Washington State: Proposed Law Would Retain Insurance Coverage for Abortion


While legislatures in many states across the nation are trying to pass laws that would force even private insurers to drop coverage for abortions, lawmakers in Washingtong are being asked to maintain coverage for abortion care that most women already have.

Via the Seattle Times:

State lawmakers will be asked this session to require private insurance plans to cover abortion, a mandate that likely would be the first of its kind in the nation.

Backed by abortion-rights advocates, the proposal would extend a 20-year-old mandate that insurance plans funded or administered by the state cover abortion if they cover maternity care.

The new proposal is supported by Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and Legal Voice. Hobbs said the measure wouldn’t cause “much controversy” because most private insurers already cover abortion, and the issue of state funding was settled with Initiative 120.

“We’re not talking about ending a health-care benefit, or adding one that is not already there,” said Hobbs. “It is ensuring what is already there.”

Washington is already one of the few states in the country in which Medicaid is allowed to cover abortions for low-income women, and abortion coverage is currently provided in most state and individual plans at this time.

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  • rustyangel

    I am relatively new to this site.  I have seen articles on here indicating support for abortion rights and yet also, as in this article, a belief that abortion should be covered by health insurance as well.

    Make up your mind.

    It seems to me that, on the one hand, you are saying “Hey, you can’t tell me how to live.  A woman has a right to choose (abortion rights) and also has a right to bear the consequences of those choices”.  Then, on the other hand, you are asking others to pay for YOUR choices out of THEIR pocket.

    Insurance premiums, as you know, are determined by actuaries and are, in essence, determined by dividing the total healthcare costs in our society by the number of users.  Throw in a few factors for risk, age, family history, etc. and you have a premium that we all pay.  (Ok, I know that is an incredibly simplified version of the real…but you get my point).

    If you go have an abortion that is covered by health insurance then, over time, health care premiums will reflect those costs.  Abortions aren’t free and so when an abortion is performed, costs are incurred.  When the insurance companies pay out a claim, the rest of our premiums go up.

    So why am I paying for YOUR lifestyle choice?  Not a lifestyle choice…just want an abortion?  Ok, so then why am I paying for YOUR abortion.  I oppose abortion.  I didn’t get you pregnant.  The same could be said for covering smokers for their decisions…I couldn’t agree more!  The same could be said for covering alcoholics who get liver disease.  I couldn’t agree more!

    If people want the freedom to make their own choices, then they also need to bear the cost of those choices without depending on the rest of us to help them pay for their poor decisions. 

  • person-0

    If you go have an abortion that is covered by health insurance then, over time, health care premiums will reflect those costs.  Abortions aren’t free and so when an abortion is performed, costs are incurred.  When the insurance companies pay out a claim, the rest of our premiums go up.

    Do you really not understand that insurance companies cover abortion because it’s cheaper? Shall we assume that in reality, you are fine with your premiums increasing to cover the higher costs of pregnancy, childbirth and recovery because those are what costs more? What if I don’t want to pay for those? Perhaps I should try to get insurance companies to deny that coverage because I don’t want my premiums increasing.

  • prochoiceferret

    It seems to me that, on the one hand, you are saying “Hey, you can’t tell me how to live.  A woman has a right to choose (abortion rights) and also has a right to bear the consequences of those choices”.  Then, on the other hand, you are asking others to pay for YOUR choices out of THEIR pocket.

     

    No, we’re not asking anyone to pay for our choices out of their pockets. Wherever did you get this ridiculous idea?

     

    If people want the freedom to make their own choices, then they also need to bear the cost of those choices without depending on the rest of us to help them pay for their poor decisions.

     

    What happens when it’s cheaper for the public to pay now (be it for abortion, contraception, health care, preventative maintenance, etc.) rather than pay later (unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies, sickness/pandemics, bridges collapsing, etc.)?

     

    Ok, so then why am I paying for YOUR abortion.  I oppose abortion.  I didn’t get you pregnant.  The same could be said for covering smokers for their decisions…I couldn’t agree more!  The same could be said for covering alcoholics who get liver disease.  I couldn’t agree more!

     

    You would rather pay for medical care for an unwanted child from pre-birth to natural death, rather than for a relatively simple surgical procedure? That’s cool and all, but most people (at least those who know how to balance a checkbook) prefer to save money.

     

    Given the obviously poor state of your financial acumen, I would suggest you start on this program ASAP.

  • crowepps

    You pay for other people’s lifestyle choices because they pay for yours.  There isn’t any ‘free’ health insurance.  People either cover their own premiums by working hard enough so that their employer is willing to provide insurance as part of their compensation or pay the premiums out of their pocket.

    I find it a little troubling, though, that you’ve only excluded smoking, drinking and not wanting to be pregnant.  To be fair, health insurance also shouldn’t cover the costs of choosing to remain pregnant, poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, diseases caused by high stress like heart attacks, cancers caused by exposure to carcinogens at the places people choose to work, damage due to choosing to play sports, or injuries in car accidents.  After all, why should other people have to chip in because you choose to have a car and aren’t a defensive driver?

    That would exclude about 90% of illnesses, and everyone would be able to obtain incredibly cheap insurance to cover the few diseases that can’t possibly be considered their own fault.  They would have to pay out of pocket for most of their health care but by golly, they sure wouldn’t be paying for anybody else’s poor choices!