"[O]ne more misunderstanding I want to clear up – under our plan, no federal dollars will be used to fund abortions, and federal conscience laws will remain in place."
So said Barack Obama during his healthcare address to the nation Wednesday.
Yet, according to an article at ABCNews.com, this could be another example of the President playing fast and loose with the facts (h/t Jake Tapper):
While the original bills both in the House and Senate never explicitly addressed abortion, Section 1714 of the House bill, H.R. 3200, does talk about family planning for women on Medicaid, the existing federal-state health care program for the poor.
Section 1714 would make states automatically eligible for matching federal funds if they wanted to offer family planning services to women who do not otherwise qualify for Medicaid because they make too much money. Currently, states wanting to pursue this approach need a special waiver from the federal government.
The piece elaborated:
Current law says federal funds cannot be used for abortions except in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother.
But under health care reform plans, lower income Americans would have their health care subsidized by the government, and they would be allowed to pick a health care plan that covers abortion.
Not what Obama and the Democrats are claiming, is it?
One version of the House reform bill, by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would allow health plans to cover abortions, as long as they were paid for entirely with private funds. That provision is made in an amendment by Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif.
Keeping public and private money separate might not be the easiest thing to regulate, but experts say it could work.
However, the version with the Capps amendment may or may not end up being the final bill that goes to the House floor.
The Senate, in the meantime, is still working on its bill.
So, it is unclear whether taxpayers could ultimately fund abortions through these reforms or not.
As such, despite what Obama said Wednesday, healthcare reform MIGHT result in federal dollars funding abortions.
If this ends up being the case, will media outlets fully apprise Americans BEFORE members of Congress vote on this bill?