According to Life News, the issue of abortion was the subject of a tense exchange between Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during Wednesday's Congressional hearing.
The exchange began with this question from Shimkus:
“If someone, a constituent of mine or someone in this country, has strongly-held pro-life views, can you commit to us to make sure that the federal exchanges that offer that are clearly identified so people can understand if they’re going to buy a policy that has abortion coverage or not, because right now you cannot make that determination?”
“Sir I don’t know,” Sebelius responded. “I know exactly the issue you’re talking about. I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable.”
Shimkus then made this request: "Can you provide for the committee the list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer as part of their package abortion coverage?”
Sebelius responded by saying that she could do it.
Shimkus asked her to clarify if she thought she could do it, or if she knew she could do it.
“I can’t tell you what I don’t know firmly right now,” Sebelius said. “I know that is the plan, I will get that information.”
This disclosure is critical for people who want to know if the insurance they're buying on exchanges covers abortion, facts that are not being made readily available to the public. This situation came about because of the Hyde Amendment, a law which prohibits the government from directly provide funding for elective abortion. In order to evade this law, Obamacare has directed that insurers, rather than the government, collect a secondary premium, or surcharge, for the abortion coverage in their policies.
It also stipulates that this surcharge cannot be disclosed until the time of enrollment and can only be mentioned in the "Summary of Benefits and Coverage", essentially hiding it in the fine print so that even employers may not know if their plans cover abortion.
Lawmakers were given no indication of when to expect this information.
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