21 Dec U.S. Senate Readies to Pass Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid finally found the right abortion language to get pro-life Senator Ben Nelson on board with the new health care legislation Sunday. Unfortunately, the protections in the new language are good enough to get Nelson’s vote but not strong enough to actually stop taxpayer funds from financing and promoting abortion.
The 383-page manager’s amendment, filed by Sen. Reid, superficially does three things:
- Requires women using federal subsidies to purchase health care to pay for abortion coverage with a separate check. Insurers are required to keep the money covering abortion and federal subsidies in separate accounts. The original bill only required insurers to keep federal subsidies from paying for abortion coverage without the separation of checks.
- Requires insurance companies sold in the government-run insurance exchanges that provide plans including abortion coverage to also provide parallel plans without abortion coverage.
- Allows individual states to disallow plans covering abortion to be sold on the state run insurance exchanges set up by the bill.
These adaptations to the original bill are an attempt to please both pro-life and pro-abortion lobbies by enforcing the Hyde Amendment while not preventing poorer women who would like to purchase abortion coverage from doing so. Judging by the response from both lobbies, it fails to do either.
We won’t go into the inadequate logic pro-abortion lobbyists use to attack the measure right now. Rather here are the reasons the manager’s amendment is completely unacceptable in its efforts to defend the rights of those who support life.
- The new amendment still violates the Hyde Amendment. Federal money will still be used to pay for abortion coverage even though the payment is obscured in a convoluted accounting scheme. The funds between the abortion coverage accounts and other insurer accounts are completely fungible and the distinction entirely meaningless.
- If the Hyde Amendment is removed at any future date by congress or the President, the distinctions between private and public funds for abortion coverage will disappear entirely. In the Stupak Amendment to the health care bill recently passed by the House, the separation between federal subsidies and abortion coverage were permanently written into law.
- The amendment does nothing to prevent the Mikulski Amendment from allowing the Executive Branch to require private insurers to provide abortion coverage. The Mikulski amendment, also known as the Women’s Health Amendment, allows U.S. Health and Human Services to define and dictate the women’s “preventive care” measures a health insurer must provide. Pro-abortion groups have already begun to define abortion as preventive care.
- The manager’s amendment does not include the “conscience” protection for health care providers that was included in the House bill. Thus, health care providers are likely to be required to perform anti-life procedures they are morally opposed to.
Due to these fatal errors, the Senate health care bill is unacceptable. Despite the manager’s amendment the Senate health care bill is still decidedly pro-abortion.
A final vote on the bill is scheduled for Christmas Eve. Therefore, time is short to stop this pro-abortion health care bill from passing the Senate.
You can telephone the Washington offices of your Senators through the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Or you can find your Senators’ contact information here.