Maryland Becomes Second State to Offer Federally Funded Abortions under Obamacare

Matt Cover | July 16, 2010 | 4:17pm EDT
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President Barack Obama makes a statement on financial reform and Wall Street, Thursday, May 20, 2010, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

( - Maryland will join Pennsylvania as the second state to use federal tax dollars to pay for abortions under the new health care law signed by President Barack Obama in March, according to information released by Maryland’s State Health Insurance Plan.

Maryland will receive $85 million in federal funds for its federally mandated high-risk insurance pool, which will cover abortions. As reported on July 14, Pennsylvania will receive $160 million in federal funds for its high-risk insurance pool, which will also cover abortions.
During the debate over the health-care bill, President Obama delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress, saying: “Under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”
The day the House voted to pass that bill, President Obama also signed an executive order purporting to prevent federal funding of abortions in the programs it created.

Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.), the chairman of the House Republican Conference, said Friday that the fact that Maryland will now use federal dollars to fund abortions under a program mandated by the health-care law signed by President Obama represents a “broken promise.

"This is one more example of a broken promise in ObamaCare,” said Pence. “It is morally wrong to end an unborn human life and it is reprehensible to take taxpayer dollars from millions of pro-life Americans and use them to pay for abortions.”

Pence urged Congress to enact new legislation to stop abortion funding through the health-care law.
"I call on Congress to act quickly on critical legislation by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA) to stop the administration from using ObamaCare to fund abortions."
In a July 7 press release, the sate of Maryland announced that it had reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to offer federally subsidized insurance plans to people with pre-existing conditions as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—the health-care law signed by President Obama in March.

Under the terms of that law, either HHS itself or state governments contracting with HHS must offer such plans in each of the 50 states to people with pre-existing conditions. These plans must operate until 2014 when all states are required under the law to run insurance exchanges that will offer federally subsidized insurance plans to state residents earning less than 400 percent of the poverty level.
Maryland said it will use its existing high-cost insurance pool--the Maryland Health Insurance Plan (MHIP)--to administer the federal high-risk plan, which it calls the MHIP Federal Plan.

The press release, issued by MHIP, said Maryland will receive $85 million in federal money to administer this plan and pay claims. 
According to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) fact sheet published by MHIP, its new Federal Plan will offer the same benefit package as its state-funded plans. “The MHIP Federal Plan offers the same benefit package as other MHIP plan options,” that document states. All five of MHIP's plans cover abortion, including one plan that requires no co-pay if the abortion is performed at an out-patient abortion clinic, according information found on page 53 of the 2010 MHIP Certificate of Coverage.
Maryland’s federally subsidized plan for people with pre-existing conditions will be available in September 2010.
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