The dirty little secret is out. ObamaCare funds abortions. That’s right; despite the White House denials, even their own Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirms it is true.
You may remember in the debate in 2009 and 2010 before passage of The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), there were many concerns, even from Democrats, that ObamaCare would be used to fund abortions. Since the Congress needed every Democratic vote to pass the legislation (Republicans were united in their opposition), the concerns of even a few Democrats were crucial to the outcome.
Democratic Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska was a vocal critic of funding abortion so the White House bribed him with the “Cornhusker Kickback”- a promise of increased Medicaid funding for the state of Nebraska and the right of states to refuse abortion coverage in the state exchanges. In return, Nelson delivered the deciding vote in the Senate that gave the Democrats a filibuster-proof majority.
Nelson explained the compromise wording of the law that he engineered in a speech on the Senate floor in 2009:
“The insurance company must bill you separately, and you must pay separately from your own personal funds – perhaps a credit card transaction, your separate personal check, or automatic withdrawal from your bank account – for that abortion coverage. Now, let me say that again. You have to write two checks; one for the basic policy and one for the additional coverage for abortion.”
This specific wording of the law was in order to comply with the Hyde Amendment, a law passed in 1976 forbidding federal funds to be used for providing abortions in the Medicaid program, except in cases of incest or rape, or when the mother’s life is endangered. By separating out the payments this would ensure that only the policyholder, and not the taxpayers, would be paying for abortion coverage. Furthermore, Nelson made sure that states that did not wish to cover abortion services on their state exchanges could opt out of the program.
President Obama made a promise to Congress that no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions. In a speech to the Congress on September 10, 2009, he laid out his health care reform plan. By my count there are at least 14 misrepresentations of the law that eventually became known as ObamaCare. Of these, two were made when he said this: “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”
The latter part of that promise was broken when Hobby Lobby had to take their case to the Supreme Court to uphold their rights of conscience. Now the GAO has revealed that the former part of that promise has also been broken.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is a non-partisan congressional research group. Recently they examined abortion coverage in the health-insurance exchanges set up for selling ObamaCare policies. Twenty-eight states permit the selling of policies within these exchanges that cover abortion. In all, they found 1036 plans that include abortion coverage, including every plan in five states; New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii. Also, more than 95% of the plans in Massachusetts, New York, and California cover abortion.
The GAO report goes on to say, “Fifteen issuers and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange . . . did not itemize the premium amount associated with non-excepted abortion services coverage on enrollees’ bills nor indicate that they send a separate bill for that premium amount.”
Timothy P. Carney, writing for The Washington Examiner, analyzes the report:
“The new GAO report shows that, instead, taxpayers are subsidizing abortions. Customers in five states have no abortion-free plans available to them, and in many states, customers can’t tell which plans cover abortion and which don’t.
In Washington State, for instance, the state’s exchange bills customers on behalf of insurers- and the exchange covers abortion with federal tax dollars. The GAO found: “The exchange’s billing system was not assessing any premium to individuals whose premiums are fully subsidized under the law if these individuals are enrolled in QHPs (Qualified Health Plans) that cover non-excepted abortion services.”
This means customers with abortion coverage were getting their entire premium covered by federal tax credits. This is clearly an abortion subsidy – paid for by the taxpayers. This is a violation of the Hyde Amendment and a violation of the Affordable Care Act – and another broken Obama promise.
Carl Anderson, writing for National Review Online, further explains the situation:
“This report is likely to contain surprising news for the residents of these states. The GAO report makes clear that those who want to find a plan that does not cover abortion will have a very difficult time. In some cases, the information is available in the Summary of Benefits. In other cases, it is only available on the insurer’s website. In other cases, the information is available only by calling the insurer.”
Others say the information is unavailable – unless you first purchase the policy. Arina O. Grossu, writes that the Family Research Council has had great difficulty obtaining such information when surveying insurance companies. The explanation for this difficulty can be found in the law itself. She explains:
“Section 1303 (b)(3)(A) of the Affordable Care Act contains a clause stating that the insurer “shall provide a notice to enrollees, only as part of the summary of benefits and coverage explanation, at the time of enrollment, of such coverage.” (emphasis added) The law is deliberately written, in other words, to make it difficult to get this information.”
In Connecticut, after the Bracy family lost their non-ObamaCare-compliant pro-life plan, they filed a lawsuit (Bracy v. Burwell) in May 2014 alleging there weren’t any pro-life plans available for them to purchase on the exchange. Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the same law firm that represented Conestoga Wood Specialties in the Hobby Lobby v. Burwell lawsuit that opposed the Contraception Mandate, represents them.
Three Ways Taxpayers Fund Abortion
Casey Mattox, senior counsel with ADF, writes in The Federalist three ways that ObamaCare is forcing taxpayers – and in some cases unwitting policyholders (maybe you) – to pay for others’ abortions, steering untold millions of dollars toward Planned Parenthood and other abortion dealers. It’s no coincidence that these are the same people who have been spending millions to elect President Obama and his political allies.
First, the GAO report concludes that more than 1,000 ObamaCare health insurance plans nationwide are eligible for taxpayer subsidies despite including elective abortion coverage. As previously seen in Washington, the entire premium – including the portion covering elective abortions –is being paid for by federal taxpayer dollars.
Second, the GAO confirmed that getting information on which policies cover abortion and which don’t is nearly impossible. This means your plan is probably collecting an additional fee – undisclosed to you on your bill – used expressly to pay for others’ abortions.
Third, the GAO report confirms that in five states, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont, and Hawaii – it is impossible to obtain insurance plans that do not cover abortion. Thus every plan is collecting a separate fee from every enrollee to pay for others’ elective abortions. Failure to purchase a plan leaves you vulnerable to the Individual Mandate tax, as well as the cost of needed healthcare services.
Mattox says that the impetus for this situation comes from Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortion services in this country. Planned Parenthood has increased its share of the total abortion market every year for the last three decades. It commits more than 330,000 abortions per year at an average of $468 per abortion.
This brings in approximately $150 million in abortion revenue annually, which is 38% of their health center revenue. Add to this the $500 million in annual taxpayer funding and you have a billion dollar abortion giant keenly interested in continuing this stream of revenue. No wonder they have spent tens of millions of dollars to re-elect President Obama and his supporters.