FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2011, file photo, Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, It’s an issue lawmakers may not want to have to explain at town hall meetings back home. An attempt to fix a problem with the new health care law has created a situation in which members of Congress and their staffers could gain access to abortion coverage, something that currently is denied to federal employees who get health insurance through the government. "Under this scheme (the government) will be paying the administrative costs," said Smith, author of abortion funding ban for federal employee plans. "It’s a radical deviation and departure from current federal law, and it’s not for all federal employees, but for a subset: Congress. Us."  (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg, File)

Rep. Chris Smith: Obamacare’s fine print could deceive Americans into paying for abortions

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

WASHINGTON — Americans signing up for insurance on the Obamacare exchanges will be unable to determine whether or not they will be paying for abortion coverage, according to New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith.

“[Obamacare] requires premium payers to be assessed an abortion surcharge every month to pay for abortions,” Smith said at a Wednesday press conference. “But many pro-life Americans may unwittingly purchase pro-abortion plans because of a marketing secrecy clause embedded in Obamacare which stipulates that the surcharge be minimally disclosed only at the time of enrollment.”

“In other words, bury it in the fine print,” he added.

Smith, Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski and a group of Republican House members unveiled legislation on Wednesday to require the exchanges to fully disclose information about abortion coverage for plans, and notify enrollees of the existence of an “abortion surcharge.”

“Clearly Americans who are pro-life would object to paying for a health care plan that included abortion coverage. And then being forced to pay for an abortion surcharge into a fund that is meant to be used solely for the purpose of destroying human life,” Tennessee Republican Rep. Diane Black said.

Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler pulled out her telephone bill and demonstrated how that bill broke down the line item charges each month.

“Consumers have a right to know what they are buying,” she said.

The “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” currently has over 60 co-sponsors, who refer to it as the “Right to Know bill.”

“It is now becoming clearer by the day, that taxpayer dollars in the form of tax credits, premium support, and government established abortion surcharges will fund abortion on demand in many states,” Smith said, noting that all the insurance plans on the Connecticut and Rhode Island exchanges cover abortion.

“Obamacare’s abortion mandate violates federal law and makes taxpayers complicit in the culture of death. This is not reform,” he added.

Shortly after announcing their legislation the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List came out in support, calling on Congress to pass the bill immediately.

“The Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act addresses just one of the many clandestine abortion funding problems in Obamacare,” said SBA List president Marjorie Dannenfelser. “Without this legislation, millions of Americans are likely to be unknowingly enrolled in health plans that include abortion coverage.”

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