As House Democrats prepare to vote on health care reform in the next few days, tea party activists protested outside the Capitol this morning, shouting cries of “kill the bill.” Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Louie Gohmert (R-TX) addressed the crowd to warn about perceived tyranny and to distort the contents of the bill. King claimed it’s a “fact” that the bill “does fund abortion” and “does fund illegals.” Gohmert elicited cheers from the crowd when he made a graphic and disturbing claim about the bill:
GOHMERT: I brought the bill that’s being talking about. Now I don’t want to offend anybody, I’m sure that there are people here who think abortion is okay, and I don’t want to make you sick, but I brought an abortion to show you today. […]
There’s a whole lot of demons going on. There’s a lot of demons around here apparently.
In fact, the bill “very clearly” does not fund abortion. If a health insurance carrier chooses to provide abortion coverage, the bill reads that “the issuer of the plan shall not use any amount attributable to any of the following for purposes of paying for [abortion] services,” referring to federal funding mechanisms, such as subsidies to help people afford coverage. The bill creates a clear firewall between public and private money, going even beyond current law. Moreover, pro-life organizations like the Catholic Hospitals Association have endorsed the bill, and pro-life Congressmen like Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) and Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA) agree that the bill does not use tax-payer dollars to fund abortion.