US Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan) wants to ensure that all Americans have access to the information regarding which Obamacare insurance plans provide abortion coverage. Together with 14 of his colleagues, on Wednesday Roberts introduced the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act, which requires that Obamacare exchanges disclose not only which insurance plans pay for abortion, but the amount of the “abortion fee” or surcharge taken in order to build a fund to pay for abortions. The surcharge is required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and is at least one dollar per month.
The Senate bill is the companion to House legislation introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ). The Senate version requires the Department of Health and Human Services’ compliance within 30 days, while the House bill allows 90 days.
“Americans have a right to know if a plan they are purchasing covers abortion,” Roberts said. “Millions of pro-life Americans oppose the use of their money to cover abortion services, but as current law is written, it is difficult to obtain information about which exchange plans provide such services. My bill further requires this information to be prominently disclosed so consumers can make informed, values-based decisions.”
The bill is also sponsored by U.S. Senators Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Orin Hatch (R-Utah), James Risch (R-Idaho), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and John Boozman (R-Ark.).
Senator Roberts is pro-life and has been forthright about his opposition to Obamacare. In addition to taking on Obamacare for abortion coverage disclosure, he joined members of Congress in filing an amicus brief in Sebelious v Hobby Lobby when the case was before the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.
“The failings of Obamacare are painfully clear from loss of coverage to increased premiums, but the secrecy in the law raises serious moral and ethical issues. We need transparency. Consumers have a right to know what these fees are paying for so that they can choose an insurance plan that meets their needs and is in line with their beliefs and values,” Roberts said.