Question from audience member: …health care plan that is covering abortion which we know that over 90% of abortions are purely elective, not medically necessary. Why is this being covered when abortion is clearly not health care?
Rep. Lofgren: [inaudible] basic benefit plan developed by, um, a health professionals [inaudible] that abortion will be covered as a benefit by one or more of the health care plans available to Americans and I think it should be.
This kind of admission coming from a U.S. lawmaker who supports the health care reform push is notable, because Planed Parenthood’s Cecile Richards wrote in the Huffington Post earlier in July that tax payer funded abortions in the health care bill was a “myth.”:
Myth: Taxpayer money would be used to pay for abortions in the public plan.
Reality: Opponents of reproductive health care are trying to make you think that the public plan is a government-funded health plan like Medicaid or Medicare — it is not. The public health insurance plan in the Exchange would operate like any private insurance plan would. Therefore, there is no reason to treat any coverage issue, including abortion coverage, differently in the public health insurance plan than in private plans in the Exchange.
This statement is designed to be confusing. Ms. Richards avoids pointing out that the exchange would still be managed by the federal government. The Heritage Foundation‘s Robert Moffit explains why the national exchange would become a tax-payer under-written entity:
With Congress fielding its own plan in competition against private health plans, taxpayers would be forced in effect to underwrite the marketing costs of an entity designed to displace their own private coverage. Based on recent experiences with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it is certain that Congress would force taxpayers to underwrite the cost overruns of such a health insurance enterprise no matter how unsuccessful its performance. Medicare alone, a prime example of congressional micromanagement, has an accumulated unfunded liability of $38 trillion. In a national health insurance exchange, taxpayers could be certain that the deck would be stacked against private-sector players in a game that is rigged from the start.
So how does abortion fit into the picture? President Obama wanted the national health insurance exchange to become a “watchdog” agency. The federal government sets the rules and other regulations on not just the public option but also the private insurance companies. Dr. Moffit said:
…the national health insurance exchange would serve as a regulatory rather than purely administrative body. It would be a national rule-maker and enforce a common set of rating and insurance rules that would apply to private health plans within the national exchange, as well as to the public health plan itself. It would also serve as the regulatory vehicle to enforce the decisions of his proposed “institute” to judge the comparative effectiveness of medical treatments and procedures.
Family Research Council’s Tom McClusky told the Washington Times that “There are just too many factors” that prove that tax payer funded abortion is in the bill.:
Every time an amendment was offered that would have prevented abortion funding, it was voted down in committee.
As for Ms. Richards’s assertion that the bill does not mention that abortion is to be funded by the tax payer, the Capps amendment, which was offered up by Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) in the House Energy and Commerce Committee was no “common ground” amendment as had been intended.
Ms. Capps, who was rated 100% pro-abortion with NARAL and zero out of 74 with the National Right to Life Committee, presented an amendment that was anything but a wink to to the abortion industry. The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack wrote:
They point out that the Capps amendment, in fact, allows the “public option” and federally-subsidized private plans to cover elective abortions. Taxpayer funds will pay for insurance policies that might make abortions cost $50 out-of-pocket instead of $500. But Ryan says “there will be a firewall between the public money and the private money,” and—on paper, at least—private funds will be used to pay abortion clinics. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) believes the Capps amendment is a “phony compromise,” according to his spokesman. “It’s one of the most deceptive amendments I have ever seen,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told me during a phone interview. “The bottom line is that money is fungible, and the plan itself will be subsidizing abortion-on-demand, with taxpayer funding commingled, and the numbers of abortions will go up significantly.”
FRC’s Mr. McClusky agrees with congressmen saying:
The Capps amendment was either cleverly written or very poorly written, but either way it would do much more than what Capps and others are saying it that would do and Tim Ryan and other pro-abortion politicians are saying it would do. It’s actually just further proof that abortion is in the bill by even putting the language in there. It would create a nationwide insurance program. It explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elected abortions, so any citizen who wants to take advantage of the public plan would be compelled to purchase coverage for abortion on demand. It goes into a pool…a fungible pool, but its a pool that’s subsidized by the federal government.
Planned Parenthood and their allies in Washington D.C. may believe they can use the clever strategy of misdirection to hide their agenda, but even magicians who palm their cards must eventually show their hand.