Lawmaker rips Sebelius for lack of transparency about Obamacare abortion coverage

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Illinois Republican Rep. John Shimkus tangled with Health and Human Services Sec. Kathleen Sebelius over abortion coverage on the Obamacare exchanges for a second time Wednesday.

“Madame Secretary, you promised last time you were here that you would provide me a national list of those who cover and those who do not cover abortion and abortion services,” Shimkus said during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on the failed Obamacare launch, “We have yet to receive that list.”

“We need that list, Madame Secretary,” he stressed.

During an Oct. 30 hearing, Shimkus requested a list of insurers on the federal exchange that do not offer abortion coverage as part of their plans. Sebelius, at the time, said, “I think we can do that.”

Pro-lifers have contended that it is difficult to discern which plans on the exchange cover abortion and which do not.

In October, New Jersey Republican Rep. Chris Smith introduced a bill to require the Obamacare exchanges to disclose information about abortion coverage for insurance plans.

Wednesday, Sebelius contended that “every plan lists plan benefits, and the one plan benefits that they must list by law is abortion services. So as a shopper goes on, I would highly recommend that they look in the plan benefits section and check on the coverage they are interested in.”

Shimkus pointed out that the last time they spoke he held up lists of plans that did not offer information on abortion services.

“You promised to provide the list of those insurance plans. All we’re asking is for you to keep your promise,” Shimkus said.

“It is available for every customer,” Sebelius responded.

Last week, Smith highlighted that of the 112 plans available to members of Congress and their staff through the Obama care exchange, just 9 plans do not cover elective abortion.


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