Accused of Selling Vote on Health Bill for Abortion Clause

abortionsYou probably already know that Senator Nelson (Nebraska) was accused of voting for the Bill because suddenly Nebraska gets continued funding that no other state gets.  This is why I hate politics so much.  I suppose we’re all human, and no one is perfect, but I don’t think people who only do what is best for their state should be in the Senate.  Governor, perhaps, but not a part of a national committee.  But that’s old news.  What I do find interesting is the changes being made to the Bill about abortion due to Senator Nelson.  I don’t follow the abortion topic much because it can be so heated, but someone shared this with me and I wanted to pass along the information.

Nelson did win restrictions on abortion coverage, which is what he sought for weeks. Under the compromise, states would be permitted to ban insurance coverage of abortions in policies sold in the exchanges, except in cases of rape, incest or when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. In states where such coverage is permitted, consumers must notify their insurance company they want it, and pay for it separately.  – Foxnews.com (December 2010)

So in a Bill that doesn’t allow states to create individual rules, they’ve added a clause allowing states to make an individual rule on ONE issue?  Am I understanding this right?  And in states that go with the policy as it stands (allowing insurance to cover abortions), patients must notify their insurance company AND pay for it separately?  That can’t be right.  It makes no sense.  I started looking into this, and what it means is that you have to notify the insurance company you “want in” and send a SECOND check each time payment is due to cover this ‘extra’ benefit.

Even Planned Parenthood, who offers abortion services in some areas, thinks this 2-check system doesn’t make sense:

Forcing individuals to write two separate checks (both of which are  out of private funds) and requiring health plans to administer two different payments of private funds is not necessary to insure public funds are not used for abortion care.

What’s the big deal about government funding for abortions?  Well, that goes back even further in the history of the bill:

The order states that no public funds will be used to pay for abortions in health insurance exchanges to be set up by the government. It was the coda to a long battle that nearly derailed passage of the roughly $940 billion health care legislation that will extend insurance coverage to 32 million Americans. “It ensures that health care, the law the president signed yesterday, maintains the status quo of the federal law prohibiting … the use of federal dollars for abortion,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters. – USA Today (March, 2010)

So really, Nelson didn’t win that part about people having to send a second check if they want abortions to be part of their coverage, that was kind of already there.  What this means, if you put the puzzle together, is that if you purchase insurance through an exchange, it is considered government money, and the government can’t pay for abortions, so you have to send 2 checks, 1 for private insurance and 1 for government insurance.  Wait, wait, wait…  I thought we were buying private insurance unless we were with Medicaid?  But if they are treating exchange insruance as government money… it quacks like a duck, right?  What a mess …. 

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