83 Days of Life: For pro-lifers concerned about transparency now is the time to trick and tweet (a primer)

As we speak Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is testifying before the House Energy and Commerce Committee at a hearing titled “PPACA Implementation Failures: Answers from HHS” (Click here to watch the hearing).  The hearing is to focus on the many issues that have become apparent since the “exchanges” or “marketplaces” established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became available on October 1. 

This hearing is a prime opportunity to draw attention to the taxpayer-funded abortion coverage in the ACA.  More specifically, you may wish to highlight the lack of transparency regarding abortion coverage. As explained more fully in the information below, it has become evident that it is very difficult for consumers seeking exchange plans to identify which, if any plans, on their state exchange exclude abortion. This is vital information for pro-life consumers in the 27 states that have not passed laws to exclude abortion coverage in their state exchange.  Since there is a mandatory monthly abortion surcharge included in the premiums for any plan that includes elective abortion, pro-life consumers will want to identify plans that exclude abortion.  However, the exchange websites do not indicate whether abortion coverage is included in each plan and the pricing information does not specify when the price includes the abortion surcharge.

In response to this lack of transparency, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has introduced the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R. 3279).  This legislation would require prominent, transparent disclosure of abortion coverage and the abortion surcharge (if applicable) for each plan on the exchanges. This legislation is a first step to addressing the serious problems with abortion funding in the ACA.  Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) has also introduced the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 7) which would eliminate the taxpayer subsidies for plans that include abortion on the exchanges. 

A “tweetfest” using #BeTransparent has been organized by Americans United for Life, the Susan B Anthony List and Stand True Pro-life Outreach to correspond with the hearing

For your convenience here are the Twitter handles of the Republicans doing the questioning today – please Tweet to them directly

@RepFredUpton

@RalphHallPress

@RepJoeBarton

@RepEdWhitfield

@RepShimkus

@RepJoePitts

@repgregwalden

@LEETERRYNE

@RepMikeRogersAL

@RepTimMurphy

@michaelcburgess

@MarshaBlackburn and @VoteMarsha

@RepPhilGingrey and @PhilGingreyMD

@SteveScalise

@boblatta

@cathymcmorris

@GreggHarper

@RepLanceNJ7

@BillCassidy

@RepGuthrie and @GuthrieKY02

@OlsonPressShop

@repcorygardner and @CoryGardnerCO

@RepMikePompeo

@RepKinzinger

@RepMGriffith

@RepGusBilirakis

@RepBillJohnson

@USRepLong

@RepReneeEllmers

And lastly from a pro-life friend here are some sample tweets:

Sample Tweets (#BeTransparent)

 

Tell #Sebelius to #BeTransparent.  Why won’t #Obamacare tell us which plans include abortion?

 

If u want to pick an #Obamacare plan without abortion, 2 bad b/c the exchanges won’t give you that information #BeTransparant

 

If u buy a plan with abortion, u have 2 pay a abortion surcharge, but #Obamacare won’t tell you which plans include abortion #BeTransparent

 

Tell Congress to #BeTransparent & pass #HR3279 so consumers can find out if they have to pay #Obamacare abortion surcharge

 

#Obamacare exchanges hide abortion surcharge.  Why won’t #Sebelius #BeTransparent?