Anti-abortion groups press for change to ObamaCare bills

Anti-abortion groups press for change to ObamaCare bills
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More than 50 anti-abortion groups are calling on Congress to amend an ObamaCare stabilization bill to ensure that federal funding doesn't go to plans that cover abortions. 

Led by the Susan B. Anthony List, the groups are pressuring lawmakers to vote against the bill, sponsored by Sens. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats return to disappointment on immigration Authorities link ex-Tennessee governor to killing of Jimmy Hoffa associate MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayCDC leader faces precarious political moment Schumer ramps up filibuster fight ahead of Jan. 6 anniversary Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (D-Wash.), that would reimburse insurance companies for giving discounted deductibles and copays to low-income customers. 

These subsides are called cost-sharing reductions, and ObamaCare already states that this funding can't go toward plans that cover abortions. 


But anti-abortion groups have long argued the existing language isn't strong enough and are asking that the bill be changed to include the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding from covering abortions. 

The Hyde amendment covers Medicaid and other programs under the Department of Health and Human Services. 

"Any Member voting for the Alexander-Murray proposal, or other Obamacare stabilization legislation not covered by the Hyde amendment, would not only be voting to sustain what many have called the largest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade, but would also be voting to directly appropriate taxpayer dollars for insurance that includes elective abortion," the groups wrote in a letter to lawmakers Tuesday. 

The groups said they would also oppose any spending package that includes the bill if it isn't amended to include Hyde protections.

It's widely expected that the Senate will include the ObamaCare stabilization bill in a funding package that will be needed to avoid a government shutdown on Saturday.

The anti-abortion groups also warned against voting for another health-care bill expected to be included in the package.


That bill, authored by Sens. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsManchin, Collins leading talks on overhauling election law, protecting election officials Schumer opted for modest rules reform after pushback from moderates Ossoff and Collins clash over her past support for voting rights legislation MORE (R-Maine) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonOvernight Energy & Environment — Earth records its hottest years ever Global temperatures in past seven years hottest ever observed, new data show NASA welcomes chief scientist, senior climate adviser in new dual role MORE (D-Fla.) would provide states billions of dollars to help insurers with the costs of covering high-risk, expensive patients. 

This bill isn't covered by the Hyde amendment. 

The letter puts pressure on Republicans in the House who might be supportive of the ObamaCare bills but would typically be wary of going against the anti-abortion groups. 

Democrats, however, would likely oppose these changes, arguing they would further restrict access to abortion. 

With a slim Republican majority in the Senate, Democratic support is needed to pass any spending bill there.