Editor’s note. The following comes from the office of pro-life Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ).
WASHINGTON, DC – Despite a promise President Obama made to lawmakers and the American public in a special joint session of Congress on healthcare reform that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion” a new report released by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) today documents massive new public funding of abortion in the President’s healthcare law.
“In an 11th hour ploy to garner a remnant of pro-life congressional Democrats absolutely needed for passage of ObamaCare, the President issued an executive order on March 24, 2010 that said: ‘the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges’,” said Congressman Chris Smith, co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus. “It turns out that those ironclad promises made by the President himself are absolutely untrue.”
A significant majority of Americans oppose public funding of abortion. Under current law, the Hyde Amendment prohibits funding for abortion, and funding for any insurance plan that includes abortion except in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
GAO has found that in 2014, taxpayers are funding over a thousand Obamacare health plans that subsidize abortion on demand—even late-term abortion—in defiance of the Hyde Amendment the President publicly said he would honor.
Among GAO’s findings:
- every ObamaCare taxpayer subsidized health insurance plan in New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Hawaii pays for abortion on demand
- in New York a 405 out of 426 ObamaCare plans subsidize abortion on demand
- in California—86 of 90
- in Massachusetts—109 0f 111
- in Oregon—92 of 102
- in Washington, DC—23 of 34
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) April 2014 estimate, between 2014 and 2024, taxpayer subsidies to buy ObamaCare health plans will total $855 billion, making taxpayers unwittingly complicit in abortion.
GAO found that even an accounting trick embedded in ObamaCare requiring premium payers to be accessed a separate monthly abortion surcharge is being completely ignored. The surcharge would have added some modicum of transparency so individuals would know whether they are purchasing a pro-life or pro-abortion health insurance plan if faithfully implemented. Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska summed up the plain meaning of the law: “you have to write two checks.” According to GAO, none of the 18 insurance companies they interviewed are collecting the abortion surcharge separately.
While the Democrat Leader famously said “We have to pass the bill to find out what’s in it,” during the debate on ObamaCare, now it turns out that consumers have to buy a plan to find out if abortion is in it—a complete lack of transparency. The majority of health insurance policy issuers interviewed by GAO reported that the consumers do not have access to information about whether the plan covers abortion.
Last year members of Congress and some staff were barred from any further participation in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (FEHB) and compelled onto the ObamaCare exchanges. For instance, after months of misinformation, obfuscation and delay, Smith learned that of the 112 health plans offered on the exchange for his family, 103 paid for abortion on demand—a clear violation of the law, specifically of the Smith Amendment, a Hyde-like abortion funding ban Smith first sponsored in 1983.
“Americans throughout the country have raised serious concerns that they find it nearly impossible to determine whether the plan they purchase finances the killing of unborn children—there is little or no transparency—hence the request by several members of Congress including Speaker Boehner that GAO investigate,” Smith said.
To end President Obama’s new massive funding of abortion on demand, last January the House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Smith—the “No Taxpayers Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act,” HR7.