Lipinski Leads Fight Against Federal Funding of Abortion in Health Care Bill

Congressman Dan Lipinski (IL-03) issued the following statement today regarding his continuing opposition to any health care reform bill that provides federal funding for abortion:

“Last November, I helped lead the successful battle to force House leadership to allow the vote to attach the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Lipinski-Smith amendment to the health care bill to prevent federal funding of abortion. This measure preserved the status-quo prohibition on the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion or insurance that covers abortion, and maintained the decades-old restrictions contained in the Hyde Amendment. My position on this issue has not changed since then. Protecting the sanctity of life is a matter of principle for me and tens of millions of Americans. In addition, an overwhelming majority of Americans oppose the use of tax dollars to pay for abortion. Therefore, if a health care bill that fails to prevent federal funding of abortion is brought to the floor of the House, I will vote against it. Furthermore, I will continue to fight to make sure that any bill that comes to a vote in the House retains the Stupak-Ellsworth-Pitts-Kaptur-Dahlkemper-Lipinski-Smith amendment.

“It is clear that the current Senate bill would not only allow tax dollars to fund abortion, but in some cases would require the direct payment of an ‘abortion premium.’ Specifically, for any insurance plan that receives federal subsidies and provides abortion, all participants would be required to contribute at least $1 per month that would fund abortion services, regardless of whether they want abortion coverage or not. This is not acceptable, and is one reason why I cannot support the Senate bill. The Senate bill also allows insurance plans that receive federal funds to cover abortion and does not ban health centers receiving federal funds appropriated in the act from providing abortions. Both of these provisions directly contradict the Hyde Amendment. In addition, the bill contains loopholes that could allow the government to mandate that insurance plans in exchanges created under the billcover abortion.

“I recognize that our health care system is deeply flawed. Health care costs are too high and continue to soar, and insurance coverage is difficult or impossible to afford for many middle-class people. We need to alter incentives that increase spending rather than improve health outcomes, increase competition and transparency to drive down costs and help consumers make better choices, help those who are sick or cannot afford insurance, and stop abuses by insurance companies, drug companies, and other health care providers. Reform is needed, but it must be done right. A health care bill that provides federal funds for abortion is not right.”

(March 9, 2010)



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