Perkins expresses concerns over potential abortion funding in new American Health Care Act
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council today praised certain aspects of the newly proposed, American Health Care Act, but also expressed concern that the bill could provide backend funding for abortions.
"The American Health Care Act contains important provisions which prevent these health care credits and state block grants from paying for plans that cover abortion on demand," wrote Perkins in affirmation of plans to block abortion coverage, something the Obama administration disregarded. "However, there is still a pro-life concern in the bill because it could allow funds from the refundable credits to pay for abortions in health savings accounts<' wrote Perkins. Perkins and his team at FRC said they are already talking with congressional leaders, pushing for full pro-life protections in the new bill, "We discussed with congressional leaders who agree with the importance of making sure this bill has rock solid pro-life protections."
Perkins condemned health care plans that make provision for healthcare, "Abortion is not health care. The government should not fund or incentivize abortion on-demand as health care -- no matter which political party is in charge. If the House pro-life language is fixed and passes, there are additional hurdles in the Senate due to strict budget rules. The Senate "Byrd Rule" governs budget bills to only allow a 51-vote threshold. Any provision that doesn't comply with the budget rules is subject to a 60-vote threshold. In the past, efforts to add restrictions on abortion funding to a reconciliation bill that reformed Medicaid was struck down under the strict rules. If the abortion funding restrictions for health care credits and state funds in this new bill fails in the Senate, then these provisions will subsidize abortion. In that case, the pro-life community could not support the overall bill and should oppose it."
The new bill cuts funding for Planned Parenthood and would redirect funds to Federally Qualified Health Centers, who proponents say are better equipped to handle women's health care.
Vice President Pence met with pro-life leaders today and affirmed Trump's plan to make good on his campaign promises for pro-life tweeting, "Grateful to host pro-life leaders today & reaffirm @POTUS Trump's commitment to the sanctity of life in the Obamacare repeal & replace plan."
Photo: Folders containing amendments to the GOP's "Obamacare" replacement bill are spread on a conference table on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 9, 2017, as members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee worked through the night. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)