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Fact-checking the Fact Checkers

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By Tony Perkins

John Adams famously quipped that, “Facts are stubborn things.” If only the media’s so-called “fact checkers” wouldn’t be so stubbornly biased, the facts might just get a fair hearing. After the House passed the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act (H.R. 7) last week, The Washington Post fact checked Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), giving her 3 undeserved “Pinocchios,” for saying: “The president’s health-care law authorized massive subsidies to assist millions of Americans to purchase private health plans that will cover abortion on demand… hard-earned taxpayer dollars are now being used to pay for elective abortions.”

FRC wrote last year about the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report which revealed that taxpayer-funded subsidies helped pay for 1,036 ObamaCare plans which cover abortion on demand. Even The Washington Post conceded much of Rep. Foxx’s claim when they wrote, “abortion charges would range from 0.2 percent to 0.65 percent of an enrollee’s monthly bill.” The issue isn’t how much, but whether taxpayer subsidized plans cover elective abortion at all.

ObamaCare violates the principles of the Hyde Amendment by subsidizing insurance plans that cover abortion. Since ObamaCare appropriated funds directly to health plans, the money is not subject to the Hyde Amendment. As to the ObamaCare shell game in which people pay an abortion surcharge which is supposed to be “separate” from federal funds, GAO found that insurers were not complying with the separate billing requirements. Even worse, the HHS proposed regulations in November on the “separate payment” but are only about how to bill it separately, not keep the money separate. Regardless, even if insurers did keep the abortion fees separate from federal funds, ObamaCare is still paying people to purchase plans with elective abortion coverage, which is the objection Rep. Foxx made in the first place.

The Post’s Fact Checker needs to get its facts straight. Rep. Virginia Foxx and pro-lifers were right to pass H.R. 7.

Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.

(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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