Ben Johnson

,

Video: New bill would eliminate ObamaCare’s $1 abortion surcharge secrecy

Ben Johnson
Ben Johnson
Image

Updated at 5:34 p.m. on October 9 to include bill number and remarks from co-sponsors.

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 9, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – If a new bill introduced by a pro-life congressman is passed, insurance companies will no longer be able to hide whether their plans cover abortion and will charge enrollees a $1 monthly abortion surcharge.

Congressman Christopher Smith, R-NJ, announced today that he is introducing the “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act” (H.R. 3279) to remedy the current veil of silence that deprives customers of the information they need to make a conscientious health care choice.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), conventionally known as ObamaCare, currently mandates that insurance companies that are part of the law's state exchanges not disclose whether they pay for elective abortions until enrollment.

Section 1303(b)(2) of the law specifically states that agents “shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments” – and not about abortion coverage.

Those plans that cover abortion-on-demand will charge each policy holder a $1 abortion surcharge.

“Doubtlessly there are many Americans who would object to paying a surcharge into a fund to be used solely for the purpose of destroying innocent human lives,” Congressman Smith said in a letter written today to his colleagues in search of co-sponsors.

His bill requires that coverage of abortion “shall be prominently displayed in any marketing or advertising materials, comparison tools, or summary of benefits and coverage explanation.”

Rep. Smith has been joined by 70 co-sponsors. 

"If ObamaCare is all about choice, then why is the administration making it so difficult for people to find out whether a plan pays for an abortion?" asked Rep. Joe Pitts, R-PA, at a press conference with Smith this afternoon. "It's time we got some truth in advertising."

"It's astonishing to me that we've come to the point when we don't even tell people -- when we're willing to try to hide from those of a differing opinion -- whether their dollars are even going to pay for the killing of these children," said Congressman Trent Franks, R-AZ. 

Rep. Smith's staffers, who tried to find out which plans covered abortion after last Tuesday's glitch-ridden ObamaCare rollout, reported running into a wall of secrecy and doublespeak. According to Smith:

  • A representative with the “Health Insurance Marketplace Live Chat” said, “You may have to wait until you pick a plan to see if they cover abortions”;
  • A telephone representative with the D.C. Health Link said that persons wishing to learn whether or not abortion is covered should call each individual health insurance carrier directly; and
  • A representative with a carrier offering coverage on the Minnesota marketplace said that their company will include abortion in every plan, but there would be no separate charge for abortion. This statement is either false or means that the carrier will intends to violate of section 1303 of the ACA.

Smith said that members of the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), a pro-life think tank, reported similar findings:

  • Contacting CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield in Maryland, CLI was told that customer-service representatives “don’t get a full contract” to have on hand and the “part of the site [that would allow her to determine whether abortion was covered] is not working”; and
  • Contacting Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in New York, CLI was told that “the policies are not available yet” and suggested that CLI call again in two weeks.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute found that under the healthcare law the total number of taxpayer-funded abortions could increase by 18,397 in one year. The total annual number could range from 71,000 to 111,500. In other words, under ObamaCare taxpayers could fund 10 percent of abortions each year.

Click "like" if you want to end abortion!

Roll Call newspaper reported than an anonymous source within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) told it that the Obama administration took pains to “ensure that in each exchange, there is at least one plan available that covers abortions beyond those allowed by the Hyde Amendment and at least one plan that does not cover abortions beyond those permitted by the Hyde Amendment.”

Congressman Smith has called the ACA's secrecy provision and abortion surcharge an insidious plan for public funding for abortion coverage in ObamaCare.”

“The mass deception of the Obama 2010 executive order has finally been exposed,” said Smith, Co-chair of the Congressional Pro-life Caucus. 

"The president has spread a great deal of disinformation about the Affordable Care Act, especially when it comes to how the law treats abortion coverage," said Rep. Pitts. "ObamaCare rolls back decades of abortion policy and instead pays for policies with elective abortions," in violation of federal law.

Congresswoman Diane Black, R-TN, said she supported the bill, because it "would bring clarity to customers purchasing insurance through the exchanges."

"This should not be a partisan issue," she said. "This should be common sense."

Red alert! Last call.

Please support fearless pro-life and pro-family reporting. Donate to our summer campaign today.


Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

, ,

Opposing gay ‘marriage’ may demand civil disobedience: Louisiana bishop

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

LAFAYETTE, LA, June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The bishop of the Catholic diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, is one of the nation’s Church leaders to come out strongly against the Supreme Court decision forcing all 50 states to recognize homosexual “marriage”.

Bishop Michael Jarrell reminded Catholics in a statement that the judiciary does not have the power to redefine marriage, and he opened the door to civil disobedience as a possible response to the June 26 Supreme Court ruling.

“Let me state very plainly that no human court has the authority to change what God has written into the law of creation,” Bishop Jarrell wrote in his statement. “This ruling is irreconcilable with the nature and definition of marriage as established by Divine Law.”

