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Congress Debates Whether Health Care Should Cover Abortion

As politicians debate healthcare reform, one predictable issue has prevailed as a possible sticking point: abortion. Congress must decide whether government-subsidized health insurance will help pay for abortion.

A law on the books since 1976 forbids Medicaid (a healthcare subsidy for impoverished Americans) from paying for abortion; but now that widespread reform (which will impact many more Americans) is on the table again, the question of whether to cover the legal procedure is being asked again.

Right now, 90 percent of insurers cover abortion. Some members of congress want subsidies that would help lower income earning Americans buy insurance to come with a big string attached: the money could not be used to purchase a plan that covers abortion.

Why is abortion singled out in the healthcare debate and not treated like any other legal medical procedure? In the end, it will be poorer women who lack access to reproductive health care.

Do you think the government should ban federal money from covering abortions?

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Veka Veka 7 years
I don't think the government (health insurance or whoever) should reward stupidity. If you're not going to practice safe sex and you don't want a baby, then you should take responsibility for your own actions. Not trying to be rude here, but it's JMHO. If it's a "real medical emergency" such as a tubal ligation or something like that, then I can see where health insurance would cover it, since the mother's life would be in danger.
niicoley niicoley 7 years
The only part of this that troubles me, is this program is paid with my tax dollars and I do not support the act of abortion. While I do have a pro life stance, I can understand a private business deciding whether it should be included or not. Well said in comment 15!
cg130 cg130 7 years
If it's a legal medical procedure, I think it should be covered. The only reason it's not is because it's become a sensationalized procedure. It seems to me that the American government cares more about moralizing about the activities of American citizens than about providing them with healthcare. It's sad because it IS poor women who will suffer ultimately.
sham28 sham28 7 years
A girl I know terminated a pregnancy 6 months ago and it was completely covered by her insurance, I don't remember which kind she had. I remember cringing because she used the word "convenient." I just didn't want that anywhere in the same sentence as abortion. She was totally irresponsible over and over again, rarely uses protection and sleeps around. She's someone that I would want to be injected with Depo- Provera by the government every day of her life. I agree that we're talking about an elective procedure. Abortion will still be legal (as far as we know) for rape victims etc. they will just have to pay for it, there's no perfect answer. Really I think birth control pills should be handed out like candy is on Halloween.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
My first thought was "of course it shouldn't be coverd... it's an elective procedure" then I thought about the women who need them for health reasons, so I thought "only times when the woman's life/health is in danger", then I thought, what about women who have been raped? "so I thought, no coverage, except for women with health concerns or who have been prosecuting an aleged rapist" but then I thought "it's bad enough that some women cry rape and get guys imprisoned just because they are mad at their ex, don't want to add this to the pot". So... conclusively: they should be covered, because the negatives of them not being outweigh the postitives. However, after every abortion, women should be forced to take a manditory sex-ed class, AND after the first, it gets progressively harder to get coverage/an abortion in general to deter women using it for birth control.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
Hmm. I could've sworn when I was reading the website of Planned Parenthood, they say you can use medicaid for abortion. I need to reread, since perhaps I was wrong.
zuke zuke 7 years
I agree with the people who say that it seems unfair that the people's tax dollars go to pay for irresponsible mistakes. However, if the woman does end up getting an abortion, she should definitely have to learn about birth control, but if having a child threatens the life of the mother, I think abortions should be covered. I'm not sure if that all makes sense, but it seems like the simplest way to express my opinion.
Chouette4u Chouette4u 7 years
"I'm assuming that as is the case with most medical procedures, insurers that do cover abortion do not write a blank check for unlimited abortions. Just something to think about." I'm pretty sure on my insurance I can have an unlimited number of babies. I really think abortions are immoral, but since they are currently legal, it's a lot cheaper for the government to pay for a woman's abortion than pay for her prenatal care, delivery, and then for the child's health care. However, I think after the first abortion, women should have to jump through a few hoops before they can get another one, like taking a mandatory birth control seminar, etc.
medenginer medenginer 7 years
I think it should but with rules or stipulations exercised. A set amount or a mandatory meeting with a doctor discussing birth control options after the first abortion. I wouldn't ask the government to pay for my birth control accident to begin with since it was my fault. The federal government should see prevention and abortion cheaper than the cost of having a child.
cakeshinigami cakeshinigami 7 years
The American government doesn't give it's citizen's crap for medical care anyway. But if we someday do get it, then yes, it should be funded.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I don't have a problem with them being covered, as long as it's not at all frequent, like some commenters have mentioned above. Otherwise, I don't see the problem.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 7 years
I'm assuming that as is the case with most medical procedures, insurers that do cover abortion do not write a blank check for unlimited abortions. Just something to think about.
earthgoddess earthgoddess 7 years
@ flickster, abortion should not be a form of birth control. While hormonal methods of BC can be expensive, condoms are inexpensive and readily available in most places. Often, there are clinics where you can get condoms for free (PP, campus medical centers, etc...). I am pro-choice, but also believe in personal responsibility. If two people are going to have sex, it is their responsibility to make sure they use protection. Tax payers should not have to pay for an irresponsible couples mistake. If abortions are going to become part of the medicaid program, they should set the limit to one abortion per woman on medicaid and educate her about safe sex. If there is an instance of rape or incest, then obviously the limits on this could change accordingly.
reesiecup reesiecup 7 years
I don't believe the government should necessarily ban federal money from covering abortions (or abortions for that matter). I had no idea that such a large percentage of insurers do cover them. Medicaid and Medicare are very strict on what they cover and how much they reimburse. I definitely agree that state and federal funds should be distributed judiciously. I wonder if they will decide to cover it based on an individual case. It wouldn't surprise me if they don't cover it.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 7 years
they shouldnt be covered, its elective . In cases of emergency as in the mothers life is in danger, than yes they should be covered. I dont want my tax dollars covering abortions. I had to pay for my own rhinoplasty even though i had a deviated septum, although my septoplasty was covered.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 7 years
i think abortions should be covered like any other medical emergency. If it's legal where you live, it should be covered by some sort of health insurance. blah blah blah it's a choice, so I running a red and getting hit by a car, but we don't outlaw stupidity. I realize my argument is easily fought, but it's like making it harder for women to get their hands on birth control. It will only lead to more people having children when they're not ready, or shouldn't be.
ladychaos ladychaos 7 years
Healthcare should cover abortion. However, they should limit it to like 1 abortion for every 3 years, so people aren't using it as a form of birth control.
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