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Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on Tax Implications of H.R. 3, Chris Smith’s Anti-Choice Bill

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, on Tax Implications of H.R. 3, Chris Smith’s Anti-Choice Bill

“Today’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing on H.R. 3, Representative Chris Smith’s anti-choice bill, highlights the potential for this extreme bill to raise taxes not just on America’s families and small businesses, but also on companies, since it could also apply to the tax-free benefit for employer-provided health insurance.

“If H.R. 3 does apply to employer-provided health insurance, it would have a devastating impact on the economy by raising taxes on a significant number of companies, since the vast majority (87 percent) of employer-based private health insurance includes abortion coverage. 

“Simply put, H.R. 3 is an extreme and far-reaching bill that is bad for America’s families, bad for the economy, and bad for businesses.

“The likely outcome of H.R. 3 is the virtual elimination of private insurance coverage of abortion, resulting in millions of women losing the comprehensive private health insurance that they currently have.

“We urge the House to drop this radical bill immediately and to focus on what the American people want — jobs and economic growth.”

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BACKGROUND: In testimony today during the House Ways and Means Committee hearing on H.R. 3, Rep. Chris Smith’s anti-choice bill, an expert from the Joint Committee on Taxation highlighted that in addition to raising taxes on individuals and small businesses, H.R. 3 could apply to the tax benefit on employer-provided health insurance.

This would significantly expand the tax reach of H.R. 3 — which would currently raise taxes on individuals and small businesses — by raising taxes on large employers who provide health insurance coverage that includes abortion.  Guttmacher reports that the vast majority (87 percent) of employer-based private health insurance includes abortion coverage.  

The end result would be a tax increase for individuals and small businesses that choose private health insurance coverage that includes abortion, as well as large companies that provide health insurance that includes abortion.  Ultimately, it would mean the elimination of private health insurance coverage for abortion, since companies will likely drop insurance coverage of abortion instead of paying higher taxes.

In addition, Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, in an interview with Bloomberg News, criticized H.R. 3 for raising taxes:

“’I understand the point they’re trying to make through the tax code, saying abortion is not health care,’ said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington-based advocacy group that says 237 House members have signed its no-tax-increase pledge. “’We’re just concerned that policy, however well-intentioned or virtuous, not ever mask a net tax increase.’”

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Contacts

Planned Parenthood Media Office, 212-261-4433

Published: 03.16.11

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