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Subjects: NPT, POL, AVO

Family Research Council files comment rebuking HHS's proposed reversal of the abortion surcharge rule

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Family Research Council submitted a public comment to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the proposed rule with the deceptively innocuous title, "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Updating Payment Parameters and Improving Health Insurance Markets for 2022 and Beyond." Under the proposed rule, insurers would be able to collect payments for both abortions and legitimate healthcare in a single payment. In Section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act, Congress required insurers to collect "a separate payment" for abortions, a provision which the Obama administration did not enforce. During the Trump administration, HHS complied with the law, requiring transparency and separate payments for abortion.

FRC's comment highlighted four problems with the proposed rule. It violates section 1303 of the Affordable Care Act, which requires separate payments for abortion. It diminishes the distinction between health care and abortion by combining the payment. It lacks transparency, hiding which plans on the marketplace pay for abortions. It violates Hyde Amendment principles, funding abortion with taxpayer dollars.

FRC's comment concludes:

"American taxpayers should not have to unknowingly fund abortion, a practice that many find morally objectionable. American sentiment and standing policies make it clear that taxpayer dollars have no place in funding the abortion industry. There must be a clear separation between legitimate health care and elective abortion."

Connor Semelsberger, Director of Federal Affairs for Life and Human Dignity, who authored the comment, added:

"The passage of Obamacare in 2010 was the largest deviation from the bipartisan consensus to not use taxpayer funding for abortion, first established by the Hyde Amendment in 1976. Pro-life Democrats included an accounting gimmick in Section 1303 of Obamacare purportedly as a pro-life solution, but it has been nothing more than a smokescreen to redirect taxpayer funding to abortion. President Trump issued new regulations that complied with the abortion transparency requirements in Obamacare; however, the Biden administration is now attempting to revert back to an approach of nonexistent enforcement similar to that of the Obama administration, which hid which plans cover abortion and mixed abortion and health plan funding together."

To read the full comment, visit: https://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF21G36.pdf.

To find out which health plans on the Obamacare exchange cover abortion visit: obamacareabortion.com

SOURCE Family Research Council

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