Urge Congress to pass a marriage protection amendment now. Sign the petition!

“The marital covenant was established by God with its own proper nature and laws,” he continued.

Recognizing the tide of religious persecution across the country against those who hold the Biblical view of marriage, Bishop Jarrell addressed the issue of living one’s Catholic faith in light of the Supreme Court decision, and gave the green light to refuse to comply, even if it means breaking the law.

“I realize that this ruling will create conscience problems for many Catholics, especially those in public office,” Bishop Jarrell said. “In some cases civil disobedience may be a proper response.”

In an exercise of episcopal authority, the Lafayette prelate also issued a mandate that no representative of the diocese would enable homosexual “marriage” in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.

“No priest or deacon of this Diocese may participate in the civil solemnization or celebration of same-sex marriage,” he declared. “No Catholic facility or property, including but not limited to parishes, missions, chapels, meeting halls, Catholic educational, health or charitable institutions, or facilities belonging to benevolent orders may be used for the solemnization of same-sex marriage.”

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

The bishop also cautioned against Catholics showing support for homosexual “marriage” by their presence at same-sex “wedding”.

“All Catholics are urged not to attend same-sex ceremonies,” he said.

The bishop said he hoped this October’s Ordinary Synod on the Family at the Vatican would address issues brought about by “the alteration of the traditional law about marriage.”

Bishop Jarrell also expressed deep sadness at the Supreme Court ruling, and said while Catholics have great respect for everyone as children of God, the justices’ decision had no legal or moral foundation.

“As Catholics we have a profound respect for the dignity of all God’s children,” he stated. “Nevertheless there is no basis in law or in nature for altering the traditional definition of marriage, established by God from the beginning.”

Advertisement
Featured Image
Lisa Bourne

Catholic News Service gives platform to head of union that gave hundreds of millions to pro-abort politicians

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The news service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has published an article by the head of an organization that has given hundreds of millions of dollars to elect pro-abortion politicians.

Americans should listen to Pope Francis, at least when it comes to his message on poverty and economics, according to Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, an organization that has done arguably more to elect pro-abortion politicians than any other group in the last 50 years.

The union chief made his case in a June 22 guest column for Catholic News Service (CNS).

The AFL-CIO donated $200 million to Democratic politicians in 2008 alone.

LifeSiteNews contacted Catholic News Service about Trumka’s column in light of the AFL-CIO’s support for abortion, contraception, and homosexual “marriage," but CNS declined to comment.

On his way in the piece to pronouncing unity between the Church and big labor, Trumka touts Pope Francis’s recently reported high approval rating and the “newfound vigor” the Roman Catholic Church has added to its “traditional social doctrine” since his election.

“For much of the last century and more, the labor movement and the Catholic Church have stood together in solidarity for people who labor for a living,” he wrote in the CNS column. “Pope Francis lives and breathes this tradition.”

“Together, the Catholic Church and the labor movement stand for a new moral and political order,” he said.

Click "like" if you are PRO-LIFE!

In his June 22 piece for Catholic News Service he wrote about helping to ease the pain and suffering for others as his reasons for praising Pope Francis.

“We believe in the duty to ease pain and to offer comfort to those who are suffering -- and not just with kind words, but with action,” Trumka opined. “That is why I am so heartened by our Holy Father Pope Francis.

Trumka, raised Catholic, writes his column for CNS with a Catholic voice, but the union he heads up supports contraception and homosexual “marriage”, along with abortion.

While the Church today holds The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers among its themes of Catholic Social Teaching, giving voice in the Bishops’ own news agency to the representative of an organization which has given hundreds of millions of dollars to pro-abortion politicians contradicts the USCCB’s very own document teaching on the need for Catholics to act in support of Catholic principles and policies in public life.

“The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles,” the USCCB’s Catholics in Political Life states. “They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”

The nation’s top union also supports the so-called “free” birth control imposed as part of the HHS mandate, something many groups – including the USCCB itself – resisted being forced to provide.

“Women have fought hard for the right to safe, legal reproductive health services and the freedom to exercise that right,” the AFL-CIO Statement on Women's Access to Quality and Affordable Reproductive Health Care says. “The Affordable Care Act provides that women will receive preventative health care benefits, including FDA-approved methods of birth control, without co-pays or deductibles.”

Many of those forms of “birth control” may act as abortifacients.

The AFL-CIO’s support for abortion and birth control isn’t where the union’s advocacy for anti-Catholic initiatives stops. It encompasses homosexual activism as well.

Pride At Work is a nonprofit organization that represents LGBT union members and their “allies,” that “organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBT Community to further social and economic justice.”

Pride at Work is an officially recognized constituency group of the AFL-CIO

The deeds of the AFL-CIO as an organization are not the sole illustration of how Trumka’s CNS appearance sends a conflicting message with regard to Church principles, but also statements embracing and advocating principles in direct contrast to the faith by the man himself.

