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In a survey sent to constituents last week, Congressman Duncan Hunter described upcoming changes to the nation’s health care system.

The President’s health care law requires taxpayer funding for abortion and abortion-related services. Do you agree or disagree that Americans should be forced into this type of coverage?

Hunter claimed taxpayers will foot the bill for abortion services, and through a question, suggested Americans will be forced into health care plans that include coverage for abortion services.

A couple readers asked us to Fact Check the survey. We soon found that other fact checkers had already researched the health care law and debunked claims like Hunter’s description.

PolitiFact, a project of the Tampa Times, researched a similar claim two years ago and determined the law doesn’t call for “taxpayer-funded abortions.” Some abortion services would be funded through customer premiums, not tax dollars.

And will Americans be forced into coverage for abortion services? That’s also not true, according to PolitiFact’s research. Individuals and states will be able to opt out of plans providing the coverage.

You can read PolitiFact’s full analysis by clicking here. It gave the “taxpayer-funded abortions” claim a “False” and explained the different coverage options in the story.

In an interview last week, Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper stood by the accuracy of the survey. Though tax dollars won’t directly pay for abortion services, he argued that people receiving them will still get government subsidies.

PolitiFact addressed this same idea in 2010:

Abortion foes … argue the federal rules are little more than an accounting trick, that if federal subsidies go to someone who chooses a plan that covers abortion, it’s the same as taxpayer-funded abortion.

But we think it’s misleading to call it taxpayer-funded abortion when the law requires abortions be paid solely through a portion of the premiums (not tax dollars) paid by people who choose a plan that covers abortions.

As for the survey’s question, Kasper said Hunter didn’t mean to suggest that the law forces people into plans providing coverage for abortion services. He said the law forces people into the overall health care system (through the provision known as the individual mandate).

Lastly, it’s worth noting that abortion foes say the Supreme Court’s ruling last month didn’t change the regulation that PolitFact examined two years ago. For more detail, see this legal analysis by Americans United for Life.

Keegan Kyle is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He writes about local government, creates infographics and handles the Fact Check Blog. What should he write about next?

Please contact him directly at keegan.kyle@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.550.5668. You can also find him on Twitter (@keegankyle) and Facebook.

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