.- The National Right to Life Committee has sent letters to numerous members of the U.S. House, urging them to oppose any final health care bill that fails to correct six “major” abortion-related problems in the Senate version of the health care bill.
In the view of the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the Senate bill will result in “substantial expansion abortion” through federal administrative decisions and federal subsidies.
The House bill, according to the NRLC, will preserve “long-standing federal policies on abortion” and “fully address” the organization’s concerns.
The Jan. 9 NRLC letter says that the Senate bill would create a new program under which the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) would administer two or more multi-state insurance plans. The bill says that “at least one” of the plans would be subject to limitations on abortion coverage.
In the NRLC’s view, this implies that other federally administered plans could cover elective abortions or be required to do so by the federal administrator. The Right to Life committee argued that any OPM-run plans should be barred from covering elective abortions.
Under the Senate bill, every enrollee in federally-subsidized private plans that cover elective abortion would have to make a separate monthly payment into a fund exclusively for such abortions, which the NRLC characterized as an “abortion surcharge.” The Stupak-Pitts Amendment barred such subsidies from the House version of the bill.
The NRLC also urged that the final legislation contain bill-wide and permanent restrictions on abortion funding. It claims that the present Senate restrictions are deficient, “narrow” and temporary.
Additionally, the NRLC advocated, the bill needs strong pro-life conscience protections and “airtight” language barring any abortion “mandates” by means of administrative mandates that require health plans to cover abortions.