Thursday, June 28, 2012

Affordable Care Act Decision

The Supreme Court has issued a decision in the cases related to the Affordable Care Act. Abortion-related issues remain. Examples of pro-life objections include:
  • Taxpayer funding for abortion coverage through the exchange premium assistance credits—complete with an abortion surcharge and secrecy clause.
  • The abortion surcharge and secrecy clause established in Section 1303 were added as the mechanism for abortion funding under the Affordable Care Act. Any subsidized plan that includes abortion will charge a surcharge of at least $1 per person to go into an abortion fund, and insurance companies are only allowed to disclose the surcharge at the time of enrollment.
  • Multi-state plans run by the federal Office of Personnel Management and subsidized, in part, by taxpayer subsidies, will still be allowed to cover abortion (except one must not include abortion as required in the ACA).
  • Preventive services mandate. This mandate is currently being used to mandate sterilization and contraceptive coverage including the morning-after-pill. In the future it could be used to mandate surgical and RU-486 abortion coverage.
  • Funding for abortion training is not excluded from the Teaching Health Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program.
  • Possible future abortion funding through Community Health Centers, High Risk Pools and other directly funded programs.
  • Potential funding for Planned Parenthood school-based health clinics.
  • Lack of strong conscience protections to stop the government from forcing health care entities to participate in abortion.
New pro-life concerns continue to arise as the regulatory details of the law continue to unfold.

More on the constitutionality of the individual mandate, severability, applicability of the Anti-Injunction Act, and whether Medicaid funds can be tied to compliance with the ACA:

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