A jarring study from a pro-life think talk has found that tens of thousands of abortions may be subsidized by Obamacare, receiving funding from taxpayers through the healthcare law’s tax credits and Medicaid.
The report, conducted by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, examined how Obamacare’s health insurance exchanges will include multi-state plans that cover abortions beyond those required by the Hyde Amendment. According to the think tank, as many as 5.57 million girls and women will gain coverage for abortion under the Affordable Care Act, with between 71,000 and 111,500 abortions subsidized by Medicaid and tax credits each year.
“It could be argued that expanding private coverage of abortion will therefore have a small impact on the public subsidies for abortion, but it is by no means certain that today’s funding patterns will remain unchanged, as the heart of the abortion funding debate under ObamaCare, as with every other public program or private policy on the subject, is whether it represents a health practice or the unwarranted destruction of human life that is injurious to all involved,” Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, wrote in the report.
“ObamaCare’s conflicting policies represent a step, partial but by no means full, toward treating abortion as a basic medical treatment that should be no more controversial than dental hygiene or pap smears,” he continued.
As Donovan wrote in National Review, multi-state plans will be offered on both the federal and state-run exchanges, and those who opt to purchase the plans may be eligible to receive Obamacare’s highly touted subsidies.
The multi-state plans, offered virtually nationwide, do have one caveat. Twenty-three states ban elective abortion — or procedures not in the case of rape, incest and when the mother’s life is at risk — coverage. But, that still leaves 27 states and the District of Columbia that can include such coverage through premiums offered on their exchange.
And with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion — to states that sign on — 17 in total now fully fund abortions using the program.
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s report, between 71,000 and 111,500 abortions could be heavily subsidized by either Medicaid and plans offered in states allowing elective abortions.
“The number is split roughly 50-50 between abortions subsidized by the [abortion-covering state plans] in states that have not barred them from their exchanges and abortions newly reimbursable under Medicaid expansion in states that use their own taxpayer funds to underwrite them,” Donovan wrote in National Review.
He continues, noting that with the aid of pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood signing on as health insurance navigators, more girls and young women may be steered toward health plans that offer “comprehensive reproductive health care.”
“Another way to place this thumb on the scale, for example, would be through the “Navigators” program, a separate stream of ACA funding that Planned Parenthood and similar entities are receiving that could be diverted to efforts to enroll girls and women in MSPs that include elective abortion and to discourage them from enrolling in plans that omit it,” Donovan writes in the Institute’s report.
Planned Parenthood received a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services last month officially naming them as navigators. Such designation allows the organization’s employees to help Americans figure out which premiums are right for them and assist them in enrolling in both state- and federally run exchanges.
“…the implementation of ObamaCare could have a profound effect on the ability of millions of Americans to avoid participating indirectly in subsidizing abortions through public programs or quasi-private plans,” Donovan said, according to the Charlotte Lozier Institute’s report. “A taxpayer may have an individual plan that does not cover elective abortion, but his or her tax dollars will be increasingly flowing to public and private plans in other states that reimburse for abortions at a higher rate than previously seen in American health care.”
The Institute’s report has raised the eyebrows from at least one GOP member. Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), has worked to expose the public funding of abortions under Obamacare, and told Red Alert Politics the healthcare law incorrectly uses taxpayer dollars for such procedures.
“Taxpayer dollars should not be used for abortions. The Hyde amendment, which prohibited taxpayer dollars from being used for abortion, was the correct policy; unfortunately Obamacare weakens the Hyde amendment,” Cassidy (R-La.) said in an emailed statement to Red Alert Politics. “I will continue to work to make sure the rights of pro-life Americans are protected and they aren’t forced to fund abortions with their tax dollars.”
This report has been updated to include new information.