Tuesday, July 10, 2012: Debate on a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) will begin tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation will receive a bill number when it is formally introduced today, but the text is currently available online.
The Congressional findings included in the bill are well-worth the time it takes to read them. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and the other sponsors of this legislation succinctly outline the major defects with the Act. Of particular interest are the abortion-payment concerns included (findings (7) and (8)).
Action Item: Call or email your member of Congress and urge that he or she vote “yes” on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The vote to repeal is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.
(7) While President Obama promised that nothing in the law would fund elective abortion, the law expands the role of the Federal Government in funding and facilitating abortion and plans that cover abortion. The law appropriates billions of dollars in new funding without explicitly prohibiting the use of these funds for abortion, and it provides Federal subsidies for health plans covering elective abortions. Moreover, the law effectively forces millions of individuals to personally pay a separate abortion premium in violation of their sincerely held religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.
(8) Until enactment of the law, the Federal Government has not sought to impose specific coverage or care requirements that infringe on the rights of conscience of insurers, purchasers of insurance, plan sponsors, beneficiaries, and other stakeholders, such as individual or institutional health care providers. The law creates a new nationwide requirement for health plans to cover ‘‘essential health benefits’’ and ‘‘preventive services’’, but does not allow stakeholders to opt out of covering items or services to which they have a religious or moral objection, in violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (Public Law 103–141). By creating new barriers to health insurance and causing the loss of existing insurance arrangements, these inflexible mandates jeopardize the ability of institutions and individuals to exercise their rights of conscience and their ability to freely participate in the health insurance and health care marketplace.