from Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life
I wanted to give you an update on where we stand on fighting abortion in health care reform and let you know what we can do together in this tough battle. This week, the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Montana) will report the latest health care bill out of committee, becoming the fifth Committee to reject language like the Hyde Amendment that would prevent federal funding and coverage of abortion..
The Baucus bill is completely unacceptable to pro-lifers. It requires the government to spend $6 billion establishing co-ops that could cover abortion. The bill would also enable individuals to receive refundable, advanceable tax credits to purchase health insurance that covers abortion, and require at least one plan in each premium rating area to cover abortion.
As I told President Obama’s top domestic aides at AULA’s White House meeting last month, only an explicit exclusion of abortion funding and coverage, can prevent administrative agencies and the courts from mandating abortion funding and coverage in health care legislation.
The abortion lobby keeps saying the Hyde Amendment takes care of our concerns: but the Hyde Amendment is attached to each year’s Medicaid funding bill and doesn’t apply to the new proposals.
Even worse, when an amendment like the Hyde Amendment was proposed last week by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), it was defeated by a vote of 10-13. The Committee also defeated an amendment by Sen. Hatch that would have prevented discrimination against any individual or organization that refused to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
Next, the Senate Finance Committee bill will be reconciled with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) health care reform bill in the Senate backrooms, while the House reconciles the amendments added in three different Committees to the House bill (H.R. 3200).
At this key moment in health care reform, your senators and congressman are hearing confusing rhetoric about abortion funding and coverage as debate moves from committee rooms to backrooms. They are being told by the Democratic leadership that the Capps Amendment added to H.R. 3200 and incorporated into the Senate Finance Bill is a pro-life compromise, when in reality it is a pro-abortion approach in disguise. You need to tell your congressman that the “Capps Amendment approach” is NOT a compromise and that only putting Hyde in Health Care will be acceptable.
We must fight for every last vote to get an absolute exclusion of abortion coverage and funding. This new administration has talked a lot about transparency, and Congress continues to talk about compromise, but no pro-life members of Congress have been invited to the discussion.
Also available is our pro-life analysis of the Capps Amendment, showing how the amendment, which has been touted by abortion advocates as a “compromise,” would actually mandate abortion coverage and allow federal funding to go to private insurance plans that cover abortion. And of course, much more information is available on our Web site RealHealthCareRespectsLife.com.
Many news sources are reporting that politicians are starting to fear the repercussions of offending pro-life voters especially after a new Pew Research poll shows that Americans’ support for legalized abortion has dropped dramatically since President Obama took office. You can make a difference by letting your elected representatives know you are among the millions of Americans who believes that “Real Health Care Respects Life.”