President Barack Obama last year told Americans he was sorry after it became clear that his oft-repeated claim, “If you like your insurance, you can keep it,” was demonstrably false.
Obama has been much slower, however, to admit fault for another dishonest claim: He secured the final votes for the Affordable Care Act from pro-life Democrats with the promise that federal funds would not be used to pay for abortions.
In 2010, Obama signed an executive order toward that end – even as some Republicans said it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on – but a new Kaiser Foundation study finds 6.1 million women will gain elective abortion insurance coverage through Obamacare, paid for in part by government subsidies.
The House on Tuesday voted to change that, passing the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act with a 227 to 188 bipartisan tally. The bill would bar taxpayer funding for abortion in Obamacare plans obtained after Jan. 1, 2015. In the interim, it would require insurance companies to clearly disclose which plans include abortion coverage.
In addition to the aforementioned, HR7 would make the Hyde Amendment and other current abortion funding prohibitions permanent. Currently these are riders tacked on annually to multiple spending bills. The Hyde Amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions except for rape and incest. HR7 ensures that Obamacare conforms with the Hyde Amendment, as promised by Obama.
Simple, right? No, never. Pro-abortion Congressman Henry Waxman (who just announced he’s retiring, yeah!) protested, “This is propaganda, it’s political. The Republicans are trying to make people believe their taxpayer dollars are being used to pay for abortions. It’s not true.”
Ok, if it’s not true, then why fight the bill? it won’t make any difference, right?
But here’s Planned Parenthood’s spin:
I spoke with a Hill staffer who has been working closely on HR7 and who gave me a rebuttal to pass along to you of PP’s above five bullet points, in order:
1. HR 7 only addresses the types of plans that can be paid for using Obamacare subsidies. It specifically allows abortion coverage using private dollars and even specifies that abortion can be purchased as a separate rider, if the consumer chooses.
2. If one wants to purchase her own health insurance coverage, it’s permitted under HR7. HR7 only addresses the kinds of plans that taxpayer subsidies can pay for by applying the Hyde amendment to Obamacare. The Hyde Amendment has not had a health exception in decades, and it would be inconsistent to add one now.
3. The Congressional Budget Office and Americans for Tax Reform have said HR7 is tax neutral. It is not a net tax increase. The “taxes” impacted are actually subsidies paid directly to the insurance company when a person purchases a plan on an Obamcare exchange. In fact the CBO estimates that by 2023 nearly 90% of these subsidies (labeled as tax credits) will be direct spending by the treasury, not reductions in tax liability. These subsidies would continue to be available to plans in the exchange that exclude elective abortion. Again, individuals would still have the option to purchase separate supplemental abortion coverage. Also, HR7 as passed in the House has no impact on tax deductions or credits made available separate from Obamacare.
4. All individual and small/large business comprehensive health insurance coverage would remain in effect if they were in effect prior to Obamacare. The only small employer tax credit that comes into consideration is a special Obamacare credit for a small number of employers that meet certain criteria and agree to purchase insurance coverage for their employees on the Obamacare exchanges. Obamacare already requires these employers to purchase their plans on the exchanges, HR7 would just ensure that the plans available for this special incentive do not include elective abortion.
5. Again, this bill’s verbiage is taken from the Hyde Amendment, which states there is no funding for abortion and no funding for insurance coverage that includes abortion except in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. There is no health exception in the Hyde amendment. But, under HR 7 women can still purchase separate abortion riders or plans with abortion coverage with their own money.