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Healthcare Bill Restricts Coverage For Abortions

If you thought Democrats were pro-choice, you might want to think again. The recently passed healthcare bill coming out of the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives could significantly decrease access to abortion even for Americans on private insurance plans.

After a 290-194 vote, the House passed an amendment Saturday that bans the use of federal funds to cover abortion for anyone using the public healthcare plan. The amendment also prevents private insurers from covering abortions for anyone getting a tax credit to help pay premiums. The amendment is being called the biggest victory in years for abortion opponents.

Under the bill, there will be many more Americans receiving tax credits to help pay for insurance — any family of four making less than $88,000 a year will be eligible for the subsidies, and if they take the credits, they will not be allowed to use them to purchase a plan that covers abortion. Pro-choice advocates argue that the new legislation will lower access to abortion coverage even for those receiving no tax aide because private insurance companies will have an incentive to drop abortion coverage from their plans so they can compete for customers receiving federal subsidies. The implications could be substantial since right now 90 percent of insurers cover abortion to some extent.

Pressure from conservative Democrats and the pro-life lobby helped get the amendment passed. While I'm not surprised abortion isn't being treated like every other legal medical procedure, I am a little shocked that the bill's implications go so far to limit abortion coverage for women who are not receiving any federal funding. Do you think the House did the right thing?

