Family Research Council
Tony Perkins’ Washington Update
October 09, 2013 – Wednesday
Telling Secrets on Abortion Coverage
As Congress debates ObamaCare, one issue that almost stopped the law in 2009 — yet still receives scant media coverage — is the law’s subsidies for abortion coverage. ObamaCare is funded through mandatory spending so as to avoid the Hyde Amendment, the provision which stops appropriated funds for the Department of Health and Human Services from paying for abortion or even subsidizing plans with abortion coverage. The President promised when the health care bill passed that it would not cover abortion, but like FRC warned during the debate over ObamaCare, buried deep within the 2,700 pages is language Nancy Pelosi was hoping Americans would never read, the abortion surcharge scheme. That’s right! If an insurer decides to cover abortion in its plan, and the government subsidizes people’s premiums in that plan, every single person is required to pay an extra abortion surcharge!
Adding insult to injury, the same section also requires that all information about the abortion coverage and surcharge only be given at the time enrollees receive their overall benefits package. The law states: “coverage of the services described in paragraph (1)(B)(i) [elective abortion] 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.” And the same secrecy clause applies to the abortion surcharge. If a person wonders why they are paying for their premiums as well as a separate small fee, the insurer may only provide information about the entire cost of the plan — not how much they are paying for abortion. To put a spotlight on this abortion secrecy clause, Members held a bipartisan press conference today announcing new legislation titled the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013.” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Penn.) and pro-life Democrat Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) introduced this bill to ensure transparency. The Smith/Pitts/Lipinski bill at least will let Americans know whether they are paying for elective abortion or not under ObamaCare.