Obama Administration Approves First Direct Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Through New High-Risk Insurance Pools

July 14, 2010 - 6:33 AM
Conservatives reacted furiously to reports that the Health and Human Services Department is giving Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new high-risk insurance pool that will cover any abortion that is legal in the state.
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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden react to cheers as they arrive in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 23, 2010, for the signing ceremony for the health care bill. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - If you want proof that President Obama's Executive Order on taxpayer-funded abortion was a sham, look no further than Pennsylvania, says House Republican Leader John Boehner (Ohio).
 
Boehner and other Republicans point to reports that the Health and Human Services Department is giving Pennsylvania $160 million to set up a new high-risk insurance pool that will cover any abortion that is legal in the state.
 
"The fact that the high-risk pool insurance program in Pennsylvania will use federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions is unconscionable," Boehner said in a statement on Tuesday.
 
“Just last month at the White House, I asked President Obama to provide the American people with a progress report on the implementation of his Executive Order, which purports to ban taxpayer-funding of abortions. Unfortunately, the President provided no information, and the American people are still waiting for answers."
 
President Obama pledged that under his health care plan “no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” 
 
In a May 13 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Boehner asked if her department has provided guidance to the states on how to implement the president’s Executive Order on abortion funding. Boehner also asked Sebelius if the new federal high-risk pools would exclude abortion coverage.
 
He says his questions remain unanswered.
 
"Millions of Americans care deeply about this aspect of the new law and its implementation, and no progress report is complete without detailed information about it,” Boehner wrote to Sebelius.
 
The conservative Family Research Council says the $160 million in taxpayer funds for Pennsylvania is the first known instance of direct federal funding of abortions through the new high-risk insurance pools.
 
The abortion funding for pool participants validates the arguments pro-life groups made throughout the health care debate – that taxpayer dollars will fund abortions, said Tom McClusky, senior vice president of the Family Research Council’s political action arm.
 
“For our efforts to remove the bill's abortion funding, we were called 'deceivers' by President Obama and 'liars' by his allies. Now we know who the true deceivers and liars really are,’ McClusky said.
 
"This action by the Obama Administration also exposes the worthlessness of President Obama's Executive Order that supposedly would prevent federal funding of abortion, but which both sides, including Planned Parenthood, agreed was unenforceable.
 
"While the American people deserve an apology from President Obama for his deception, we should only be satisfied when this Pennsylvania abortion funding is rescinded and the health care law repealed.
 
McClusky noted that the new health care law also includes $12.5 billion for community health centers, and $6 billion for co-ops, both of which can fund abortions.  And some people will use tax credits to help them pay for plans that cover abortion.
 
Even before it’s fully implemented, the Democrats’ health care plan “is already being exposed as a high-taxing, poorly thought-out, and taxpayer-funding-of-abortion monstrosity,” McClusky said.
 
Republican leader Boehner says House Republicans would codify the Hyde amendment, thus prohibiting all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion.  Under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage would not receive federal funds.