Politics
              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)

GOP Rep: Most Obamacare plans for Congress cover abortion

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Caroline May
Political Reporter

Of the 112 plans available to members of Congress and their staff, 103 cover elective abortion, according to a recent analysis released by New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith.

According to Smith, a co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus, the availability of elective abortion coverage to Members and their staff amounts to taxpayer funding of the procedure, as members and staffers’ coverage is set to be subsidized by the government.

“In the run-up to passage of Obamacare, Americans were repeatedly told and reassured by President Obama himself, including in a speech to a joint session of Congress in October 2009, that ‘under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortion.’  Obama even issued the infamous Executive Order that claimed, ‘the Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to newly created health insurance exchanges,’” Smith said in a statement.

“Once again we see those promises ring hollow — what the President said simply isn’t true today.  In the most recent example, 103 of the 112 insurance plans that Members of Congress and congressional staff are being directed to INCLUDE ELECTIVE ABORTION coverage. Only nine plans offered exclude elective abortion,” he added, emphasis Smith’s.

A Smith staffer explained to The Daily Caller that the office reached the conclusion that 103 of 112 plans would cover abortions by looking at the 112 plans available to members and staff — the 112 Gold level plans available through the D.C. Health Link’s system for employer-sponsored health insurance — and determined which plans did no cover abortion via the D.C. Health Link’s FAQ section.

“Health plans that do not provide coverage for elective abortions include all Aetna health plans, as well as the multi-state plans (MSP) offered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (only the plans that include ‘Multi-State Plan’ in their name). All health plans offered by Kaiser Permanente, United Healthcare, and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield plans that do not include ‘Multi-State Plan’ in their name include coverage for elective abortions,” the FAQ, posted on October 30, explains.

The FAQ answer was subsequently confirmed during a November 7 congressional staff briefing on Members and staff obtaining health insurance through the D.C. Health Link.

According to Smith’s office, there are eight Aetna plans and one CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield multistate plan — or nine plans that do not cover abortions among the plans available to Members and staff. Or nine minus 112 equals 103.

Smith’s office further highlighted that an amendment offered by the congressman 30 years ago, known as the Smith Amendment that prohibits abortion funding in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Programs, remains law.

The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List slammed the Obama administration over the potential abortion funding, calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to address the issue.

“The Obama Administration is clearly breaking longstanding federal law by offering Members of Congress and congressional staff health care plans that include abortion on demand,” SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in a statement. “This is just another example of how Obamacare expands taxpayer funding of abortion, and is sadly another instance of how the President and his Administration misled the American people when Obamacare was being debated by Congress.”

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