By BosNewsLife North America Service with BosNewsLife’s Stefan J. Bos
WASHINGTON, USA (BosNewsLife)– The U.S. Senate passed controversial health legislation Thursday, December 24, that observers said could define President Barack Obama’s legacy and usher in near-universal medical coverage for the first time in the country’s history.
Yet several conservative Christian groups have condemned the bill which they claim could still mean that taxpayers indirectly fund operations.
Under the legislation, states can decide themselves wether to out of including plans with abortion coverage, and require those with abortion coverage to write separate premium checks — one for abortion coverage
and one for the rest.
The House of Representatives bill, which was already passed, is more restrictive, barring any federal subsidies for plans that cover abortion purchased on the state insurance exchanges. It also requires anyone seeking abortion coverage to purchase separate insurance riders.
Ahead lie complex talks with the House to reach final legislation in the new year.
The Liberty Counsel, which claims to provide free legal assistance in issues of “Christian religious liberty, the sanctity of human life, and the traditional family” condemned the bill.
“Abortion is not healthcare. The Senate bill forces the American people to conspire with the federal government in murdering innocent children. This is morally unacceptable,” said Liberty Counsel Founder Mathew Staver.
The Freedom Federation, which claims to represent over 30 million concerned Americans, is among other vocal organizations that oppose any healthcare bill that “directly or indirectly funds abortion”, including the current Senate bill.
The Federation is comprised of some of the nation’s largest multiracial, multiethnic, and multigenerational faith-based and policy organizations.
Analysts say the pro-life issue could impact the future of politicians ahead of mid-term elections next year.
All 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the 100 seats in the Senate will be up for grabs in the November 2 election, and the anti-incumbent mood among U.S.
Political analysts say Democrats could lose up to 25 of the 258 seats in the House and, more importantly, several of their votes in the Senate –which would strip them of the ability to override Republican roadblocks and dramatically slow Obama’s legislative agenda. (BosNewsLife’s NEWS WATCH is a regular look at general key news developments impacting the Church and/or compassionate professionals).