The Heritage Foundation recently published a backgrounder on the various loopholes of Obamacare that Americans are being subjected to. The most outrageous is taxpayers’ funds being used to fund abortion coverage on state exchanges while also having to pay an abortion surcharge with private dollars. The Heritage Foundation contends that Americans should be able to choose their own coverage that is tailored to their health needs while also not getting in the way of their beliefs.
Every year since 1976, Congress has attached the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortion, to the appropriations bill for HHS. In the case of the Affordable Care Act, Congress failed to attach the Hyde Amendment to the law and thus, Obamacare allows taxpayer subsidies to flow to health plans that cover elective abortion. By 2017, federal law will mandate every insurer offer a plan that does not include abortion coverage, but the law provides for no opt-out plan if a family or individual wants to buy a particular plan and not include the abortion coverage. Even more troubling is the idea that many families may not even know they are actually paying for abortion coverage. The ACA requires insurers to notify enrollees only at the time of enrollment, which would likely one sentence buried be in a massive document.
Those living in states (and Washington D.C) that have no opt-out laws whatsoever have very little recourse when it comes to obtaining health coverage other than signing up through the Federal Exchange, assuming there are plans that meet their needs. It puts many Americans in the dilemma of choosing between their beliefs or getting health coverage. Fears of low enrollment has led the government to enlist scores of community organizers to sign up people for health coverage – including local Planned Parenthoods, the largest abortion provider in the nation.
Congress can still do many things to offer protections to citizens so that do not have to pay for abortion coverage they do not condone, or need. The Heritage Foundation advocates the following measures:
States should prohibit abortion coverage on their exchanges
Congress should permanently prohibit federal abortion funding
Congress should protect the right of conscience
Defund and repeal Obamacare