Roundup: The Slippery Slope of Abortion Coverage In Insurance


Last
week we pointed
out
what may become the only "reform" imposed in the health insurance
industry, the removal of coverage of abortion services from both public and
private insurance policies.

Yesterday
there was a debate in the Kansas House over a bill that would prohibit
insurance providers from "covering most elective abortions under basic Kansas
healthcare policies."

An
amendment proposed by Rep. Peter DeGraaf, R-Mulvane, would require people to
buy an insurance rider in anticipation of an abortion after July 1. The
exception to the extra-coverage mandate on abortions would be to save the life
of the mother. A woman or child who is victim of rape or incest would have to
be covered by a rider to press a claim if she chose to abort the fetus. In the
alternative, a female would have to pay for an abortion with cash.

"I
don’t think the rest of society should have to pay for abortions," DeGraaf
said. "There are plenty of insurance companies that want to make
money."

His
measure, passed 73-45, would apply to all health plans in Kansas.

Notice
the shift in rhetoric around abortion and health insurance. When the debate was
about the federal healthcare reform bills, the argument for the Stupak-Pitts
Amendment was that the federal government shouldn’t force tax payers to
subsidize abortion coverage for women — even if in reality women would be
paying for insurance with their own money. This was an argument about the
use of tax dollars only.

Now
watch how Rep. DeGraaf is changing the debate for those who pay into insurance
as subsidizing others’ coverage – which under his reasoning should give them
some "right" to control other people’s insurance policies. Anti-choice
lawmakers are now using the same language for tax dollars and applying it to
private monies.

Rep.
Peggy Mast, R-Emporia, said Kansas policyholders opposed to abortion shouldn’t
be compelled to underwrite the procedure.

"For
those of us who believe it’s a moral issue," she said, "it’s discriminatory
to force us to pay higher insurance rates."

Thankfully other Kansas lawmakers knew exactly how to point out the absurdity of requiring
riders for individual medical procedures.

Two House members opposed to the abortion amendment responded by inserting
"poison pills" into the underlying bill to damage chances of passing
the final product.

 

Rep.
Barbara Bollier, R-Mission Hills, gained approval of an amendment requiring
smokers to buy supplemental insurance for treatment of heart disease, emphysema
and other ailments linking to tobacco. Not to be outdone, Rep. Ann Mah,
D-Topeka, obtained sufficient support for an amendment mandating insurance
riders for men requiring treatment for erectile dysfunction.

In the
end, perhaps because, as Republican Rep. Virgil Peck put it, the new amendment for
riders for erectile dysfunction "won’t stand up on its own" the bill was sent back to committee.

Bonus item: The
town of Apex, North Carolina, which recently voted to end coverage of elective
abortions for their employees, couldn’t even agree to get
an opinion from the state’s attorney general
on their recent actions.

 

February 18, 2010

Campaign to end abortion kicks off Rockford Register Star

Canadian Tiff Over Abortion Overseas National Catholic Register

Hypocrisy, confusion over abortion in bills DesMoinesRegister.com

After delay, House honors young
anti-abortion orator
 Columbus Dispatch

How to help women, and avoid
abortion politics
 Ottawa Citizen

 

February 17, 2010

Syria’s population control strategy
under scrutiny
 Middle East Online

Northeast clinics encourage family
planning
 Twin Cities Planet

’16 and Pregnant’: Jenelle Los Angeles Times

Judge Who Championed Gay Adoption Dies Advocate.com

Same-sex ‘marriage’ law forces DC
Catholic Charities to close adoption program
 Catholic News Agency

Pope Decries "Scourges"
of Abortion and Contraception
 Lifesite

A "nuanced" view World Magazine

State may add contraception to local curriculum Ripon Commonwealth Press

Problems with the morning-after
pill
 Washington Post

Life and choice City Pulse

Pro-choice license plate might not support
Planned Parenthood
 WSLS.com

Mike Huckabee Releases New
Statement Confirming He’s Pro-Life on Abortion
 LifeNews.com

