Tense confrontation: Congressman asks Sebelius for list of ObamaCare plans that don’t cover abortion
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Sparks flew on Capitol Hill today as a Republican congressman demanded that HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius produce a list of ObamaCare health insurance plans that do not cover abortion.
On October 30, Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois asked Sebelius if she could “provide for the committee the list of insurers in the federal exchange who do not offer as part of their package abortion coverage.”
Sebelius replied, “I don't know.” But she later stated, “I think I can do that, Sir...We should be able to do it.”
“I will check and make sure that is clearly identifiable,” she promised.
Today, Congressman Shimkus asked why, more than a month later, that list has yet to be produced.
“Folks are shopping now,” Shimkus said. “We need that list, Madame Secretary.”
“Every plan lists plan benefits,” she said, “and the one plan benefit they must list by law is abortion services.” She recommended that those who did not wish to fund abortion look at the plan's summary of benefits.
However, in October Shimkus had held up benefits statements that did not list that information.
“You promised to provide the list of those insurance plans. All we're asking is for you to keep that promise,” he said as the chairman banged the gavel during a heated exchange. “You promised last time.”
“It is available,” Sebelius insisted.
Since the HHS did not compile the appropriate information, pro-life Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey has instructed his staffers to gather the information independently.
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“Any detailed review reveals that it is virtually impossible for consumers looking at exchange plans to identify which, if any of the ObamaCare exchange plans on their state exchange include or exclude abortion,” he said.
The “Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act,” (H.R. 3279) was introduced by Smith to require prominent, transparent disclosure of abortion coverage for each plan offered as part of the Affordable Care Act state health exchanges.
Section 1303(b)(2) of the ACA specifically states that agents “shall provide information only with respect to the total amount of the combined payments.” Critics say that excludes information about abortion coverage, which is not divulged until the moment someone is about to purchase the plan.
Smith noted that the vast majority of plans Congressmen and their staffers can choose from – 103 of 112 in all – cover abortion.
In some areas, not a single health care plan is available that does not cover abortion, his staffers revealed.