February 24, 2017
People looking for a pick-me-up on Obamacare got a big one at last night’s CPAC. Like most Americans, conservatives have been anxiously looking for signs that the repeal of the Obama’s biggest mistake was closer to reality than reports suggest. And while the GOP is desperately trying to work out the kinks, Vice President Mike Pence did his best to set people’s minds at ease. “Let me assure you. America’s Obamacare nightmare is about to end.”
When is another question. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) has said that his goal is to move a bill by the end of March -- which will mean members have their work cut out for them when they fly back to town next week. According to House leaders, the Energy and Commerce Committee has its eyes on March 6 to start marking up the plan that’s currently circulating between offices. For now, Ryan and others are still waiting for a score from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) on the blueprint they floated before President’s Day. Members are at the mercy of CBO until the group analyzes how much the proposal will cost.
In the meantime, there’s a lot more riding on the repeal than money. Lives are also on the line. As I’ve told House leaders, any alternative to Obamacare must follow the fundamental pro-life principle that abortion isn’t health care --and as such, the government shouldn’t fund or offer tax breaks for health care that includes elective abortion. The history of government funding of health care shows that if abortion is not specifically excluded, abortion will be included. That much was clear in the fight over “Hillarycare” and later over Obamacare. Specific language to remove subsidies for abortion were necessary, even though drafts of Hillarycare and Obamacare did not mention the term “abortion.”
Obamacare allowed states to exclude abortion coverage, and fortunately, 25 states have done so. Any new government plan that includes abortion coverage in all 50 states would be disastrous -- not just for the unborn, but for the GOP and pro-life movement as a whole. Help us send that message by contacting your House members. Let them know that Obamacare must go -- but so must the government’s abortion subsidies!
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.