Sens. Cruz, Young, Colleagues Pressure Biden Administration to Withdraw Proposed Obamacare Abortion Rule
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Todd Young (R-Ind.), and 24 other senators sent a letter this week to Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra opposing the Biden administration's attempt to eliminate a 2019 Trump-era rule that blocked combined payments for abortion coverage in taxpayer-funded Obamacare exchange plans. The senators wrote in objection to the proposed rule, the effect of which would lead to taxpayer-funded abortion by way of Obamacare's premium subsidies.
Co-signers of the letter include Sens. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), Steve Daines (R-Mont.), Michael Rounds (R-S.D.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Thune (R-S.D.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Todd Young (R-Ind.), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.).
In the letter, the senators wrote:
"Abortion is not health care, and American taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize it."
"The Proposed Rule directly violates the express text, clear meaning, and Congressional intent of Section 1303. In construing ‘separate' to mean ‘together,' the Proposed Rule would illegally allow insurance companies to collect combined payments for elective abortion coverage, rather than separate payments as the law requires. The Proposed Rule also undermines consumer transparency and makes it harder for consumers to know whether their plan covers abortion, which may lead many to pay for abortions in violation of their consciences or religious beliefs."
"The purpose and effect of the Proposed Rule, in tandem with partisan legislative efforts to expand the ACA, will be to increase taxpayer funding for abortion on demand, to the financial benefit of Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry."
The extensive letter reviews the separate payment and separate accounting requirements in the ACA, the Obama administration's refusal to enforce the provisions, and the Trump administration's efforts to follow the law. The letter also attacks "faulty reasoning" used by the Biden administration to justify the proposed rule. The senators take issue with the ramifications of the proposed rule as congressional Democrats intend to permanently increase taxpayer-funded subsidies for ACA exchange plans, without Hyde Amendment protections.
Organizations supporting the senators' effort include Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life, March for Life, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Americans United for Life, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and the HHS Accountability Project scholars at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Read the full text of the letter here.