By Connie Hair
The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is providing $160 million to the state of Pennsylvania to set up a new high-risk insurance pool program that pays for abortions, as part of a larger $5 billion commitment of taxpayer funds that will include abortion coverage for over 400,000 people nationwide.
“This is the boldest admission yet from the Obama administration that the President’s Executive Order on taxpayer-funded abortion was a sham. The fact that the high-risk pool insurance program in Pennsylvania will use federal taxpayer dollars to fund abortions is unconscionable,” said House Republican leader John Boehner.
Steven Ertelt reports on LifeNews.com that HHS has approved the program in Pennsylvania that will soon spread to other states paying abortions nationwide.
From the report:
[HHS] has quietly approved a plan submitted by an appointee of pro-abortion Governor Edward Rendell under which the new program will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.
“The Obama Administration will give Pennsylvania $160 million in federal tax funds, which we’ve discovered will pay for insurance plans that cover any legal abortion,” said Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee.
Johnson told LifeNews.com: “This is just the first proof of the phoniness of President Obama’s assurances that federal funds would not subsidize abortion — but it will not be the last.”
The pro-life community strongly opposed the executive order and said Rep. Bart Stupak and other House Democrats who voted for the pro-abortion health care bill in exchange for it were selling out their pro-life principles. This first case of forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions under the new law appears to prove them right that the bill language and executive order were ineffective.
Boehner has led the effort to require President Obama to keep his word that no tax dollars would be used to fund abortions. Holding the president to his word is a tall order.
“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,” Boehner said.
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.” Boehner raised several questions in a May 13 letter to HHS Secretary Katherine Sebelius about the federal funding of abortion plans.
Some of the unanswered questions raised in the letter:
• Has the Department provided guidance to states to implement the president’s Executive Order on abortions?
• When does the Administration expect to issue the directive on abortions?
• Will the new federal high-risk pools touted by the Administration also ensure that abortions will not be covered?
• 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.
“House Republicans are fighting to repeal this life-threatening law and replace it with responsible solutions focused on lowering costs and expanding access to quality, affordable care while protecting the dignity of all human life,” Boehner said. “The Republican plan would codify the Hyde amendment and prohibit all authorized and appropriated federal funds from being used to pay for abortion. And under the Republican plan, any health plan that includes abortion coverage may not receive federal funds.”