Sunday, March 21, 2010

Presidential Executive Order On Abortion In Health Care Bill

It's the last hour. By Monday March 22nd, we may have a national health care law in place. Once such problem that has been raised is the problem of tax dollar funded abortions. In my opinion this is a sad issue as Planned parenthood already receives tax dollars in funding their abortion services. Nevertheless, courtesy of CNN, here is the Executive Order supposedly barring abortions from being a part of any public health care plan:

Executive Order

"Ensuring enforcement and implementation of abortion restrictions in the patient protection and affordable care act

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (approved March ­­__, 2010), I hereby order as follows:

Section 1. Policy.

Following the recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“the Act”), it is necessary to establish an adequate enforcement mechanism to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), consistent with a longstanding Federal statutory restriction that is commonly known as the Hyde Amendment. The purpose of this Executive Order is to establish a comprehensive, government-wide set of policies and procedures to achieve this goal and to make certain that all relevant actors—Federal officials, state officials (including insurance regulators) and health care providers—are aware of their responsibilities, new and old.

The Act maintains current Hyde Amendment restrictions governing abortion policy and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges. Under the Act, longstanding Federal laws to protect conscience (such as the Church Amendment, 42 U.S.C. §300a-7, and the Weldon Amendment, Pub. L. No. 111-8, §508(d)(1) (2009)) remain intact and new protections prohibit discrimination against health care facilities and health care providers because of an unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

Numerous executive agencies have a role in ensuring that these restrictions are enforced, including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

Section 2. Strict Compliance with Prohibitions on Abortion Funding in Health Insurance Exchanges. The Act specifically prohibits the use of tax credits and cost-sharing reduction payments to pay for abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) in the health insurance exchanges that will be operational in 2014. The Act also imposes strict payment and accounting requirements to ensure that Federal funds are not used for abortion services in exchange plans (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered) and requires state health insurance commissioners to ensure that exchange plan funds are segregated by insurance companies in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, OMB funds management circulars, and accounting guidance provided by the Government Accountability Office.

I hereby direct the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS to develop, within 180 days of the date of this Executive Order, a model set of segregation guidelines for state health insurance commissioners to use when determining whether exchange plans are complying with the Act’s segregation requirements, established in Section 1303 of the Act, for enrollees receiving Federal financial assistance. The guidelines shall also offer technical information that states should follow to conduct independent regular audits of insurance companies that participate in the health insurance exchanges. In developing these model guidelines, the Director of OMB and the Secretary of HHS shall consult with executive agencies and offices that have relevant expertise in accounting principles, including, but not limited to, the Department of the Treasury, and with the Government Accountability Office. Upon completion of those model guidelines, the Secretary of HHS should promptly initiate a rulemaking to issue regulations, which will have the force of law, to interpret the Act’s segregation requirements, and shall provide guidance to state health insurance commissioners on how to comply with the model guidelines.

Section 3. Community Health Center Program.

The Act establishes a new Community Health Center (CHC) Fund within HHS, which provides additional Federal funds for the community health center program. Existing law prohibits these centers from using federal funds to provide abortion services (except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered), as a result of both the Hyde Amendment and longstanding regulations containing the Hyde language. Under the Act, the Hyde language shall apply to the authorization and appropriations of funds for Community Health Centers under section 10503 and all other relevant provisions. I hereby direct the Secretary of HHS to ensure that program administrators and recipients of Federal funds are aware of and comply with the limitations on abortion services imposed on CHCs by existing law. Such actions should include, but are not limited to, updating Grant Policy Statements that accompany CHC grants and issuing new interpretive rules.

Section 4. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this Executive Order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: (i) authority granted by law or presidential directive to an agency, or the head thereof; or (ii) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This Executive Order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This Executive Order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity against the United States, its departments, agencies, entities, officers, employees or agents, or any other person.



There are many other parts of the health care bill that deserve greater attention financially. This may regulate health insurance companies, but health insurance companies DO NOT set the price for health care. What regulations will there be on the ones who set those prices? Will all citizens be forced into purchasing health insurance which they cannot afford now? Will there be a wholesale tax increase as is stated by many? These questions are up in the air and remain to be seen.

The question is regarding abortion, does the presidential Executive Order go far enough on the issue? if so that may be at least one hurdle out of the way.


