Medicaid Expansion Attached to Anti-Life Policies

p_westwoodGuest Column from Paula Westwood, Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati*

“Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”  Elvis Presley

If we can say anything good about President Obama’s health law it is that it has forced us as citizens to delve into the intricate details of where our tax monies are being spent under an increasingly Socialist agenda. What we find is a beast.

The Tea Party’s fiscal vigilance is a source for hope. Thank you, especially for recent efforts to oppose Ohio’s participation in federal Medicaid expansion.

Because of my work in the pro-life movement, and necessary examination of governmental policies regarding protections for human beings from first spark of life to last breath, I was asked to provide to you a slightly different, yet still disturbing perspective on Medicaid expansion.

Sorting through the un-Affordable Care Act, however, is like nailing jello to the wall, because this document is a living, breathing, growing animal. Just last week, we learned that 700 additional pages had been added to the existing 2,500-page-plus monster, including expansion of abortion coverage.

Also, Section 1303 of the bill simply bypasses federal Hyde Amendment restrictions that federal funds appropriated to HHS by Congress cannot be spent for health benefits coverage that includes elective abortion. One more example of this administration’s overstepping of established law.

The following Medicaid expansion concerns from a pro-life perspective were incorporated into a recent statement from Ohio ProLife Action to Governor Kasich and state legislators. We are urging that they decline federal monies, which are attached to anti-life policies and regulations, and not encourage the federal government to incur greater debt to fund this expansion of federal control over Ohio citizens and their health care decisions.

First, those states that participate in federal Medicaid expansion will be governed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) individual mandate requiring individuals to obtain insurance. Thus Medicaid expansion legislates increased numbers of Medicaid recipients, subject to the so-called HHS Mandate, and entrenches Medicaid in these states as an arm of the federal government.1,2

Medicaid has covered for years, under states’ limited discretion, the same measures that citizens are protesting in the HHS Mandate as a violation of conscience—surgical abortions (in Ohio in restricted cases),3 contraceptives, abortion-inducing drugs, and sterilizations.4,5,6

Medicaid expansion will expand these tax-funded practices to the underprivileged, which not only violate the conscience rights of many taxpayers, but are elective and medically unnecessary procedures and drugs.

Finally, leading abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is a recipient of Medicaid funding for so-called “family planning” measures,7 and funds for non-abortion procedures frees an abortion provider for its other programs. (Note: Planned Parenthood is under scrutiny in several states for Medicaid fraud.8)

In brief, no ties to the federal health law, President Obama, or his administration are safe. No matter what the appearances, there are no guarantees that this medical monstrosity will stay the same due to the vast discretionary power granted to the head of the Department of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, said to be the most pro-abortion politician in the country.

Our only hope is that vigilance from many quarters—Tea Party, pro-life, pro-family, etc.—will influence legislators to work for true financial freedom for our country, not quick fixes that may dupe some in the short term as a good but will soon become a tax and conscience burden too heavy to overturn. Regardless, we ain’t goin’ away.

Paula Westwood is Executive Director of Right to Life of Greater Cincinnati (CincinnatiRightToLife.org), board member for Ohio Pro-Life Action (OhioProLifeAction.com), and weekly pro-life news contributor for the Son Rise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio/EWTN

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1 HHS clarifies exemptions from individual mandate in states that buck Medicaid expansion, http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/280135-hhs-clarifies-exemptions-from-individual-mandate-in-states-that-buck-medicaid-expansion

2 “The Individual Mandate requires people to pay for what the HHS mandate covers (because the HHS Mandate applies to all plans)…” Alliance Defending Freedom, Obamacare and Its Mandates Fact Sheet, p.1  http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/content/docs/facts/ObamaCare-and-its-Mandates.pdf

3 Guttmacher Institute: State Policies in Brief – State Funding of Abortion Under Medicaid  http://www.guttmacher.org/statecenter/spibs/spib_SFAM.pdf

