Congressmen Urge HHS to Stop Obamacare’s Hidden Abortion Charges For Third Year in a Row

By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
October 25, 2019 Updated: October 26, 2019

Congressmen Jeff Duncan (R-SC) and Michael Cloud (R-TX) sent a letter on Thursday to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking them to put an end to the hidden abortion surcharge in many Obamacare plans before Open Enrollment begins on Nov. 1.  The letter  was signed by 81 Members of Congress.

The federal government had long forbidden taxpayer money from funding elective abortions or buying health plans that had abortion coverage built-in. It was supposed to be that the “Abortion Surcharge” went into a separate account to pay for the elective abortions. The measure was to prevent all taxpayers from unknowingly having to pay for elective abortions.

The Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) hid this charge, and enrollees became unaware at the time of enrollment that they were paying the abortion surcharge.

This is the third year that Congress has tried to get Health and Human Services to abolish the hidden charge for unaware taxpayers. In previous years the letter to HHS has been signed by members of both chambers, and Secretary Azar: “had announced plans to end this hidden abortion surcharge and replace the Obama-era rule to restore the original intent of the ACA.”

This year’s letter reiterated the call to end this hidden charge and restore transparency. Taxpayers should not have to fund abortions they don’t support because it contradicts their religious beliefs. If the rule is not reversed by Nov. 1, then taxpayers will unknowingly continue funding abortions until the next enrollment cycle, about a year.

“President Trump and Vice President Pence have been fighters for the unborn, and I applaud the entire Trump Administration for their committed efforts to advance pro-life policies in our country,”  said Congressman Duncan . “I’m also hopeful that yet another pro-life win is in the works by finalizing a rule to ensure tax dollars are not funding abortions in insurance plans through the broken Obamacare exchange. Finalization of this rule would put Americans at ease who do not want their money to promote or participate in the heinous act of abortion. I want to thank HHS for their work so far, and I am hopeful for more good news to come.”

“Obamacare passed with the promise that taxpayers would not have to subsidize abortion,” said Congressman Cloud  “Yet hidden abortion surcharges were still included. Without realizing it, many people’s hard-earned dollars have supported abortion. This needs to stop, and time is running out. Unborn children have a right to life, and taxpayer money should never be used to take that right away.”

The letter urged swift action to end the hidden abortion surcharge and require compliance with the plain meaning of the ACA before the 2020 Open Enrollment period begins.

Referring to a rule by the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2012 published the following:

“Nestled within the ‘individual mandate’ in the Obamacare act—that portion of the Act requiring every American to purchase government-approved insurance or pay a penalty—is an ‘abortion premium mandate.’ This mandate requires all persons enrolled in insurance plans that include elective abortion coverage to pay a separate premium from their own pockets to fund abortion. As a result, many pro-life Americans will have to decide between a plan that violates their consciences by funding abortion or a plan that may not meet their health needs.”