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How lawmakers could use your dollars to pay for their abortions

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 16th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Lawmakers and their staffs could gain access to abortion coverage as part of a fix to Obamacare. The legalities of the dilemma are extraordinarily complex that nobody knows what will happen, only that the entire situation could become a legal Gordian knot.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Currently, members of Congress and their staffs do not have access to abortion coverage, which means that federal funds, more commonly known as your tax dollars, are not spent to pay for abortions, should these individuals choose to undergo one.

However, critics have pointed out that congressional representatives and their staffs do not have to use Obamacare coverage, which is hypocritical. Since Congress passed Obamacare, they should have to live with it the same as everyone else.

Therefore, Senator Charles Grassley (R-IO) has proposed an amendment that would compel lawmakers and their staffers to use the same markets as you and I to purchase their insurance.

So far, this sounds like a fair plan, however there's a wrinkle. While lawmakers and their staffs may end up using Obamacare, they will also continue to get federal subsidies which pay for their healthcare. In other words, they will use Obamacare, but at least a portion of their coverage will be paid by the federal government with your tax dollars.

The problem is not just that we're paying their healthcare at a time when many Americans will be struggling to pay for their own. It's that they could purchase plans which do include abortion and that would mean your tax dollars could be used to fund that which is unconscionable.

So the fix that would force Congress to use the same healthcare we do, also creates the problem by potentially diverting your dollars to their abortions.

Federal law thankfully prohibits the use of public money for the vast majority of abortions excepting only cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother.

So now a new change is being proposed, in essence, an amendment to the amendment. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) is asking for those who must choose an Obamacare plan paid for with federal money to buy only plans that do not include abortion coverage.

However, this becomes a legal entanglement because it would have to be enforced and there is no current mechanism to do the reporting or enforcing. Anti-life advocates say that lawmakers and staffers can happily choose an abortion plan and that no federal money will be spent on the procedures. Instead, premium increases would be use.

Premiums that would come, at least in part, from you and I.

It is likely, lawmakers predict, that legal issues will be raised by both sides, and battles will ensue. How they will be resolved is subject to great debate because the specific laws and policies are widely varied, differing from state to state and from provider to provider. Sorting out the mess will likely be a long, confusing and drawn-out process.

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