4 The Kaiser Family Foundation: State Medicaid Coverage of Family Planning Services  http://www.kff.org/womenshealth/upload/8015.pdf

5 “…it is worth noting that state Medicaid programs are already required to cover family planning services without cost-sharing…”  The Kaiser Family Foundation Issue Brief: State Coverage of Preventive Services for Women Under Medicaid http://www.kff.org/womenshealth/upload/8330.pdf

6 http://ohiofamilyplanning.org/services.html

7 For example, in Ohio, http://www.plannedparenthood.org/swoh/family-planning-services-ohio-medicaid-39251.htm

8 Tony, Perkins, Planned Parenthood, Millions in Medicaid Fraud, $15M for Obama Campaign  http://www.lifenews.com/2012/11/15/planned-parenthood-millions-in-medicaid-fraud-15m-for-obama-campaign/

* In case you were not aware – Cinci RTL is not affiliated with Ohio RTL due to fundamental disagreements on pro-life policy (even though this state organization was begun in Cincinnati in the ’70s and moved to Columbus later). Cinci RTL is affiliated with Ohio ProLife Action.

6 Responses to Medicaid Expansion Attached to Anti-Life Policies

  1. Why oh why is NOBODY talking about the simple fact that , the voters of ohio have spoken on this subject (Obamacare) . They voted overwhelmingly , to KEEP OBAMA CARE OUT OF OHIO !!!!!!!! The vote for our current Governor (Kasich) , our senators , and representatives who support him , SHOULD BE REPEALED , for going against the voters of their state on this issue . This issue was important enough to the people of this state to , by petition , gather enough signatures to put this issue to a vote !! The vote was a bigger margin than decided the presidency in 2012 , ( if you believe the elections are real ). Just because Obama thinks he’s a dictator , doesn’t mean he is , it will only keep working if good people do nothing . If we don’t have the GOOD PEOPLE where we need them , IT IS TIME TO REPEAL THEIR VOTE AND KICK THEM OUT OF THEIR OFFICES . There is a legal process for this , and it is obvious they lied when they ran for office , by the way they are moving towards Obama Care . We have every right to repeal their vote , kick them out and hold a new election to replace them . The time is now !!!

  2. Thank you, Paula and Cinti Right to Life, for explaining the anti-life
    aspects of Medicaid. It’s shameful that Ohio Right to Life is supporting
    Kasich’s expansion of Medicaid.

  3. http://www.facebook.com/peggyhawkins I believe and from what i am observing is that these republican governors as well as our governor Kasich is that they think they are so hi and mighty that seniors/small children and disabled vets and etc are beneath them and they do not deserve to live.just as our Ohio Representative Brenner held off on voting on legislation on OPERS pension funds they will remove the spouse from it in a couple of years.so those of us with health problems and over 70 should role over and die.

  4. If Governor Kasich does not reconsider his position on Medicaid expansion our efforts to relieve him of his office will generate national attention; bringing pressure to bear on him to honor the majority’s wishes who voted him into place. The hope would be that this could be a precedent for other states to follow. Ohio,being a major swing state, could become a proud leader in turning the tide back to our Constitution.

  5. I will not argue the benefits that hospitals will receive should Medicaid expansion be approved. What I will questions is what happens if Medicaid expansion is approved by Ohio and the ACA is de-funded or overturned. Ohio is stuck with a program that will have 300,000 more low-income citizens receiving benefits and no funding other than increasing taxes to pay for the expansion. As we have all come to see, once people receive a benefit it becomes almost overwhelming difficult to take it away. We need to fully understand all the possible ramifications of passing this expansion and be prepared to accept any potential outcome before agreeing to let this go through. If there are any doubts that Ohio can afford this expansion on its own, then it is a bad measure to consider, no matter how good it may appear on the surface.

  6. Pingback: Anti-Choice Groups in Ohio Locked in Power Struggle Over Heartbeat Bans, Medicaid, and Money | RH Reality Check

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