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 AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderSenate braces for bitter fight over impeachment rules McConnell proposes compressed schedule for impeachment trial Juan Williams: Counting the votes to remove Trump MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayConservative groups aim to sink bipartisan fix to 'surprise' medical bills Democrats request briefing on intel behind Trump's embassy threat claim Democrats ask if US citizens were detained at border checkpoints due to Iranian national origin 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 CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE (R-Maine) and Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe most expensive congressional races of the last decade Lobbying world Bottom Line 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.