Tamara Scott at Midwest March for Life
Tamara Scott (center) at 2013 Midwest March for Life

Obamacare funds abortion according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office today.  This new report identifies 1,036 health insurance plans that cover abortion on demand services and who receive taxpayer subsidies.  The report also found that insurance issuers sampled are not itemizing the required separate abortion surcharge on its bills and the disclosure of abortion coverage in plans is inconsistent.  The GAO report contradicts President Barack Obama’s promise in 2009 that under the Obamacare plan, “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”  Obamacare was enacted despite pro-life objections to the contrary.

The GAO report focused mainly on determining the prevalence of elective abortion coverage in health plans sold on the exchanges, in the 27 states plus D.C. that currently do not have laws in effect that restrict abortion coverage. The GAO found that on these 28 exchanges, 1,036 plans cover elective abortion while 1,062 do not. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that between 2015 and 2024, $726 billion will be spent in direct subsidies for Obamacare health plans.

The federal subsidies for health insurance plans that cover elective abortions amount to a sharp break from decades of federal policy under the Hyde Amendment. The Hyde Amendment says that no federal funds “shall be expended for health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.” The Hyde Amendment does not apply to Obamacare.  Attempts to include Hyde-like language in the Obamacare law were initially successful in the House but were ultimately blocked by President Obama and his allies in Congress.

GAO confirmed that the law requires “issuers to collect from each enrollee in a QHP [Qualified Health Plan] covering non-excepted [elective] abortion services a separate payment for coverage of these services,” the Obama Administration is not enforcing this requirement.  None of the 18 insurance companies selling plans that cover selective abortions who responded to the GAO were collecting a separate payment from enrollees for elective abortion coverage.

Despite assurances that there would be plans available in each state that do not fund elective abortions, the GAO found that in five states – Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont – every insurance plan currently sold on the exchange covers elective abortion. In addition, abortion-covering plans dominated the exchanges in California (96% cover elective abortion, 86 plans out of 90), Massachusetts (98%, 109 plans of 111), New York (95%, 405 plans of 426), and Oregon (90%, 92 plans of 102).

Nearly 60% of all Americans oppose taxpayer money being used for abortions.  The House of Representatives have passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7).  This bill applies the Hyde Amendment to all Federal programs.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has prevented any action from being taken in the U.S. Senate.

“Today’s report is confirmation that Obamacare is a massive expansion of abortion on demand, paid for by the taxpayers,” said Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Obamacare breaks from the long tradition of the Hyde Amendment, which has prevented taxpayer funding of abortion with broad public support, and was not included in the law.”

“Shame on Senators like Mary Landrieu, Mark Pryor, and Kay Hagan – all of whom come from strong pro-life states and voted for taxpayer funding of abortion in Obamacare,” continued Dannenfelser. “The GAO report is damning evidence that they betrayed their constituents in casting a vote for the largest expansion of taxpayer funding of abortion on demand since Roe. The No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act gives these Senators a prime opportunity to right a grave wrong, but they continue to stand with Harry Reid and the abortion lobby instead of their constituents by blocking a vote on it,” Dannenfelser added.

The GAO report also confirms the argument made by the Susan B. Anthony Listthat a vote for Obamacare was a vote in favor of taxpayer-funded abortion. Last week, SBA List won afour year legal battle in Ohio, where the group fought for the right to criticize elected officials who voted for Obamacare as having voted for taxpayer-funded abortion.

“This report exposes what we’ve known all along: that Obamacare was designed to force Americans to pay for abortions. Federal law protects Americans from paying for others’ abortions, but Obamacare architects built a purposely deceptive accounting scheme into the massive law that makes people in all 50 states fund abortion,” Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Casey Mattox said.  “We were told that we had to pass the bill to find out what was in it. Now we know one other thing that’s in it: corporate welfare for the administration’s abortion industry cronies. Instead of deceiving the American people, the administration needs to follow federal law and deliver on the transparency we were promised.”

“For a president who claims to pursue the most transparent administration, he continues to reject calls to shed light on what exactly is in plans on the health care exchange.” said Concerned Women for America CEO and President Peggy Nance. “We deserve to know from our providers just what our insurance plans cover and, even more, we deserve to be assured that we will not be forced to pay for abortions under the guise of health care.

“It is no surprise that the Obama Administration is spending billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the purchase of health plans that cover abortion on demand,” said National Right to Life Legislative Director Douglas Johnson. “Those really responsible for this scandal are the lawmakers, such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Mark Udall of Colorado, who voted against the pro-life amendment that would have prevented this massive federal funding of abortion-covering plans, as well as those who voted to enact the bill after the amendment was rejected, such as Mark Pryor of Arkansas.”

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