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Protesters rally in the rotunda of the State Capitol as the state Senate meets to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Stone
During the whole Obamacare debate, many of us progressives fought tooth and nail to keep abortion coverage out of the mix, to no avail. We didn't foresee this exact result, but knew that opening up the law to include any kind of abortion restriction would be an opening that anti-choice Republicans would figure out how to blow apart. And they have.
The Georgia state legislature passed a bill on Tuesday to prohibit abortion coverage from being included in insurance sold under Obamacare within its borders. It is now the 22nd state, almost all of them with statehouses controlled by Republicans, to pass such a bill since the federal law took effect in March 2010.
As of February, 24 states have enacted laws preventing insurance plans that provide abortion coverage from being sold on the exchanges. As it stands, according to a 2008 Guttmacher study, just 30 percent of abortion patients had private insurance, but among those 63 percent paid out of pocket. That's likely to become an even higher percentage as these restrictions kick in.

Experts warned that insurance companies would not be likely to continue to offer abortion coverage or even to provide separate policy riders that cover the procedure for people to pay for entirely out of pocket. It's too much of an administrative hassle. The danger for women now is that, as insurance companies try to streamline practices and cut administrative costs, abortion coverage will be sacrificed as the companies standardize their plans.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    "The NSA’s capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

    by Joan McCarter on Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 11:25:28 AM PDT

  •  Ugh that dark night when Pelosi allowed the Stupak (8+ / 0-)

    amendment to be voted on, thinking it would fail.

    It is rare to witness a case in which a single technical step in the sausage-making process has had such a dramatic effect.

    Not only did this open the door to abortion restrictions. It also shut the door on the Public Option, which up to that point was included in 4 of the 5 committee-approved drafts across both houses of Congress.

    •  hard to know how it will play (5+ / 0-)

      this affects all women, not just poor women on medicaid.

      I am not sure these people understand that if not ahead of time, nearly everyone wants abortion services as soon as they need them, men and women, religious and not.  It was awful before 1973.  They can pick on the poor, but picking on married women who get genetic tests, and at-risk pregnancies in any demographic, that would be a new target population.

      We'll see how this one plays out?

      Plus, it is much cheaper for insurance to pay for abortion rather than pregnancy and delivery. Much.  Lots can go wrong in pregnancies, not much in abortions.

      •  I hope state insurance commissioners can intervene (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        manyamile, anna shane

        to at least protect that right in Blue States by requiring insurers to offer this coverage if they want to be on the exchange.

        Or is that blocked by the law?

        •  i don't know (0+ / 0-)

          it makes no economic sense, and women have the right, so I can't see why any insurer would, unless they were prevented by law and that could face challenges.  

          •  The Stupak deal required that at least one (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anna shane, jbsoul, arlene

            policy on each exchange had to have the coverage in a policy, and that the deal was that one might have to pay more for it but it had to be there in every state. One policy.

            And let's not get crazy about how Obama or Nancy was supposely  foolish and brought about this horror by political stupidity and miscalculation.It didn't happen quite that way.

            At the time, and I remember it well, there were a whoooole lotta Kossacks including a number prominent here who referred to these deals as 'taking one for the team' given the huge benefit which that sacrifice would make available to all Americans and that the women who objected were Debbie Downers and the like or a small special intereast group being selfish when there were larger goals to be obtained.

            And another rather nasty bunch who took that position, until they discovered they really wanted Medicare for all, and then changed position at the last minute to say it was a bridge suddenly too far, when the same people had taken a different position earlier.

            And the posture of things when Stupak was done was NOT that there were wise ones who thought he would lose and we could all happily go forward with full reproductive care for women, but rather that there were many who thought this horrible compromise would not be enough, even with the executive order,  and the whole effort would go down because of the demon anti woman caucus which was being truly disgusting and horribly united around the issue. If you recall, that deal was the end of Stupak's career.

            •  Stupak's misogyny ended his career. (0+ / 0-)

              He was obsessed with controlling women's bodies to the extent that he was willing to scuttle health care reform over a relatively minor issue. The end result was that he was hated equally by Democrats (for threatening to blow up HCR) and by Republicans (for voting aye in the end). He decided to retire, whining about how people from outside his district were giving him a hard time.

