However, the law departs from the longstanding federal policy restricting funding for elective abortion services in the Federal Employees Health Benefit program, by only prohibiting elective abortion coverage for one MSP but allowing abortion coverage in the remaining MSPs. The PROTECT Act would change this so no taxpayer dollars would be used to fund elective abortions under any multi-state plan.