The Corner

This Obamacare Thing Is Bad News, Continued

Did anyone else notice the Department of Health and Human Services rule that was finalized yesterday? It establishes state health-care exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. And an abortion premium mandate.

Dorinda Bordlee and Nik Nikas call the health-care law’s individual mandate a “Russian nesting doll.” You keep opening and going deeper and finding more pernicious details.

Bordlee and the Bioethics Defense Fund filed a brief last month in the individual-mandate case the Supreme Court will be taking up later this month on just this.

As one Hill aide breaks it down:

To comply with the accounting requirement, plans will collect a $1 abortion surcharge from each premium payer.  The enrollee will make two payments, $1 per month for abortion and another payment for the rest of the services covered.  As described in the rule, the surcharge can only be disclosed to the enrollee at the time of enrollment.  Furthermore, insurance plans may only advertise the total cost of the premiums without disclosing that enrollees will be charged a $1 per month fee to pay directly subsidize abortions.

The final rule mentions, but does not address concerns about abortion coverage in “multi-state” plans administered by the Federal Government’s Office of Personal Management (OPM).  There is nothing in the Affordable Care Act to prevent some OPM (government administered) plans from covering elective abortion, and questions remain about whether OPM multi-state plans will include elective abortion.  If such plans do include abortion, there are concerns that the abortion coverage will even be offered in states that have prohibited abortion coverage in their state exchanges. The final rule indicates “Specific standards for multi-state plans will be described in future rulemaking published by OPM…”

You can read it yourself here as filed in the Federal Register by our U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The rule finalized yesterday provides for taxpayer funding of insurance coverage that includes elective abortion through an accounting trick. Under this rule, HHS mandates that insurance companies that cover abortion have a separate line item on each enrollee’s bill — regardless of age, sex, or family status — for elective abortions. As Bordlee has explained, in this now-finalized mandate within a mandate, “The government is not paying for it, you are paying for it. We are forced by federal law to pay into this abortion premium fund. It is a shell game where the government doesn’t pay for the abortion, we do.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Against Trump

Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Against Trump

Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is ... Read More
U.S.

The Worrisome Decline of Patriotism in America

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our country, but with patriotic sentiment at perhaps an all-time low, this year’s holiday is also an opportunity for us to remember how excruciatingly lucky we are to be American citizens. With nothing but bad news filling our screens in recent months, love of country has ... Read More
U.S.

The Worrisome Decline of Patriotism in America

Independence Day is a time to celebrate our country, but with patriotic sentiment at perhaps an all-time low, this year’s holiday is also an opportunity for us to remember how excruciatingly lucky we are to be American citizens. With nothing but bad news filling our screens in recent months, love of country has ... Read More
Music

The All-American Glory of Yacht Rock

They say jazz is America’s musical signature: As Ken Burns wrote, “the genius of America is improvisation, our unique experiment a profound intersection of freedom and creativity. . . . Nowhere is this more apparent than in jazz — the only art form created by Americans, an enduring and indelible expression ... Read More
Music

The All-American Glory of Yacht Rock

They say jazz is America’s musical signature: As Ken Burns wrote, “the genius of America is improvisation, our unique experiment a profound intersection of freedom and creativity. . . . Nowhere is this more apparent than in jazz — the only art form created by Americans, an enduring and indelible expression ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More

Hamilton on the Wrong Side of Cinema

Disney’s presentation of the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton marks a curious cultural turning point: The most heralded production in recent Broadway history has not been adapted into a movie — it’s a digital video recording of a 2016 stage performance — because it has to live up to its hype as an exclusive ... Read More