WH Health Czar Says Reid Language Blocks Federal Abortion Funding - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
WH Health Czar Says Reid Language Blocks Federal Abortion Funding

Nancy-Ann DeParle, the director of the White House Office on Health Reform, insisted on Thursday that new language in Harry Reid’s Senate health care bill would prevent federal funds from being used to cover abortion.

Here’s what DeParle had to say about the measure on a conference call with reporters earlier this afternoon:

“It was carefully worked through by the leader, who cared very much about making sure that this maintains status quo on abortion policy and doesn’t shift federal abortion and conscience clause policy in either a pro-life or a pro-choice direction so it’s very much trying to keep the balance on the scales and ensure that the bill does nothing to restrict or expand existing abortion law. But it is very clear that federal funds cannot be used for abortion coverage or care. So that’s where he struck the balance.  I mean, it’s pretty clear. I don’t know that anyone is 100 percent happy with it because some people would like it to do more to move away from where the federal balance has been in not covering it, and others would like for it to move in the opposite direction. So he’s right there in the middle maintaining the status quo.”

Under the language approved by the House of Representatives, nobody could use federal subsidies toward the purchase of a policy that covered abortion, and abortion could not be covered by the government-run plan. But under pressure from pro-choice groups, Reid placed language in the Senate bill that would work out a complicated formula aimed at segregating funds so that women who received federal subsidies could still purchase policies with abortion services as long as the subsidies didn’t support the cost of the abortion coverage. The bill would also force state insurance exchanges to offer one plan that covers abortion and make it possible for the government-run plan to cover abortion.

Pro-choice lawmakers have backed the Reid language, while the National Right to Life Committee has called it “completely unacceptable.”

Earlier today, Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad acknowledged that he wasn’t yet sure whether the Reid language prevents taxpayer funding for abortions.

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