President Obama is proposing a massive national health care reform (America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009), including a new nationwide insurance plan that could produce the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade. During President Obama’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, he spoke to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) about his plans for health care reform, stating, “In my mind, reproductive care is essential care, basic care, so it is at the center, the heart of the plan that I propose.” He further explained that people could choose to keep their existing private health care plans, but “insurers are going to have to abide by the same rules in terms of providing comprehensive care, including reproductive care … that’s going to be absolutely vital.”
Currently, the White House is backing a bill (which is yet unnumbered) in the U.S. Senate that was sponsored by the late Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA). National Right to Life legislative director Douglas Johnson explained that this bill “would result in federally mandated coverage of abortion by nearly all health plans, federally mandated recruitment of abortionists by local health networks, and nullification of many state abortion laws. It would also result in federal funding of abortion on a massive scale.”
In the U.S. House of Representatives, the White House is behind H.R. 3200, which, according to Johnson, “would drastically change federal policy, channeling massive new federal subsidies to health plans that pay for abortion on demand, including a national plan that will be operated directly by the federal government.”
Pro-abortion individuals and groups are excited about this national insurance plan. National Right to Life reported that, in April, the president of PPAF said that her organization intends to use the health care legislation as a “platform” to guarantee access to abortion to “all women.” Likewise, the National Abortion Federation, an association of abortion practitioners, said, “NAF supports health care reform as a way to increase access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care, for all women.”
In addition to concerns over the expansion of abortion, Americans are rightfully nervous about the possibility of care being rationed. This is especially a concern at the end of life, when such decisions can mean life or death. Texas has seen first-hand how this can affect its citizens because of our Futile Care Law. Doctors, ethics boards, and hospitals have been given greater authority than individuals to make life and death decisions regarding their care.
Section 1233 of America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 would allow Medicare to pay doctors to counsel elderly patients about their end-of-life decisions every five years (or more often “if there is a significant change in the health condition of the individual” or an admission to nursing home or long-term care facility). Since money will inevitably be a factor in determining what care each individual will receive and physician-assisted suicide is already legal in Oregon, it is a valid concern that patients will be counseled to end their own lives.
The majority of Americans are Pro-Life and should certainly not be responsible for funding programs that provide abortion or for empowering government officials to decide which humans are worthy of what types of medical treatment.