Pro-lifers in Congress poised to take action in the new funding bill
I’m all in favor of providing public health care for the poor and indigent, but the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is coming to look more and more like a patchwork quilt of deceit. Everyone by now knows — many from sad experience — that the claims that “If you like your doctor and your health care plan, you can keep your doctor and your health care plan,” were simply not true. Hundreds of thousands of doctors have headed for the exits, driven out of the health care profession by the exorbitant demands of Obamacare. At the same time, those same demands have caused millions of health care plans to be cancelled. It turns out that you can’t keep your doctor if he retired and moved to Florida, or your health care plan if it no longer exists.
But what you may not remember is that the President’s Executive Order on abortion — promising that the tax dollars of pro-life Americans would not be used to pay for abortions or for any health plan that includes coverage for abortion — was a sham as well. It’s no wonder that Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, dismissed it at the time as a “symbolic gesture.” No amount of presidential paper can cover up the fact that Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services has not for one moment stopped trying to force people of faith to fund abortions. If we don’t recognize this, then Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber was right. We are stupid.
One tactic being used to strong-arm us all into funding Planned Parenthood’s abortuaries is on display in California. In August of this year, the California Department of Managed Health Care suddenly ordered insurance companies to immediately insert surgical and RU-486 abortion coverage into all of their plans. You will cover abortion, they told insurance companies, even if you had previously promised those buying health insurance, such as employers (i.e., the “plan sponsors”) that their plans would specifically exclude abortion. This lawless action forced insurance companies to break faith with plan sponsors who, for reasons of conscience, had previously asked for plans that did not cover abortion. This includes the Catholic Church, whose schools and hospitals had asked for abortion-free insurance plans.
California’s action is in clear violation of federal law. The decade-old Weldon Amendment, which is included in the Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill every year, forbids state and local governments from discriminating against doctors, hospitals or insurers that don’t offer abortion coverage. But — in a now familiar pattern — the autocrats who have taken over our medical care system have little respect for democracy, and none for Life, so they simply ignored the law. In response, the California Catholic Conference has filed a federal civil rights complaint over this patently unlawful action.
But get this: the Weldon Amendment says that the complaint is to be filed with the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services. That is to say, the only recourse that pro-life Californians currently have in the law is to appeal to the very department that, under Obama’s direction, seems determined to force all Americans to pay for abortions. It will come as no surprise to anyone that the Department of Health and Human Services has taken no action, the Weldon Amendment has not been enforced, and the violation is ongoing.
Obamacare is making us all complicit in abortion in more subtle ways as well. Pro-life researchers at the Family Research Council and Charlotte Lozier Institute have discovered that it is nearly impossible for consumers to reliably determine whether the plans they are considering include abortion on demand (see ObamacareAbortion.com). The insurers, obviously taking their clues from the Obama administration, make it very difficult to find out if your prospective plan covers abortion. This is like going to buy a new car and having the salesman refuse to open the hood, or tell you what size engine lies under it.