Now half a year since the opening of the 2016 Obamacare enrollment period, new state abortion mandates are just coming to light in New York. The Catholic Diocese of Albany and 12 other entities who have deeply-held objections to abortion were recently informed they had been covering elective abortions, unbeknownst to them, in their employer insurance plans under two state abortion mandates.
It’s hard to believe the Obama Administration is still fighting the nuns over abortion and contraception.
The Little Sisters of the Poor object on religious grounds to the government hijacking their health insurance plan to provide contraceptives including some that can cause abortions.
They’ve filed a lawsuit and today the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case.
Charlotte Lozier Institute, the education arm of Susan B. Anthony List, today released a landmark review of health care sharing ministries (HCSMs). These ministries, which date back decades as a source of health care financing for both individuals and families, have experienced new prominence as an alternative to conventional health insurance.
“Do your health plans on the exchange cover elective abortion?” Since the first Obamacare Open Enrollment Period in November 2013, the Charlotte Lozier Institute has asked this simple question of insurance companies, only to find mostly confusion, an inability to share relevant plan documents, and few companies able to give a direct answer to our simple question. For 2016, CLI and the Family Research Council (FRC) have once again researched plans and updated the ObamacareAbortion.com resource website with the abortion coverage policies for each individual and family plan on the Obamacare exchanges.
In sum for 2016: The abortion coverage remains difficult to discern for many plans without enrolling first; an estimated 59% of Obamacare plans for individuals and families cover abortion on demand; two states still have no plans excluding elective abortion; and compared with last year, there are three fewer states with Multi-State Plans (MSPs) which generally exclude elective abortion.
The Little Sisters of the Poor are heading back to the Supreme Court in their quest to defend their religious freedom.
The Little Sisters are represented by legal counsel including attorneys from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. According to a statement issued by the Becket Fund, “for the second time in two years, the Little Sisters of the Poor must ask the Supreme Court to protect them from the government.”
The Little Sisters case involves the “contraception mandate” stemming from the Obamacare health care law and regulations issued by the Obama administration. The contraception mandate includes drugs that can cause abortion by preventing the implantation of a fertilized egg.
Beginning in 2016, Rhode Island health insurance carriers who will offer plans either on or off the exchange will be required to provide an elective abortion-free plan at each metal level at which they will offer plans. Research from the Charlotte Lozier Institute and the Family Research Council in November 2014 showed that Rhode Island was one of four states that offered only plans covering elective abortion for the 2015 enrollment period.
On February 10, the Washington state House of Representatives held a public hearing on a bill that would mandate coverage of elective abortion in health insurance plans for 2016. House Bill 1647 states that any plan in the state that covers maternity services must also provide “substantially equivalent coverage to permit the voluntary termination of pregnancy.”
The bill asserts that it seeks to “improve access to reproductive health,” yet there is no evidence of statewide lack of access to a health plan covering elective abortion. The mandate would affect plans sold on the state exchange or privately from insurance companies and through employers, meaning that most, if not all, insurance consumers in the state would subsidize abortion on demand. According to the CDC’s latest figures, Washington state’s abortion rate has fallen more than 20% from 2006 to 2011.
Last Tuesday, two individuals from Rhode Island and Vermont filed separate lawsuits in federal court to challenge the abortion surcharge mandate. Both men are pro-life and reside in states whose marketplaces currently offer only plans that include elective abortion. Because of this, every individual enrolled in a plan through these states’ marketplaces is required by law to pay a separate abortion surcharge each month.
On November 20, the Charlotte Lozier Institute and Family Research Council launched a new website to expose which health insurance plans on the Obamacare exchanges cover and do not cover elective abortion for the 2015 enrollment period. The website, ObamacareAbortion.com, is a joint effort between the two groups. Researchers have examined new plan documents, contacted insurance carriers and the exchanges seeking plan information. Here are some of the findings for select states.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute has joined forces with Family Research Council to examine individual plans on each state’s insurance exchange in an attempt to provide the transparency that is so lacking for consumers on abortion coverage in Obamacare. These findings are shared via a new online resource, www.ObamacareAbortion.com. Below are some highlighted news stories and excerpts covering the Capitol Hill press conference announcing the website’s launch on November 20, 2014.
