If you believe recent Republican rhetoric in the health care reform debate, then you believe that "if any insurance plan that covers abortion is allowed to participate in a public exchange, then premiums paid to that plan in the form of taxpayer-funded subsidies help support that abortion coverage even if individual abortion procedures are paid for out of a separate pool of privately-paid premium dollars."Using that logic, every single person who has donated money to the RNC (since 1991!) has also funded abortions because a portion of those donations go towards the employer's portion of each employee's health care premium. Since 2000, the RNC has raised $1.79 billion. That's a lot of money that probably wasn't intended to support elective abortions.
Even though the RNC has decided to "opt out" of the abortion coverage, the problem doesn't really go away. As Steve Benen points out: "The new RNC policy, apparently, is to have insurance through Cigna, opting out of abortion coverage. But let's not lose sight of the original fungibility problem -- the RNC is taking Republican money and giving it to an insurance company through premiums. That company will then use its pool of money to pay for abortion services, not for RNC employees, but for other customers."So where does this leave the Republican Party? How deep does their hypocrisy run? They've refused to protect women from the downright evil treatment they receive from private insurance companies, prominent members have been stridently anti-choice, and the party's members in the states have passed obscene laws invading the privacy of American women -- all the while ensuring their employees have the ability to make decisions about their bodies and families without political interference. It is not an excuse that the Chairman "didn't know." Michael Steele has made it clear that he doesn't know much about the insurance policies of the RNC. The rest of the RNC leadership -- and definitely the HR department -- should have been aware. And any sensible political strategist would have thought to check and see if elective abortions were covered when the debate over health care started in earnest this year. Because everyone knew it was going to come up. Everyone knew the Republicans were going to put the issue out front in their attempt to derail reform efforts. The Republican platform against abortion is evidently an abstract concept, since the tangible evidence proves that the GOP doesn't care enough about it to ensure its actions fall in line with the rhetoric -- unless they get caught, of course, then they're quick to "opt out."