From NBC's Mark Murray
Rep. Bart Stupak's (D-MI) office has responded to our earlier fact-check on his claim that the Senate health care directly subsidizes abortion.
"Although the Senate bill requires one of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) plans to exclude abortion coverage and the associated $1 charge for reproductive services, the other OPM plans will include abortion services and will require all enrollees to pay the $1 per month fee. While the Americans who make the effort to seek out a plan that does not cover abortion will not be subject to this unprecedented charge, many more Americans will enroll in plans unaware that a portion of their monthly premium is earmarked for abortion. No where in federal law does it allow for a fee for abortion coverage. All health care plans currently administered by OPM – those offered to federal employees through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program – are prohibited from including abortion coverage. In order to be consistent with current law the Senate bill must be modified to ensure that no plans administered by OPM cover abortion services.
Even if the $1 per month issue is addressed, the Senate bill remains a departure from current law which prohibits federal funding and subsidies for abortion. The annual Labor-HHS appropriations bill and seven other federal health programs include language that specifically prohibits the use of federal funds to assist in the purchase of health care coverage that includes abortion. No such language appears in the Senate bill. In fact, the Senate bill creates an unprecedented accounting scheme to replace the long-standing Hyde amendment. The law of the land is that – except in cases of rape, incest or life of the mother – the federal government does not pay for abortion or any portion of a health insurance policy that covers abortion. This law must be maintained in health care reform legislation."
The first paragraph doesn't appear to knock down what we wrote earlier: that the Senate legislation doesn't directly subsidize abortion. The second paragraph hits at what we've heard is Stupak's (and National Right to Life's) main beef with the Senate legislation: that it doesn't codify the Hyde amendment.