Besides the surprise revelation about restrictions on private health insurance (below), what else is in that 1,018 page health care bill that’s just coming to light?

Mandated taxpayer funding of abortion. FOCA has returned, under the cover of this bill.

Pro-life groups and lawmakers are continuing to raise
the alarm over the healthcare reform package President Obama is
aggressively pushing through both the House and the Senate.  The groups
are urging Americans to oppose the healthcare overhaul, as pro-abortion
lawmakers are insisting that abortion must be included in the basic
healthcare package that all public and private insurers will eventually
be required to cover.

But they’re using stealth language.

In a hearing of the committee last Thursday, Senator
Barbara Mikulski, D-MD, a staunch liberal and abortion supporter,
offered an amendment to require all health insurance companies to
provide “preventive care and screening” for “pregnant women and
individuals of child-bearing age.”  You won’t see the word “abortion”
anywhere in the amendment.  However, Mikulski’s use of these words is
purposefully vague enough so as to give a green light to the HRSA to
draft rules to require coverage of abortions as “preventive care”. 
Don’t believe it?  She as much as said so in committee.

This type of amendment would not have been inserted without approval
from the White House.  You can be sure that Rahm Emanuel and other
Obama surrogates are the real source behind the language and Mikulski
is the all-too-willing messenger.  If you want to make
abortion—including partial birth abortion—a mandated “covered benefit,”
what better (and more insidious) way to do it than to mask it in vague
language and let the unaccountable administrative agency draft the
rules.

It’s called plausible deniability.

And being “unaccountable” is key to making it happen. Unless enough
senators do what Orrin Hatch did by pressing for clarification. Look at
this exchange:

Further evidence of the hidden abortion expansion in the
bill came during a meeting of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions (HELP) Committee last week, when Sen. Orrin Hatch asked for
confirmation from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) as to whether the funds
would cover abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood. 

Following the meeting, Planned Parenthood immediately launched a
petition to tell Sen. Hatch “to stop lying about health care
legislation,” and claimed that the senator was “falsely claiming that
the amendment mandates abortion coverage.” 

However, it was Mikulski who admitted in the exchange that Planned
Parenthood clinics and their abortion services would be subsidized by
the healthcare plan, though she appeared reluctant to answer the
question.

HATCH: “…Would this include abortion providers? I mean, it looks to
me like you’re expanding it to… for instance, Planned Parenthood. Would
that put them into this system?”

MIKULSKI: “It would include women’s health clinics that provide
comprehensive services and under the definition of a woman’s health
clinic, it would include, uh, it would include, uh, Planned, uh,
Parenthood clinics. It would, um, it does not expand in any way expand
a service. In other words, it does not expand, um, uh, or mandate
abortion service.”

HATCH: “No, but it would provide for them.”

MIKULSKI: “It would provide for any service deemed medically necessary or medically appropriate.”

HATCH: “Well, I would have a rough time supporting it on that basis. I just wanted to get that clarified. Thank you.”

Later, Hatch asked, “Madam Chairman, would you be willing to put
some language in [about] not including abortion services? Then I think
you would have more support.”

Mikulski answered, “No, I would not, uh, be willing to do that at this time.”

Accordingly, the committee yesterday rejected amendments offered by
the National Right to Life Committee that would have explicitly
excluded abortion from the bill. 

On Friday, an amendment introduced by Mikulski known as the Women’s
Health Amendment passed by a 12-11 margin.  Capitol Hill pro-lifers
expect that the broad language of the amendment will provide the
gateway to abortion coverage in the federal plan.

Unless these stealth politics can be stopped.

What is most disturbing about all of this is that the
public is being hoodwinked: most have no idea of the games that are
being played. All the more reason why a national discussion on this
issue needs to begin immediately.

It has started. The strategy is coming to light as the details do. I
don’t think I’ve received as many emails on one topic or issue in a 24
hour period as I have on this silent FOCA maneuver since the ‘health
reform bill’ was made public Tuesday.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....