politicians who have long opposed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are now focusing on the health insurance plans of Congress members, saying the federal health-care law will result in the government funding abortions.
Members of Congress and their staff will eventually use the same state-based health insurance programs that other people in the United States will be able to access under the ACA.
Some of those state plans may offer customers the option of having abortion covered as a medical procedure. Conservative politicians argue that such a move would go against the Hyde Amendment, under which abortion can only be covered using federal funds if the pregnancy is the result of sexual assault or threatens a pregnant person’s health.
“Under this scheme, [the government] will be paying the administrative costs,” Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) told the Washington Post. “It’s a radical deviation and departure from current federal law, and it’s not for all federal employees but for a subset: Congress. Us.”
the government inadvertently funding abortion procedures are also present in a new push against Planned Parenthood, with Congressional GOP leaders expressing “concern” over the reproductive health organization’s involvement in helping patients enroll in health insurance programs. For many uninsured Americans who don’t have a primary care provider, visiting Planned Parenthood clinics may be their only way to access health care, and the administration has allocated grant money for some affiliates to help enroll those patients into new open insurance plans.
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According to some Republican lawmakers, that
means the government is funding abortions. “Money is fungible,” Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) told Fox News. “And so how can we be assured that the money that is being given—when each of these affiliates are required to have abortion services in every one of their clinics—how do you separate that money?”
Planned Parenthood is regularly audited to ensure compliance with all restrictions, and as the International Business Times notes, it has been repeatedly investigated by anti-choice politicians, who have yet to find any instances in which the organization has used federal money to fund abortions.