Due to an anti-choice kerfuffle on Wednesday on whether Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plans (otherwise known as high risk pools) will include abortion coverage, President Obama seemed to quickly concede and announced a total abortion ban in the pools. This is despite the fact that this was not in the original health care reform bill. As a result, many high-risk women who may be more apt to complications with their pregnancies will not be given coverage for an abortion.
RH Reality Check has the lowdown about this and how the ban actually goes further than the executive order compromise made originally:
It is understandable that the Administration might now feel the need to honor the “spirit” of the compromise that resulted in the Executive Order. But the whole point of the compromise was to preserve the status quo, which included both restricted and unrestricted spheres of abortion funding. Moreover, the terms of the agreement were carefully negotiated. Abortion opponents who participated in the bargaining did not raise concerns about high risk pools or other specific potential sources of federal funding, and they should be able to live with the deal they made.
The worst of it is that the Administration could have at the very least set up something akin to the Hyde Amendment and the PPACA by giving states the option of using state or private money to cover abortion care costs. Instead, the Administration cited the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan specifically as the controlling precedent for the PCIPs.
The FEHBP, like the Stupak Amendment, imposes a total ban on non-Hyde abortion care, meaning that non-federal money cannot be used to supplement premiums in order to purchase a plan that includes abortion coverage. Thus, without even any political or legislative benefit to receive in exchange, the Obama Administration has imposed a more restrictive abortion funding rule on PCIPs than is required for health insurance exchanges or Medicaid.
Check out statements being made by pro-choice organizations like the National Institute for Reproductive Health and Planned Parenthood. You can take action via NARAL Pro-Choice America here.