U.S. Senators Mike Enzi and Senator John Barrasso, both R-Wyo., joined Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., today to introduce key legislation to enact a permanent, government-wide prohibition of taxpayer funding for abortion. Currently, similar policies, such as the Hyde Amendment, require annual passage and do not apply to Obamacare.
The “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” S. 582, also includes a provision championed by Senator Roberts requiring all health insurance plans offered by Obamacare exchanges to disclose coverage of elective abortion procedures and the abortion surcharge embedded into abortion-covering plans.
The legislation is the Senate companion to H.R. 7, authored by Representative Chris Smith, R-N.J., and Dan Lipinski, D-Ill. That bill passed the House by a vote of 242-179 on January 22, 2015.
Existing laws that would also be made permanent under S. 582 include the Smith FEHBP amendment (which prohibits funding for elective abortion coverage for federal employees) and the Dornan amendment (which prohibits use of congressionally appropriated funds for abortion in the District of Columbia).
Last year, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office issued a report showing that taxpayer dollars paid for more than 1,000 health insurance plans that included elective abortion.
Cosponsors of the legislation include Roy Blunt, R-Mo., John Boozman, R-Ark., Richard Burr, R-N.C., Bill Cassidy, R-La., Dan Coats, R-Ind., Thad Cochran, R-Miss., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Steve Daines, R-Mont., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Deb Fischer, R-Neb., Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, John Hoeven, R-N.D., Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., James Lankford, R-Okla., John McCain, R-Ariz., Jerry Moran, R-Kan., Rand Paul, R-Ky., David Perdue, R-Ga., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, Jim Risch, R-Idaho, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Ben Sasse, R-Neb., Tim Scott, R-S.C., Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Richard Shelby, R-Ala., John Thune, R-S.D., and David Vitter, R-La.
The bill is supported by the National Right to Life, the Family Research Council, the Susan B. Anthony List, Americans United for Life, March for Life, and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, among others.