By Jennifer Popik, J.D., NRLC Federal Legislative Director
In the latest blow to repealing and replacing Obamacare, Sen. Cassidy (R. La) acknowledged this afternoon that, “We made the decision since we don’t have the votes, we’re going to postpone it.” Senators John McCain (R. Ariz.), Susan Collins (R. ME), and Rand Paul (R. KY) all issued public statements indicating they would not vote for the bill, ending the current effort to rollback much of the abortion-expanding Obamacare.
Time has run out on the 2017 “budget reconciliation bill” as a vehicle to undo much of Obamacare which requires a simple majority in the Senate. But there are only 52 Republicans in the Senate, and the loss of McCain, Collins, and Paul meant the bill would fall short of the 50 votes needed.
National Right to Life deeply appreciates the efforts of those senators who went to great lengths to try to begin rolling back Obamacare with its multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance and multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates.
The bill’s chief sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R. SC) and Sen. Bill Cassidy, said that they plan on touring the country in order to build support for their health bill. There are additional reconciliation measures going forward, but the most immediate one is slated to deal with tax reform.
NRLC vigorously opposed enactment of the Obamacare law in 2009-2010, because of its multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion insurance and multiple provisions allowing abortion-expansive federal mandates. According to a report issued by the Government Accountability Office in September 2014, approximately 1,000 federally subsidized health plans nationwide currently cover elective abortion.
The Graham-Cassidy legislation would redirect existing Obamacare subsidies back to states in the form of block grants. The bill would prohibit the use of these dollars for plans that cover elective abortion. The bill would restore the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment with respect to federally funded health coverage. The Hyde Amendment is credited with saving two million lives.
Additionally, National Right to Life also strongly supports the language in the bill that would block, for one year, most federal payments to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities.
For additional up-to-date information on the extent of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in abortion, see: www.nrlc.org/communications/ppfamediabackground.