While You Weren’t Looking, 23 States Radically Slashed Obamacare Abortion Coverage
During the fractious health care reform fight of 2010, one of the sticking points preventing the bill from moving forward was a controversial amendment proposed by Rep. Bart Stupak, a Michigan Democrat. The so-called Stupak amendment would have forbidden Obamacare plans from covering abortion, instead requiring Americans who wanted this coverage to purchase separate, abortion-only policies. Stupak lost the battle, but he’s winning the war. Twenty-three states have adopted similar rules—and Stupak’s home state of Michigan could be the latest to join them.
On Monday, a state elections board is expected to certify a petition drive, organized by the anti-abortion group Michigan Right to Life, in support of a law prohibiting public and private health insurance plans from covering abortions, even in cases of rape or incest. The only exception is when a woman’s life is at risk. Under the law, individuals and employers could purchase an insurance rider specifically covering abortions. But because employers would have the option of not including the rider in their policies, some women might not even have that choice. If Michigan Right to Life is successful, the bill will go to Michigan’s Republican-controlled Legislature for a vote.
Twenty-three states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have laws prohibiting insurance coverage of abortion in state exchanges. Eight of those states – Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Utah – go even further and reach all plans in the state, banning insurance coverage of abortion in plans outside the exchange as well.