Trump administration cuts $200 million of federal medicaid funding to California over abortion insurance requirement

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- On Wednesday, December 16th, President Trump’s administration announced that it would be cutting $200 million of federal Medicaid funding to California over the state’s requirement for abortions to be covered under health care plans.

According to a report from The Hill, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has declared that California would lose $200 million in funding for the upcoming quarter because it does not allow health care plans regulated by the California Department of Managed Health Care to decline abortion coverage.

HHS secretary Alex Azar announced that his department would continue to cut an additional $200 million per fiscal quarter if “the state does not come into compliance.”

The Trump administration warned California earlier in the year that it could lose federal funding over a 2014 regulation mandating that employers and private insurance plans pay for abortions.

HHS has determined that the state was violating a federal anti-discrimination law, known as the Weldon Amendment, which protects insurers from being forced to provide abortion coverage. Azar said that California had violated federal conscience laws and refused to take corrective action. He said:

“So, we are not taking action to hold them to account.”

Azar said that the federal government has attempted to work with California to fix their policy, but that the state refused to work with them. He also said that:

“His department has worked like never before to enforce laws Congress has passed to protect Americans’ religious freedom and conscience rights.”

The Office of Civil Rights, a division of HHS, initially investigated California based on complaints filed by a Catholic order of religious sisters and a non-profit Christian church that objected to “paying for elective abortion insurance for themselves and their colleagues.” 

Roger Severino, director of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) said in a statement:

“Whatever one thinks of the legality if abortion, no one should be punished for declining to pay for or assist in the taking of human life.”

The office issued a notice of violation earlier in the year, but California did not adjust its policy. OCR then referred the case to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to enforce and adjustment.

Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D-CA) office condemned the funding cut in a statement to The Associated Press, calling it an attempt to “score cheap political points” and vowed to “continue to stand up for reproductive health and push back against this extreme presidential overreach.”

Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden could reverse the funding reductions if and when he and his chosen head of HHS are in office. Biden has nominated California’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, a supporter of abortion rights, to head the HHS.

In 2019, the Trump administration finalized a rule that prohibits clinics from referring pregnant women for abortions and imposes other restrictions, including a requirement for strict financial and physical separation of family planning facilities from ones that provide abortions.

As a result, more than 900 out of nearly 4,000 clinics receiving federal funds left the program, including Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. Advocates claim that the exodus has disrupted care for women who receive birth control and routine medical attention from the clinics.

Biden has promised to rescind the Trump administration’s family planning rule and also supports allowing federal programs to pay for abortions. Newsom said:

“Women’s health is public health. It’s wrong that the Trump administration would threaten Californians’ health just to score cheap political points and during a global pandemic.” 

California receives tens of billions of dollars in federal contributions annually to its Medicaid state insurance program. 

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Shameful: Pelosi, House Democrats tried to slide taxpayer funding surrounding abortion into emergency aid bill

March 15th, 2020

Rahm Emmanuel, former mayor of Chicago and former Obama chief of staff famously once said:

“Never let a crisis go to waste.”

Well apparently, straight out of the Emmanuel/Obama playbook, Democrats reportedly tried to sneak a provision into the coronavirus relief plan to ensure federal funding for abortion. Seriously.

On Friday, Senator Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) slammed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House democrats for trying to ensure federal funding of abortion as part of the stimulus package.

“While schools are closing and hospitals are gearing up, Speaker Pelosi is waging unnecessary culture wars.

Speaker Pelosi should be fighting the coronavirus pandemic, not politicizing emergency funding by fighting against the bipartisan Hyde Amendment,” Sasse told National Review in a statement.

“We need to be ramping up our diagnostic testing, not waging culture wars at the behest of Planned Parenthood. Good grief.”

Sasse’s version of events was confirmed by White House officials.

According to the Daily Caller, officials said that while negotiating with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Pelosi had tried to lobby for “several” provisions that interfered with a bipartisan commitment to push the effort through.

In one case, it would have set a mandate for up to $1 billion to reimburse laboratory claims, which officials with the White House said would set a precedent of healthcare spending outside of the protections of the Hyde Amendment.

It was explained by a White House official:

“A new mandatory funding stream that does not have Hyde protections would be unprecedented. Under the guise of protecting people, Speaker Pelosi is working to make sure taxpayer dollars are spent covering abortion—which is not only backwards but goes against historical norms.”

They Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion, except in the case of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is in grave danger.

