(Don Nelson) – Despite claims to the contrary, President Barack Obama, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid all know that the Senate Health Care Bill under consideration is a massive abortion funding and subsidization bill that will radically change the long standing widely accepted public policy of not using government funds for abortion.
They also know that the Hyde Amendment will not apply to government funding of abortion through health care. Hyde is a yearly rider that prohibits abortion funding through Medicaid. The Reid bill is not abortion neutral, will increase abortion access at government expense and does not contain adequate conscience protections.
Ten Ways The Reid Bill Funds Abortion:
1. It directly funds community health care centers, of which Planned Parenthood would be a beneficiary. $11 billion has been set aside for community health care centers with no restrictions to prevent abortion coverage. Abortion advocates are already discussing how these centers can use these funds to pay for abortion and are campaigning for these centers to perform abortions.
2. The Reid bill subsidizes health care plans which cover abortion. These plans will cover tens of millions of people.
3. Massive pools of money are appropriated with no abortion restrictions. National Right to Life says “The Senate bill contains additional pools of directly appropriated funds that are not covered by any limitations regarding abortion, including $5 billion for a temporary high-risk health insurance pool program (Sec. 1101 on pages 45-52) and $6 billion in grants for health co-ops (Sec. 1322, pp. 169-180).”
4. Bureaucrats are granted authority to force health care plans to cover abortion. It does not mandate that they do so, but it gives them the authority. Its hard to see how a president like Barack Obama, who opposed protections for children born during an abortion and promised Planned Parenthood that abortion would be part of health care, would not appoint someone to mandate abortion coverage. The Mikulski Amendment to the Reid bill would require insurers to cover any preventative service. Abortion will be defined as a preventative service and private health care plans will be forced to cover abortions.
5. Plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program will be allowed to cover abortion. No federal plan is currently allowed to cover abortion.
6. There is no restriction on abortion in the Indian Health program.
7. Restrictions related to direct funding (not to be confused with subsidies) of abortion are attached to the status of the Hyde amendment. These restrictions on direct funding will remain in place as long as the Hyde amendment, which bans funding of abortions through Medicare, continues to be reauthorized every year. These restrictions will disappear if the Hyde amendment is not reauthorized.
8. There’s an abortion mandate. At least one subsidized health care plan in every area will be required to cover abortion.
9. Enrollees in government subsidized insurance plans will be required to pay an abortion surcharge whether or not they agree with abortion. If an employer CHOOSES that plan, employees must take it or leave it.
10. The Reid bill allows states to opt out of abortion covering plans, but even where that may happen, residents of those states will still be required to pay for abortions in other states.
Obama, Pelosi and Reid’s insistence that the health care bill is not about abortion, is not an abortion bill, that the status quo on abortion will not change and that there will be no funding of abortion shows a callous disregard for the truth and open contempt for the public.
(Mr. Nelson is president of Nevada LIFE)