Day After Midterms, Proposed Trump HHS Rule Attacks Abortion Portion of Obamacare
He hit the campaign trail hard for a number of Republican candidates and his breakneck pace in service has not stopped. The midterms are barely over and President Donald Trump is hard at work keeping his promises to America.
According to the Washington Examiner, another important swipe at dismantling Obamacare is taking place. And this one will have the pro-life crowd cheering.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a proposed new rule for Obamacare plan sellers. Under the proposed rule, insurers who sell Obamacare plans that include coverage for elective abortions would have to collect a payment for the abortion coverage separate from the rest of the payment.
Federal funding for abortion is prohibited under the Hyde Amendment.
However, pro-life groups said, under the Obama administration, payments for abortion coverage could be lumped into the overall payment, in effect making the abortion coverage part of the federally subsidized Obamacare plans.
As the Examiner reported:
“The rule is likely to provoke a clash with states such as California and Oregon, which obligate all insurers to cover abortions. It also is likely to receive backlash from Democrats, who refused to support a bill to shore up Obamacare earlier this year because it contained language that would have restricted the funding from going toward paying for medical plans that provide abortions.”
Pro-life groups hailed the potential change.
In a statement to LifeNews, Jennifer Popik, National Right to Life legislative director wrote, “While only comprehensive legislative reform can cure the multiple abortion-expanding components of Obamacare, today’s proposed rule from the Trump Administration sends a strong message that the federal government ought to get out of the business of paying for abortion until Obamacare can be replaced.”
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, also told to LifeNews in a statment that the change was welcome.
“Obamacare was the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion on demand since Roe,” she said.
“Then, the Obama administration went even further by allowing insurers to ignore the plain language of the law that said an abortion surcharge had to be collected separately. Instead, the Obama administration allowed the ‘separate’ abortion surcharge to be collected along with regular premiums, effectively defining ‘separate’ to mean ‘together.’
“Thanks to this trickery, millions of Americans have unwittingly purchased plans without knowing about the hidden abortion surcharge. Consumers deserve to know how Obamacare pays for abortion so they can avoid having their hard-earned dollars used to fund the destruction of innocent lives.
“Congress must still act to eliminate abortion funding from Obamacare, but until then, the rule issued today is an important step in the right direction.”
Some hold out hope that before the House of Representatives shifts to Democratic control in January, a number of bills can be passed by Congress that will continue to fulfill Trump’s promises to the American public.
Good news from HHS! “Consumers deserve to know how #Obamacare pays for abortion so they can avoid having their hard-earned dollars used to fund the destruction of innocent lives.” – @SBAList‘s @marjoriesba https://t.co/CtPrv0sEKp #ProLife
— LozierInstitute (@LozierInstitute) November 8, 2018
Interestingly, at the end of October, an opinion piece published by The Hill encouraged the Department of Health and Human services to do that very thing. The issue came up because a second enrollment period for Obamacare coverage was just days away.
Opinion article authors Dannenfelser and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, wrote, “Unfortunately, many consumers who sign up for coverage will end up paying a hidden abortion surcharge as a part of their monthly premium.”
They added, “Consumers purchasing these plans in the future deserve to know that they are paying a required abortion surcharge and taxpayers deserve to have the law requiring separate payment enforced.”
They also explained how widespread the problem was.
“In 2018, federally funded ObamaCare insurance plans in 24 states and the District of Columbia are permitted to cover elective abortion with an embedded abortion surcharge. In 10 of those states, more than 85 percent of ObamaCare plans cover abortion on demand, including seven states where every single ObamaCare plan for individuals and families covers elective abortion.”
The new rule could address that problem.
This change helps with transparency, which helps inform consumers about what they are paying for when making their choices. It enforces the rule of law and it informs the public at large, who may now ask what other hidden costs are in Obamacare that need to be eliminated.
All of this adds up to one more victory for the pro-life movement. It also is one more hit against Obamacare and Obama’s legacy.
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