Buried in the Fine Print? Obamacare's Abortion Fees

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WASHINGTON -- There's a good chance Americans may soon be funding abortions without being aware they're doing it.

That's because Obamacare health insurance exchanges will be required by law to make everyone on their rosters pay a monthly surcharge to fund abortions for those who want them.

These exchanges have been encouraged to talk as little as possible about the fee. Pro-life lawmakers are furious over what they call an effort to hide something important from the public.

"Many pro-life Americans may unwittingly purchase pro-abortion plans because of a market secrecy clause embedded in Obamacare that stipulates the surcharge is minimally disclosed and only at the time of enrollment," Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., told CBN News. "In other words, bury it in the fine print."

"Every month people will be getting their insurance bill, and they'll look at their breakdown of their charges, and there will be no charge there showing they are paying every month for abortion," Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., explained.

These pro-life legislators and dozens of others want to pass a measure requiring health plans to state plainly and prominently if they cover abortion and will collect a monthly fee to pay for it.

They say it's buried in fine print because millions of Americans would protest if they knew the facts.

"Clearly Americans who are pro-life would object to paying for a health care plan that included abortion coverage and then being forced to pay for an abortion surcharge into a fund that is meant to be used solely for the purpose of destroying human life," Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said.

One Democrat member of the Pro-Life Caucus hopes the administration will take steps to require transparency on this issue by health exchanges without being forced to by Congress.

"I'm hopeful that it's not going to take legislation," Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., said. "I'm hopeful that the administration will stand up right now and make this change and require that transparency."

But Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., doubts the president would ever make such a move.

"This president for some unspeakable reason seems committed to cement his place in history as the abortion president," Franks said. "In every area that even in a nuanced way or indirectly affects abortion, he is somehow one of the greatest cheerleaders for abortion on demand."

Smith is angry because the president promised Congress this kind of thing wouldn't happen under Obamacare.

"It's unethical and frankly it's an absolute breach of the president's own words," Smith said.

"It's wrong that the American consumer is being kept from this very important information," Hartzler added.

Franks bemoaned what he sees as subversive tactics.

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

But perhaps the most bitter pill for pro-life Americans is seeing just how actively pro-abortion their government has become.

For decades many Americans thought of abortion as abhorrent, never thinking that taxpayer dollars would be used to fund it. Today, in one fell swoop, millions of Americans will be funding abortions with a monthly surcharge hidden in the finest of fine print.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.