Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Universal Coverage (But Not If You're a Woman)

The New York Times today covered an aspect of the health care debate that has received relatively little coverage as of late: the fight of many Republicans, and an alarmingly high number of moderate Democrats, who are pushing for a bill that bans the use of federal health care subsidies to pay for insurance plans that cover abortion. These opponents of abortion coverage are split into two camps: those who want to maintain the current federal funding ban by requiring insurance companies to keep all money from public subsidies in separate accounts from private co-payments and premiums and to only use private funds to pay for abortion, and those who want to prohibit insurance companies who receive any money from federal subsidies from covering abortion at all.

This kind of ban could have tragic consequences for women. Insurance companies, who all want to receive federal help, would likely drop abortion coverage from all of its plans, meaning that even women whose current health plans cover abortion would likely lose this benefit. But don't worry! Republicans sponsoring these amendments would allow women to pay extra for a special rider that would let them cover abortions. That is, of course, supposing that they can afford it. Complete and comprehensive healthcare will continue, according to a time-honored tradition, to be more expensive for women, guaranteeing that lower- and middle-class women are prevented from real autonomy over their health and their bodies.

If this is something you care about, please write a letter to your senator or representative. Republicans and Democrats need to hear from women who believe in protecting their right to choose, and to afford, health care that is right for them.


WendyM said...

Great post, Maria! I knew OF the debate over abortion within health insurance reform, but not the extent of the details. How disgusting.

Please keep posting!

PS - We miss you here at FMF!

RUPA said...

its not a big deal.. just dont have sex until you are ready for a child.. so simple :)