Image Source: Getty
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somersetva somersetva 7 years
Final comment. Majority of the folks mentioned that they were for "individual choice" as far as abortion goes. I challenge you then to ask yourself why would you then vote for the government run health system? How much choice will you have? Are you ready to let a bureaucrat tell you what you can or can not do? The true question should have been, how to insure the part of our society that is currently un-insured rather than wreck the whole system and create another form of entitlement. Abortion is just a smoke screen to take your eyes of the main goal: national health system.
somersetva somersetva 7 years
Thank you so much for sharing your personal insight! You brought a great point about "cosmo girls". I absolutely believe that subsequent procedures should be priced much higher than the first time. Some people can only learn when it hits them in the pocket!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
I would support paying a higher premium for having the option to have abortion covered, just like smokers pay a higher premium. (I've yet to meet smokers who say the higher premium deters them from smoking.) At least that way, the government is not completely eliminating abortions as an option in the health care plan. I just see choosing to have an abortion as no different than choosing to smoke. They both are choices. For everyone who is saying that someone who chose to take the risk and have unprotected sex shouldn't be covered, why cover the smokers who chose to take the risk and developed cancer or other illnesses? I just don't see abortion as any worse than what other people can choose to do and yet the other people can continue having health insurance that covers the consequences of those actions.
somersetva somersetva 7 years
Probably! Even though it is more of a "life style" drug and condition results from underlying problems like diabeties, obesity or coronary artery disease. The AARP voters make sure of that! : )
fuzzles fuzzles 7 years
On somewhat of a side note to all respected sides of the abortion/health care issue, I can't help but wonder if the government plan, like most insurers, will cover boner-enabling drugs such as Viagra....
biarose biarose 7 years
runningesq - uh, generally it is killing a fetus, not just "a few cells". And the "different for incest and rape" thing is about the protection of the victim. An unwanted pregnancy by someone who chose to take the risk is completely different to that of someone who has been raped.
acyl acyl 7 years
somersetva somersetva 7 years
Great comment about abortion not being a ..." form of birth control"! There is also a danger that if abortion were paid by the Government, it could also made restrictions on who can get it or not, based on income, socio-economic status etc. Have you heard of eugenics? It would sure look like another attempt of Government to control the gene pool. Poor or rich, pro-life or pro-choice make sure you have the right to decide what to do. Respect other choices even if you personally don't approve of them for this very reason!
graylen graylen 7 years
I agree with dfserine for the most part. If you were irresponsibly having sex (with no intention of getting pregnant, just not using birth control methods), then I feel you should pay for the consequences, not me. Abortion is not a form of birth control in my mind.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 7 years
All abortions are elective. I'm torn on this one. I'm absolutely pro-choice, I'm just not sure if I want the government saying who should or should not pay for them. I like the idea of an option in their health plan and have to pay a premium accordingly.
dfserine dfserine 7 years
Having a choice to obtain an abortion is good enough for me. If someone gets knocked up by being irresponsible they should be prepared to spend some money on an abortion. Making them too accessible will just make the rate at which they are obtained sky rocket. "Hey if I get knocked up, my insurance will cover it anyway" this can be a dangerous mentality
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 7 years
Some abortions will be covered (e.g. rape, incest, health dangers - rightfully so). Elective ones will not nor should they be. If a woman's health is not endanger, she should cover the cost.
somersetva somersetva 7 years
Finally! Abortion and smoking are OUR CHOICES! (most of the time) Since they boht carry risks they should be assesed insurance premiums. Smokers already pay extra! I think women should have an option for abortion in their health plan and pay a premium if they choose it. It is all about choices remember!
somersetva somersetva 7 years
To Spacekatgal! I like your observation but here is the point I see. Both sides are representing interests of their "donors" rather than yours or mine. The time has come when man/woman has to take a stand and say "enough"! I don't want anybody to tell me how to live my life because their interest group/lobbyist is asking them to do it! Do you?
plasticine1 plasticine1 7 years
i think the comparison between smoking and abortion is that they are choices we make with our bodies. other than that though, of course they are two completely different things. i havent read any speculation on how this will turn out, but it doesnt look good...denying a procedure to be covered which only affects one gender, but only if she decided to have sex, vs being coerced...hmm
somersetva somersetva 7 years
Smoking and abortion. Both are individual choices! Both carry health, moral and financial consequences. Both are expensive and devastating. Yet, both are part of our freedom. Freedom to choose! We shouldn't ban smoking in towns or restaurants. People can vote by selecting to go somewhere else. The same should be with with abortion. Don't you see that in the end it is about who you want to make the decision? It is about control! There is NO programme that Government can run efficiently: Social Security (bankrupt), budget spending ($300K per person deficit) or even Veterans health system or motor vehicle. All poorly and wastefully run. Why would you think that health care would be any different? The best way to predict the future is to look at the past.
somersetva somersetva 7 years
Well, I still see a lot of confusion about who the " pro-choice" vs. "pro-life" people are. Pro-choice are the ones that believe in the INDIVIDUAL right or self-reliance. They make decisions and they are responsible for the consequences. The "pro-life" folks are the ones that believe that somebody like the Government should make the "right" decision for other folks (based on their point of view) However there is a large group that has some qualities of both of these groups. One gave the Government right to choose when they can retire, how much will their pension be or to which school would their children go. The abortion seems to be the only right that they still cling on! Why? You already gave the Master everything else to control your life. The other group, believes in small Government but tries to instill all their values on others, even if it meant using Government to accomplish that purpose. Who gave you the right to judge others? Why aren't you trusting individual to make however wrong the decision (in your eyes) by himself? The first mixed group is called the "looters"! They want their way, but want somebody else to pay for it! The second, mixed group is religious biased conservatives. Who are you?
Eilonwy Eilonwy 7 years
i agree 100% that you can't compare smoking to abortion. what i'm struggling with is that it isn't black or white. it is dangerously simplistic to declare that there is access but it will have to be personally financed etc: seriously, what if an impoverished woman is beaten, raped by a family member or friend and is has zero finances of her own. how will she a. be able to afford travel to a clinic or hospital b. afford the procedure c. begin on her own, presuming she cannot return to her prior circumstances situations are complex, abuse/assault is far more common than we'd like to think and i am disgusted and shocked that this bill effectively does not protect the abused and mistreated - let alone the most basic right: the autonomy of one's own body.
b1uebunn b1uebunn 7 years
Some insurance companies pay for all kinds of elective procedures. Do we want our tax dollars going to fund births and then 18 years of welfare for people who can ill afford supporting a child? This is GROSS. Just when I think the Dems have located their spines, they pull this shit.
imLissy imLissy 7 years
I don't understand how smoking can be compared to abortion. One's a bad habit, one is erasing potential life. It's not about removing coverage for things we don't like or about saving money. It's about forcing those who believe it's murder to be a part of it. That just seems wrong to me.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
Lissy - if you feel that the government should cover things that are the result of activities that are bad for our health, why not cover abortion? I don't understand why the government would choose not to cover it. I think it's wrong for the government to deny tax credits to people who want that as an option in their health coverage, especially since having an abortion is fiscally more responsible than having a child. Think of how much it costs to raise a child - for all those politicians crying about fiscal responsibility, you'd think they'd want to give people the option to have an abortion.
Eilonwy Eilonwy 7 years
right. and without the financial capacity to pay for the procedure, there is no access...
imLissy imLissy 7 years
you're still allowing access, just the government isn't paying for it.
Eilonwy Eilonwy 7 years
if exceptions are made for rape, it would help little. only an infinitesimal number of rapes are reported. if it's incest, do you think circumstances that would allow for that crime to be committed would also allow for the autonomy (bodily and financially) for a child or women to step forward, go through the process and successfully undergo the procedure? and what of the thousands of individuals who cannot afford the procedure? either you allow access to this legal medical surgery or you allow for the deaths of women who seek back alley or worse abortions.
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