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The Sneaky Abortion Deception in Senator Reid’s “Manager’s Amendment”

When I first read about Senator Harry Reid’s “manager’s amendment” that he persuaded Senator Nelson to endorse today, I commented that it didn’t seem so bad.  However, I have now more thoroughly examined the actual text of the manager’s amendment, and it looks to me like Senator Nelson has been tricked.

At page 40 of the manager’s amendment, subsection 1303(b)(2)(A) says:

(A) IN GENERAL.— If a qualified health plan provides coverage of [abortion] services described in paragraph (1)(B)(i), the issuer of the plan shall not use any amount attributable to any of the following for purposes of paying for such services: (i) The credit under section 36B of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (and the amount (if any) of the advance payment of the credit under section 1412 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act). (ii) Any cost-sharing reduction under section 1402 of thePatient Protection and Affordable Care Act (and the amount (if any) of the advance payment of the reduction under section 1412 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act).

I’ve put the word “amount” in bold, because it’s important for what comes next.  At page 42 of the manager’s amendment, subsection 1303(b)(2)(C) says:

(C) SEGREGATION OF FUNDS.– (i) IN GENERAL.–The issuer of a plan to which subparagraph (A) applies shall establish allocation accounts described in clause (ii) for enrollees receiving amounts described in subparagraph (A). (ii) ALLOCATION ACCOUNTS.–The issuer of a plan to which subparagraph (A) applies shall deposit– (I) all payments described in subparagraph (B)(i)(I) into a separate account that consists solely of such payments and that is used exclusively to pay for services other than services described in paragraph (1)(B)(i); and (II) all payments described in subparagraph (B)(i)(II) into a separate account that consists solely of such payments and that is used exclusively to pay for services described in paragraph (1)(B)(i).

Thus, there will be segregation of funds only for enrollees who receive amounts attributable to section 36B of the IRS Code of 1986, or amounts attributable to section 1402 of the PPAC Act.  There will apparently not be segregation of funds for any other enrollees.  Moreover, subsection (A) that I’ve quoted above only forbids issuers of subsidized insurance policies to use funds attributable to two specific listed purposes (i.e. under section 36B of the IRS Code of 1986, or section 1402 of the PPAC Act), thus impliedly allowing use of funds from a wide variety of other listed purposes.

So, based on this examination of the text of the manager’s amendment, segregation of abortion and non-abortion money would only occur for a small percentage of people enrolled in these insurance plans, or insurance companies will be covering abortion using funds attributable to a wide variety of federal programs, or both.  That’s my reading, anyway.  Looks to me like Senator Nelson got snookered.

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