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Advisers Counsel President to Veto Bill Restricting Abortion Funds

The House is scheduled to vote tomorrow on HR 3, a bill that will provide additional bans on abortion funding, including removing tax credits for any insurance plan that provides abortion coverage. According to Frank Knapp in The Hill, the bill is not just an affront to women, but also is little more than a tax increase on small businesses. Now HR 3, up for a vote this week, threatens to erase this benefit for small businesses because it would eliminate the health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for any existing or new plans that provide coverage for abortion.

The House is scheduled to vote tomorrow on HR 3, a bill that will provide additional bans on abortion funding, including removing tax credits for any insurance plan that provides abortion coverage.

According to Frank Knapp in The Hill, the bill is not just an affront to women, but also is little more than a tax increase on small businesses.

Now HR 3, up for a vote this week, threatens to erase this benefit for small businesses because it would eliminate the health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for any existing or new plans that provide coverage for abortion.

The problems HR 3 would cause for small businesses that are trying to do the right thing and offer health insurance have nothing to do with the ideological intent of this bill. Even if a small business owner agrees with the intent, the cost of passage of HR 3 in terms of time, money and continuity of policy is very significant.

Should HR 3 pass the House and the Senate, it will still have a hard time making it to law, however. The Office of Management and Budget released the following statement.

The Administration strongly opposes HR 3 because it: intrudes on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care; increases the tax burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restricts the District of Columbia's use of local funds, which undermines home rule. Longstanding Federal policy prohibits Federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. This prohibition is maintained in the Affordable Care Act and reinforced through the President’s Executive Order 13535. HR 3 goes well beyond these safeguards by interfering with consumers' private health care choices. The Administration also strongly supports existing provider conscience laws that have protected the rights of health care providers and entities for over 30 years, and it recognizes and supports the rights of patients. The Administration will strongly oppose legislation that unnecessarily restricts women's reproductive freedoms and consumers' private insurance options.

If the President is presented with HR 3, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Hopefully, the President will listen to his advisors.

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