Washington D.C., Jul 20, 2009 / 17:02 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The White House budget chief has said that he will not rule out whether a government-funded public health insurance proposal will allow taxpayer money to pay for abortions. Rather, the matter will be “part of the debate.”
The White House’s Office of Budget and Management Chief Peter Orszag, speaking to Fox News Sunday, said he is not ready to say whether abortion services would be part of a final taxpayer-funded health care package being considered by Congress for about one third of the 50 million uninsured Americans.
Speaking about abortion, he said “I think that that will wind up being part of the debate. I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It's obviously a controversial issue, and it's one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”
“I’m not prepared to rule it out,” he added.
The health care reform bill is being debated in the U.S. House and Senate. President Barack Obama is seeking its passage by August. The package is estimated to cost as much as $1.5 trillion over ten years.