No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2015by Representative Chris Van Hollen
Posted on 2015-01-22
in the house of representatives
Thursday, January 22, 2015
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. Madam Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the
misleadingly titled ``No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.''
This deceivingly-titled bill does nothing more than dramatically
restrict the ability of women to purchase affordable health insurance
without forfeiting their constitutionally protected right to buy health
coverage that includes reproductive services. Federal policy, including
explicit language in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), already prohibits
the use of taxpayer dollars to fund abortions. Existing law in the ACA
states that any individual who joins a plan that covers abortions will
pay an additional fee that goes into a separate account; this was
specifically designed to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not spent on
abortions. The fee is only paid by people who knowingly joined a health
plan that covers abortions, and any abortion (except in cases of rape,
incest, or to save the mother's life) coverage is paid out of those
accounts--not by taxpayer dollars.
The ACA also provides that individuals purchasing their health care from the recently established exchanges can, depending on their income, access tax credits and ensure that their health care plan is affordable. This bill would deny women access to the tax credits on their health plans even though the tax credit does not cover any of the cost of plans that include abortion coverage. In other words, women will be denied access to affordable health care if they exercise their right to use their own funds for abortion coverage. This is unacceptable and violates the careful balance established in the ACA. Whether women purchase their insurance through the marketplace exchanges or receive it through their employers, millions of American women would be denied their choice of affordable health care coverage.
A woman's right to choose her own health care is a fundamental one, and the Congress should not tell women how to manage their private health or reproductive care. Sadly, this legislation will do just that.
Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to reject this assault on women. This bill was a mistake the first two times it was proposed, and it remains a mistake today. Instead of attacking a woman's access to health care, we should be focused on accelerating job growth and increasing the paychecks of working Americans.