Sen. Mike Johanns today sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for more information on the Administration’s plan to prevent high risk health insurance pools from subsidizing abortions.
“I'm shocked by reports that the Administration approved a Pennsylvania plan to allow government-run health insurance to cover abortions,” said Johanns. “During the health care debate, the President not only promised taxpayers they would not be forced to pay for abortions, he issued an executive order saying as much, which must now be fully enforced by the Administration. My letter asks Secretary Sebelius how HHS will fulfill the President’s promise and ensure taxpayers are not subsidizing abortion.”
• Language recently approved by HHS regarding the government-run high risk health insurance pool in Pennsylvania appears to open the door to federal funding of abortions. “Abortion opponents are warning that abortions will be covered in some new government health care programs for people who have been denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions, despite an order signed by President Obama forbidding the use of federal money for the procedure.” (New Health Care Law Raises Questions On Abortions, USA Today, 7/15/10)
• Throughout the health care debate, President Obama repeatedly assured the American public that there would be no public funding for abortions due to the new health care law. “And one more misunderstanding I want to clear up -- under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place.” (President Obama, Speech to Joint Session of Congress, 9/9/09)
• While signing the health care law, President Obama issued an executive order specifically barring federal funding of abortions. “The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services.” (President Obama, Executive Order, 3/24/10)
A copy of the letter can be found here.