Democrats have been trying to emasculate the Hyde Amendment, with the most recent attempt coming as part of a $190 billion budget bill passed last July.

At that time, progressives were attempting to “ensure’ abortion coverage for people using federal health programs, however Pelosi apparently resisted those efforts at that time.

At the time, Pelosi said:

“It’s the law of the land right now, and I don’t see that there’s an opportunity to get rid of it with the current occupant of the White House and this U.S. Senate,” while adding that she doesn’t support the Hyde Amendment herself.

No kidding, Pelosi? You don’t think the senate and the president would go along? Genius.

Pelosi’s attempt to politicize the stimulus bill was actually confirmed by the Democrat’s resident climate genius and part-time bartender, AOC, who claimed in an interview on Fox News Thursday night that “right now we are hearing that some of the fights and some of the gridlock is because people are trying to put pro-life provisions into this.”

That folks is what you call spin. Trying to maintain existing law to circumvent a torpedo attempt by the Democrats is called “trying to put pro life provisions” into the legislation. Weak there, AOC.

A second White House official called the provision a “slush fund,” while a third asked, “what the Hyde Amendment and abortion have to do with protecting Americans from coronavirus?”

President Trump had indicated he would sign any coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress; however, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced his opposition to Pelosi’s proposal and demanded a rewrite.

Trump did indicate that he did not support the measure as it currently stood when spoken to early Thursday.

“No, there are things in there that had nothing to do with what we are talking about. It is not a way for them to get some of the goodies they have been able to get for the last 25 years,” Trump said, declining to offer specifics.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La) said in a tweet:

“Pelosi wasted the whole week behind closed doors drafting a partisan bill full of liberal fantasies that have nothing to do w/Coronavirus. Republicans are ready to work w/Dems on SERIOUS solutions. Now is not the time for politics. Pelosi needs to stop the games & work w/us.”

Pelosi criticized McCarthy’s plan, stating “families have needs,” and that decision was needed “to help families right now.” Right Pelosi, because abortion on demand funded by taxpayers through some bogus provision in a stimulus plan helps families. Good grief.

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The two sides continued their back and forth throughout the day Thursday and part of Friday, finally agreeing to a deal that was palatable to both sides on Friday. The House voted on the package Friday night and it was passed in a bipartisan vote.

“We resolved our differences and [for] those we haven’t we’ll continue the conversation because there will obviously be other bills,” Pelosi said to reporters on Thursday.

Democrats have for years been trying to increase access to abortion. Just as the Israeli’s worshipped the golden calf when freed from bondage in ancient Egypt, so too do the democrats worship on the altar of abortion.

In July 2019, Joe Biden, Democratic frontrunner for the November presidential sweepstakes reversed course on the Hyde Amendment several times, then admitted his health plan would basically make Roe v. Wade part of the Constitution and force taxpayers to fund abortion.

Biden’s camp said that his health plan would build on the ‘progress’ of Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate which offers “free preventive care including contraception,” by “repealing the Hyde Amendment because health care is a right that should not be dependent on one’s zip code or income.”

In 2016, Democrat loser in the presidential sweepstakes Hillary Clinton accepted the endorsement of abortion mill Planned Parenthood and also called for an end to the Hyde Amendment.

Clinton claimed that the provision was “making it harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights” to abortion.

Meanwhile, pro-life leaders praised the Trump administration for rejecting Pelosi’s proposals to include funding of abortion through taxpayer dollars.

Friday night, the president announced his support for the House bill to assist Americans affected financially by the spread of the coronavirus.

Trump initially opposed the bill, stating that it had too many unrelated “goodies” that Democrats were trying to hide inside the bill.

Of course, Planned Parenthood was all up in a lather because Republicans caught on to the Democrats’ plan, complaining that:

“Using this very real public health emergency to attack abortion coverage shows a despicable lack of concern about the severity of this crisis. These politicians will do anything to advance their anti-abortion agenda.”

Excuse me, what???

However, Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America noted, “The fact that Planned Parenthood believes emergency #CoronavirusPandemic funding should be used for taxpayer funded abortion tells you all you need to know about the Abortion Goliath.”

In addition, the president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, praised President Donald Trump and his administration for showing “unyielding pro-life resolve by successfully applying the Hyde Amendment to funds in the coronavirus supplemental bill.”

She added:

“Americans should not have to worry during this time whether emergency funds are not being used for ‘legitimate health purposes.’”

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