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Ms. ZOE LOFGREN of California. The American people want us to work together to address their top priority: creating jobs. We're now 280 days into this Congress, and we haven't passed a jobs plan.
With only 22 legislative days left this Congress, instead of addressing jobs, Republicans are continuing to propose legislation targeting women's health.
This bill disregards the compromise on abortion reached during last year's debate on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA is consistent with long-standing federal law by prohibiting the use of federal funds to pay for abortions (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered). The Act requires two separate premium payments for women and families receiving federal subsidies that choose health plans that include abortion coverage. The language is clear--no portion of federal subsidies may be used to pay for the portion of coverage that is purchased in state exchanges that relates to abortions. While I don't agree with the ban on federal funding, Members decided last year to call a truce and preserve the status quo. This bill would go further.
This bill restricts how women with private insurance can spend their own private dollars in purchasing health insurance. The Protect Life Act would prohibit all individuals who receive federal subsidies from purchasing a plan that includes abortion coverage (even if they are using their own private dollars to purchase the portion of coverage relating to abortions), and would also prohibit insurance plans from offering abortion services if they accept even one individual who receives a subsidy. Health care plans will likely be deterred from covering abortion, and since most insurance plans currently cover abortion, the Protect Life Act would result in millions of women losing the coverage they currently have.
I urge my colleagues to oppose the Republican assault on women's health and to oppose the Protect Life Act.
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