WASHINGTON, DC (September 17, 2014) – The following statement is being released by the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA):
CHA was concerned to read in the GAO report that there were apparently some instances in certain states where the provisions to protect against federal funding of abortion appear not to have been implemented as required by the ACA law and the executive order that accompanied it.
We recognize that there are 50 different states with 50 different insurance commissioners and regulations, as well as over 2,000 different insurance plans. This represents a real challenge for monitoring, but it must be done. The ACA law requires it. We were pleased to see that CMS recognized this and is committed to working with qualified health plans and state insurance departments to address this critical issue.
It is important to recognize that the ACA law explicitly forbids the use of federal funds for abortion except in the cases covered by the Hyde Amendment. This critical provision must be adhered to in every state, irrespective of how challenging it is to monitor.
It is also important to recognize that the reason often given for getting an abortion is the inability to afford health care for the mother, unborn infant and later the child. The ACA has already taken that challenge away for millions and has the possibility to do it for millions more if fully implemented. The lives of mothers, unborn babies and children in this country must have the protection of their health. No mother should ever feel she has to abort her unborn child because she cannot afford health care.
CHA will diligently monitor the efforts of CMS to assure that the law is implemented as written.
The Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA), founded in 1915, supports the Catholic health ministry's commitment to improve the health status of communities and create quality and compassionate health care that works for everyone. The Catholic health ministry is the nation's largest group of not-for-profit health systems and facilities that, along with their sponsoring organizations, employ more than 750,000 women and men who deliver services combining advanced technology with the Catholic caring tradition.