Rep. Smith: Most Obamacare Plans Violate Hyde Amendment

Michael W. Chapman | November 21, 2014 | 2:04pm EST
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( – At a press conference Thursday about a new website to help consumers shop for health insurance that does not pay for abortion, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) said that despite President Barack Obama’s promise to the contrary, the majority of policies offered through the Affordable Care Act violate the amendment prohibiting federal funding of abortion.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) spoke at a press conference on Nov. 20, 2014 at the Capitol to announce the launch of a website to help consumers buy health care policies connected to Obamacare that do no cover payment for abortion. ( Starr)

The Hyde Amendment, first passed by Congress in 1976 and added to appropriations bills each year since, “prohibits the use of federal funds for any health benefits coverage that includes abortion.”

“It is a massive violation of the Hyde Amendment and it is the largest increase in public funding for abortion ever,” said Smith, who was joined by officials from the Family Research Council (FRC) and the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), the organizations responsible for

“The Hyde Amendment makes it clear that no public funding for any insurance plan that includes abortion except in the case of rape, incest or the life of the mother,” Smith said. “So when the president said in his Executive Order that he will abide by the Hyde Amendment, the fact is that the insurance plans – and the GAO [Government Accountability Office] found over a thousand, 1,036, probably higher – are subsidizing abortion on demand with public subsidies and facilitation by the government.”

Smith said in New Jersey all 58 health care plans offered through the federal health care exchange subsidize abortion on demand.

“It couldn’t be clearer that it violates the Hyde Amendment and, again, I couldn’t say it stronger and I hope we’ve all said it: The president made a promise,” Smith said. “He broke it.”

In 2010, Obama signed an Executive Order stating that the ACA would follow the restrictions set forth in the Hyde Amendment.

“The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly created health insurance exchanges,” the executive order states. “Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. 300a-7, and the Weldon Amendment, section 508(d)(1) of Public Law 111-8) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.”

But in the four years since the ACA became law, it has routinely paid for abortions, according to a GAO report issued on Sept. 15, 2014 that revealed 1,036 health plans in 28 states that did not specifically permit or prohibit abortion-on-demand allowed “none-exception abortions.”

Human baby in the womb. (AP)

“The Obama Administration’s Department of Health and Human Services has repeatedly stonewalled members of Congress, pro-life groups, and the media when asked to address the dearth of transparency on abortion coverage,” Chuck Donovan, president of CLI said in announcing the new website. “The website unveiled today is a tool for pro-life consumers but it is not the best or final answer to a bad situation.”

“By launching we are attempting to do what the Obama administration has not been willing or able to do for the 2015 new enrollment, said Arina Grossu, director of the Center for Human Dignity at FRC. “That is, to inform Americans to find out about abortion coverage in Obamacare plans and expose the great difficulty in obtaining this information.

“As in 2014, the Obamacare exchange lacks transparency, often lacks abortion-free options for many Americans, and continues to fund coverage of elective abortion with taxpayer money,” Grossu said.

Smith and other pro-life advocates at the press conference urged the new Congress to pass two bills sponsored by Smith – the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act (H.R.3279) and the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R.7).

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