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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Health Care Reform-Will it cover abortions?

We received this email alert today from Rep. John Boehner and thought it was worthy of passing along.


August 25, 2009 | House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) | Permalink

Most Americans – about 70 percent, according to a recent Zogby poll – are opposed to allowing taxpayer funds to be used to pay for abortion. But the government takeover of health care proposed by Democratic leaders in Washington runs counter to the views most Americans have on the subject, and despite the claims of some prominent Democrats, the legislation would in fact allow abortions to be subsidized by taxpayer funds. House Democrats claim that an amendment offered by Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA) in the Energy & Commerce Committee will prevent taxpayer dollars from going to abortion, but a close reading of the legislation shows that is fiction.

In a letter to members of the House of Representatives, Cardinal Rigali, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, criticized this Capps “compromise” for delegating to the Health & Human Services Secretary “the power to make unlimited abortion a mandated benefit in the ‘public health insurance plan’ the government will manage nationwide.”

In addition, the Associated Press has reported that “Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions” and FactCheck.Org has stated that “House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans.” House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) made the following comment on this troubling development:

“When most Americans talk about the need for health care reform, they’re talking about the need to address rising health care costs, not taxpayers subsidizing abortion. The fact that this bill will actually increase the deficit and raise costs for middle-class families and small businesses while allowing their hard-earned money to be used to pay for destroying human life is unconscionable. Health care reform that fails to respect the dignity of all human life is not reform at all.”

A detailed analysis of the Democrats’ government-run plan shows how it allows taxpayer-subsidized abortions:

* Page 24; Section 115 – The bill requires that plans that use a provider network for health services must meet the standards set forth by the “Health Choices Commissioner” to assure the adequacy of the network for plan enrollees to receive covered services. If abortion becomes an essential benefit, as Section 122 leaves open as a possibility, provider networks would be required to ensure – including by establishing abortion clinics – that abortion services are available.

* Page 26; Section 122 – The bill defines what would be deemed an “essential benefits package,” or in other words what the government sets as benefits or services that must be covered by an insurance plan. This section, however, contains no explicit exclusion or prohibition from abortion being deemed part of an essential benefits package. Without such an exclusion, the bill leaves open the possibility of federally mandated coverage of abortion as an essential benefit.

The bottom line? H.R. 3200 does not contain any limitation on federal funds authorized or appropriated in the bill from being used to pay for elective abortion or to subsidize the purchase of insurance coverage of elective abortion.

When Democrats return to Washington next month, will they be willing to work with Republicans to ensure that taxpayer money isn’t used to end human life? Or will they continue to go it alone, trying to force a partisan government takeover of health care down the throats of the American people?

(202) 225-4000 | GOPLEADER.GOV

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