WASHINGTON — Federal taxpayer funds could end up subsidizing tens of thousands of abortions each year through the health-care legislation that is going into effect, according to a new study.
“The issue of whether the Affordable Care Act creates streams of taxpayer funding for abortion has been hotly debated,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute. “Research done by the Lozier Institute makes clear that, through the multistate plans alone, Americans will be complicit in the deaths of thousands of unborn children each year through their tax dollars.”
The Lozier Institute is the education and research arm of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. Its report examines the Affordable Care Act’s multistate plans, which are present on the new health-insurance exchanges.
The institute estimates federal taxpayers will heavily subsidize between 71,000 and 111,500 abortions per year through federal premium tax credits and Medicaid expansion for subscribers to plans that cover abortion.
Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia allow health plans with elective abortion coverage in the health-insurance exchanges created by the 2010 law. Seventeen states permit state funds to cover the costs of elective abortion in their Medicaid programs.
These laws mean that about 5.57 million girls and women could gain abortion coverage under the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare” by both critics and supporters), through either the Medicaid expansion or the insurance exchanges created by the act.
During debate over whether to pass the health-care legislation, President Obama secured the support of several pro-life Democrats led by then-Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., by signing an executive order that confirmed the application of long-standing restrictions on elective abortion funding to the health-insurance exchanges.
However, critics of the executive order said at the time that it would not prevent federal subsidies from going to insurance plans that pay for abortion and are allowed on the health exchanges.
Donovan, the report’s author, said that the current multistate plans’ rules would allow the administration to push for the creation of health plans that cover elective abortions in states where they are not explicitly banned.
“A taxpayer may have an individual plan that does not cover elective abortion, but his or her tax dollars will be increasingly flowing to public and private plans in other states that reimburse for abortions at a higher rate than previously seen in American health care,” Donovan said. “Moreover, the ability to avoid the companies that sponsor these plans may decrease over time as they grow in size and continue to curry favor from a government that views abortion as a form of therapy.”
Donovan said that the Obama administration is paying Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the U.S., to direct consumers to abortion-funding plans in the multistate plans through the Center for Medicaid Services’ “Navigators” program. This could help enroll girls and women in plans that cover elective abortion and discourage them from enrolling in plans that do not.
The report prompted some members of Congress to criticize the Obama administration.
“The results of this study are a sad reminder that, despite assurances from the president when Obamacare was signed into law, this law will in fact result in the taxpayer funding of abortion,” said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn. “This staggering loss of precious human life is an abomination, and American taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill.”
Black said she would continue to fight against what she said is the Obama administration’s “reckless disregard for the sanctity of human life” and would work to end federal funding of abortions and abortion providers “once and for all.”