Less than three weeks after the passage of the landmark national health-care bill, the abortion debate is being reignited: Lawmakers in least six states are pushing for legislation to block abortion coverage in some health plans.
After rancorous clashes over abortion coverage in the national bill, opponents were assured that federal funds wouldn’t subsidize coverage of the procedure.
An anti-abortion demonstrator, right, tries to cover a sign of an abortion-rights activist, left, during a demonstration in front of the Supreme Court in Washington on Jan. 22.
The final legislation requires insurers that sell plans in new government-run exchanges to segregate payments for abortion coverage from other premiums to ensure government subsidies won’t go toward the procedure.
Still, many abortion opponents say that didn’t go far enough.
So lawmakers are turning to another provision in the legislation that says states can choose to prevent plans offered through their exchanges from covering abortion altogether. That would likely affect most individual and small-group plans in a state, starting when the exchanges launch in 2014.