by Jonathan Abbamonte
Last week, Senate Republicans unveiled their proposed health care reform draft bill to “repeal and replace Obamacare.” The Senate has made a number of significant changes to the bill passed by the House last month, but, despite earlier concerns from some pro-life advocates, has retained key provisions to defund Planned Parenthood and to block federal subsidies for health care plans that include coverage for abortion. The Senate bill has been titled the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA).
The House bill, a.k.a. the American Health Care Act (AHCA), proposed a number of provisions viewed by many pro-life Americans as essential to health care reform. The AHCA proposed to defund Planned Parenthood for the period of one year and would prohibit the refundable tax credits, Affordable Care Act (ACA) premium tax credits, and small business tax credits from subsidizing health care plans that include coverage for elective abortion with federal tax dollars.
As the Senate bill currently stands, the bill would also defund Planned Parenthood and would prevent federal subsidies for the ACA small business and individual premium tax credits. The Senate bill, like the House bill, would redefine “qualified health plans” under the ACA to exclude plans that include coverage for elective abortion.
Pro-life advocates had been concerned that the Senate would leave the defund Planned Parenthood provision out of the bill in order to shore up support from moderate Republicans.
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