- - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A September 2014 report by an independent government watchdog confirmed that Obamacare is replete with abortion on demand and that it is often nearly impossible for consumers to determine whether the plan they are considering includes elective abortion. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report detailed that over 1,000 Obamacare plans sold for 2014 include abortion on demand – including every single plan sold in my home state of New Jersey.

Now the 2015 Open Enrollment has been launched and it appears nothing has changed. Once again it is not clear which plans cover abortion and which do not. Once again, the abortion surcharge–required by law for any plan that includes abortion–is hidden from consumers. And once again many plans include abortion on demand.

While healthcare.gov does not indicate whether plans sold in New Jersey include abortion, I contacted each insurance issuer in my home state and discovered that every single plan sold in New Jersey includes coverage for all abortions. That means in New Jersey 58 out of 58 Obamacare plans include payments for painful abortions, and they are subsidized by federal taxpayer dollars.

A preliminary review also reveals it is likely that ALL plans in Hawaii, Vermont and Rhode Island also include abortion on demand. In the large states of California and New York once again the vast majority of plans include abortion coverage. As was the case in 2014, for 2015 taxpayers all over the nation are being forced to subsidize these abortion-covering plans.

Five years ago President Obama told lawmakers and the American public in a specially called joint session of Congress on healthcare reform that “under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.” (September 9, 2009) Then, in an 11th hour ploy to garner a remnant of pro-life congressional Democrats absolutely needed for passage of Obamacare, the President issued an executive order on March 24, 2010 that said: “the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges.”

Turns out that those ironclad promises made by the President himself are absolutely untrue.

Just recently news has spread that Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber said “Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter, or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical for the thing to pass.” Certainly that was the case regarding the massive subsidies for abortion plans in Obamacare, and the lack of transparency continues as the abortion funding is hidden on the exchanges.

Agree or disagree with public funding of abortion—a significant majority of Americans oppose it—but no one likes to be misled or deceived. And a growing number are recognizing that abortion is violence against children and hurts women. Abortion methods rip, tear and dismember or chemically poison the fragile bodies of unborn children. There is nothing benign, compassionate, or just about an act that utterly destroys a baby and often physically, psychologically, or emotionally harms the mother.

At its core, the Hyde Amendment has two parts. It prohibits funding for abortion and funding for any insurance plan that includes abortion except in the case of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother. In contrast, Obamacare allows funding for plans that include abortion.

Americans have raised serious concerns that they find it nearly impossible to determine whether the plan they purchase finances the killing of unborn children—there is little or no transparency. As the 2015 Open Enrollment begins, we have no reason to believe that the President’s so-called “most transparent government in history” will give consumers basic information about abortion coverage. In fact, Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Burwell won’t even answer questions about this issue. Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) and I, as well as other Members of Congress, sent a letter to the Secretary over three months ago and she still has not replied.

To end President Obama’s new massive funding of abortion on demand, we must pass my bill—the No Taxpayers Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) is the Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-life Caucus.

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