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View Diary: Insurance Industry Expert Says Stupak Would Practically Mean No Abortion Coverage (202 comments)

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  •  DUH, that's what I said the moment I read it.... (8+ / 0-)

    ... the ramifications on a systemwide basis will be the migration to insurance policies that simply do NOT have any abortion coverage at all.

    In order to have "product" that meets the new requirements to get access to the new forced pool of subsiduzed insured, the industry will just pair back to the lowest common denominator that meets the requirements.

    They'll dump any abortion coverage to avoid any risk of being locked out of the new gold mine.

    It will lead to nearly a total ban.

    •  People DONT buy insurance for abortions (2+ / 0-)
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      emn316, Gravis

      MOst people pay for their own abortions

      •  Duh (1+ / 0-)
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        This "controversy" doesn't affect the ability of women wanting an abortion to get one at all. It's a manufactured issue.

        Not a Democrat, nor a Republican. This libertarian is a free-thinker.

        by emn316 on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 02:19:20 PM PST

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      •  first trimester abortions are affordable (1+ / 0-)
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        But women who have unexpected complications after the first trimester would find that the cost of an abortion would leave them heavily in debt.

        Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

        by BMarshall on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 05:32:19 PM PST

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        •  Affordable by whom? (7+ / 0-)

          Sorry, I work with extremely poor people who can't afford to have more children, but the cost of an abortion is about the same as a month's rent.  They don't have it and can't borrow it.  

          I just had this conversation 2 days ago with a very depressed woman who has just found out she's pregnant, has no insurance and no money.

          I can work to try to get some subsidies from private funds, but they're limited. And it's a self-defeating prophecy: poor women don't believe there's any access for themselves, so they don't even try. It used to be fairly easy to get an abortion in the first part of the second trimester.  Now we have to go out of state and it's very expensive.  Waiting a few weeks can make the whole thing impossible.

          Sorry to jump on your comment, but there's a whole lot of people in this country who are living pretty close to the edge.  It's tragic, really.

    •  VA,medicare,medicaid, federal policies already (1+ / 0-)
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      in place DONT offer abortion coverage, including those offered to congress members..........NOW

      •  75--90% of private plans cover it (7+ / 0-)

        And so does medicaid in civilized states.  If you don't think S-P represents a big change, you need to realize that a lot of people have jobs.

        "Dream for just a second and then do it!" -- Kolmogorov

        by theran on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 02:22:55 PM PST

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        •  And most of them won't (0+ / 0-)

          get their insurance through the exchange.

          I'm not sure I buy the argument that it'll be so much trouble to sell this product that people want that no insurance companies will bother. That making it difficult on the exchange will lead to insurance plans not even sold on the exchange dropping abortion coverage because it'll be too much paperwork.

          The Empire never ended.

          by thejeff on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 02:36:41 PM PST

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          •  You assume that policies offered to (1+ / 0-)
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            employers will not change. If the employee share has to be subsidized by the federal credits, they are also in the soup. And if the employers find that no abortion coverage is cheaper, they will be out to there as fast as many of them can go. As it is, many shop and change year to year now, depending on what the cheapest policy they can get is. Their only dog in this fight is the cost of providing coverage to employees they would lose without it, and they have no legal obligation under this to keep buying policies with abortion coverage. The fantasy here that people want to keep their existing coverage contains the assumption that the employer cannot and will not unilaterally change policies, as is their legal right. What do you here think will happen with that now.

            •  Yes I do. Or rather I assume (1+ / 0-)
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              they will continue getting worse and more expensive as they have for years.

              I'm not sure what you mean by "If the employee share has to be subsidized by the federal credits", as that isn't even being discussed. Unless you're referring to some small businesses which may be able to buy into the exchange. I'm not sure what the status of that is.

              If policies without abortion coverage are significantly  cheaper, why haven't companies dropped it long ago? They are as free to do so now in most states, as they will be if this passes.

              I simply don't see how this provision leads to everyone losing even the option to buy abortion coverage. Insurance companies offer many different plans with many different levels of coverage. The idea that the cost of having one with abortion will be prohibitive makes no sense to me.

              The Empire never ended.

              by thejeff on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 08:03:29 PM PST

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              •  I doesn't make any sense (0+ / 0-)

                because it's grossly exaggerated. Insurance companies will continue to offer many diverse plans.

                •  It's always cheaper to offer a few standardized (0+ / 0-)

                  plans. Have you seen the posts here where women in states where this is an issue point out that the supposed supplementals aren't offered there because the insurance companies have concluded there is an insufficient market? I have been asking since this row started whether anyone knew of a supplemental policy to fill a hole in any existing one which any company has in fact issued, to try to gauge the actual taste out there for insurance companies to offer the supplemental, and have gotten a big goose egg. And the front page diary of what I remember as yesterday about precisely why insurance companies would not offer both abortion included and abortion excluded policies.

                  Look at the language of the proposals and see what the consequence is, discussed or not, of an employee using the Federal credits to pay an employee's share of some company plan. Are you certain it is not covered. Or won't be as soon as someone mentions that it is all respects analogous to the regulation of other private plans on the exchange.

          •  Here's the thing (1+ / 0-)
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            The Exchange is national.  So lets say that every insurer decides it isn't worth it to offer abortions coverage and the entire Exchange is devoid of abortion coverage and riders.  Isn't that an amazingly huge opportunity for some company somewhere in the country to put even one plan covering abortions onto the Exchange?  If coverage of a $300 procedure is important enough to get progressives to willingly sink HCR, then that company would be recession proof with the dollars flooding in.

