To follow on my from my last post and MZ’s more recent one, the energy of the Catholic blogosphere is highly concentrated on whether a Pennsylvania high-risk pool that receives subsidies will pay for abortion. Of course, it will not. The law is clear and the statements of the authorities are clear. And yet, private insurance plans that receive federal subsidies in other contexts are paying for abortions, but this does unnoticed. I’ve talked about this before, and this is what I am talking about.
It’s from the Medicare Advantage program, whereby the federal government subsidizes private insurers to participate in Medicare (instead of paying directly, this channels funds to third-parties – private insurers – and it also tends to be more expensive than traditional Medicare). Here is what this policy says on abortion:
Voluntary abortion procedures are not covered under Original Medicare except for the following conditions:
- If the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest
- In the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, which would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.
Coverage for voluntary abortion is provided to members under select Medicare Advantage private fee-for-service plans regardless of the circumstances that led to the pregnancy or the conditions related to the abortion.
There you have it, in black and white. Of course, the National Right to Life Committee not only doesn’t seem to care about this, but it actively supported the Medicare Advantage legislation in the first place, and approved the weakest possible pro-life protection (basically, that an insurer could not be discriminated against for refusing to offer abortion coverage).
And so you have people seeing abortion where it does not exist, and ignoring it under their noses (not only in this rather specific case, but more generally in the widespread funding of abortion from private insurance premiums). What gets lost in the debate is the whole purpose of high-risk pools – to allow people with pre-existing conditions to get coverage until the law kicks in. But when pro-market runs into pro-life, you know what’s going to win every time.