Leith Anderson, NAE President, and Galen Carey, Director of Government Affairs, weighed in on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act urging Senators to withhold their support as long as the bill includes federal funding for abortions. The health care reform bill passed by the Senate on December 24 does not include the Nelson-Hatch amendment supported by the NAE banning federal funding of abortion. The Senate bill must now be reconciled with the House bill, which does include the funding ban.
The National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), representing more than 45,000 congregations in 40 denominations and in all 50 states, respectfully requests that you withhold support for H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as long as provisions overturning the longstanding ban on federal funding of abortions remain a part of the bill.
In a sharp departure from current federal policy, H.R. 3590 would allow the Office of Personnel Management to administer and subsidize plans that include abortion coverage. Proposals to segregate funds remain unconvincing accounting gimmicks, as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius admitted in an interview yesterday. While taxpayers would be allowed to choose insurance plans that do not cover abortion, they would still be forced to pay taxes that subsidize other people’s abortions.
A bill that would allow abortion to be mandated as “preventive care” as the Mikulski amendment provides cannot accurately be described as a patient protection measure. As we have said before, abortion is not health care.
We appreciate efforts by Senators Nelson, Hatch, Casey and others to bring the Senate bill into line with the provisions of the Stupak amendment to the House bill. We applaud the inclusion of provisions for increased assistance to pregnant women and adoptive parents. However, along with 72 percent of the American people , the NAE firmly opposes any federal funding of elective abortion. We urge you to address this fundamental concern before proceeding further with the health care reform bill.
Director of Government Affairs