Missouri Congressman Todd Akin
has introduced legislation which would restrict abortion coverage in President Obama's national health insurance law. Representative Akin's bill would prohibit coverage of elective abortions in multi-state insurance exchanges which were authorized under the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, regularly referred to as Obamacare.
Congressman Akin's bill, the Stop Abortion Funding in Multi-State Exchange Plans, otherwise known as the SAFE Act, has been co-sponsored by 60 members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
President Obama's health care bill authorized the establishment of insurance exchanges in every state. Policies sold by insurance companies through these exchanges would qualify for federal subsidies for low to moderate-income individuals. The federal subsidies authorized in the law would inevitably lead to the funding of health insurance plans covering abortions.
In addition, the law requires that any insurance company offering abortion coverage through insurance
exchange plans must collect an abortion surcharge. The Obama Administration recently announced that the abortion premium will be $1 a month. The law mandates that the abortion surcharge be collected from every policyholder in such plans regardless of the individual's age, gender, or physical condition.
President Obama's health insurance law allowed states to opt out of abortion coverage in the health insurance exchanges established in their states. Missouri is one of several states that did so through legislation sponsored by Senator Scott Rupp of Wentzville.
However, the new federal law also authorized multi-state insurance exchanges. It is expected that many major health insurance companies that have coverage areas spanning several states will choose to sell policies through multi-state exchanges. State abortion opt-outs would have no affect on such multi-state exchange policies. The only way abortion coverage can be halted in such multi-state plans is through an amendment to the President's health insurance law. That's what Akin's bill attempts to do.Charmaine Yoest
, President of Americans United for Life, cheered Congressman Akin's efforts. "The healthcare law signed by President Obama marked the
largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade
. But it is not too late to change course and prevent damage that the law will cause."
"We all remember the day in March of last year when House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told Americans 'We have to pass the healthcare bill so that you can find out what is in it.' What we have found is the law is a massive expansion of the taxpayers' involvement with the abortion industry," Yoest continues.
"We know that seven out of ten Americans do not want their tax dollars going to fund the abortion industry," Yoest adds. "We call on Congress to pass the SAFE Act and protect the majority of Americans who do not want to be entangled with abortion in the healthcare law."
Prior to the passage of President Obama's health care law, federal law banned any taxpayer support of
abortions through a statute known as the Hyde Amendment. However, Obamacare skirted the provisions of the Hyde Amendment by establishing a new scheme of abortion subsidy.
We commend Congressman Akin for taking a leadership role on this issue of grave concern for the pro-life
community. Regardless of the legality of abortion on demand, no citizen should be compelled to finance the killing of preborn children through their tax dollars. While it will be extremely difficult to pass Akin's bill through the U.S. Senate, it is hoped that a new Congress next year will adopt this critical pro-life measure, and that a pro-life President will be in office who can sign it.