Welcome to Biggs' Freedom Fridays
January 18, 2019 – Protecting Taxpayer Dollars from Funding Abortions
What is the problem?
Under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, health plans that cover elective abortions are required to collect a separate payment (sometimes called an abortion surcharge) from each beneficiary and deposit the funds into a separate account to fund the abortions. The intent of the law was for the funds to be collected and held separately.
After Obamacare became law, the Obama Administration ruled that health plan providers could send one monthly invoice that does not separately identify the surcharge for abortion services. This false interpretation of the law created a hidden abortion surcharge on many health care plans across the nation.
Why is this a problem?
The Obama Administration’s actions were unjustifiable: the requirement of the law was straightforward, and the congressional intent was clear.
The longstanding Hyde Amendment prohibits federal health care dollars from funding elective abortions and insurance plans that include elective abortions. However, many beneficiaries receive a federal subsidy to help cover the cost of their health care plans. If insurance providers do not collect the abortion surcharge and hold it in a separate fund, taxpayers have no method to ensure federal funds are not being used to pay for elective abortions.
What are we doing about it?
On January 8, I joined several members of the pro-life caucus in sending a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Azar in support of a new proposed rule that will restore congressional intent and ensure that the abortion surcharge can no longer be hidden in Obamacare insurance plans. I am grateful to the Trump Administration for standing up for the most vulnerable among us and protecting taxpayer dollars from being used to pay for abortions.
I have also cosponsored several pieces of legislation that would fully prevent taxpayers from subsidizing abortions or funding organizations that promote abortions. I am fully committed to protecting the sanctity of life and will continue fighting for pro-life policies in Congress.