Buried in an Associated Press story last week on President Obama’s health care reform agenda was a fact that counters misleading statements from the White House: The Hyde Amendment does not protect American taxpayers from funding abortions through ObamaCare.
The AP reports:
The main point of contention is the proposed new federal subsidies that would help lower-income people purchase health care coverage from private plans – and potentially from a new government-sponsored plan – within a new purchasing exchange.
Currently a law called the Hyde amendment bars federal funding for abortion “except in cases of rape and incest or if the mother’s life would be endangered” and applies those restrictions to Medicaid, forcing states that cover abortion for low-income women to do so with their own money. Separate laws apply the restrictions to the federal employee health plan and military and other programs.
But the Democrats’ health overhaul bill would create a new stream of federal funding not covered by the restrictions.
As blogger Ed Morrissey notes, “It only took the Associated Press six weeks after Rep. Joe Wilson’s ‘You lie!’, but they finally have reported that Barack Obama told a whopper in his joint speech to Congress “” and that Democrats have lied all along about abortion and ObamaCare.” But the misinformation from the White House didn’t end with Obama’s speech. Twice in recent weeks, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has insisted to reporters that the Hyde Amendment is sufficient to prevent federal funds from subsidizing abortion.
Democrats have used the Hyde Amendment as a big red herring during this debate.They have repeatedly argued that their ObamaCare bills do not repeal the Hyde Amendment, which is at once both true and irrelevant. The funding for ObamaCare bypassed the Hyde amendment, which allows most Democrats to pose dishonestly on the issue.
That was most true when Barack Obama told Congress and the American people that no federal dollars would go for abortions. He knew, or at least he should have known, that the Hyde Amendment did not cover the funding his own party proposed for coverage. He also knew that his party had blocked efforts to close that loophole in the bill. Obama either lied or showed a dismaying ignorance of the facts in the debate, and given his endorsement of Planned Parenthood and theirs in return, I’m betting he isn’t ignorant on this issue at all.
Indeed, while on the campaign trail, Obama vowed to Planned Parenthood that abortion funding would be the “center and heart” of his health care plan. The current bill is on track to keep that promise–unless Americans call on the President and Congress to keep his promise to America–that of an abortion-free health care bill–and not his promise to Planned Parenthood.
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