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Planned Parenthood Statement on H.R. 3 Passing the U.S. House of Representatives
“Planned Parenthood strongly opposes H.R. 3 and is outraged that it passed the U.S. House of Representatives. H.R. 3 is a dangerous bill that goes far beyond any other proposal ever introduced in Congress to take comprehensive health care coverage away from women. H.R. 3 would also raise taxes on small businesses and individuals, as well as put women who are pregnant and facing severe illness at more risk. Simply put, H.R. 3 is a far-reaching bill that is bad for America’s families, bad for the economy, and bad for small businesses.
“Small business owners have begun to speak out in opposition to H.R. 3.
“This vote, coming shortly after the U.S. House voted to bar Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funds to provide preventive health care to millions of women, is just the latest example of how the House Republican leadership is out of step with the majority of Americans and refuses to address the important issues of jobs and the economy.
“According to an April 2011 Hart Research poll, the vast majority of American voters, 63 percent, oppose the tax increases proposed in this bill.
“Thankfully, the administration has made clear this extreme proposal is unacceptable. In addition, we are confident that the Senate will stand firm in its commitment to American women and reject this extreme proposal.”
FACTS on H.R. 3:
H.R. 3 is a far-reaching, unprecedented bill that will undermine women’s health and raise taxes on small businesses and millions of women and men across the country.
H.R. 3 has several provisions that undermine women’s health. First, H.R. 3 jeopardizes women’s health because it does not allow for any exceptions for abortions that are necessary because a woman faces severe and permanent health risks that could shorten her life due to conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, and cancer. For example, if a pregnant woman discovers she has cancer, and her doctor recommends, to preserve her health, that she start chemotherapy immediately, she will need to have an abortion. If H.R. 3 becomes law, her health insurance coverage would likely not cover this medically necessary abortion to protect her health.
Second, it would raise taxes on small businesses and individuals. Under H.R. 3, individuals may face higher taxes because they will not be able to claim existing tax deductions for medical expenses if that includes the cost of an abortion. Similarly, small businesses that offer their employees comprehensive health insurance coverage will also face tax penalties because they will no longer be able to claim existing tax credits. Ultimately, this will result in a tax increase for as many as four million small businesses as well as affecting millions of American women and families across the country.
In testimony to the House Ways and Means Committee on March 31, 2011, the Joint Committee on Taxation affirmed that H.R. 3 would result in higher taxes for small business and individuals.
Third, H.R. 3 seeks to impose the already-rejected abortion insurance coverage ban in the newly created health exchanges. H.R. 3 would prohibit Americans who purchase insurance in the new health exchanges from receiving federal tax credits if they choose a plan that includes coverage for abortion, even though they are also using their own private dollars in part to buy insurance coverage. The most likely result is that this would cause women to lose the comprehensive health insurance benefits they currently have.
Abortion coverage in private health insurance is a common benefit. According to the Guttmacher Institute, “most Americans with employer-based insurance currently have coverage for abortion.”
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.
According to an April 2011 Hart Research poll, the vast majority of American voters, 63 percent, oppose the tax increases proposed in this bill.
The White House Office of Management and Budget issued a statement on May 2, 2011, as reported in National Journal, indicating that the president would veto H.R. 3, if it reached his desk:
“‘The administration strongly opposes H.R. 3 because it: intrudes on women's reproductive freedom and access to health care; increases the tax burden on many Americans; unnecessarily restricts the private insurance choices that consumers have today; and restricts the District of Columbia’s use of local funds, which undermines home rule,’ the White House Office of Management and Budget said in a statement.
“‘Longstanding federal policy prohibits federal funds from being used for abortions, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the woman would be endangered. This prohibition is maintained in the Affordable Care Act and reinforced through the president’s Executive Order 13535. H.R. 3 goes well beyond these safeguards by interfering with consumers’ private health care choices. If the president is presented with H.R. 3, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill.’”
Read Planned Parenthood’s Fact Sheet on Rep. Chris Smith’s anti-abortion bill
Read an Op-Ed by Frank Knapp, Jr., President and CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, titled: “H.R. 3 a deliberate attack on small business”