Pro-Life Billboard Campaign in Poland Links
Abortion to Nazi Occupation
 Lifesite

A Word to COS Pro-Lifers! Campus

From the Rink to the Convent: How a Pro-Life Encounter Changed an Olympian’s Life Lifesite

A baby in the womb - pro-life Deseret News

Medicaid Issue Sparks Pro-Life, Immigration Debate KETV Omaha

Day Gardner calls on blacks to
recognize impact of abortion
 Catholic News Agency

Democrats May Lack Reconciliation
Votes to Push Pro-Abortion Health
Care Bill
 LifeNews.com

Three controversial bills culled
from last year’s omnibus abortion bill …
 Oklahoma Gazette

NH House Rejects Treating Fetus As
Person
 WBZ

Quest for abortion clarity fails Cary News

Virginia House and Senate OK Pro-Abortion License Plates, Funding Battle Next LifeNews.com

Woman who threatened protester
cancels abortion
 Duluth News Tribune

VIDEO: ’40 Days for Life’ abortion protests begin outside Planned
Parenthood
 Naples Daily News

Abortion provider Dr. Warren Hern: Trial for
man who threatened him 
Westword

Arizona bill would strengthen
reporting on abortions
 AZ Central.com

Mississippi Pro-Life Advocates
Submit Signatures for Personhood-Abortion Amdt
 LifeNews.com

Confusion reigns over Wake commisioners’ abortion vote The Independent Weekly

Rand Paul Takes A New Platform On Abortion WBKO

Kansas House approves measure
requiring extra insurance for abortion
 Lawrence Journal World

MIgnatieff’s playing politics,
ideology with abortion
 Orangeville Citizen

Two abortion bills advance in Senate Salt Lake Tribune

House weighs abortion insurance Topeka Capital Journal

Abortion laws remain stagnant MU The Parthenon

Doctor barred from surgeries
allegedly caught violating order
 Los Angeles Times

Planned Parenthood’s selective
hibernation
 Daily Caller

Abortion debate requires everybody’s
participation
 Daily Cardinal 

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  • waterjoe

    This is not a shift in rhetoric. The purpose behind prohibitions on tax money being used for abortions is to prevent people from paying for the abortions of others. The insurance prohibition is a logical extension of that and, for some states, predates the ban on federal tax money being used.

  • crowepps

    People who are in insurance pools also pay to treat the consequences of the smoking, alcohol use, substance abuse, poor eating and exercise habits, genetic inheritance, voluntary risk-taking and sexual and reproductive problems of ‘others’.

     

    Why is abortion a unique and special case?

     

    Is the next ‘logical extension’ to sort all illnesses into the covered ‘deserving’ and the uncovered ‘undeserving’ based on whether the root cause of their need for medical care is acceptable to 51% of the members of the insurance pool?

  • jayn

    The purpose behind prohibitions on tax money being used for abortions
    is to prevent people from paying for the abortions of others.

     

    That’s kind of the point of insurance in the first place though–if we were all only paying for our own care, health insurance would be pointless.  The whole idea is that EVERYONE pays in, with the expectation that only some people will pull money back out at any one time.  If people only paid into the service when they needed it, the entire system would break down.

  • kirsten-sherk

    There is a systematic campaign to remove aboriton coverage from all county and municipality insurance plans in North Carolina. State Rep. Paul Stam has contacted counties and municipalities around North Carolina and threatened to sue unless they remove "elective" abortion from their plans. Apex is only just the first. Wake County’s attorney removed abortion coverage in an administrative move, without event consulting the county commissioners. The NC Board of Municipalities has removed abortion from the standard plan that they administer for towns around the state (individual towns can request that abortion be included in their plans).

     

    You can hear a good roundup here, http://wunc.org/programs/news/archive/NRH0219.mp3/view.