Speaker Pelosi's office is pushing back tonight against House Minority Leader John Boehner's claim that the House bill includes a "monthly abortion premium. They say it's just simply not true.
The Brody File contacted Speaker Pelosi's office and spokesman Brendan Daly sent me the following by email:
“The House bill will continue longstanding federal policy, which currently bars federal funding for paying for abortions except in the case of rape, incest, or to save the life of the woman.”
To get up to speed on what Minority Leader Boehner is claiming click here.
Douglas Johnson, Legislative Director with National Right to Life sent me the following email:
"The Boehner post is perfectly accurate. We call it the 'abortion surcharge.' It is just one more thing illustrating what we've been saying: The bill explicitly authorizes the big new federal government health insurance plan, the public option, to pay for all elective abortions.
Under the abortion surcharge provision, any citizen who wants to enroll in the new government program would be REQUIRED to pay a surcharge explicitly devoted to paying for elective abortions. The language sets a minimum of $1 per month per enrollee, but there is no maximum.
But this is a side issue, because even if the Democratic leadership struck out the 'abortion surcharge,' the same fundamental problem would remain: The 'public option' is a federal agency program, and when it pays for elective abortions, that is federal funding of abortion on demand -- no matter what convoluted cloaking devices the pro-abortion politicians invent to try to conceal what they are doing.
By the way, here is the actual language in the bill:
Section 213 (page 96, line 16) of HR 3962:
(b) Actuarial Value of Optional Service Coverage-
(1) IN GENERAL- The Commissioner shall estimate the basic per enrollee, per month cost, determined on an average actuarial basis, for including coverage under a basic plan of the services described in section 222(d)(4)(A).
(2) CONSIDERATIONS- In making such estimate the Commissioner--
(A) may take into account the impact on overall costs of the inclusion of such coverage, but may not take into account any cost reduction estimated to result from such services, including prenatal care, delivery, or postnatal care;
(B) shall estimate such costs as if such coverage were included for the entire population covered; and
(C) may not estimate such a cost at less than $1 per enrollee, per month.
(Note: "the services described in section 222(d)(4)(A)" refers to any abortions that are not eligible for funding under Medicaid -- in other words, all abortions, elective abortions.)
Oh, and one more thing. Check out this language in the bill:
"Nothing in this Act shall be construed as preventing the public health insurance option from providing for or prohibiting coverage of services described in paragraph (4)(A)." (abortion services)
Folks, I think you can see why Pro-Life groups say this whole thing is a big joke. They want that language taken out. Don't count on it.