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Taxpayer-Funded Abortions Part of Health Care Law, Report Says

Jeffrey Bruno

Catholic News Agency - published on 10/03/13

According to a new report from a pro-life group, federal taxpayer funds could subsidize between 71,000 and 111,500 abortions each year through the Affordable Care Act.

Federal taxpayer funds could subsidize tens of thousands of abortions each year through the health care legislation that is continuing to go into effect, according to a new report from a pro-life group.

“The issue of whether the Affordable Care Act creates streams of taxpayer funding for abortion has been hotly debated,” Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, said Sept. 26. “Research done by the Lozier Institute makes clear that, through the Multi-State Plans alone, Americans will be complicit in the deaths of thousands of unborn children each year through their tax dollars.”

The Lozier Institute is the education and research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. Its report examines the Affordable Care Act’s multi-state plans, which are present on the new health insurance exchanges.

The institute estimates federal taxpayers will heavily subsidize between 71,000 and 111,500 abortions per year through federal premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion for subscribers to plans that permit abortion.

Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia do not bar health plans with elective abortion coverage from the health insurance exchanges created by the 2010 law. Seventeen states permit state funds to be used for elective abortion coverage in their Medicaid programs.

These laws mean that about 5.57 million girls and women could gain abortion coverage under the Affordable Care Act through either the Medicaid expansion or the insurance exchanges created by the act.

During debate over whether to pass the health care legislation, President Obama secured the support of several pro-life Democrats by signing an executive order that confirmed the application of long-standing restrictions on elective abortion funding to the health insurance exchanges.

However, critics of the executive order said at the time that it would not prevent federal subsidies from going to insurance plans that pay for abortion and are allowed on the health exchanges.

Donovan, the report’s author, said that the current multi-state plans’ rules would allow the administration to push for the creation of health plans that cover elective abortions in states where they are not explicitly banned.

“A taxpayer may have an individual plan that does not cover elective abortion, but his or her tax dollars will be increasingly flowing to public and private plans in other states that reimburse for abortions at a higher rate than previously seen in American health care,” Donovan said. “Moreover, the ability to avoid the companies that sponsor these plans may decrease over time as they grow in size and continue to curry favor from a government that views abortion as a form of therapy.”

Donovan said that the Obama administration is paying Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., to direct consumers to abortion-funding plans in the multi-state plans through the Center for Medicaid Services’ “Navigators” program. This could help enroll girls and women in plans that cover elective abortion and discourage them from enrolling in plans that do not.

The report prompted some members of Congress to criticize the Obama administration.

“The results of this study are a sad reminder that despite assurances from the President when Obamacare was signed into law, this law will in fact result in the taxpayer funding of abortion,” Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said Sept. 26. “This staggering loss of precious human life is an abomination and American taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill.”

Rep. Black said she would continue to fight against what she said is the Obama administration’s “reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life” and would work to end federal funding of abortions and abortion providers “once and for all.”

Originally published by Catholic News Agency on 2 October 2013.

Tags:
AbortionHealth and WellnessPolitics
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