For all the times we’ve been told Obamacare does not fund abortion, a new GAO report proves exactly the opposite. Salon wrote this fantastic piece decrying anti-choice activists who bought into the Obamacare-abortion myth, and last night the Washington Examiner released their findings related to the GAO report and recapped the debate as follows:
Again and again, during the congressional debate, Obamacare defenders promised: Obamacare subsidies won’t subsidize abortion; customers will be able to choose insurance plans that don’t cover abortion; Obamacare subsidies, if they want to pay for abortion coverage, will be billed separately.
A new GAO report shows that Obamacare is failing on these counts.
Warning of “bogus claims spread by those whose only agenda is to kill reform at any cost,” for instance, President Obama told Congress in 2009: “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.”
The Examiner summarized the GAO report:
Customers in five states have no abortion-free plans available to them, and in many states, customers can’t tell which plans cover abortion and which don’t.
In Washington State, for instance, the state’s exchange bills customers on behalf of insurers–and the exchange covers abortion with federal tax dollars. The GAO found: “the exchange’s billing system was not assessing any premium to individuals whose premiums are fully subsidized under the law if these individuals are enrolled in QHPs that cover non-excepted abortion services.”
In other words, some customers with abortion coverage were nevertheless getting their entire premium covered by federal tax credits. No accounting gimmick can disguise that this is an abortion subsidy. State officials told the GAO this was a mistake they would remedy.
In fifteen other states, there’s not enough transparency to tell if this is going on. GAO wrote:
Fifteen issuers and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange… did not itemize the premium amount associated with non-excepted abortion services coverage on enrollees’ bills nor indicate that they send a separate bill for that premium amount.
In a conference call with pro-life lawmakers Monday, Congressman Chris Smith, R-N.J., said this indicates that abortion coverage isn’t being assessed differently, and is thus being subsidized through standard exchange subsidies.
Here’s the worst part: it’s impossible for consumers to escape insurance that pays for abortion.
Not only is Obamacare forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion coverage, it is also making it impossible for pro-lifers to avoid buying abortion insurance–thus forcing pro-life people to pay into a pool that pays for abortions.
The Obama administration wasted no time batting back. The Washington Times reported the following:
The Obama administration said Tuesday it will make sure states and insurers understand the ban on using federal funds for abortion, but pushed back at Republican claims that a government audit report proves pro-life advocates’ worst fears about Obamacare.
No funds are permitted to cover abortions or administer plans that cover the service, as the Affordable Care Act requires issuers to collect a separate payment for coverage of the services, according to an official at the Health and Human Services Department.
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