Yesterday, Republican Leadership in the House of Representatives introduced their massive end of year spending bill, called by some a “CROmnibus.” The bill is a disappointment in that it doesn’t give teeth to any pro-life issues that need immediate attention, such as states like California forcing Christian entities to pay for abortions. However, it does offer instructions to the Obama Administration on issues of transparency in regards to abortion within the health law commonly known as Obamacare.
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This legislation is a prime opportunity to draw attention to the taxpayer-funded abortion coverage in the ACA; specifically, the lack of transparency regarding abortion coverage. 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.
The CROmnibus includes the following language concerning Obamacare abortion transparency provision:
Transparency in Health Plans.-The agreement directs the Secretary to provide
additional clarification to qualified health plans, based upon relevant and related
GAO findings, to ensure greater consistency and full transparency of coverage
options included in health insurance plans prior to plan purchase in the
marketplace enrollment process. The agreement requests a timeline for such
clarifying guidance to be submitted to the House and Senate Committees on
Appropriations within 30 days after enactment of this act.
If the CROmnibus passes this week, it will likely be months (if ever) before the Obama Administration actually complies with the request. However, thanks to the work of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Family Research Council, consumers don’t have to wait as long. Last month, the groups launched a new website to expose which health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges cover and do not cover elective abortion for the 2015 enrollment period.
The website, ObamacareAbortion.com, is a joint effort between the two groups. Researchers have examined new plan documents, contacted insurance carriers and the exchanges seeking plan information. They also reference the 2014 Government Accountability Office report that provided a list of 1,036 plans that covered abortion on demand and were eligible for federal tax subsidies in 2014. This new online tool will aid Americans who want to make fully informed healthcare decisions and avoid inadvertently purchasing a plan covering abortion on demand. Be sure to check it out.