What hath Stupak wrought

by on April 11, 2010  •  In Congress, Health, Reproductive rights

A new Guttmacher Institute report describes how the Stupak amendment will effectively deny insurance coverage for abortion to women who will be purchasing policies in the new exchanges:

Consumers purchasing exchange plans that include abortion coverage would have to make two separate premium payments—one to cover abortion services and one to cover everything else. Insurance companies would have to jump through numerous, unprecedented hoops to estimate the cost of abortion coverage and ensure that the abortion payments never mix with other funds; they also are likely to face extensive public scrutiny and protest around their action.

The inevitable result: insurers plan not to include abortion rather than undergo the hassle of administering separate premiums.  And the obvious next step is that those abortion-excluding plans will become the norm for policies sold outside the exchanges as well.

Not scary enough for you? The WSJ reports that choice opponents are trying to enact bans on insurance coverage in all plans now, before the exchanges come online in 2014:

Lawmakers in least six states are pushing for legislation to block abortion coverage in some health plans… [They] are turning to another provision in the legislation that says states can choose to prevent plans offered through their exchanges from covering abortion altogether. That would likely affect most individual and small-group plans in a state, starting when the exchanges launch in 2014…The new state-level proposals are likely to rekindle abortion as a political issue in November elections… Since the beginning of this year, lawmakers in five states including Tennessee and Oklahoma have introduced bills that would generally block abortion coverage in exchange plans…

In other words, unless a future Congress considers this to be one of those necessary "fixes" to the health reform bill, a massive cutback in reproductive rights is on the way -


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