More Abortion Distortion in Obamacare

Nathanael BennettNATHANAEL BENNETT, ACLJ

From day one, we have warned that the real danger of Obamacare is not in the 2,700 pages of its text (as bad as they are), but in the hundreds of thousands of pages of rules and regulations that would flow out of that text.  This week provides yet another example of that danger, and it is in the form of hidden abortion coverage and funding.

As we have explained before, the Obamacare law contains a scheme in which countless insurance plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges include abortion coverage.  Because these plans are federally subsidized, this scheme is a direct violation of federal law (known as the Hyde Amendment) that prohibits federal dollars be used for abortion.  In an attempt to circumvent this law, an “abortion surcharge” was included in the Obamacare scheme, allegedly setting up a process where the abortion portion of the plans would be billed and charged separately.  But predictably, even this fig leaf was revealed to be a fraud when the original regulations for this provision permitted insurers to disguise the abortion surcharge and collect the entire premium together.

Now comes yet another proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that attempts to further hide and distort the truth about abortion funding in Obamacare.  When printed out, this proposed rule is 324 pages long, and buried on pages 200-202 (Sec. III.H.Part 156.3.g) is additional “guidance” on how insurers should administrate the abortion surcharge.  In fairly brazen fashion, the proposed rule specifically states that insures do not in fact have to collect the abortion surcharge separately or even list it on the monthly bill.  In fact, so long as the existence of this abortion surcharge is listed in the fine print at the time of enrollment, the insurance company may continue collecting this abortion surcharge each and every month without ever listing or itemizing it again.

As if millions of Americans being forced to fund abortion coverage was not bad enough, the result of this rule would be that millions of Americans would fund that abortion coverage without even knowing it.  It is not only a violation of federal law, but also an unconscionable violation of the American People’s trust.

Given the recent disdain for the American People shown by the masterminds of Obamacare, I suppose this sleight of hand is to be expected.  However, the American People are far from stupid and can see this for exactly what it is – nothing but the latest move to keep abortion as a pillar of Obamacare.

The ACLJ will be filing comments in opposition to this proposed rule.  While the presence of the abortion surcharge is unacceptable on its face, the idea that it will now be even further hidden from the view of those who wish to avoid it is simply beyond the pale.


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Nathanael Bennett is the Director of Government Affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), as well as the Main Representative to the United Nations in New York, NY for the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ). He also assists the ECLJ in its work before the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland. In his current capacity, Bennett represents the ACLJ in matters involving Congress and the Executive Branch. This includes serving as a liaison when the ACLJ and Members of Congress share an interest in an issue before the court.


Used with the permission of the American Center for Law and Justice.