House bill limits tax break for plans covering abortion
WASHINGTON — The House voted yesterday to limit tax breaks for insurance policies that cover abortions.
The bill, which passed 251-175, was the latest Republican effort to chip away at President Obama’s health care overhaul and follow through on the GOP’s campaign promise to completely separate taxpayer money from funds to provide abortions.
“Abortion is not health care,’’ said Representative Jeff Fortenberry, Republican of Nebraska.
The measure has little chance of advancing in the Democratic-controlled Senate, and the Obama administration has threatened to veto it.
The bill would also prevent people from deducting the cost of an abortion from their taxable income, except when the procedure is performed in cases of rape, incest, or when a physician certifies that a woman’s life would be in danger if she continues the pregnancy.
Current law, known as the Hyde Amendment, bars federal money for abortions, with the same exceptions as those in the bill. But the bill would make the Hyde Amendment federal law, rather than a provision added to other bills that must be voted on every year.
Abortion opponents have charged that the health care overhaul has a loophole for insurance policies. The law, passed last year, creates state marketplaces for insurance known as exchanges. It allows participating plans to cover abortions, provided they collect a separate premium from policyholders and that the money is kept apart from federal subsidies.
The bill disallows the tax credit for the expenses of a small employer insurance plan that includes abortion coverage.
Representative Louise Slaughter, Democrat of New York, said the bill is really an effort to prevent insurance companies from covering abortions.
The 10 members of the all-Democratic Massachusetts delegation voted against the bill. — ASSOCIATED PRESS
Romney is favored by 35 percent of those polled, giving him a lead of more than 27 points, according to a poll released tonight by WHDH-TV.
None of the other 17 potential candidates included in the poll, conducted by Suffolk University, are in double digits. And despite Donald Trump’s much-heralded visit to the Granite State last week, only 8 percent of those polled said they would support him. That was the same percentage as former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Representative Ron Paul, a Texas Republican who Trump said recently stood “zero chance’’ at being elected.
Trump had the worst favorability rating in the poll, with 56 percent saying they had an unfavorable view of him.
“Today, Mitt Romney is the clear front-runner in the New Hampshire Republican primary — but front-runner status has its drawbacks,’’ said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “He will quickly become the target, and like Hillary Clinton a year before the 2008 party primaries, being positioned as the ‘inevitable’ nominee is often followed by a decline in the polls.’’
The statewide survey of 400 likely Republican primary voters was conducted April 30 to May 2 using telephone interviews. It had a margin of error of 4.9 percentage points. — MATT VISER