Morning Action: Abortion in Obamacare and the #BeTransparent Pro-Life TweetFest
ABORTION IN OBAMACARE. The Heritage Foundation explains that “Congress shouldn’t entangle tax dollars in providing abortions.” Yet, few people may realize that Obamacare “breaks a longstanding truce in the culture wars: that federal funds shouldn’t flow to abortion coverage.” That’s why today from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm EDT, pro-life conservatives and conservative organizations are promoting the #BeTransparent TweetFest to tell HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to be transparent about abortion coverage in Obamacare. Heritage notes:
The Obamacare insurance exchanges that entwine tax dollars and private dollars in covering abortion rest on the law’s foundation of inescapable mandates. Under Obamacare, the government mandates what benefits insurance companies must offer, employers must provide and individuals must purchase.
Taxpayers now will foot the bill for federal subsidies for the purchase of health plans on the exchanges that went live online Oct. 1, and some of those plans could cover elective abortion.
Heritage has also written on two pieces of House legislation that would increase transparency or remove abortion funding from federal law. However, they conclude:
But to truly protect Americans’ freedom to purchase health care that meets their families’ needs and aligns with their values, Obamacare must be repealed.
CANCELATIONS. Obamacare may result in nearly 1 million Californians losing their health insurance plans:
The head of California’s new health insurance exchange estimates that nearly one million Californians may see their health insurance plans disappear when the Affordable Care Act kicks in.
When they find new coverage, it is likely that it will cost them more because Affordable Care Act sets a floor for “essential benefits,” which drives up the cost of coverage:
The law sets a floor of “essential benefits,” such as maternity and dental care, caps out-of-pocket costs and bans insurers from denying coverage based on medical conditions, all features that can push up the cost of policies.
HARRY REID. Despite the fact that millions of Americans are losing their current health care plans because of Obamacare, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13%is still insisting that President Obama was correct when he repeatedly told Americans we could keep our health care plans if we liked them:
President Obama “didn’t say anything that was wrong. That’s true,” Reid said when asked whether Obama’s promises that Americans could keep their current health-care plans were misleading.
Describing what was happening to millions of Americans receiving cancellation notices, Reid said, “Insurance companies cancel plans. That’s what they do.”
Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia took a different view. Manchin said he was surprised at how many people’s plans were being canceled and said the problem needed to be fixed.
FARM BILL. House and Senate farm bill conferees will meet Wednesday:
House and Senate lawmakers responsible for writing a farm bill will gather publicly on Wednesday for the first time, a meeting expected to shed light on how quickly the conferees could strike a deal on the much-delayed legislation.
The 41 lawmakers are charged with merging farm bills passed this summer by the House and Senate into one piece of legislation, an arduous task highlighted by the $35 billion gap between the two sides on food stamp spending and the apparent reluctance of each side to budge from its position.
The Heritage Foundation has written a comparison of the two farm bills and pointed out the egregious flaws in each of them. Conservative legislation will not result from a merging of these two very flawed bills.
NOMINATIONS. The Senate is considering a number of President Obama’s nominations this week, and among them is the contentious nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt (D-NC) to be the top housing finance official:
The Senate is starting to churn through a series of nominations this week, but trouble remains for both Rep. Melvin Watt’s pick to be the nation’s top housing finance official and the first of three D.C. Circuit Court nominees to come to the floor.
The Heritage Foundation has explained why Mel Watt should not be confirmed; he has consistently “voted in favor of a large and growing government presence in the housing market, including support for the kinds of activities that precipitated and prolonged the housing crisis.”