WASHINGTON – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued a proposed rule to require health plan issuers operating in state and federal healthcare exchanges to separately bill for any elective abortion coverage and to segregate any collected funds.
In 2010, the passage of Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) did away with the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment, which protected taxpayers from paying for abortion and health insurance plans that include abortion. Section 1303 of Obamacare requires that when federal subsidies are paid toward the purchase of a health plan that includes coverage of elective abortion, the money for abortion premiums was supposed to be separately collected and accounted. The Obama administration failed to enforce Section 1303, all but ensuring that insurers ignored these requirements.
A 2014 report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) provided dismaying confirmation of earlier predictions by National Right to Life that federally subsidized abortion coverage would become a widespread feature of Obamacare. The report found that more than one thousand federally subsidized exchange plans covered elective abortion. The GAO findings validated previous charges by National Right to Life that the federal taxpayer is subsidizing the purchase of abortion-covering plans on a massive scale.
“While only comprehensive legislative reform can cure the multiple abortion-expanding components of Obamacare, today’s proposed rule from the Trump Administration sends a strong message that the federal government ought to get out of the business of paying for abortion until Obamacare can be replaced,” said Jennifer Popik, J.D., National Right to Life legislative director.
National Right to Life President Carol Tobias added, “We applaud President Trump and his administration for enforcing the law and seeking to uphold the principles of the Hyde Amendment to prevent the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion coverage.”
Additionally, HHS announced a final rule change to the Affordable Care Act and HHS coverage mandate that would protect moral and religious rights of conscience.
“Rights of conscience are extremely important to the right-to-life movement to protect medical professionals, religious institutions and employers from being forced to participate in abortion,” said Tobias. “We commend President Trump for keeping his campaign promises by supporting these rights of conscience. These rule changes will help promote a policy that protects pro-life rights of conscience with regard to abortion.”
Under President Obama’s administration, pro-abortion forces not only put increasing pressure on health care providers to violate their moral convictions with regard to abortion, but also backed efforts to force employers, including religious institutions and organizations that object to abortion, to cover abortion in their insurance plans.
“No one should be forced to participate in abortion against their religious or moral convictions,” Tobias said.