Even though pro-lifers were criticized for saying that "Obamacare" funds abortion, some liberals, including House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, are now complaining about Obamacare abortion funding that the U.S. House voted to remove Thursday.
The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, which passed 242-179, would require that insurance plans that receive government funding no longer cover elective abortions.
In reaction, some liberals have argued that the bill would increase taxes on small business. "Republicans Include Tax Hike In Latest Abortion Bill," announced the headline of a Huffington Post article by Jennifer Bendery.
But arguing that it is a tax increase is an implicit admission that Obamacare, also called the Affordable Care Act, actually does provide funding for abortions, something that many liberals have been reluctant to concede.
"The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would deny small businesses a tax credit they currently receive through what's known as the SHOP exchange, a part of the Affordable Care Act, if they include abortion care in their health plans," she wrote.
The notion that the bill increases taxes will likely become a Democratic talking point as the debate moves to the Senate. House Minority Leader Pelosi, D-California, shared Bendery's article in a blog post on her website. The article was first shared with me in the form of a press release from a public relations firm, and the same argument can be found in several liberal websites (here and here, for instance).
The complaint that the bill increases taxes is a red herring to begin with. The bill is designed to force companies receiving the credit to remove their abortion coverage. If the legislation were to become law, those companies would not get a tax increase, they would change their coverage so they could continue to get the credit. If those companies wanted to continue to pay for their employees abortions, they could continue to do so, they would just have to set up a separate account that is not paid for with the government funds.
Obamacare was never supposed to fund abortions. President Barack Obama struck a deal with pro-life Democrats in order to get enough votes to pass the legislation. In exchange for their votes, he signed an executive order saying that none of the law's funding would pay for abortions.
Much of the criticism over Obamacare's abortion funding has been related to the state-level exchanges where individual's can purchase insurance, rather than the credit for small businesses. The Charlotte Lozier Institute and Family Research Council set up a website, ObamacareAbortion.com, to provide information about which health plans on the exchanges cover abortion. Not only are government subsidies paying for some of these health insurance plans, but due to the lack of transparency, pro-life customers are having difficulty finding which plans do not cover abortion.
By highlighting the small business tax credit, however, Pelosi, Bendery and other liberals have (perhaps unwittingly) exposed yet another way that Obamacare funds abortions.