Does Obamacare Fund Abortion Services for Cases Other Than Rape, Incest, or to Save the Life of the Mother? - DEBATED
General Reference (not clearly pro or con)
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Section 1303, "Special Rules,” page 50, signed into law on Mar. 23, 2010, available at www.thomas.gov, states:
"(a) STATE OPT-OUT OF ABORTION COVERAGE.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—
A State may elect to prohibit abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an Exchange in such State if such State enacts a law to provide for such prohibition...
(A) IN GENERAL.—
Notwithstanding any other provision of this title (or any amendment made by this title)—
(i) nothing in this title (or any amendment made by this title), shall be construed to require a qualified health plan to provide coverage of services described in subparagraph (B)(i) or (B)(ii) as part of its essential health benefits for any plan year...
(B) ABORTION SERVICES.—
(i) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS PROHIBITED.—The services described in this clause are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is not permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved.
(ii) ABORTIONS FOR WHICH PUBLIC FUNDING IS ALLOWED.—
The services described in this clause are abortions for which the expenditure of Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services is permitted, based on the law as in effect as of the date that is 6 months before the beginning of the plan year involved."
Barack H. Obama, JD, 44th President of the United States, stated in his Mar. 21, 2010 Executive Order 13535, available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"Following the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (‘the Act'), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment. The purpose of this Executive Order is to establish a comprehensive, government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal...
The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges...
The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014."
Jon O. Shimabukuro, JD, Legislative Analyst at the Congressional Research Service (CRS), stated in his July 9, 2012 report "Abortion: Judicial History and Legislative Response," available at www.crs.gov:
"Under ACA, the issuer of a qualified health plan will determine whether to provide coverage for either elective abortions or abortions for which federal funds appropriated for HHS are permitted. It appears that a plan issuer could also decide not to cover either type of abortion. ACA also permits a state to prohibit abortion coverage in exchange plans by enacting a law with such a prohibition.
ACA indicates that an issuer of a qualified health plan that provides coverage for elective abortions cannot use any funds attributable to a premium tax credit or cost-sharing subsidy to pay for such services. The issuer of a qualified health plan that provides coverage for elective abortions will be required to collect two separate payments from each enrollee in the plan: one payment that reflects an amount equal to the portion of the premium for coverage of health services other than elective abortions; and another payment that reflects an amount equal to the actuarial value of the coverage for elective abortions."
Does Obamacare Fund Abortion Services for Cases Other Than Rape, Incest, or to Save the Life of the Mother? - DEBATED
Chris Smith, US Representative (R-New Jersey), stated the following in his Mar. 15, 2012 press release "Obama’s Abortion Funding Plan," available at www.chrissmith.house.gov:
"This week's Obama abortion funding rule confirms that publicly funded insurance plans WILL include abortion on demand. Using an accounting gimmick, the premium payers will pay the President's abortion surcharge of at least one dollar per month. This separate charge will go directly into an abortion fund.
Requiring the segregation of funds into allocation accounts—a mere bookkeeping exercise is a cheap political trick designed to circumvent longstanding prohibitions on taxpayer funding of abortion. This is an unprecedented break with longstanding federal policy on funding for abortion...
Undoubtedly many enrollees will be shocked when they get a bill for the Obama abortion surcharge. Once enrolled, even pro-life Americans will be forced to pay for other people's abortions.”
Americans United for Life stated in its Mar. 29, 2012 newsletter "As the Supreme Court Hears Arguments, AUL Challenges Constitutionality of Abortion Expansion in Obamacare," available at www.action.aul.org:
"Obamacare fails to comprehensively prohibit the use of federal tax dollars for abortions or abortion coverage, and that this loophole can easily be exploited...
Obamacare's provisions permitting health plans to provide abortion coverage to enrollees through state Exchanges are inconsistent with existing law—the Hyde Amendment...
Americans in these plans will be required to pay a portion of their insurance premium directly into a pot of money used exclusively for abortions. We learned this month that the Obama Administration, as expected, is moving forward with the implementation of this premium scheme...
The ‘preventive care' mandate in Obamacare could be used to require insurance plans to cover abortions or abortion-inducing drugs. The Obama Administration achieved this by relying on a non-elected advisory committee of abortion advocates...”
The Family Research Council stated in its Mar. 13, 2012: article "ObamaCare: Home of the $1 Abortions," available at www.frc.org:
"Today, in its final rules on health care exchanges, the administration officially welcomed Americans to the abortion industry. As part of the new regulations on how state health exchanges will work, anyone enrolled in an insurance plan that covers abortion will be responsible for sharing the cost."
