Pro-Choice Health Policy Expert Says Nelson Just as “Bad” as Stupak

Pro-Choice Health Policy Expert Says Nelson Just as “Bad” as Stupak December 22, 2009

From Sara Rosenbaum, Chair of the Department of Health Policy at GWU:

“Taken together, the provisions of the amendment can be expected to have a significant impact on the ability or willingness of insurance issuers to offer Exchange products that cover a full range of medically indicated abortions. Furthermore, as with insurance laws generally, and for the reasons stated in our earlier analysis, the amendment could be anticipated to have considerable spillover effects. This is because companies that issue insurance products (or administered products in the case of sales to self-insured plans) obviously desire to sell these products in as many markets as possible. If one purchaser market places significant restrictions on one or more aspects of product design, it is likely that sellers will attempt to design their products to a common denominator, so that the product can be sold across all markets in which the company desires to do business. This is particularly true with modern health insurance coverage products, where the concern is not only the coverage but the provider network through which coverage will be obtained. Negotiating the elements of such a product is extremely difficult, and it is just as difficult to have to explain to providers that some of their patients will be insured for certain medical procedures while others will not.”

How ironic this is – if this bill passes, we will see the first attempt to regulate the ability of private insurance companies to fund abortion from peoples’ premiums.

And by the way, this is at least as morally serious as the indirect transfer of money to abortion-funding insurance companies through the tax system. But while all eyes are on the latter, nobody has ever seemed to care much about the former. And even here, some “pro-life” groups have carved out even finer distinctions, arguing that it is fine for Medicaid to fund abortions from tax revenue collected by the state, but not by the federal government.

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