Obamacare to fund abortions in Pennsylvania; heat on Dahlkemper

eric cantor photo.jpgUPDATE, 7/15, 11:25a: The House Republican's #2, Eric Cantor, also issued a statement yesterday condemning Obamacare's inclusion of abortion funding in the PA "high risk" plan:

In the months leading up to Democrat passage of ObamaCare, we fought hard to ensure that no federal funding would be used to subsidize elective abortion. Unfortunately, in the last days of this fight, a group of so-called "pro-life" Democrats who had previously withheld their support from the bill in the name of life accepted an offer from the White House, which pretended to bar funding of abortion under the new structure....

While that group, including PA's own Reps. Kathy Dahlkemper and Chris Carney, stood smiling behind the most pro-abortion President in American history as he signed the phony agreement, we warned this day would come. Sooner than even we thought, we now have proof that the Administration planned to fund abortion on the taxpayer dime all along. This demonstrates that we must pass a permanent codification of the Hyde Amendment immediately to prevent the federal government from funding abortion on demand.

UPDATE, 7/14, 7:37p: The House Republican's #3, Mike Pence, has now issued a statement condemning Obamacare's PA abortion funding.

UPDATE, 7/14, 4:03p: I'm told on high authority from someone who saw it that the Obama administration issued a statement last night stating the $160 mil wouldn't cover abortions and then pulled it back. I'm told a new or revised statement is in the works.

UPDATE, 7/14, 3p: This dispersement of Obamacare funding to PA is likely the last thing pro-life Democrat Congressperson Kathy Dahlkemper needed to hear. Dahlkemper voted for Obamacare after Obama signed the EO and has become a target of a couple pro-life groups. One in particular, the Susan B. Anthony List, is slamming her this afternoon in a press release:

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the SBA [said].. "So-called 'pro-life' Democrats pushed politics over principle when they supported a sham executive order that wasn't worth the paper it was printed on."

dahlkemper pa abortion.jpg

"Prior to the healthcare vote, Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-3) said she would represent the pro-life majority in her district. But it was clear she was playing politics. Pennsylvanians now know they are being forced to pay for abortions with their own money. Rep. Dahlkemper and the Obama administration said the executive order would prevent taxpayers from having to pay for abortion, but this PA insurance pool program proves that that was a false promise."...

In the days leading up to the healthcare reform vote, pro-life Democrats like Kathy Dahlkemper and MI Rep. Bart Stupak said they would not support any bill which included federal funding of abortion. They reneged on that pledge when they voted for the final bill which provides for taxpayer-funded abortions.

UDPATE, 7/14, 2:45p:The most influential House Republican pro-lifer is decrying this development. According to The Hill, this afternoon:

"This is the boldest admission yet from the Obama administration that the President's Executive Order on taxpayer-funded abortion was a sham," House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said in a statement. "The fact that the high-risk pool insurance program in PA will use federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions is unconscionable."

7/14, 2:35p: News-Medical.net reported on June 29:

obama = abortion.jpg

The federal government has approved PA's application to offer a high-risk insurance program for uninsured individuals who have pre-existing medical conditions....

"The Obama Administration has approved our plan to provide health insurance to thousands of Pennsylvanians who have been unable to obtain affordable coverage because of pre-existing conditions," [state Insurance Commissioner Joel] Ario said....

,p>The state will receive $160 million to set up the program, which will provide coverage to as many as 5,600 people between now and 2014. The approved proposal can be accessed by visiting www.insurance.pa.gov and choosing the "Health Care Reform & You" link.

Yesterday we learned the the federal healthcare funding in PA will cover abortions. According to National Right to Life:

The Obama Administration will give PA $160 million to set up a new "high-risk" insurance program under a provision of the federal health care legislation enacted in March - and has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of Governor Edward Rendell (D) under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in PA.

