Kathleen Sebelius Distracts on Abortion Secrecy in Obamacare Plans
From the Hill:
As you may recall, in an October 30 appearance before the Energy and Commerce Committee, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius agreed to provide a list of Obamacare plans indicating whether abortion is covered. Specifically, Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) asked “Can you provide for the committee the list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer as part of their package abortion coverage?” Sebelius replied saying “I can do that sir…We should be able to do it…I know that is the plan, I will get that information…” (for more information about their discussion see below).
To date the Secretary has not provided the list discussed at the October 30 hearing. Today Secretary Sebelius appeared before the Health Subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee and Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) questioned her on why she has not provided the list. In an apparent backtracking from her October 30th commitment to provide a list, Sebelius told Rep. Shimkus that “every plan lists plan benefits and the one plan benefit that they must list by law is abortion services, so as a shopper goes on, I would highly recommend that they look in the plan benefits section…” When Rep. Shimkus pressed further pointing out that he had examples of summary of benefits documents that do not indicate whether or not abortion is covered, she replied “It is on the website…it is available…”
As many pro-life leaders have demonstrated it is nearly impossible to identify whether or not a plan includes abortion coverage. Specifically, numerous summary of benefits and coverage documents which can be viewed through www.healthcare.gov (an account is no longer necessary to review summary of benefits documents for plans by state) do NOT indicate whether or not abortion is covered. This NPR story published last month and titled “Which Plans Cover Abortion? No Answers on HealthCare.gov,” even concluded “But for now, at least in states where coverage is allowed, whether or not abortion is a plan benefit remains largely a mystery.”