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By Chuck Ring (GadaboutBlogalot ©2009 – 2010)
Quote Freely From The Article – Leave The Pseudonym Alone
We often rely on FactCheck.org to verify, find false or judge misleading statements and stories found on the internet. We posted an article yesterday which gave some credence to allegations that ObamaCare was to pay for abortions. The allegations surfaced when in spite of what is in the ObanaCare bill, Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Maryland reportedly started to implement a “high-risk” abortion pool that would have abortions in those states being paid for in part, by the federal government. When pro-life and anti-abortion supporters found out about the intent they raised a certain amount of dust. They started a campaign to publicize the Pennsylvania and New Mexico efforts and their campaign is what eventually caught the attention of FactCheck.org. With rumors flying from blog to blog and from television to print media, FactCheck set out to, what else … find the facts. This is some of what I found at one of their accounts on the subject posted on July 22, 2010:
The claim that the new federal health care law will use taxpayer funds to pay for abortions through “high-risk pools” originated when the National Right to Life Committee issued a press release July 13. It said that Washington had approved a new insurance program that “will cover any abortion that is legal in Pennsylvania.” Abortion foes also raised alarms about similar federally subsidized insurance pools being put together in New Mexico and Maryland.
FactCheck indicates that there might have been good cause to spread the alarm because of programs attempted by Pennsylvania, New Mexico and Maryland.
At issue here are insurance policies to be made available under a newly launched, federally funded program that provides coverage for high-risk uninsured people who have been turned away by private carriers.
We can see what caused abortion opponents to be concerned. An official solicitation issued by the Pennsylvania Insurance Department specified that abortions “will” be covered if they are legal under Pennsylvania law. And according to newsreports, a similar document in New Mexico listed “elective” abortions under “covered services.”
Perhaps those three states did not get the “memo” or they just tried to do whatever they desired. In any case, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) and two of the states decided to issues press releases denying that abortions which were prohibited under ObamaCare, would not be performed:
State and federal officials have since scrambled to clarify their intentions. Pennsylvania officials issued a statement on July 15 saying that for any abortions performed because of reasons other than rape, incest or a threat to the mother’s life, women “will have to pay for them out their own pocket.” And New Mexico backed down just as quickly, issuing a July 15 statement saying “elective abortion is not and has never been intended to be a benefit.
But that came only after federal officials — who control the money and write the regulations for the high-risk pools — stated on July 14 that no state policy would cover abortions except “in the cases of rape or incest, or where the life of the woman would be endangered.” Those are the only exceptions allowed by long-standing federal laws that broadly ban abortion coverage under the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plans covering federal workers and their families, and under most state-federal Medicaid programs.
FactCheck reported that abortion foes, according to other media sources and press releases, were able to claim a victory with this issue:
In reporting on the HHS statement, the Associated Press wrote: “Abortion foes have scored a victory.” The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement welcoming the policy.
USCCB: We welcome this new policy, while continuing to be gravely concerned that it was not issued until after some states had announced that pro-abortion health plans were approved.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee, who first raised the alarm over the Pennsylvania solicitation, cautiously approved the HHS statement. In a July 22 e-mail to FactCheck.org, he said:
NRLC’s Johnson: If HHS actually does what they say they will do, in the July 14 statement, then that would resolve the issue for this one component of the health care law — unless the courts get involved, which is certainly possible, since the statute does not dictate an abortion policy on this program.
Pro-Choice advocates hammered the HHS action, although ObamaCare supported the HHS position as it was finally disseminated. NARAL Pro-Choice America and the American Civil Liberties Union each released statements criticizing the move by HSS.
You can find more analysis and comment by FactCheck.org by clicking here. Here’s hoping that HSS and the many states do not attempt to sneak abortion coverage that is not contemplated, i.e., allowed into any of their programs.
Unless we have missed something in our search efforts, the FactCheck treatment seems current on the subject. If any reader has contrary facts or any information which tends to show “they” are at it again, please feel free to place it as a comment.