The plan states it will not cover "elective abortions"...

pa abortion obamacare.png

... and what abortions fit the requirements? According to 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204:

In determining in accordance with subsection (a) or (b) whether an abortion is necessary, a physician's best clinical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age) relevant to the well-being of the woman. No abortion which is sought solely because of the sex of the unborn child shall be deemed a necessary abortion.

In other words, abortion on demand. So less than 4 months after Obamacare's passage, and with Obama his executive order supposedly banning public funding of abortions, we get confirmation it was a fraud. NRLC added:

As USA Today reported on March 25, "Both sides in the abortion debate came to a rare agreement on Wednesday: The executive order on abortion signed by President Obama, they said, was basically meaningless. 'A transparent political fig leaf,' according to the NRLC's Douglas Johnson. 'A symbolic gesture,' said Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards."


Ugh. And I'm just about to move to Pennsylvania too.

Posted by: Bobby Bambino at July 14, 2010 1:39 PM

Don't worry, Bobby, Pennsylvania is generally a prolife state, which makes this more of a shame and a disgrace.

Posted by: phillymiss at July 14, 2010 1:51 PM

phillymiss, what can you tell me about conscience protections in PA? On p14 of the document Jill highlighted above, point number 2 states that conscience protections apply to "certain abortion and sterilization-related activities as
outlined in 43 P.S. §955.2 and 18 Pa. C.S.A. §3213(d).
" I can only find one of those statutes online. From what I've read so far, I am very glad I'm not working in PA!

Posted by: Fed Up at July 14, 2010 2:19 PM

..and we're supposed to "trust" Pro-life Democrats?

I'll trust them only as far as I can throw them...

Posted by: RSD at July 14, 2010 3:06 PM

"But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." 2 Ti 3:13–15 NKJV

Let's call it what it is: a money-making machine, shrouded by lies like "health care" and "family planning"; fueled by the dead carcasses and blood of dead babies, and tolerated by a sleeping church.

Where is the righteous indignation?

Where is the rage?

Posted by: Ed at July 14, 2010 3:18 PM

and this comes as a surprise?

Posted by: Maria at July 14, 2010 3:39 PM

Here's what's being posted on the National Partnership for Women today ...

HHS Announces Policy To Exclude Abortion Coverage From State High-Risk Pools
July 15, 2010 — HHS announced that state high-risk insurance pools intended to provide coverage for people with pre-existing medical conditions generally will not include coverage of elective abortions, USA Today reports. The pools -- established under the national health reform law (PL 111-148) -- will only cover abortion in cases of rape, incest or if a woman's life is in jeopardy, HHS spokesperson Jenny Backus said in a statement yesterday (Hall, USA Today, 7/15).

The HHS statement was issued in response to claims by opponents of abortion rights -- including the National Right to Life Committee, the Family Research Council and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) -- that some states plan to allow coverage of abortions in the pools.

The National Right to Life Committee's Douglas Johnson contends abortion coverage could be permitted in Pennsylvania's high-risk pool because a state law says that physicians can perform abortions if they consider them "'necessary' based on 'all factors (physical, emotional, psychological, familial and the woman's age) relevant to the well-being of the woman."

Obama administration and Pennsylvania officials dispute Johnson's interpretation. Rosanne Placey of the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance said, "We absolutely do not cover elective abortions," noting that the state also prohibits the procedure under existing federally funded programs, including Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (Rovner, Kaiser Health News/NPR's "Shots," 7/14).

Abortion-rights opponents also claim that a New Mexico website initially listed elective abortion as a benefit that would be covered under the state's high-risk pool. Michelle Lujan Grisham, deputy director of the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool, said the state is in "the process of correcting the package so it will not have elective abortion coverage" (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/Chicago Tribune, 7/14). HHS' Backus said states will update their websites in the coming weeks with information about abortion coverage in the plans (USA Today, 7/15).

