For months now we've heard one Dem/Lib House Representative or Senator after another claim that there won't be one dime in the proposed health care bills that would provide for federally funded abortions. Those of us who take ... shall we say ... a "dim view" of abortion could've told you from the get-go that this was false. Those who belong to the culture of death have found ways to couch the language, to express themselves in what would seem to those "uneducated" in Lib-Speak to be perfectly reasonable words, a really, really good reason for abortion to be paid for by tax dollars, much of which was taken from those that believe abortion is a *bad* thing!
"That can't be so," you say. Think again, my friend. I think it's well-expressed in a "guest viewpoint" in the Register-Guard this morning. (The Register-Guard serves Oregon's Willamette Valley and a good portion of the rest of the state, too.)
Reform bills would allow abortion at the public’s expense
Appeared in print: Monday, Sep 14, 2009
Despite erroneous claims that abortion is not included in any of the proposed health care bills, passage of President Obama’s health care plan would result in the biggest expansion of abortion since Roe vs. Wade.
Until this last month, “abortion” was not specifically mentioned in any of the proposed health bills, allowing proponents to claim that abortion would not be covered in the final health plan.
Both the Senate and House bills call for the creation of a massive new federal health insurance plan called the “public plan,” which would be required to cover all “essential benefits.” According to multiple past administrative and legal interpretations of federal law, unless an abortion exclusion is explicitly written into the bill, abortion coverage will be included as an “essential benefit.”
For example, when the federal Medicaid statue was passed, the law did not mention abortion, but it was interpreted to require coverage of any abortion sought by a Medicaid-eligible woman.
As the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals said: “Because abortion fits within many of the mandatory categories, including ‘family planning,’ ‘outpatient services,’ ‘impatient services’ and ‘physicians services’ Medicaid covered medically necessary abortion between 1973 and 1976” (Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Michigan vs. Engler, 1996). “Medically necessary” is a term understood by both abortion advocates and foes to include the broadest range of situations.
Therefore, the Hyde Amendment was adopted in 1977, which bans the use of federal funds for Medicaid abortions. The Hyde Amendment must be re-approved annually as a rider to the Health and Human Services appropriations bill.
Recognizing the ramifications of the term “essential benefits,” pro-life members of Congress attempted to add amendments to both the Senate and House health care bills to ban abortion from being included in the plans or to forbid federal money from paying for abortions. All such amendments were defeated by Democratic majorities on numerous committees.
After rejecting all pro-life amendments, the House Energy and Commerce Committee met July 30 and adopted the Capps Amendment. House Resolution 3200, with the Capps Amendment, creates a nationwide insurance plan run by the federal government, and the language explicitly authorizes the public option plan to cover all elective abortions.
In addition, the language would create a new program to provide federal subsidies to cover 27 million Americans to help them purchase health insurance (either private plans or the new federal public plan) that cover abortion. Abortionists would send bills to the federal insurance plan and receive payment from the federal Treasury. It is nonsense to pretend this scheme does not constitute federal subsidies for abortion.
Some say that the Hyde Amendment would forbid taxpayer funding of abortion. However, the Hyde Amendment applies only to Medicaid. An Aug. 5 article from The Associated Press headlined “Government insurance would allow coverage for abortion” addressed the Capps Amendment and its consequences:
“A law called the Hyde Amendment applies the restrictions to Medicaid, forcing states that cover abortion for low-income women to do so with their own money. … The health overhaul would create a stream of federal funding not covered by the restrictions.
“The new federal funds would take the form of subsidies for low- and middle-income people buying coverage through the health insurance exchange. Subsidies would be available for people to buy the public plan or private coverage.”
It gets worse. HR 3200 (Page 49) says that any state law that prevents an essential service (including abortion) will be overturned. The majority of states have laws restricting abortion in some way, such as parental notification, waiting periods and women’s right-to-know laws. These all would be overturned, leaving abortion-on-demand at public expense.
Roe vs. Wade gave women a “constitutional right” to an abortion for the entire nine months of her pregnancy. President Obama’s plan would now require every taxpayer to pay for it.
Gayle Atteberry of Eugene is executive director of Oregon Right to Life.