Government agencies have a distressing habit of releasing information they don’t care to highlight on the eve of holidays, or late on a Friday – or, whenever possible, both. That is why it comes as relatively little surprise that the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) used last Friday evening to issue an important rule on abortion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rule, moreover, was parceled in a 350-page document that, like other issuances, invited only the most active readers.
Later this week the federal and state exchanges created under Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, will open for their second year of operation. After last year’s rugged rollout, with extremely expensive web sites that functioned poorly, the Obama Administration has invested millions more in fixing the federal site, healthcare.gov, and is promising better performance. It is far from clear that this improvement will happen, and in the area of abortion coverage nothing is clear at all.
The non-partisan congressional watchdog agency, Government Accountability Office (GAO), released a new report late September 15 confirming that: 1,036 federally subsidized plans cover elective abortion; insurance consumers were frequently not informed of this coverage before enrolling; and plan issuers are not billing elective abortion coverage separately despite a legal requirement.
Now, four and a half years since the Affordable Care Act’s passage and nearing the end of its first year of implementation, the Charlotte Lozier Institute has also found that the ACA provision that is supposed to separate funds used for elective abortions from other taxpayer payments in federally subsidized health insurance exchange plans is largely inoperative.
Liberty can be explained in a handful of words; deprivations of liberty usually require thousands. That is the case with the latest iteration of the accommodations permitted under the Obama Administration’s preventive services mandate, which was published on Friday, August 22. The Obama Health and Human Services (HHS) Department issued its latest rulemakings designed to […]
Last week, amidst the media flurry following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in the Hobby Lobby case, another legal fight began to brew. As with the Hobby Lobby case, at the heart of this legal battle is the preventative services mandate imposed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). At the center of the legal […]
This updated chart shows each state’s limitations on abortion funding via health insurance. *Current as of June 2014.
Charlotte Lozier Institute submitted a “friend of the court” brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of abortion-related conscience rights. The Court recently heard arguments in the Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood religious freedom cases and will decide those cases later this year.
On Tuesday of this week the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two cases to decide whether private companies can refuse to comply with a federal mandate to supply health insurance coverage for abortifacient drugs and contraceptives. The cases, Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius, will test the strength of […]
On December 11, 2013, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, in response to a question from Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), testified on Capitol Hill that abortion coverage information in insurance plans is “available for every customer,” and that “it is on the website.” After the testimony the Charlotte Lozier Institute undertook to research […]
From the beginning of the rollout of the federal and state websites displaying health insurance plans eligible for premium subsidies, the ability to identify key elements of the plans, compare and contrast them, and understand the scope of coverage and other issues has been limited at best. In most cases, it was necessary at the […]
Today the U.S. Supreme Court announced it will review two cases where the government is trying to force Christian-owned businesses to provide health care coverage that includes abortion-inducing drugs.
Today is the one-year anniversary of the big surgery: 78-pound, five-foot-tall “M’, 87 years old and a feisty New York native, was operated on for tongue cancer. The surgery meant removal of half her tongue followed by its reconstruction using the long muscle of her forearm. It included removing all the lower teeth on one side and […]
More than a week into the enrollment period for health insurance via the federal-state insurance exchanges, whether existing plan options include elective abortion remains anything but clear. Under Obamacare, a cluster of Multi-State Plans (MSPs) are likely to include elective abortion coverage in 27 states. In each of those states, at least one MSP is […]
In this report, CLI President Chuck Donovan documents how multi-state plans (MSPs) created under the Affordable Care Act are one pathway that would allow for an additional 111,500 publicly subsidized abortions per year.
Last month, courts reviewed two requests for preliminary injunctions against the contraception mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). That is, two businesses which do not fit the exemption rules but whose owners object to the mandate for moral and religious reasons will not have to pay the fines they would otherwise be responsible for […]
On March 21,2012 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the final version of its advanced notice of proposed rule making (ANPRM) for mandatory preventive services coverage under the Affordable Care Act (77 Fed.Reg.16501); however, only a narrow set of religious organizations, mainly houses of worship, are exempted from the rule.
The Charlotte Lozier Institute joined with the Susan B. Anthony List to file a comment on the preventive services mandate included in the Affordable Care Act.
Efforts to repel the Obama Administration’s attack on liberty of conscience suffered a setback today on the floor of the U.S. Senate, but in the process kept alive an issue on which an extraordinary variety of Americans are willing to continue fighting – and with good reason.