Update 3/21/2010:

On the first vote the Bill Passed the House 219 to 212 needing 215 to Pass.  This begins a whole new round of recommittments and adjustments to the bill. 34 Democrats rejected the bill.  The second vote was 220 to 211.


  1. A representative from Michigan said that this executive order did not do enough to protect unborn children and that an executive order could as easily be removed by another executive order...In addition, an executive order doesn't trump a statute. It also doesn't mention coops or a requirement of the law to madate that health insurance companies cover abortions anyway.

    This is really a great big mess!

  2. I meant to say co-ops...

    The more I read and find out, and I've been studying this issue for quite some time because it's my line of business as an insurance agent...the bill itself has some scary provisions financially...

    I know this is off the line of the subject but by 2014 YOU will be required to have health insurance or not no matter whether it's affordable or not. Low income individuals will receive a "subsidy" to secure a plan...

    Now mandatory health insurance should be a violation of constitutional rights and will be challenged by 38 states that are lined up so, you can make car insurance mandatory because everyone has a choice on whether to have a car or not, but to make health insurance mandatory is a horse of a different color...oooh boy!!!

  3. EnochWalked

    Praise the LORD!

    Pastor Burnett,

    I believe this Presidential Executive Order on Abortion is a Trojan Horse to the "Pro-life" Democrats and Pro-life Independents/Moderates or us "Black Christians" that are suppose to be prolife....

    I do not usually use Greek mythology...but we all remember having to read about the Odessey whether in high school, college, or watching the movies(past/present).

    Obama is using "double-talk" with this Executive Order(EO). Who is going to enforce it? Who is going to "watch" to make sure this EO is obeyed in word, deed, and "interpretation.

    I was reading a chat on the Washington Post today while at work...and the reporter gave an interesting and correct me if I am wrong...A CONTRARY or OPPOSITE answer to what Obama's EO is supposed to do.


  4. EnochWalked...

    This is the question and answer from the WashingtonPost live chat today March 23, 2010...

    Q.Abortion funding clarification
    I can't be here for the discussion but I'd really appreciate it if you could answer this question. What exactly does the health care bill say about abortion funding? If the answer to this question is too lengthy do you know where one can find it in the bill and read about it?
    – March 23, 2010 8:56 AM Permalink
    A.Alec MacGillis writes:
    This is a very complicated part of the law, but here's the basics: insurers on the new 'exchange' will be able to offer plans that include abortion coverage (as most private insurance plans today now do.) But anyone choosing that plan, whether a young woman or a guy or an older woman, will need to write two separate checks for their premiums -- one to cover the bulk of the coverage, and a second tiny one, like $1 a month or so, to cover the abortion part of the plan. This could be very unwieldy and unpopular with customers, and it's possible that insurers as a result will not offer plans with the coverage, which is why abortion rights groups are not at all happy with the final language, even though it was also deemed unacceptable by anti-abortion groups.

    – March 23, 2010 10:59 AM

    Am I reading this correctly...Quote...insurers on the new 'exchange' will be able to offer plans that include abortion coverage...Quote.

    So Obama's Executive Order is WORTHLESS! A Trojan Horse to just get this bill passed and signed into Law!

    I tell people...stop looking to Washington, DC and Obama and any other man but CHRIST JESUS! The man is a flatter and a deceiver! Period.

  5. Enochwalked,

    God bless my read it correctly...worthless!

    Listen I have immersed myself in this for quite some time because health insurance sales is about 1/4 of my income...I see TROUBLE. the opportunistic person sees cash...not me...I see not only corporations redomiciling, I see small businesses such as mine freezing hiring due to penalties supposedly offset by "credits"...then the abortion right or ability is ingrained within the law itself. It can't be separated as is the smoke and mirrors trick that this executive order tries to institute...

    This is a feel good measure designed at emotion control...

    Then they used Anthem Blue Cross of California as a poster child...that was TOTALLY false...Anthem raised their rates AFTER the network increased their costs and their customers REFUSED a lower cost network at least twice.

    Their margin was only 3%. Most businesses shoot for a minimum of 10 to 11% They deliberately mislead the public on this deal to generate sentiment...

    We're facing some troubled times...thank God for Jesus!


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