            So I find it hard to believe that the worst case scenario would in fact occur.

            •  No here's the thing (0+ / 0-)

              Insurance companies know it's cheaper to pay for an abortion than to pay for an infant added to the policy and much cheaper than an infant with problems.

              Abortion riders would be cheap since abortions themselves don't cost more than a few thousand dollars and aren't exactly the most common medical procedures women need either. Stop making assumptions that riders wouldn't be offered because there is no way of knowing that.

              •  I'm in agreement -- (1+ / 0-)
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                I was pointing out that even if the cataclysmic event of no coverage were to occur (which I am very skeptical would be the case) then that would create a market perfect for at least one health insurance company to move in and seize a national market.

                But yes I agree with you that riders make a ton of sense and I would think they would be priced between $15-$30 per year as that would pay for the basic first-trimester procedure assuming no negotiated discount and 50% inflation for overhead.

                Further I find the "proof" that an abortion rider wouldn't exist based on the experiences of five states to be highly dubious.  Those five states make up less than 16-million people (8m women, maybe 4m of the right age for abortion to be an issue).  However, you cannot create one rider to service all 4m people, instead you need 5 different riders to match each state's insurance regulations.  Now considering that each of these states are disposed towards pro-life policies you can see how quickly the best possible market of 4m customers shrinks to a very small market (in ND that market may be under 100,000 possible customers).  Now with a national exchange you have one set of regulations and one rider can instantly be purchased by 150m women (approximately 75m of whom may be of the right age to consider an abortion rider).  That is a huge fucking market -- and I cannot envision at least one company wanting to capture that market -- hell just being able to capture the California market would be a boon for that company, much less a national market 7 times bigger).

                So yes, there will be riders available.  The intellectual exercise required to get to a point where they wouldn't exist is bereft with false data and bad assumptions.

        •  To what extent? (0+ / 0-)

          You still have a high co-pay, then co-insurance, and a deductible unless you're rich and have a cadillac plan.

      •  all those Medicare folks (7+ / 0-)

        who need abortions are out of luck I guess (sarcasm)

        It's criminal that our MILITARY WOMEN are not covered. I wouldn't use that as an example if I were you!

        If Government can MAKE a woman bear a child, Government could PREVENT a woman from bearing a child. Same diff constitutionally.

        by Catskill Julie on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 02:38:13 PM PST

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        •  Not only not covered (8+ / 0-)

          If deployed, can't access one at all; if stationed overseas, subject to the host country's rules (and can get in trouble for seeking medical care outside the military system regardless of its nature).

        •  Oh, and if stationed at home (9+ / 0-)

          and can't get approval for leave to visit a provider (most are not stationed within easy reach of an abortion provider, and most have to work during normal office hours; the only way, technically, to get approval to take a day to travel to the other side of the state is to submit a leave request detailing where one plans to go and why, and it's illegal to lie on the form) a military woman is breaking the law if she decides to go get one anyway instead of showing up to work.

          •  Both above are simply outrageous (7+ / 0-)

            Our women serving in uniform are treated as so many billboards for other people's religious beliefs.

            If Government can MAKE a woman bear a child, Government could PREVENT a woman from bearing a child. Same diff constitutionally.

            by Catskill Julie on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 03:04:11 PM PST

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            •  To be honest, the last bit (5+ / 0-)

              isn't exactly about abortion per se - it's about the uniform application of a set of rules across a nonumiform set of circumstances. In the military, elective abortions are (in theory) treated no differently than any other elective medical procedure not provided through military medical care.

              The problem is the time-sensitive element; the consequences of delaying an abortion are much more severe than the consequences of delaying LASIK or breast reduction.

              (Of course the fact that in practice, a military woman stationed outside a major city generally needs to take leave to visit an abortion provider, and that leave is often a good idea anyway as most military jobs shouldn't be done on the same day one has surgery or is bleeding from a chemical abortion, creates an opening for anti-choicers in the chain of command to effectively deny women access to abortions unless they lie; most anyone in the chain of command can recommend against approving leave for any reason or no reason, and it's also quite possible to "lose" the forms.)

        •  most of the Medicare folks are past the age (0+ / 0-)

          of needing an abortion...

          Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. ~ Naploeon Bonaparte

          by CParis on Sat Nov 14, 2009 at 04:46:08 PM PST

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          •  The people who pushed Stupak assumed the (1+ / 0-)
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            essential selfishness of most Americans. My policy has what I need and anybody else better look to their own fannies for anything they want that I don't. Part of the assumption here is that Medicare women won't care because they don't need the coverage anymore, and that no men making independent choices except lefties will care because they have no need of that coverage, ESPECIALLY the very young men who often don't have insurance coverage at all at present and want it as cheap as possible if they are made to buy it.

    •  How the Repubs must be laughing at us! (11+ / 0-)

      We have the power to do anything, anything we want for the first time in a long time, and what happens?
      A guy like Stupak is going to deny us health care reform, and all that that entails.  
      We've allowed religion to interfere in politics.  We've allowed a news network to lie.  We've allowed Repubs in Dem clothing to stay in our midst and pass out poison, and we've done nothing about it.
      Because we don't want to be too mean.  We're "nicing" ourselves to death here.  They're going to destroy us from within if our leaders don't remember how to fight and start doing it.

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