“YES” on No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7)
Today, the House will vote on the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015 (H.R. 7). The bill, sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ) 51%, would establish a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal taxpayer funding of abortion and health benefits plans that include coverage of abortion, as well as prevent federal tax dollars from being entangled in abortion coverage under Obamacare.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is a good pro-life, pro-taxpayer bill that has earned Heritage Action’s support in the past. However, the merits of this bill do not justify the House’s refusal to consider the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 36)–a bill that would have saved 11,000 lives each year and had broad support among men, women, independents and all age groups, including millennials. The Republican-controlled House should bring this bill to the floor without delay and without watering it down.
Regarding H.R. 7, The Heritage Foundation notes Congress failed to apply longstanding protections against federal funding of abortion or abortion coverage to the totality of Obamacare, potentially allowing large taxpayer subsidies to flow to health plans that cover elective abortion. They explain, “taxpayers will now foot the bill for federal subsidies for the purchase of health plans on the exchanges… and some of those plans could cover elective abortion.”
Under Obamacare, individuals and families who live in states that allow abortion coverage on their exchanges could end up paying directly for coverage of elective abortions, possibly without their knowledge. Individuals enrolled in one of the federally subsidized exchange plans that cover abortion will be forced to pay a surcharge of at least $12 per year – and possibly much more – out of their own pockets. Many individuals and families who would otherwise object to paying for abortion coverage may not even be aware of the surcharge. Insurers are allowed under Obamacare to disclose the existence and amount of the abortion surcharge only at the time of enrollment, and that warning may be as little as a single sentence in a massive plan document.
Taxpayers should be protected against all funding of abortion and abortion coverage. Of course, to truly protect Americans’ freedom to purchase the health care plans that meet their needs and respects their values, Obamacare must be repealed. In the meantime, this legislation provides essential protections to federal taxpayers from being forced to fund abortion or abortion coverage.
Heritage Action supports H.R. 7 and will include it as a key vote on our legislative scorecard.