GOP Reps. Seek Repeal of Abortion Surcharge Hidden in Obamacare Premiums

‘Without realizing it, many people’s hard-earned dollars have supported abortion…’

GOP Congressmen Ask HHS to Repeal Obama-Era Abortion Surcharge

Student activists hold signs protesting against Obamacare. / IMAGE: TFP Student Action via Youtube

(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) Two Republican congressmen are asking the Department of Health and Human Services to end a hidden abortion surcharge included under the Affordable Care Act.

The surcharge violates the Hyde Amendment, argued Reps. Jeff Duncan, R-S.C., and Michael Cloud, R-Texas, which forbids the federal government from using taxpayer dollars fund abortive services. Under the ACA, the Obama administration hid this violation under an enrollment fee.

Congress has been trying to get the HHS to repeal the surcharge, which most voters are still unaware of, for three years now, despite the fact that HHS Secretary Alex Azar has promised to end the Obama-era rule.

“President Trump and Vice President Pence have been fighters for the unborn, and I applaud the entire Trump Administration for their committed efforts to advance pro-life policies in our country,” Duncan said in a statement.

“I’m also hopeful that yet another pro-life win is in the works by finalizing a rule to ensure tax dollars are not funding abortions in insurance plans through the broken Obamacare exchange,” he continued. “Finalization of this rule would put Americans at ease who do not want their money to promote or participate in the heinous act of abortion.”

Cloud said that the hidden surcharge is just another reminder of how deceptive the Affordable Care Act was.

“Obamacare passed with the promise that taxpayers would not have to subsidize abortion,” he said in a statement.

“Yet hidden abortion surcharges were still included,” he added. “Without realizing it, many people’s hard-earned dollars have supported abortion.”

Cloud said the taxpayer subsidies of abortion needed to stop as soon as possible.

“Time is running out,” he said. “Unborn children have a right to life, and taxpayer money should never be used to take that right away.”

The surcharge required all persons enrolled in insurance plans that include elective abortion coverage to pay a separate premium to fund abortion.

This forced pro-life Americans to choose between a plan that meets all of their health needs but violates their conscience, and a plan that doesn’t give as much coverage.

“To comply with the accounting requirement, plans will collect a $1 abortion surcharge from each premium payer,” a pro-life source told Life News in 2012.

“The enrollee will make two payments, $1 per month for abortion and another payment for the rest of the services covered,” said the source.

The surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment, according to the controversial rules outlined under the Obamacare law.  Moreover, insurance plans may not disclose when advertising the cost of the plans that enrollees will be charged a $1 per month to directly cover the cost of subsidized abortions.

For those still under ACA plans, the abortion surcharge still applies.

“The sooner the rule restoring the original intent of the law is finalized, the fewer excuses insurers will have for noncompliance,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony List.

“Consumers deserve transparent information about the hidden abortion surcharge and the opportunity to avoid plans that cover abortion during the 2020 open enrollment period.”