Pro-life website reveals abortion coverage in Obamacare plans
by Courtney Crandell
Posted 11/25/14, 10:45 am
Pro-life advocates published a new website Thursday that seeks to provide the transparency on abortion coverage that Obamacare insurance plans lack, the site’s authors say.
The website, Abortion in Obamacare, contains healthcare research conducted by the Family Research Council (FRC) and the Charlotte Lozier Institute. The organizations launched the site after a video surfaced of Jonathan Gruber, a key architect of Obamacare, calling the law’s lack of transparency a “huge political advantage.”
“By launching ObamacareAbortion.com we are attempting to do what the Obama Administration has not been willing or able to do for the 2015 new enrollment,” Arina Grossu, director of the FRC’s Center for Human Dignity, said during a press conference Thursday. “That is, to inform Americans about abortion coverage in Obamacare plans and expose the great difficulty in obtaining this information.”
The new website attempts to shed light on the confusion over abortion coverage. But even the site’s authors found that difficult to do. The site’s homepage says the information on the site is limited “by the Obama administration’s failure to make abortion coverage information easily available.” And some insurance providers were reluctant to divulge information. Assurant Health and FirstCare Health Plans in Texas refused to disclose information. United Healthcare in Rhode Island never returned calls about its abortion coverage, instead transferring researchers to its Medicaid/Medicare office.
“There is no transparency,” Grossu said. “Jonathan Gruber’s comments confirm what we knew about Obamacare all along.”
The bipartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report in September confirming the lack of transparency and the likelihood that taxpayer funding subsidizes elective abortions. The report found 1,036 of 2,098 subsidized plans in 27 states and Washington, D.C., cover elective abortions.
“People who sign up for plans with abortion on demand are paying for other people’s abortions under that plan through an abortion surcharge,” Grossu said. “Everyone … in all 50 states is being forced to subsidize others’ abortions through their taxpayer abortion funds.”
Obamacare originally required collecting separate payments—one for elective abortions and another for the remaining coverage. But the GAO report found the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) only required insurance companies to itemize the abortion charge. But the insurance providers interviewed for the GAO report haven’t complied with either the Obamacare or HHS requirements, according to Abortion in Obamacare.
“Healthcare consumers are therefore buying health insurance with little or no knowledge that they are purchasing abortion subsidizing plans,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., co-chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, said at the press conference. “When it comes to public funding for abortion, the new 2015 Open Enrollment is at least as bad, and probably worse, than last year.”
Obamacare violates the Hyde Amendment’s ban on federal tax dollars subsidizing abortion, Grossu said. Pro-life advocates have called for the passage of the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to give consumers better information and stop abortion coverage in subsidized insurance plans. In January, the House passed the bill, but it never made it through the Senate. The midterm election results gave Grossu hope the proposed legislation would finally get a hearing.
“Now is the time,” she said. “Let’s do this!”