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Dear Member of Congress:
The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), the federation of state right-to-life organizations, strongly supports the American Health Care Act in the form reported out by the Budget Committee on March 16, because it contains the following essential provisions:1) prevents federal tax credits from being used for plans that pay for abortions, 2) preserves non-taxed employer-provided health plans, 3) postpones the “Cadillac tax” until 2025 and 4) eliminates roughly 89% of federal Planned Parenthood funding for the next year.
This legislation would eliminate multiple abortion-subsidizing and abortion-expanding provisions of Public Law 111-148, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA).
As enacted, the PPACA contains multiple provisions authorizing federal subsidies for abortion, and abortion-expanding regulatory mandates. A 2014 GAO report revealed that over 1,000 federally subsidized plans nationwide were covering elective abortion. The American Health Care Act would repeal the provisions of law that created this system, and prohibit any future federal tax credits from subsidizing the purchase of plans that cover elective abortion, thereby restoring the longstanding principles of the Hyde Amendment with respect to federally funded health coverage.
NRLC also strongly supports the language in the bill that would block, for one year, most federal payments to affiliates of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).It would close the largest pipeline for federal funding of Planned Parenthood, Medicaid, and apply as well to the CHIP and the Title V and Title X block grant programs, thus covering roughly 89% of all federal funds to Planned Parenthood. The amounts denied toPlanned Parenthood, in effect, are reallocated to community health centers. Over one-third of all abortions in the U.S. are performed at PPFA-affiliated facilities. For additional up-to-date information on the extent of Planned Parenthood’s involvement in abortion, see: www.nrlc.org/communications/ppfamediabackground/
In addition, the American Health Care Act retains employer-paid health insurance as a fully untaxed benefit. The American Health Care Act postpones the “Cadillac tax” which is designed to create a tax disincentive to suppress private, nongovernmental health care spending beyond a governmentally imposed limit. It is critical that Americans have access to quality life-saving healthcare to preserve their lives, care that will not be rationed more each year.
While we recognize that additional changes may be made to the bill before it reaches the House floor, if the essential elements listed above are retained, and no objectionable new components are added, NRLC intends to include the roll call on passage of the American Health Care Act in our scorecard of key right-to-life roll calls of the 115th Congress.
Thank you for your consideration of the position of National Right to Life on this matter of grave importance to our organization.
David N. O’Steen, Ph.D
Jennifer Popik, J.D.