Roundup: Abortion and Health Care, Part 327

Beth Saunders

The health care reform lawsuit brought by nineteen states against the federal government opened yesterday, and the anti-choice press is all over it. Plus another county removes abortion from a health care plan.

States who opposed the health care reform bill are having their day in court. Oral arguments began yesterday in the federal lawsuit brought by nineteen states against the federal government over the health care bill.

The plaintiffs, the states, argue that the health care law illegally requires all citizens and legal residents to have health care coverage or pay a tax penalty, which they say is a violation the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The plaintiffs also say the law runs afoul of the states’ rights guarantee in the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Also joining the suit: the National Federation of Independent Business and Florida residents Mary Brown and Kaj Ahlburg.

The defendant, the U.S. Justice Department, counters that overturning the health care law would unduly expand judicial review of Congress and other government branches. More specially, the DOJ argues that Congress has the power to determine how federal money appropriated for Medicaid may be spent and can give states an option of setting up their own health exchanges or having the federal government do so.

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And could not be more excited about it! They explain the anti-choice interest in the lawsuit:

Under the ObamaCare health care bill, there is no ban on abortion funding. While some states can opt out of funding abortions under the plan, taxpayers in other states will be forced to pay for them.

But the bill contains other pro-abortion problems that are concerns for pro-life advocates.

The bill requires that at least one health care plan be promoted across the country that pays for abortions, more abortion funding would come via the affordability credits, and many of the so-called limits on abortion funding in the Senate bill are temporary and could expire or be overturned at a later date.

The Senate health care bill also pays for abortions under the Indian Health Service program.

And it contains the Mikulski amendment that would allow the Obama administration to define abortion as preventative care and force insurance plans to pay for abortions.

Finally, the Senate bill does not contain language needed to offer full conscience protection for pro-life medical workers and facilities.

And while we are talking about abortion in health care, county employees in Kent County, MI, may soon lose that coverage in their health care plans.

A county commission panel (the Legislative and Human Resources Committee) voted unanimously today to ask the county’s 13 labor unions to voluntarily give up abortion coverage.

Commissioner Stan Ponstein says it’s not a question of money. He says it’s a question of ‘right or wrong’.

“I think in the county we live,” says Ponstein, “I think the majority of taxpayers, obviously the majority of commissioners, feel that this is something that shouldn’t be in the plan.”

Kent County’s 13 labor unions currently have a choice of two health care plans. One plan includes coverage for elective abortions. The other plan does not.

The commissioners directed Kent County’s county administrator to make the abortion coverage an issue in future contract talks with the unions that don’t voluntarily agree to drop the coverage.

Mini-Roundup: “Choose Life” license plates are now available in Delaware.

Sep 14

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