Obamacare Would Make Public and Private Insurance Plans Cover Abortion
6:32 PM, Jul 20, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In July 2007, presidential candidate Barack Obama told a group of Planned Parenthood activists that he would require coverage for abortion in both his public plan and in private insurance plans:
Contacted afterward by the Chicago Tribune, an Obama spokesman said that "reproductive services" included abortions. Now, Obama plans to follow through on this campaign promise without taking the political hit for this deeply unpopular proposal.
On Fox News Sunday yesterday, Peter Orszag wouldn't say whether or not Obamacare would cover abortions. The New York Times follows up with a decent story today on the subject, noting that the debate about abortion coverage:
Fat chance that the "medical professionals" selected by Obama and Kathleen Sebelius will prohibit funding for elective abortions. The Senate health committee passed the Mikulski amendment that requires insurance companies to contract with providers that include organizations like Planned Parenthood, and defeated Sen. Hatch's amendment to prohibit funding for abortions.
In this YouTube video, a House Ways and Means Committee staffer explains to Rep. Paul Ryan that the House bill would prohibit private insurance companies from signing up new customers outside of the federal government's health care "exchange". (See Tom Maguire for more on this subject.) So, inevitably, Obamacare would require both the public and private insurance companies to cover abortions.
But Obama and his administration are trying to do everything they can to obscure this fact. Asked at today's press briefing if Obama should support an amendment to prohibit abortion funding in order to achieve his oft-stated goal of reducing the number of abortions, Robert Gibbs said that "the President and this administration agree that that's -- a benefit package is better left to experts in the medical field to determine how best and what procedures to cover."
Why is President Obama no longer willing to say explicitly, as he did in 2007, that his plan should mandate abortion coverage? Does Obama really think it's possible to simultaneously subsidize abortions and reduce the incidence of abortion?