Boehner: Senate Health Plan Subsidizes Abortions

Tuesday, 22 Dec 2009 09:51 AM

By Dan Weil

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House Republican Leader John Boehner, Ohio, says Senate Democrats’ healthcare bill doesn’t keep federal money from financing abortions, as they claim.

“Fixed it is not,” Boehner writes on his web site.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, D-Nev., latest healthcare ‘manager’s amendment’ would still levy a new ‘abortion premium’ fee on Americans under the Democrats’ healthcare plan.”

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The amendment doesn’t prohibit abortion coverage for federally subsidized plans participating in the insurance exchange, Boehner says.

“Instead, the amendment includes layers of accounting gimmicks that demand that plans participating in the exchange or the new government-run plan … must establish ‘allocation accounts’ when elective abortion is a covered benefit,” Boehner writes.

“Everyone enrolled in these plans must pay a monthly abortion premium, and these funds will be used to pay for the elective abortion services.”

To be sure, the bill does allow states to opt out of the requirement is they pass laws to prohibit insurance coverage of abortion, Boehner writes.

“But it’s a sham because it does nothing to prevent one state’s tax dollars from paying for elective abortions in other states.”

Boehner isn’t the only abortion opponent upset with the Senate bill.

National Right to Life Committee legislative director Douglas Johnson said in a statement, “The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems.”

But abortion opponents can take heart. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., and about 40 other Democrats in the House made their support for healthcare reform contingent on a strong anti-abortion provision.

So a bill without such a provision is unlikely to gain final approval in the House, let alone the Senate.

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