The groups' claims are drawing criticism from some antiabortion-rights organizations that support the health reform law (Kaiser Health News/NPR's "Shots", 7/14). Kristen Day, executive director of Democrats for Life -- which opposes abortion rights but backs the reform law -- said, "While Republicans continue to find reasons to criticize and mischaracterize aspects of the reform bill, we will work to ensure the law will provide affordable and accessible health care for millions of Americans while upholding the longstanding ban on public funding of abortion" (USA Today, 7/15).

Posted by: lht at July 15, 2010 12:38 PM

This is false, and you should be ashamed for posting it. HHS didn't "retract" their statement; it's on the Internet for everyone to see at http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2010pres/07/20100714d.html

"As is the case with FEHB plans currently, and with the Affordable Care Act and the President's related Executive Order more generally, in Pennsylvania and in all other states abortions will not be covered in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) except in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered. Our policy is the same for both state and federally-run PCIP programs. We will reiterate this policy in guidance to those running the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan at both the state and federal levels. The contracts to operate the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan include a requirement to follow all federal laws and guidance."

In other words, in the high-risk pools the federal definition of elective abortion (basically, everything other than rape, incest, or life of the mother, as set forth in the Hyde Amendment) supersedes any state definitions.

As one who wholeheartedly supports the goals of the pro-life movement, I find this dishonesty extremely disappointing. I can't think of a single way in which it helps the cause of the unborn. I can think of a number of ways in which it harms that cause. Ever heard of the boy who cried wolf?

Posted by: Mickey Jackson at July 15, 2010 9:37 PM


I suggest you also take your complaint directly to NRLC as some of the information has come directly from them. I, too, plan to email them for claification. http://www.lifenews.com/nat6531.html

The concern seems to be that there is no language in this PA bill that says it must comply with the HHS definition of when abortions can be paid for with federal dollars. If it is not written into the bill, must there be compliance with the HHS definition? The PA definition of when an abortion can be covered by this federally funded high-risk insurance policy is much looser than the HHS definition. I copied and pasted some of the article here:

" On May 11, 2010, in a letter to Democratic and Republican congressional leaders on implementation of the new law, DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wrote that “states may choose whether and how they participate in the program, which is funded entirely by the federal government.”

Johnson says that on June 28, Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario (a member of the appointed cabinet of Governor Edward Rendell, a Democrat) issued a press release announcing that the federal Department of Health and Human Services had approved his agency's proposal for implementing the new program in Pennsylvania.

"The state will receive $160 million to set up the program, which will provide coverage to as many as 5,600 people between now and 2014," according to the release. "The plan's benefit package will include preventive care, physician services, diagnostic testing, hospitalization, mental health services, prescription medications and much more, with subsidized premiums of $283 a month."

Johnson says the "much more" Ario refers to is abortion funding.

The section on abortion (see page 14) asserts that "elective abortions are not covered," though it does not define elective -- which Johnson calls a "red herring."

The proposal specifies coverage "includes only abortions and contraceptives that satisfy the requirements of" several specific statutes, the most pertinent of which is 18 Pa. C.S. § 3204, which says abortion is legal in Pennsylvania. The statute essentially says all abortions except those to determine the sex of the baby are legal.

"Under the Rendell-Sebelius plan, federal funds will subsidize coverage of abortion performed for any reason, except sex selection," said NRLC's Johnson. "The Pennsylvania proposal conspicuously lacks language that would prevent funding of abortions performed as a method of birth control or for any other reason, except sex selection -- and the Obama Administration has now approved this." "

Posted by: Deb at July 16, 2010 12:31 PM

Someone stand up and have some integrity please ...

Posted by: bill at July 20, 2010 12:39 PM

I just can't pay for something like this. I can't understand how the federal government can make me. This is just sick. It makes me sick. Congress and senators need to be aborted. GOD is going to punish all of us for what these sickos are doing. I am having a hard time dealing with this. I have to do something. It's just so wrong, sick. GOD help us all stop this and GOD bless the little unborn babies. Can anybody tell me if I can and how to sue the federal government for taking my tax money and using it for murdering unborn babies?

Posted by: Ralph & Deb at July 24, 2010 5:06 PM

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