House Republicans have finally unveiled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) to replace the so-called “Affordable Care Act,” aka Obamacare. Life Legal has been sifting through the bill to determine how it would impact federal funding for abortionists, especially Planned Parenthood.
- The AHCA places a one-year ban on all payments to “prohibited entities,” which are narrowly defined as non-profit abortion providers that receive more than $350 million in federal taxpayer funding annually—i.e., Planned Parenthood. This means that, for one year, the nation’s largest abortion provider would not receive Medicaid reimbursement for any of its services. Medicaid reimbursements account for the lion’s share of the $550+ million Planned Parenthood receives each year from U.S. taxpayers.
- For AHCA purposes, any insurance plan that offers abortion coverage is not a “Qualified Health Plan,” meaning federal tax credits cannot be used to purchase plans that include abortion coverage. The Los Angeles Times reported that “virtually all health plans” in California would be ineligible for purchase with tax credits, pursuant to a state law requiring any plan that provides maternity coverage to include abortion coverage.
- Under the AHCA, small businesses can no longer receive expense credits for plans that include abortion coverage. They can, however, purchase separate add-on abortion coverage for their employees.
LIFE LEGAL’S ANALYSIS OF THE AHCA
- Planned Parenthood would lose approximately $490 million in federal funds, which represents about 38% of its total annual budget.
- No taxpayer funds will be used to pay for insurance plans with abortion coverage.
- The Planned Parenthood funding ban is only for one year. Also, other abortion providers will continue to receive state Medicaid reimbursement for abortions.
- Individuals and small businesses can still buy out-of-pocket abortion coverage.
The Republican-controlled Senate may not have enough votes to pass the AHCA with the pro-life provisions intact. House Republicans want to try to get the bill through the Senate using the budget reconciliation process, which only requires a simple majority of 51 votes. However, two of the 52 Republican senators—Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine—said they will not vote for any health care legislation that restricts abortion coverage. Unless one of them changes her mind, no pro-life bills or amendments are likely to pass the Senate during this term. It should be noted that Murkowski voted to defund Planned Parenthood in a landmark 2015 bill that contained the same defunding language as the ACHA.
Life Legal continues to track pro-life legislation, especially bills defunding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is currently under federal criminal investigation for selling baby body parts for profit and for violating health care privacy laws. The abortion cartel’s criminal behavior was exposed in a series of videos released by David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress (CMP). Life Legal represents Daleiden and CMP in two lawsuits filed by the National Abortion Federation and Planned Parenthood.
CALL TO ACTION!
- Contact your Senator today and let him or her know you want the provisions that 1) defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that is currently under federal investigation for fetal tissue trafficking other criminal acts, and 2) prohibit federal tax credits from being used for abortion coverage to remain in the AHCA.
- Contact Senator Murkowski to thank her for her 2015 vote to defund Planned Parenthood and to ask that she vote for the defunding provision in the AHCA.