Schakowsky: GOP Anti-Abortion Bill Goes ‘Way Beyond’ Current Law

From Talking Points Memo:

Megan Carpentier

January 25, 2011

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show last night to discuss the House Republicans’ push to pass H.R. 3, which they’re calling the “No Taxpayer Funding For Abortion Act.” But those familiar with federal law — specifically the Hyde Amendment, which has prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services from using taxpayer funds for abortions since 1976, and other laws that prohibit members of the military, Peace Corps, those utilizing Native American health services or federal prisoners from obtaining abortions using federal funds — might wonder what the fuss is about.

As Schakowsky explained, the law introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and backed by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) actually goes further than all of the current restrictions and increases taxes on people with private insurance plans — if those plans cover abortion.

Schakowsky said:

This says that a person whose employer provides health care but that health insurance policy covers abortions, man or woman, then that employer can’t get a tax break. If an individual who buys a policy that provides for abortion cannot get any kind of health care tax deduction if that policy were to cover abortion. So, now it goes into private money and private insurance policies and things that people do on their own. It’s much further than the Hyde amendment.

Schakowsky added, “I think what it really says is ‘Insurance companies don’t offer abortion coverage.'” She also noted that if companies provided separate abortion coverage policies — or riders — to their employees, those health insurance riders would actually count as additional income to employees and be taxes as such.

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