“But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it….” —Nancy Pelosi
With the advent of the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges, also known as health care marketplaces, we are now beginning to find out what is really in the massive health care law. As a person of very modest means, I stand to benefit from the subsidies and cost-sharing reductions offered to people who earn a little more than the maximum allowed to qualify under the Medicaid expansion. Regardless of how I may feel about the law’s disincentives toward work (even the left-wing Mother Jones understands the steep marginal tax rate of declining subsidies with increased income), the “Obamacare Wedding Tax” that dramatically penalizes marriage and encourages cohabitation, and the discouraging of medical innovation, I would be foolish not to take advantage of the subsidized coverage available through the exchanges.
So on October 1, the first day for people to sign up for the new subsidized health insurance plans, I went online to check out Access Health CT, Connecticut’s official health insurance marketplace, to browse what I might be able to choose for a health plan. From the home page, I clicked on the light blue “Get Health Coverage” tab, which took me to a page where one enters basic information, including the county you and other family members live in, your age and that of other family members, and total household income.
There is one other question on this page listed under “Optional Information”: “For detailed pricing, please provide the optional information below. Is the applicant pregnant?” Next to the question mark after “pregnant” is a black background question mark tool tip. Just wondering what this was about, I placed my mouse over the tool tip and lo-and-behold, the following message appeared:
Select ‘Yes’ for any female who is expecting a baby. Unborn children are counted as members of her household, so this information helps determine if she is eligible for help with health care costs. Medicaid also has rules to help pregnant women.
Read that again. Unborn children—not “fetuses,” “uterine contents,” “products of pregnancy,” “clump of cells,” “blob of tissue,” or any of the other euphemisms frequently used by those who profess to be pro-choice on abortion. Nor is Access Health CT the only Obamacare exchange that uses the term “unborn children.” Massachusetts pioneered the system of a health care exchange, guaranteed issue, an individual mandate, and subsidies for low and moderate income people that became the model for Obamacare. The Massachusetts Health Connector website also refers to “unborn child(ren)”:
How many people are in your family? (Include unborn child(ren) if someone is pregnant.)
Moreover, a woman can claim the extra family member as soon as she has a confirmed pregnancy—no waiting for a trimester or two. So for the purpose of determining family size for the health care exchanges, Obamacare declares unborn children, even at the earliest stages of life, to be full-fledged persons, so that pregnant women and their families can qualify for increased subsidies and cost-sharing on the exchanges.
Yet in a stunning double standard, these very Obamacare healthcare exchanges can offer coverage for abortion on demand—a procedure that rips these same unborn children apart limb by limb, or in the case of some abortions beyond 20 weeks gestation, expels a live baby who can be left to die gasping for breath. FIC successfully fought to stop abortion from being treated as an “essential health benefit” on Connecticut’s exchange.
Connecticut even lacks a state Born Alive Infant Protection Act that would protect newly born but unwanted babies surviving failed abortion attempts from abandonment. When he was a state senator from Illinois, Barack Obama voted three times to block born alive infant protections (a Federal version with the same abortion-neutral language in the Illinois legislation passed the US Senate in 2002 by a vote of 98-0), saying on the Illinois Senate floor:
“if that fetus, or child, however you want to describe it, is now outside of the mother’s womb and the doctor continues to think that it’s non viable but there’s let’s say movement or some indication that they’re not just coming out limp and dead, that in fact they would then have to call in a second physician to monitor and check off and make sure that this is not a live child that could be saved?”
“Fetus, or child, however you want to describe it”—when the baby is wanted, as for Obamacare subsidies, it is a child, but when it is unwanted—maybe it has an extra chromosome and will be born with a significant disability—then President Obama and other abortion supporters call the baby a fetus that can be disposed of at will—even when the baby does not come out limp and dead. Somehow, calling even a newborn baby a person entitled to human rights is, at least for Obama, above his pay grade. It is also above the pay grades of Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty to protect those unborn children nearing viability by setting a 20-week limit on the procedure. DeLauro claimed that supporters of this modest measure were “trying to insert their extreme and divisive ideological preferences into law” when eleven states have already passed similar measures.
Often the most important thing we must do to end any immoral practice is to call things by their real names. Prior to the Civil War, the US Constitution abided by the obnoxious legal fiction that African-American slaves were “three-fifths persons.” Today, in spite of medical technologies like ultrasound that reveal the beating hearts, brain waves, and developing bodies of unborn children, some continue to use euphemisms to justify killing them. Let us be consistent and count our unborn children so they are fully welcomed in life and protected by our laws.