According to The Federalist, a leaked document shows that the Biden administration’s push to change how abortion coverage is billed in Affordable Care Act (ACA) health plans was done for the benefit of America’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood.
The abortion corporation sued against ACA rules that required the separation of abortion coverage billing and payments from those for actual health care, claiming that these rules would be financially “devastating” to Planned Parenthood. Based on the document obtained by The Federalist, the Biden administration rushed to Planned Parenthood’s aid.
The change involves Section 1303, which requires that insurance providers collect separate premium payments for those who want abortion coverage, ensuring that federal taxpayer dollars don’t cover the costs of abortion procedures. But in 2014, it was discovered that some insurance providers were ignoring the rule. The Trump administration then required insurance providers to send two different bills to those who wished to cover abortion, to further distinguish between abortion coverage and actual health care.
That rule was blocked by a federal judge in July 2020 after Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit.
Then, on July 1, 2021, the Biden-Harris Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed ending the rule that the payments be separate. The leaked document, dated August 10, was circulated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before being sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for final approval. OMB received the document on August 19, just 50 days after the rule change was initially proposed.
According to The Federalist, this would normally require months of review by the public, allowing for comments, before the rule change could be finalized. In fact, Executive Order 12866, signed by President Bill Clinton in 1993, said that rules should have at least 60 days for public comment and the Administrative Procedure Act advises no less than 30 days of review unless the situation is urgent such as a national security crisis.
But the Biden administration pushed the rule change through with just 28 days for public comment.
So why the rush? When Planned Parenthood sued against the Trump administration’s rule, it argued that such a requirement would have a “devastating” financial impact on its business. Planned Parenthood claimed abortions for women without insurance would be less profitable because it would “impose costs on them that cannot be recovered” and there would be a decline in the number of abortions because insurers may drop their abortion coverage. Planned Parenthood has long claimed to be about health care and has said abortion is only a small part of what it does, but this is clearly dishonest if it now claims that a decline in abortions would devastate its finances.
In order to appease Planned Parenthood, a loyal friend of the Biden administration, HHS jumped at the chance to push through a rule change that would solely benefit the abortion industry to the detriment to Americans who do not wish to pay for abortions.
“The rule flouts protections against taxpayer funding of abortion by interpreting separate abortion payments to mean combined payments,” Rachel Morrison, policy analyst with the HHS Accountability Project at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told Catholic News Agency at the time the rule change was proposed. “This is yet another gift to the abortion industry by the Biden administration.”
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