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Not a Death Panel, a Death Mandate

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

If you are someone who believes killing unborn children is a right that should be legally protected and made available to all pregnant women, and that the government should eventually take over the U.S. health care system, then you must believe that the government should get into the business of killing unborn babies.

And if you believe that, then you believe that the law must compel certain government officials to cooperate in the killing of innocents.

In a government-run or government-funded health care system that guarantees access to abortion, there must be people in government responsible for making sure unborn babies get killed.

Arguing with Idiots By Glenn Beck

In fact, the health care bill that the Senate Finance Committee finished amending last week specifically assigns just such a duty to the secretary of health and human services.

The Senate Finance Committee proposal would create an "exchange" in each state where people can buy health insurance from companies offering government-approved insurance plans. Americans making up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level would be eligible for a "refundable tax credit" to buy insurance -- but they could only use this credit to buy insurance from a company offering a government-approved plan in the exchange. People making 300 percent to 400 percent of poverty would also be eligible for a credit if their insurance costs more than 12 percent of their income and they purchased a government-approved plan in the exchange.

The government would not pay the credit to the individual but would pay it instead directly to the government-approved insurance plan.

"The Treasury would pay the premium credit amount to the insurance plan in which the individual is enrolled," explains the summary of the bill published by the Finance Committee. "The individual would then pay to the plan in which he or she enrolled the dollar difference between the premium credit amount and the premium charged for the plan."

Here's where the government's need to have an official who is complicit in abortions comes in.

Page 33 of the summary of the bill posted on the Senate Finance Committee's Website carries the subheading: "Rules Regarding Coverage of and Tax Credits for Specified Services." Under this subheading it says: "The Secretary would ensure that in each state exchange, at least one plan provides coverage of abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted."

Currently, under the Hyde Amendment, federal funds can only go to abortions done in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother. What the Finance Committee bill does is mandate that the secretary of health and human services make certain that the health insurance exchange in every state include an insurance plan that covers abortions that go beyond those funded by the Hyde Amendment -- that go beyond covering abortion in cases of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother.

The bill requires the secretary to make certain every state has an insurance plan that people can buy with money paid directly out of the U.S. Treasury that covers abortion on demand.

Another provision in the bill says people who buy abortion-providing insurance plans in the exchange must pay an additional premium of at least $1 to theoretically fund the abortion part of their coverage. This provision was designed to allow pro-abortion senators to ignore the fact that money is fungible and claim that the bill they are supporting does not use federal funds for abortion -- when it fact it does.

But the death mandate on the secretary of health and human services is unambiguous. Whoever that person is must "ensure that in each state exchange, at least one plan provides coverage of abortions."

The summary does not explain how the secretary will do this -- although it does say that abortion cannot be mandated as a minimum benefit that insurance plans must offer to participate in the exchanges.

If the insurance plans in a particular state decide they do not want to cover the killing of unborn babies, the HHS secretary will presumably have to come up with some means for recruiting an insurer into that state that is ready and willing to cover abortions.

But whatever means the secretary settles on for carrying out the bill's death mandate, the fact is that if this bill is enacted, every future American health and human services secretary will be required by law to make sure that people can secure abortions through a government-approved insurance plan that receives revenue straight out of the U.S. Treasury.

If this bill passes, conscientious people who refuse to cooperate in the killing of innocent unborn children will never be able to serve in the office that sits at the pinnacle of our nation's new government-funded health-care system.

That office will be reserved for people willing to recruit into the government-subsidized health care system insurance companies that are willing to take money to take human lives.

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