The ObamaCare “Abortion Fee” Hoax
A Catholic couple from Connecticut has filed suit against what it says is an “abortion fee mandate” contained in the Affordable Care Act. Barth and Abbie Bracy claim they are being forced to pay a $1 fee for abortion coverage to obtain insurance through Connecticut’s health exchange and that such payment violates their religious freedom as abortion opponents. But the “abortion fee” they claim to be paying is an illusion—the result of the Catholic bishops’ own objections to abortion coverage under the ACA.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops lost a heated battle to ban private insurers who are participating in exchanges from providing abortion coverage beyond the Hyde amendment limitations of rape, incest and life endangerment. But the bishops were successful in forcing the creation of a cumbersome methodology designed to ensure that no money from federally funded insurance subsidies would go toward abortions.
Apparently the bishops were hoping that ACA enrollees would have to write a separate check for abortion coverage so they’d be freaked out by having to write “for abortion” on the memo line. Instead, the methodology worked out by the Department of Health and Human Services requires insurers to segregate the premiums on their end, setting aside a small percentage of the premiums in a separate account to pay for the estimated cost of abortion claims, which, it should be noted, would include abortions for health reasons, emergency abortions in the case of catastrophic pregnancy loss, or abortions for fetal deformities, all of which are expensive, hospital-based procedures.