              Good riddance to an anti-woman dinosaur.

          •  I would think it makes more economic sense (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            anna shane

            to cover birth control and abortion. Normal(re:no problems, low risk) pregnancy, labor and delivery are expensive enough, not to mention high risk and neonatal intensive care, etc. that is not in the best interest of the mother, as decided by her and her doctor

            Oh for crying out loud!

            by 4mygirls on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:13:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Which is why Blue Dogs should be out of the party. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4mygirls, starduster

      They screw up any chance at making legislation progressive.

      I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

      by tgrshark13 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:57:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Problems of getting Obamacare enacted. (0+ / 0-)

      Ideally, Obamacare would require all insurance plans to cover abortions. That said, the law passed on a very narrow margin in the House, and the Stupak Amendment was crucial to get it through, unfortunately. The Senate bill contained different language, and by the time the two chambers went to conference, Scott Brown had been elected senator, so the House had no option but to pass the Senate bill, with some changes included through reconciliation.

  •  Cool pic from pro-choice protest in Texas. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VirginiaBlue, BlackSheep1, manyamile

    That was at the Texas state capitol building.

    Here is one from when I was there:

     photo 20130701_145451_zps459d8c69.jpg

  •  Dammit ! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this is one issue where the inroads being made to  destroy ,obstruct and limit a woman's reproductive rights have been relentlessly and effectively  pursued...
    we've been defending  against this for so many years  and decades i have lost count, and still it will not go away.
    i wish we could get the attention of all allies, not just women, to make noise on this issue, to  attain critical mass  loudly, proudly, effectively , to  stop this  assault.

  •  This is not Obamacare's fault but the GOP state (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sweatyb, myboo, NedSparks, bananapouch1

    legislators though to be clear.

  •  Ugh (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texnance, arlene, mchestnutjr, starduster

    we have such short memories in this country.  No one under 50 knows what it was like when abortion was illegal.  Women die when they can't access safe, legal abortion.  Doctors knew this, women knew this, that's why we fought so hard to overturn the stupid laws that banned it.  

    Now the women who may need an abortion are too young to remember those dark days.  They either think they won't need an abortion (I thought so too, until I had a failure of birth control) or that they will be able to get one if they need it.  

    I keep fighting, but I'm tired of fighting the same battles over and over.  Maybe now that same sex marriage is becoming the norm we can all turn our attention to protecting a woman's right to choose when to have children.  It's the same principle.

    •  Same-sex marriage vs. abortion is a contrast. (0+ / 0-)

      Gay marriage was framed as an issue of equality, and this made it that much easier for it to gain large support. No matter how the bigots change their case to "freedom" and "religious freedom, we knew who held the upper hand.

      Abortion should ideally be reframed to focus on women's rights, equality (men will never get unwanted pregnancies) and basic human rights as well. Unfortunately the forced-birthers are succeeding at framing it as a debate of giving a fertilized egg invisible to the naked eye a "right to life".

  •  I'd love to see all the insurance companies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    say "fine, we won't offer any insurance in your state at all." See how they like that.
    On a more serious note, this touches on something that I am concerned about. I am all for single payer, the sooner the better. However these same fools will try to make sure that full reproductive care is not included, a truly scary thought.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:05:23 PM PDT

  •  georgia U and georgia tech helped the 'pro' life (0+ / 0-)

    shits by endorsing 7 limbaugh radio stations.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:06:32 PM PDT

  •  It's too much of an administrative hassle? (0+ / 0-)

    Insurance companies will cover anything if it's profitable. What the (one) expert warned is that, in states that ban federal subsidies going to plans that cover abortion, having a separate off-exchange plan available with coverage might not be profitable - because only a small number of people are buying individual insurance off-exchange.

    So it's one guy's opinion that these laws might actually work. But he might be wrong, or the laws might change in the future. I think it's premature to declare anti-choice victory throughout the land.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:34:04 AM PDT

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