Public health insurance would cover abortions

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Should a government-sponsored public health insurance plan pay for abortions? The health care legislation currently before Congress would do so, and so it is time for abortion opponents and abortion rights supporters to step wholeheartedly into the health insurance fray.

Currently, federal monies pay for abortions in which the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest or the mother’s health is in danger. Those who oppose abortion say these limitations should carry over to any health insurance option that comes out of the current debate, be it a public plan or private insurance. Abortion supporters want to see these restrictions lifted.

It was inevitable that the question of who will pay for abortion under any new health insurance legislation would come front and center. Because abortion is a legal medical procedure, experts note that the issue must be addressed, as not doing so would allow any health care plans in the resulting new health insurance exchange to allow unrestricted coverage of the procedure.

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In an MSNBC report, Richard Doerflinger, associate director of pro-life activities for the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, is quoted as saying, “We don’t want health care reform to be the vehicle for mandating abortion.” In an attempt to placate both sides, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., drew up a compromise, which was approved by a House committee last week.

The Capps compromise would allow a public health insurance plan to cover abortion, although money from beneficiary premiums, and not federal funds, would be used for this purpose. Private plans under the new health insurance program could opt to cover abortions, but federal subsidies would not pay for them. The Capps compromise would also allow plans that did not cover abortions under any circumstances to be offered through the insurance exchange.

Surely the debate over health insurance and who will pay for abortions and under what circumstances will be a hot one during the coming sweltering summer weeks. Americans should take this time to bone up on the ever-shifting health insurance debate and let their elected officials know how they feel. In many cities, town hall meetings are planned and will likely be well attended.

Sources:
Capitol Hill Blue 8/5/09
MSNBC Report 8/5/09

Editor's Note: Emaxhealth recognizes the highly sensitive nature of this issue and it's important to state what it believes about Abortion. We believe abortion is termination of life and is a direct attempt to kill an innocent life.

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