There has been much discussion about abortion funding as part of the healthcare reform. Lots of discussion – little facts.
According to Obama, it’s a “misunderstanding” and “no federal funds will be used to fund abortions”. So, let’s have an “honest debate, not one dominated by willful misrepresentations and outright distortions”.
There is only one piece of legislation that directly speaks to the issue of abortion funding, the Capps Amendment. Today on the Huffington Post, Rep. Lois Capps penned “The Truth About the Capps Amendment“.
Unfortunately many — from politicians to pundits — misunderstand or intentionally misrepresent my amendment as a significant departure from current law. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many independent fact checkers and even the non-partisan Congressional Research Service have found the amendment preserves the status quo in federal abortion policy.
This statement is partially correct. Her amendment does the speak to the Hyde Amendment, which makes exceptions in the case of rape, incest, or to protect the life of the woman. However, the bill does not specifically say that abortions will not be provided for government sponsored insurance – only that an “affordable credit may not be used for payment for services….”. In other words, if a person were receiving the affordable credit that portion of the premium could not be used to pay for an abortion.
My amendment also ensures that in each region of the country, there is at least one plan in the Health Exchange that offers abortions services but also one plan in the Health Exchange that does not offer abortion services. This actually gives consumers who object to participating in a plan that covers abortion and are getting coverage through the Exchange a choice of insurance coverage greater than what most Americans have in the current employer-based health insurance market.
The amendment does indeed require at least one plan that includes abortion services and at least one that does not. This does not limit the number of plans that will or will not include abortion services, so you could have all of the plans offering abortion services and only one that does not. Who will make these choices – Kathleen Sebellius. Considering her views of abortion services (including late-term) it would be logical to assume that there would be a multitude of plans offering abortion services and one not offering these services. This could have a huge impact on the Catholic community of healthcare providers.
Today, nearly 90 percent of employer-sponsored private health insurance plans cover abortion services.
This is just a total misrepresentation of the facts by Rep. Capps. There is a colossal difference between ‘elective’ and ‘spontaneous’ abortions (miscarriage). She is playing with her words on this. Below is an excerpt from the Blue Cross Blue Shield rider concerning abortion services which is consistent in todays insurance market.
Excludes benefits for any services related to an abortion except for a spontaneous abortion, or to prevent the death of the woman upon whom the abortion is performed. BCBMS does pay for services or supplies to treat complications resulting from an abortion.
What the bill will accomplish is that at least $1 per enrollee, per month of your premium would be set-aside to cover these services. These monies would be utilized to offset the cost-sharing for these services. This is how Rep. Capp intends to get around the federal funding problem. It will not be federal funding, every American will be paying at least $1 per month of their premium to pay for abortion services.
The Capps amendment has been in play since July 30, 2009. So, either Obama didn’t read/know about the amendment – or he lied.