Posted by GOP Leader Press Office on December 19th, 2009
Fixed it is not. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) latest health care “manager’s amendment” would STILL levy a new “abortion premium” fee on Americans under the Democrats’ health care plan. Just like the original 2,032-page, government-run health care plan from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) and the last version of Senator Reid’s 2,074-page bill, this latest 383-page amendment levies an abortion premium and does not fix the problem of government funds being used to subsidize elective abortions.
Under Reid’s “manager’s amendment,” there is no prohibition on abortion coverage in federally subsidized plans participating in the Exchange. Instead the amendment includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the Exchange or the new government-run plan that will be managed by the Office of Personnel Management must establish “allocation accounts” when elective abortion is a covered benefit (p. 41). Everyone enrolled in these plans must pay a monthly abortion premium (p. 41, lines 5-8), and these funds will be used to pay for the elective abortion services. The Reid amendment directs insurance companies to assess the cost of elective abortion coverage (p. 43), and charge a minimum of $1 per enrollee per month (p. 43, lines 20-22).
In short, the Reid bill continues to defy the will of the American people and contradict longstanding federal policy by providing federal subsidies to private health plans that cover elective abortions. The new language does include a “state opt-out” provision if a state passes a law to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion, but it’s a sham because it does nothing to prevent one state’s tax dollars from paying for elective abortions in other states.
A majority of Americans believe that health care plans should not be mandated to provide elective abortion coverage, and a majority of Americans do not believe government health care plans should include abortion coverage. Currently, federal appropriations bills include language known as the Hyde Amendment that prohibits the use of federal funds to pay for elective abortions under the Medicare and Medicaid programs, while another provision, known as the Smith Amendment, prohibits federal funding of abortion under the federal employees’ health benefits plan. Under the Reid “manager’s amendment” the new health care plan that will mirror the federal employees’ plan and be managed by the Office of Personnel Management will NOT be subject to the Smith Amendment.