Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), James Lankford (R-OK), and 19 colleagues introduced a Congressional Review Act (CRA) joint resolution of disapproval to overturn a Biden Administration regulation that creates a loophole allowing elective abortion coverage in taxpayer-funded Affordable Care Act (ACA) health exchange plans.
S.J.Res.43 would nullify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) final rule that repeals the separate billing requirements for elective abortion services as specifically mandated by Congress in Section 1303 of the ACA. The final rule eliminated a 2019 Trump-era rule on the separate billing requirements to ensure taxpayers who oppose abortion do not subsidize health exchange plans that provide abortion coverage.
“Abortion is not healthcare, and American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize it,” Rubio said. “I will continue to fight for the unborn and do everything I can to make sure taxpayer dollars are not used for abortions.”
“The HHS final rule needs to be stopped. It unlawfully creates a situation in which people, who would never support abortions, might have their hard-earned money used to subsidize plans that provide abortions,” Hyde-Smith said. “Congress was explicit in requiring separate billing and everyone should be troubled to see the Biden administration completely flout the law with this rule.”
“Health care protects life; abortion takes life,” Lankford said. “That’s why Congress ensured in the Affordable Care Act that health care and abortion would be billed and paid for separately. Children of all ages, born or unborn, are blessings that deserve our protection. We are standing up to this flagrant violation of the clear legal mandate to have separate payments for abortion and health care. By putting this rule in place, Biden is once again proving his obsession with abortion. I will continue to do everything I can to stand up to the most pro-abortion president we’ve ever seen and his administration that wants to promote and even increase abortion in our nation.”
This introduction follows a July 2021 letter from senators to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra seeking the withdrawal of the then-proposed rule to eliminate the Trump separate billing rule.
“The Proposed Rule directly violates the express text, clear meaning, and Congressional intent of Section 1303. In construing ‘separate’ to mean ‘together,’ the Proposed Rule would illegally allow insurance companies to collect combined payments for elective abortion coverage, rather than separate payments as the law requires. The Proposed Rule also undermines consumer transparency and makes it harder for consumers to know whether their plan covers abortion, which may lead many to pay for abortions in violation of their consciences or religious beliefs,” the senators wrote.
The CRA allows for expedited procedures to consider this joint resolution, which would need a simple majority for passage.
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