The summary of the health-care reform bill that Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., will submit next week to his committee contains language that purports to prevent federal funding of abortion.
Not true, according to this press release the National Right to Life Committee e-mailed to the Daily Blog a few minutes ago:
WASHINGTON—The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the nation’s largest pro-life group comprised of 50 state right-to-life organizations and about 3,000 local chapters, today reacted to the new bill issued by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mt.).
ABORTION MANDATES AND FEDERAL SUBSIDIES
The following statement may be attributed to Douglas Johnson, NRLC legislative director:
The “America’s Healthy Future Act,” proposed today by Senator Max Baucus (D-Mt.), contains an array of pro-abortion mandates and federal subsidies for elective abortion. National Right to Life strongly opposes the legislation in its current form. We will work in support of amendments to eliminate the abortion mandates and federal abortion subsidies.
The bill contains provisions that would send massive federal subsidies directly to both private insurance plans and government-chartered cooperatives that pay for elective abortion. This would be a drastic break from longstanding federal policy, under which federal funds do not pay for elective abortions or subsidize health plans that cover elective abortions. For example, current law prohibits any of the over 250 private health plans that participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program from paying for elective abortions, because these plans receive federal subsidies. These private plans cover over 8 million federal employees and dependents, including members of Congress.
Thus, under the Baucus bill, like the House Democratic leadership bill (H.R. 3200), federal funds would subsidize coverage of elective abortions. In addition, the Baucus bill requires that a specific charge must be included in the premiums paid by those who enroll in such subsidized plans, of at least “$1 per enrollee, per month,” which amounts to a surcharge specifically for elective abortions.
These bills are not consistent with President Obama’s September 9 claim that “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions,” or with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius’s September 13 affirmation that “no public funds would go to fund abortions.” Funds spent by federal agencies are, by law, federal funds. The claim that under these bills, a federal agency would use “private funds” to subsidize abortions is absurd on its face—a political hoax.
Read it all here.