Tuesday, March 23, 2010

J. Peter Nixon: A Pro-life Victory? (Commonweal blog)

"Imagine that I had told you at the time that this (future) president and a strong Democratic majority in both houses of Congress would pass comprehensive health care reform legislation with the following features:

  • Coverage for abortion would be specifically excluded from the standard package of benefits that all insurers would be required by law to offer.
  • That existing restrictions on the use of federal funds appropriated via the HHS appropriations bill (a.k.a the Hyde Amendment) would be maintained.
  • That the federal government, acting in its capacity as both a civilian and military employer, would continue to exclude abortion coverage from the policies it offers to its employees.
  • That the new health exchanges would be required to offer at least one policy that did not cover abortion, something not available in the individual policy market in many places.
  • That states would have the option of preventing insurers in their state from offering plans through the exchange that cover abortion.
  • That federal premium subsidies could not be used to purchase insurance coverage for abortion.
  • That while individuals purchasing coverage through the exchange would have the option to use their own funds to purchase abortion coverage, they would have to make a separate premium payment to do so.
  • That all of these elements would not only be contained in the legislation, but would be reaffirmed by the President of the United States in a high profile executive order issued hours before the legislation’s passage."

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