Tom McFeely is the National Catholic Register’s News Editor. He lives in British Columbia.
This title of this blog entry is a poke at CNN, which has posted a “CNN Truth Squad” analysis of the validity of various claims made about President Barack Obama’s health-care reform plan.
Curiously, CNN has neglected to assess the truth of Obama’s disputed claim that abortions will not be federally funded under the terms of his health-care reform plan — a claim he repeated in last night’s speech to a joint session of Congress.
So to help fill this “truth gap” in CNN’s coverage, here’s the Daily Blog’s verdict on the president’s claim of no funding for abortion: false — at least with respect to the version of the health-care reform bill that’s currently before the House of Representatives.
Here’s a summary of the facts about the matter, according to a press release by National Right to Life, which was issued following Obama’s speech last night:
In his address to a joint session of Congress tonight, President Obama said, “One more misunderstanding I want to clear up—under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions.”
Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, commented: “Barack Obama needs to learn that the mere repetition of a verbal formula does not change reality. The reality is that the Obama-backed House bill would explicitly authorize the federal government insurance plan to pay for elective abortions and would explicitly authorize subsidies for private abortion insurance—and all with federal dollars, which are the only kind of dollars that the federal government can spend.”
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) last week released definitive memoranda that demonstrate that (1) the “Hyde Amendment” would not apply to the new programs that would be created by the Obama-backed health bill, H.R. 3200, and (2) that all of the funds that would be spent on elective abortions under the bill, and all of the funds that would be spent to subsidize private insurance plans that cover abortion, would be “federal funds” in both the legal sense and in the sense in which those terms are used throughout the government.
“The claim that a federal agency would be spending private funds on abortion, not federal funds, is absurd on its face, a political hoax,” Johnson said.
To read a September 8 NRLC media advisory that summarizes these issues, click here. The advisory contains links to the detailed memoranda that disprove the “Hyde Amendment myth” and the “government will spend private funds on abortions myth.”