Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NO FOOLING - Tax subsidies one reason for abortion opt-out law

Some have questioned the need for the recently enacted Abortion Insurance Opt-Out law. A current national study shows at least 126,000 Michigan residents will receive an estimated $328 million in taxpayer-funded subsidies to purchase health insurance. Had the opt-out law not been enacted, many insurance plans would have included coverage for abortion as a built-in benefit. These are figures through February that do not include the wave of people who signed up for coverage in the month of March.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "There was a reason the Affordable Care Act included a provision for states to opt-out of abortion coverage, people do not want their tax dollars going towards the destruction of innocent human life. Abortion is not true health care; abortion ends the life of a child preparing to be born."

The Kaiser Family Foundation released data highlighting how many people from Michigan have signed up for health care policies through the exchange with an estimated $328 million in taxpayer subsidies. Tax subsidies are a fundamental part of the Affordable Care Act. Of the 145,000 people who selected a Marketplace Plan in Michigan for their health insurance needs, 126,000 people are receiving subsidies. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average subsidy per enrollee for Michigan is $2,610.

Listing said, "We initiated the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out law to exclude abortion coverage from all health plans in the state because the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies to cover health care policies. We knew that by working together we could keep our tax dollars from paying for abortion. At the time of the petition drive, we did not know how many of our tax dollars would be used to subsidize health care. Now we know it is hundreds of millions of dollars that would have provided abortion coverage to thousands of residents."

Michigan's Abortion Insurance Opt-Out law, which went into effect in March, also removes abortion from any private health plans in Michigan. The Opt-Out initiative has always been about who desires abortion coverage and who will pay for it; the law has nothing to do with the legality of abortion. With the Abortion Insurance Opt-Out law in place, both transparency and peace of mind is realized for those who have health insurance. Now, any health care policies purchased or renewed will not include abortion unless a separate rider is obtained. In addition, if an employer's private plan includes an abortion rider; all employees must be notified of the rider's provisions.