In Harry Reid's telephone town hall meeting on August
Marie Kissinger of Sparks, NV asked: "I want to ask
if you're going to support a bill that includes payment
for abortions" (45:10 into recording).
Reid responded, "The first question's really easy. .
. . none of the three House bills, . . . the one Senate
bill, none of them -- use any taxpayer dollars for
abortions. . . The House bill states, and I quote,
health insurance providers aren't required to or
prohibited from offering abortion coverage. The cost of
such coverage would be exclusively paid by premiums, not
by public subsidies. Public funding of abortion would be
permitted only as under current law under the so- called
Hyde Amendment, which is in the case of rape, incest, or
when the woman's life is in danger. That's been the law
in the country for several decades." Earlier in the town
hall (see 4:30), Reid called taxpayer funding a myth.
Reid's answer is an evasion. He's trying to say the bill
does not pay for or subsidize abortion without saying he
won't vote for one that does. But payment and subsidies
for abortion are in the bill. They will fund all
abortions, not just abortions for rape, incest and the
life of the mother. Reid may vote against public funding
and subsidies under pressure from Nevada voters, but
Reid told the Weekly Standard that he "could"
support a national health care bill that provided
coverage for abortion.
Is abortion covered by the House Bill? Reid's own answer
shows it is. He says health insurers are not required in
the House bill to pay for abortion, but they are NOT
prohibited from doing so.
The Capps Amendment to HR 3200 clearly authorizes the
government to pay for abortion under the public option,
and it subsidizes private plans in the proposed health
exchange that provide abortion. Both are a break from
long standing policy of not paying for abortions or
subsidizing plans that do.
The amendment says: "In the case of a qualified health
benefits plan, the plan is not required (or prohibited)
under this Act from providing coverage of services
described in paragraph (4) (A) or (4)(B) (explanation 2
paragraphs below) and the QHBP offering entity shall
determine whether such coverage is provided."
This means that "qualified health care benefit packages"
(QHBPs) can cover abortion. Those plans will be
subsidized with government funding.
The amendment also says "The public health insurance
option shall provide coverage for services described in
paragraph (4)(B). Nothing in this Act shall be construed
as preventing the public health insurance option from
providing for or prohibiting coverage of services
described in paragraph (4) (A)."
All abortions will be covered in the House Bill. The
"services described in paragraphs (4) (A)" and "(4) (B)"
are abortions-all abortions. Abortions in paragraph (4)
(B) are abortions for rape, incest and the life of the
mother. The Hyde Amendment allows taxpayer funding for
those abortions. The abortions under paragraph (4) (A)
are those abortions prohibited by the Hyde
Amendment-abortions for reasons OTHER THAN abortions for
rape, incest or the life of the mother-or 95 percent of
This means that the Capps amendment to the House bill
would authorize funding for abortion on demand
throughout pregnancy for the public option and subsidize
"qualifying health care benefits plans" which cover
abortion. This represents a dramatic break from decades
of federal policy under which federal funds do not pay
for abortions and do not subsidize insurance plans that
cover abortions, except for abortions for rape, incest
and the life of the mother. Public funding of abortion
on demand will lead to massive increases in abortion.
It's time for "pro-life" Harry Reid to come clean, stop
shilling for Planned Parenthood and the abortion
industry and tell the truth about this important public