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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

 
Henry Hyde's legacy lives on

by digby

One of the inevitable --- and fully predictable --- bits of fallout from the ACA is the further "Hydeification" of abortion rights. (God knows, fought it tooth and nail at the time. And we lost.) Now we are seeing the first results:
In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which, among many other things, provides for the establishment of state-level health care exchanges to assist individuals and small businesses in purchasing a private health insurance plan. Despite the fact that these exchanges will not be operational until 2014, some states have already enacted laws restricting the abortion coverage that will be available in plans purchased through the exchanges. But although federal health care reform may have renewed the debate around restricting insurance coverage of abortion, restrictive state abortion insurance policies are not a new phenomenon. Several states already restrict private insurance coverage of abortion; these restrictions will also apply to plans sold on the exchanges. More often, states have banned abortion coverage in public employees’ insurance policies or in other cases where public funds are used to insure employees.


8 states have laws in effect restricting insurance coverage of abortion in all private insurance plans written in the state, including those that will be offered through the health insurance exchanges that will be established under the federal health care reform law. 

 7 states limit coverage to life endangerment.
 1 state limits coverage to life, rape, incest, fetal impairment and “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
 7 states permit additional abortion coverage through purchase of a separate rider and payment of an additional premium.
 23 states restrict abortion coverage in plans that will be offered through the insurance exchanges.
 6 states limit coverage to life endangerment.
 2 states limit coverage to life endangerment and “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
 1 state limits coverage to life endangerment, “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function,” rape or incest.
 10 states limit coverage to life endangerment, rape and incest.
 1 state limits coverage to life endangerment, rape and incest, fetal impairment and “substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.”
 1 state limits coverage to life endangerment, rape, incest and cases of “grave long-lasting physical health damage.”
 2 states prohibit any abortion coverage
It's important to emphasize that the ACA isn't responsible for all of this. A lot of states had these rules on the books before. But it accelerated the movement to do it. Mandated insurance for abortion coverage was just another casualty in the negotiations. Funny how that always happens around women's rights, isn't it? The good news is that they didn't buckle on the birth control mandate, which the same anti-abortion zealots objected to just as fervently.

Women who live in modern states with respect for women's rights will be able to buy private insurance that has abortion coverage. And many who have employer coverage will likewise still be covered. But the fact is that more women are not going to have this coverage than had it before now and any woman who is on medicaid is still out of luck --- it hasn't been allowed since the 1970s, thanks to Henry Hyde and the cowardly politicians who kow-tow to the religious right on this issue.


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