Obamacare plans subsidizing abortions: GAO
"And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up — under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place." (Barack Obama, 2009 in speech before Congress)
The reality, according to a report by the Geneneral Accountability Office, is much different.
Investigators discovered that many states have no insurance plans that give the consumer an opt out on paying for abortion coverage. Other states offer plans that are confusing about abortion coverage. All in all, this is another Obama promise on Obamacare that has disappeared.
Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson (now a healthcare lobbyist) became the 60th vote for Obamacare after supposedly winning a compromise from his party on abortion coverage. Nelson explained it this way:
If you are receiving Federal assistance to buy insurance, and if that plan has any abortion coverage, the insurance company must bill you separately, and you must pay separately from your own personal funds ... for that abortion coverage.
The new GAO study shows that, instead, taxpayers are subsidizing abortions. Customers in five states have no abortion-free plans available to them, and in many states, customers can't tell which plans cover abortion and which don't.
In Washington State, for instance, the state's exchange bills customers on behalf of insurers — and the exchange covers abortion with federal tax dollars. The GAO found: "The exchange’s billing system was not assessing any premium to individuals whose premiums are fully subsidized under the law if these individuals are enrolled in QHPs that cover non-excepted abortion services."
In other words, some customers with abortion coverage were nevertheless getting their entire premium covered by federal tax credits. No accounting gimmick can disguise that this is an abortion subsidy. State officials told the GAO this was a mistake they would remedy.
In fifteen other states, there's not enough transparency to tell if this is going on. GAO wrote:
Fifteen issuers and the Washington Health Benefit Exchange ... did not itemize the premium amount associated with non-excepted abortion services coverage on enrollees’ bills nor indicate that they send a separate bill for that premium amount.
In a conference call with pro-life lawmakers Monday, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., said this indicates that abortion coverage isn't being assessed differently and is thus being subsidized through standard exchange subsidies.
Not only is Obamacare forcing taxpayers to subsidize abortion coverage, it is also making it impossible for pro-lifers to avoid buying abortion insurance — thus forcing pro-life people to pay into a pool that pays for abortions.
Where's the oversight that should have prevented this? If the IRS is going to judge which insurance plans are in compliance with Obamacare mandates - including, one assumes, the stricture against federal dollars being used to subsidize abortion - they're either not doing their job or just don't care about that aspect of coverage.
Remember the ridicule heaped on Obamacare opponents when they pointed out that you wouldn't be able to keep your plan; that you wouldn't be able to keep your doctor; that illegal immigrants would be eligible for coverage - all of which came to pass.
Add the crumbling of conscience protections against abortion to that list.