Matthew Clark, JD, Associate Counsel with the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) in Media and Government Affairs, stated in his Jan. 18, 2012 article "How ObamaCare Uses Taxpayer Money to Pay for Abortions," available at www.aclj.org:
"...[T]he law specifically provides that state health exchanges may cover abortions unless the state enacts specific legislation prohibiting abortion coverage. Moreover, the law's requirement that insurance providers cover ‘preventive services' and preventative care are so broadly defined that they could be used to force coverage of abortions and abortion related drugs. Thus, all Americans are forced to purchase health insurance that could cover abortion and in some cases is required to cover abortion...
...[T]here is no language in ObamaCare that prevents tax dollars from being used to pay for abortions. The proposed amendment to ObamaCare that would have prevented all taxpayer funding for abortions that was debated in Congress, known as the Stupak-Pitts Amendment, was not included in the final bill signed by President Obama...
...[T]he Executive Order signed by President Obama, which he claimed would ‘ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services,' did not prevent taxpayer funds from being used for abortions...
The bottom line is because the law fails to contain any provision actually preventing federal funds from being used to subsidize insurance plans that cover abortions, ObamaCare greatly increases taxpayer funding for abortions."
Erick Cantor, JD, US Representative (R-VA), introduced the Repeal Obamacare Act (HR. 6079) on July 9, 2012. The text of the act, available at thomas.loc.gov, stated in part:
"While President Obama promised that nothing in the law would fund elective abortion, the law expands the role of the Federal Government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. The law appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides Federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions. Moreover, the law effectively forces millions of individuals to personally pay a separate abortion premium in violation of their sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs."
The White House website posted the following on its webpage "Myths & Facts," available at www.whitehouse.gov (accessed Sep. 6, 2012):
"Health insurance reform will NOT use your tax dollars to fund abortions.
The health insurance reform legislation maintains the status quo of no federal funding for abortions, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the woman is endangered."
Erin Shields, a spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, stated in her Apr. 2, 2012 article, “Obamacare 'Abortion Surcharge': The Facts Behind the Rumor,” available online at www.huffingtonpost.com:
"Under the new health care law, federal funds continue not to be used for abortion services, except those in cases of rape or incest or where the life of the woman is endangered. No one will be required to choose a plan that covers these services and no taxpayer dollars will be spent on them. Before choosing a health plan, consumers will know whether the plan covers these services. And if it does, payments will be made into a separate account to ensure no federal dollars fund these services."
Norman K. Moon, JD, Senior US District Judge serving in the Western District of Virginia, stated the following, on Nov. 30, 2010, in his opinion in a lawsuit filed by Liberty University challenging Obamacare:
"…[T]he Act… contains strict safeguards at multiple levels to prevent federal funds from being used to pay for abortion services beyond those in cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered...
In plans that do provide non-excepted abortion coverage, a separate payment for nonexcepted abortion services must be made by the policyholder to the insurer, and the insurer must deposit those payments in a separate allocation account that consists solely of those payments; the insurer must use only the amounts in that account to pay for non-excepted abortion services."
Barack H. Obama, JD, 44th President of the United States stated the following in his Mar. 24, 2010 executive order 13535 "Ensuring Enforcement and Implementation of Abortion Restrictions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," available at www.whitehouse.gov:
"Following the recent enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the ‘Act'), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment...
The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014. The Act also imposes strict payment and accounting requirements to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services in exchange plans (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered)...
The Act establishes a new Community Health Center (CHC) Fund within HHS, which provides additional Federal funds for the community health center program. Existing law prohibits these centers from using Federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered)."
Brooks Jackson, Director of FactCheck.org, stated in a July 22, 2010 article, "Taxpayer-Funded Abortions in High Risk Pools," available at www.factcheck.org:
"The claim that the new federal health care law will use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions through 'high-risk pools' originated when the National Right to Life Committee issued a press release July 13. It said that Washington had approved a new insurance program that 'will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.' Abortion foes also raised alarms about similar federally subsidized insurance pools being put together in New Mexico and Maryland...
State and federal officials have since scrambled to clarify their intentions. Pennsylvania officials issued a statement on July 15 saying that for any abortions performed because of reasons other than rape, incest or a threat to the mother's life, women 'will have to pay for them out their own pocket.' And New Mexico backed down just as quickly, issuing a July 15 statement saying 'elective abortion is not and has never been intended to be a benefit.'...
…[W]hatever Pennsylvania officials intended the stated federal policy is now clear: No abortions will be covered by the temporary risk pools except for those in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother."