The Rhode Island State Right to Life Committee and 28 state legislators say Gov. Lincoln Chafee illegally bypassed the Legislature in issuing an executive order to create a Rhode Island Health Benefits Exchange Program, to sell health insurance plans that include coverage for abortions. This is according to the Courthouse News Service on Monday.

According to ObamaCare, each state is required to create their own Health Care Benefits Exchange program by January 1, 2013. The Rhode Island Senate in April passed a bill, while the House introduced a similar bill. The House did not vote on the Senate bill, which restricted use of government funds for abortions, and the House bill was not put to a vote in either the House or Senate.

On Sept. 19, Governor Chafee bypassed by house and issued his executive order creating the program. The plaintiffs say the order could be interpreted as requiring Rhode Island insurers to provide benefits beyond those mandated by the federal law, including abortions, and could obligate the state to pay the cost of the additional coverage.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment that the governor’s order is void, because it violated the Rhode Island Constitution, which states that the governor may not create laws; he can only carry out laws delegated by the Rhode Island General Assembly.

Source: Rhode Island Courthouse News

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