Thanks for coming to my post! I have chosen to focus on abortion related to the Health Insurance Reform legislation because I am deeply moved by the poor voiceless children in the womb. I am interested in protecting and defending the right to life for these unborn children, from conception to birth. Some of these children would have been my brothers and sisters in the Faith, and I am morally obligated to protecting them. FYI: This desire seems to have directly comes from my Christian faith and fear of God. Before I committed myself to God as my Savior and Lord, I was apathetic and self-centered and didn't care at all for the unborn, but after I was moved by God's Spirit, it was as if a switch had flipped in my heart, and I started to feel great compassion and even had tears of sorrow for the unborn who are murdered and those that continue to be threatened. BTW, if you aren't moved like me before I was reached by God and would like to be moved, then I and would encourage you pray to seek Jesus of the Bible. I can share more about that on request. Also you can see my links on djweichelt.net (and get my email there) to learn more about our need for the Savior.
As I needed to fact check my previous post, following up from accusations of posting propaganda and falsities, and also not researching and even praying, I decided it was reasonable to do more, as previously I didn't do any significant additional research. Now I can report the results of the research from the Internet, including pro-life web sites, whitehouse.gov, Fact Check, and a pro-choice page. I found there are vast differences in interpretation of the bill related to abortion, and because I can't go to the bill itself, and read it in a short time, as there are multiple bills that are too large for to read (the house bill is 1000 pages) and no doubt they are written in complex and perhaps vague legal terms, I had to go with those I trust to do a good job researching and interpreting this (and then verify their research the best you can). All this takes significant time to try to deal with all the issues, however, at some point you have to post to move on and risk not pleasing everyone. Also this takes discernment of the various opinions, so please bear with me if you disagree, as my commentary is the only the most honest and best one I can provide to this date.
My results: My previous understanding was backed up, that abortion would likely be expanded with the current version(s) of congress's Health Insurance Reform bill(s):
1. Abortions will most likely be payed for with the people's tax dollars.
2. Abortions coverage will most likely be mandated to be available to everyone in a private and the public option. This is a huge expansion of abortion availability.
3. Abortion rates would no doubt increase with the mandates in availability and with the federal subsiding of the uninsured (or the poor).
4. There is no opt. out for those that are moral opposed to abortions (aka conscious protection) for anyone, including those in the medical provider system (any faith-based hospitals, doctor, nurse, insurance carrier, etc.).
Note: I didn't use footnotes because my understanding is well document and researched from my primary source (click on this link to see), for points 1-3, from National Right To Life. In the current legislation, which contains a House version and a Senate version, abortion is addressed stealthily in the categories that are considered essential or minimum benefit standards. “Preventive services” is one of the several categories of services, mandated by the Kennedy bill as “essential benefits,” that would no doubt include elective abortion. In the current administration, which is ardently pro-choice, the pro-choice HHS Secretary and the administrators, most of who were appointed by the President, would no-doubt want to allow this. Note: Even if a future pro-life administration comes along after this one, they can not disallow abortion under the Capps Amendment. Even without that amendment and they wanted to changes the coverage, I believe that the federal courts would then be able to mandate elective abortion coverage anyway. Also the current administrators would likely consider abortion as essential as "Reproductive care" as it is considered essential by the President and no doubt his appointed HHS secretary and the government administrators.
These elective abortion mandates are all covered in the public plan, which is for everyone who is not already in a private plan or for those that want to go over to this (for cost savings perhaps). Under the House bill's Capps Amendment however, the people in the public plan pay mandated premiums on the public plan. People would have no option but to buy coverage of elective abortions. That is tax-payer funding under the guise of premiums to the government. Under the Capps Amendment the public option specifically includes abortion with these premiums, and it mandates abortion coverage in private insurance coverage as well. This is an expansion given that most insurance providers current do not provide coverage for elective abortions (see my link for the stats).
In the Senate Bill, under Sen. Mikulski's amendment, groups like Planned Parenthood (PP is probably the top abortion provider), would receive additional and significant private and tax-payer funding. Private insurers would need to fund these organization as well, and there is no clause exempting tax-payer money going to these organizations.
By the way, attempts by various pro-life members of congress to add a Hyde amendment abortion restriction on the bills have been blocked or voted down. You might wonder: Why doesn't the Hyde Amendment cover this already? This amendment prohibits HHS appropriation funds (medicare, medicaid, etc.) from going to pay for abortions. The bill we are talking about will most likely sidestep the HHS appropriations by becoming it's own special appropriation(s). By the way, the Hyde amendment isn't all the secure. It is up for it's annual vote in congress in Sept. and if doesn't make it through congress and the President's veto, we will see abortions covered with tax-payer funding for all the other medical plans the government funds (medicare and medicaid, etc.), as we did before the Hyde Amendment passed (from 1973 to 1976)
There is no abortion opt. out (conscious protection) for anyone in the medical provider system (any faith-based hospitals, doctor, nurse, insurance carrier, etc.). So hospitals and medical providers, that refuse to provide such "essential services" can loose the federal funding, be fined, loose enrollment of patients, and be terminated. Source from a MD. Some may be forced to sell-out literally or figuratively, or even outsource the abortion related services they can not morally perform (this will directly create more demand for abortion clinics in such cases). Note: I heard yesterday that Catholic hospitals make up 15% of the total and there are many other faith based hospitals. Also if there was no existing Federal Conscience Clause (carried over from President Bush), as President Obama has desired to revoke it, then I can also see how individuals could be charged with patient abandonment, loose there license and ability to do there work, and easily bankrupt them and their families (with debt they have from school loans).