Arizona limits abortion coverage in health care exchanges

Arizona, where you can carry a concealed weapon without a permit and racial profiling is the law of the land, is the first state in the U.S. to severely limit abortion coverage in the state-run health care exchange.

On Saturday, “at the Center for Arizona Policy Family dinner before 1600 guests,” Brewer signed SB 1305, the first-in-the nation bill that would prohibit insurers in the state-run health care exchange “from providing coverage for abortions unless the coverage is offered as a separate optional rider for which an additional insurance premium is charged.”

The new Arizona law is a radical mini Stupak. It prevents insurers from offering abortion services, except under the most extreme circumstances, even if only private money were used to pay for those services. Most if not all women in the exchange would only be able to purchase coverage through an impractical, separate abortion “rider” or leave the exchange entirely and find coverage in the shrinking individual health insurance market. Since it’s unlikely that many insurers will offer abortion riders or that women will purchase them in anticipation of needing an abortion — in fact, “in the five states where abortion riders are currently required, no insurance company offers them” — the Arizona law will severely disadvantage poorer women who would likely have to pay out of pocket for abortion services.

Health care reform opened up the possibility for states to ban all abortion coverage in the exchanges, and other states are already working to follow Arizona’s lead. Governor Brewer just gets to add being the first to severely restrict access to safe and legal abortion in this manner to the list of other hateful and dangerous laws she’s signed recently.

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5 Comments

  1. Auriane
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    When I was poor and didn’t have any health insurance, I received all of my ob-gyn care at Planned Parenthood. PP — along with other private womens’ clinics — are a great way of getting around this stupid law.
    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/ppaz/
    Here’s a list of other clinics as well:
    http://www.gynpages.com/

  2. smiley
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I am puzzled. Nothing in the OP leads me to believe that abortion will be harder to come by; only that that an additional premium will be charged.
    Now, it could be argued that pregnancy is not disease or an illness (not a bad argument in itself). (Some pregnancies are, but that is not what the argument is about.)
    Consequently, is it really unreasonable that an extra payment is required if that coverage is desired? Is it? Is such a requirement an ‘extreme circumstance’?
    I am not shocked that different levels of insurance premiums exist, based on the purchaser’s desires: nicer room? pay a premium. you want dental coverage? pay up. Oh, you would like to be covered outside the country? certainly – but it will cost you more. And so on. (It actually works both ways: non-smokers get reductions.)
    I am not particularly shocked that abortion coverage should be optional.

  3. Sadie
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    Insurance coverage is just terrible to begin with. These types of laws just put the icing on the cake.

  4. allegra
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Does Arizona think it’s competing to win the Biggest Conservative Douchebag State of the Year award, or what? ‘Cause they can stop like any time now.

  5. apricoco
    Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    Today in Florida, this happened: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/sfl-florida-senate-abortions-ultrasounds,0,3941908.story
    Without any warning… Like right out of the blue..

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