“Working people believe in equality and fairness and that’s why we are happy to stand with millions of Americans and with President Obama in supporting marriage equality,” Trumka said in a statement supporting homosexual “marriage”.

When the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 defending marriage were overturned, he said they never should have been adopted in the first place.

“The Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 were radical and divisive laws that never should have been,” Trumka said. “Now, we can begin to fully clear the dark legal cloud that has hung over our nation.”

Trumka employs a childhood anecdote to frame his article complete with violence against his grandfather on the part of the profit-focused mining company that “owned everything,” in his Pennsylvania hometown.

“Pope Francis speaks for the church I grew up in when he calls for an organized moral response to the injustices of modern capitalism,” stated Trumka, whose salary level is around $300,000 per year according to unionfacts.com.

Trumka has been implicated in encouraging intimidation and deception to advance union goals, according to a report from the National Legal and Policy Center.

Trumka has also been accused of legitimizing violence. During a multi-state coal miners’ strike organized by the United Mine Workers in 1993, Trumka, as union president, ordered more than 17,000 miners to walk off the job, and explicitly told strikers to "kick the s--- out of" employees and mine operators defying union demands.

Homes were vandalized, shots were fired at a mine office, and power was cut to one mine, temporarily trapping 93 miners underground.

A non-union contractor, Eddie York, was murdered by a union member, shot in the back of the head as he drove past strikers at a West Virginia work site. Those trying to rescue the victim were attacked by a group of union members. The union member who shot the contractor went to jail, but no one else was disciplined for what took place.

Trumka told Virginian-Pilot in September 1993 regarding the incident, “I’m saying if you strike a match and you put your finger in it, you’re likely to get burned.”

Advertisement
Featured Image
Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.com
Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben

,

Supreme Court suspends Texas law that would have closed half of its abortion facilities

Ben Johnson Ben Johnson Follow Ben
By Ben Johnson

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 29, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – About half of the abortion facilities in Texas got a reprieve from the Supreme Court on its last day in session.

Justices ruled 5-4 that, right now, the state of Texas may not enforce health protection laws that would have put all but nine of the state's abortion offices out of business. The court's conservative bloc – Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito – objected, but Anthony Kennedy cast the decisive vote with the court's liberals.

At issue is whether the state may require abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and require abortion facilities to meet the same health and safety codes as other ambulatory surgical centers.

The temporary stay of Senate Bill 5 lasts until the justices decide whether they will hear an appeal from the abortion industry, which argues the law's provisions would unduly restrict a woman's access to abortion-on-demand.

“The U.S. Supreme Court was swayed, not for the first time in a week, by illogical arguments,” said Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America. “By actively lobbying against common sense regulations that would make sure women have access to ‘safe, legal and rare’ abortions, Planned Parenthood and their allies are making a mockery of women’s health care.”

“The abortion industry cares only for their bottom line, and women and their prenatal children are merely dollar signs in their business cycle,” Hawkins said.

"Women and babies are being denied protections with the Supreme Court blocking pro-life legislation,” said Lila Rose of Live Action. “Contrary to what big abortion organizations would have us believe, the possible closure of abortion facilities is due to the refusal of these corporations to adhere to sensible and ordinary medical precautions. We look forward to the day that both the legislature and the Courts use their power to protect the most vulnerable among us."

State pro-life leaders regret the loopholes that they say put women's health at risk.

“Unfortunately, women who do not have abortions at any of the nine operating ambulatory surgical centers that perform abortions will continue to be subjected to substandard medical care,” said Joe Pojman, Ph.D., executive director of Texas Alliance for Life.

The ruling does not permanently enjoin the state. It does not even guarantee justices will hear the case.

Should they decline, the law will go into effect in its entirety.

Last October, the Supreme Court allowed Texas to implement these measures while the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals considered its decision in a 6-3 verdict. However, it added that the state must allow abortion facilities in El Paso and McAllen to operate subpar operations, defying greater protections for women, because closing those facilities would require women to drive a great distance to the next nearest abortion facility.

Earlier this month, a three-panel judge of the appeals court, based in New Orleans, upheld the health regulations. All three judges had been appointed by President George W. Bush.

Had the full requirements gone into effect, half of all the remaining abortion facilities in Texas would have closed.

The left-wing website ThinkProgress worried, if the High Court upheld the decision, it would mean that “Roe v. Wade is almost entirely dead.”

Today, representatives of the abortion lobby felt relief. "Our Constitution rightly protects women from laws that would create barriers to safe and legal abortion care, but Texas politicians have tried to sneak around the Constitution with sham regulations designed to close clinics’ doors," said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a pro-life Republican, vowed to “continue to fight for higher-quality health care standards for women while protecting our most vulnerable – the unborn.”

“I’m confident the Supreme Court will ultimately uphold this law,” he added.

Advertisement

Customize your experience.

Login with Facebook