If Supreme Court Strikes Down ObamaCare’s Mandate, Pro-life Concerns Still Remain
Here is a sampling of abortion-related issues that will likely remain unless the entire “Affordable Care Act” (ObamaCare) law is struck down. Note: This list is not exhaustive. New pro-life concerns continue to arise as the regulatory details of the law continue to unfold.
- Taxpayer funding for abortion coverage through the exchange premium assistance credits—complete with an abortion surcharge and secrecy clause. This problem would only be addressed if the premium assistance credits are struck down.
- The abortion surcharge and secrecy clause established in Section 1303 were added as the mechanism for abortion funding under the Affordable Care Act. Any subsidized plan that includes abortion will charge a surcharge of at least $1 per person to go into an abortion fund, and insurance companies are only allowed to disclose the surcharge at the time of enrollment. This problem is only addressed if the premium assistance credits are struck down.
- Multi-state plans run by the federal Office of Personnel Management and subsidized, in part, by taxpayer subsidies, will still be allowed to cover abortion (except one must not include abortion as required in the ACA). This problem would only be addressed if Court strikes down the multi-state plan option (Section 1334).
- Preventive services mandate. This mandate is currently being used to mandate sterilization and contraceptive coverage including the morning-after-pill. In the future it could be used to mandate surgical and RU-486 abortion coverage. This problem would only be addressed if the provision requiring all plans to cover preventive services (Section 2713) is struck down.
- Funding for abortion training not excluded from the Teaching Health Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program. This problem is only addressed if the Court strikes the program. (Section 5508 – Increasing Teaching Capacity.)
- Possible future abortion funding through Community Health Centers, High Risk Pools and other directly funded programs. (To date it does not appear that the administration has funded abortion in these programs, and there has not been a legal challenge to this policy, and the policy could be changed by administrative action.) This problem is only addressed if the Court strikes all direct appropriations in the Affordable Care Act. Otherwise, the law will continue to fail to have appropriate statutory safeguards against taxpayer funding for abortion attached.
- Potential funding for Planned Parenthood school-based health clinics. Section 4101 establishes grants for establishing school-based health centers. The provision prohibits direct funding for abortion, but funds can flow to abortion providers. This problem is only addressed if the school-based health center program (Section 4101) is struck down.
- Lacks strong conscience protections to stop the government from forcing health care entities to participate in abortion. This is only addressed if the entire law is struck down and replaced by a health reform package that includes comprehensive conscience protections.