Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) has released his proposal for “America’s Health Future Act.” This bill has been said to address the pro-life community’s concerns about abortion funding and coverage and freedom of conscience. The proposal deals with the issue of abortion by incorporating similar language to the Capps amendment to H.R. 3200, which does not explicitly exclude abortion coverage and funding; in fact, the Capps Amendment mandates it.
Americans United for Life’s President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest said, “We initially were encouraged to hear that this version of the health care reform will ban federal subsidies for abortion. However, this bill provides $6 billion for the establishment of health insurance cooperatives which would be permitted to cover abortion. Under Baucus, abortions permitted under the Hyde amendment (currently in cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother) can be mandated in the minimum benefits package. If the Hyde Amendment is ever eliminated, the Baucus bill would mandate coverage for all abortions. Real health care respects life and the pro-life community will never support any bill that does not explicitly say that abortion funding and coverage is not allowed. ”
Americans United for Life’s sister organization Americans United for Life Action is meeting with the White House tomorrow to discuss their health care concerns regarding abortion funding and coverage, conscience protection and end of life issues.
Mary Harned, Americans United for Life’s Staff Counsel cautions that there is still a long road ahead in the health care fight: “The mark-up of the Baucus bill will begin next Tuesday. Even if language expressly excluding abortion funding and coverage is added to the bill, it will then need to be reconciled with the bill reported from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. After that process, the bill will then: (1) go through an amendment process on the Senate Floor; (2) go to conference where it will be reconciled with whatever bill the House produces.”
For further information, please visit AUL’s health care website:
About Americans United for Life
Americans United for Life (AUL) is a nonprofit, public-interest law and policy organization whose vision is a nation in which everyone is welcomed in life and protected in law. The first national pro-life organization in America, AUL has been committed to defending human life through vigorous judicial, legislative, and educational efforts at both the federal and state levels since 1971. The Wall Street Journal has profiled AUL, and PBS’ Frontline program chronicled AUL’s successful efforts in Mississippi.