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The White House has subverted the rule-making process to ignore the Affordable Care Act’s (Obamacare) prohibition on citizens directly paying for abortion coverage through their health insurance plans.
The Federalist has reviewed a leaked document that shows President Joe Biden’s administration has circulated a final draft of a rule that will allow health insurance companies to charge everyone a premium that subsidizes abortion coverage. It will effectively rescind President Trump’s Exchange Program Integrity Rule.
“Less than two weeks after an already abbreviated period of time for the public to review and comment on the proposed regulatory change,” Mollie Hemingway wrote on September 16, “Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services circulated a draft final rule that violates the clear language of Obamacare in order to benefit Planned Parenthood and other corporate abortion interests.”
“The leaked document, dated August 10 and more than 300 pages long, was then sent to the Office of Management and Budget for final approval, according to multiple sources familiar with the federal rule making process,” The Federalist reported. “OMB posted confirmation of receipt August 19, a mere 50 days after the major rule change was first proposed to the public.”
Former officials with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) weighed in on the administration’s trickery.
“Are you paying for abortion insurance? Planned Parenthood and HHS want to make sure you never find out. Great reporting on HHS malfeasance,” tweeted Roger Severino, former Director of the Office of Civil Rights at HHS.
The Federalist spoke to a former insurance official with HHS who explained some of the problems.
“To me this signals that unfortunately [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] has already made up its mind about all of these complicated issues,” Randy Pate told The Federalist. The former Director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight said CMS “is rushing to finalize the rule without really considering the public comments and frankly without giving the public enough opportunity to weigh in on a number of controversial provisions.”
There have been 341 comments submitted on the rule with at least 70 directly commenting on the abortion regulation changes.
Commentators included the U.S. House Pro-Choice Caucus and 25 pro-life U.S. Republican senators.
“Abortion is not health care, and American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize it. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows taxpayer funding for exchange plans that cover abortion on demand, in violation of the principles of the Hyde Amendment,” the pro-life senators wrote in their public comment on the legislation.
The senators wrote Biden’s proposed rule “would flout the explicit statutory separate payment requirement and effectively interpret ‘separate’ to mean ‘together’ when it comes to paying for abortion coverage.”
Students for Life of America said that the actions by Biden show that he is a “tyrant.”
“Joe Biden is a President behaving like a tyrant,” spokesperson Lauren Enriquez told LifeSite via email. “His callous disregard for the freedom and lives of people he disingenuously swore to protect has been belied at every turn of his presidency.”
“Breaking from the administrative rules process in order to transfer taxpayer dollars from hardworking Americans into the bloody hands of the abortion industry is the president’s latest stunt in a long line of catastrophic leadership decisions,” Enriquez said.
The rule goes back to Obamacare’s origins
In order to pass Obamacare in 2010, President Barack Obama’s administration made a deal with pro-life Congressional Democrats that allowed taxpayer funding for abortion-covering plans but required health insurance companies to bill clients separately for abortion coverage.
A customer of Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS), for example, would pay one premium out of his or her paycheck for a health insurance plan.
Customers who wanted an abortion rider would have to write a separate check to BCBS, for example.
Now, that funding separation remains up in the air.
But despite the Obama deal with pro-life Democrats, Obamacare turned out to be a massive expansion of abortion. “The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that 1,036 of Obamacare plans sold in 2014 included abortion on demand,” the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the Family Research Council reported via their site obamacareabortion.com (emphasis in original). “Unfortunately, it took many months and a government watchdog report to finally identify the abortion-covering plans for 2014.”
“Since 2015 to present day, Obamacareabortion.com has reviewed each of the Individual and Family plans sold on the Obamacare exchanges in the states that allow elective abortion coverage in Obamacare plans.”
As the pro-life groups’ site explains:
For last year’s open enrollment period (2020), it was once again easier to find information about whether an Obamacare plan included abortion on demand due to new additional transparency regulations in 2016-2017. However, what is still not transparent is that individuals purchasing plans that include elective abortion are required to pay a monthly hidden abortion surcharge. Through the Obamacare-mandated abortion surcharge, a portion of each individual’s insurance premium for these plans goes into a separate fund used to pay for abortion on demand.