Thursday, November 12, 2009

FAQ about Stupak-Pitts, Part II

Here are two more FAQs about the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and what it means for women and health care.

What are the Risks of introducing the Stupak-Pitts Amendment into the Senate?
Bills that have been introduced to Senate committees in the past that have similar messages to the Stupak Amendment have been rejected. If Majority Leader Reid melds a bill from those approved by Senate HELP and Finance committees, the final bill to be introduced would not have Stupak-like language. In order to re-introduce the language of the Stupak Amendment, the Senate would have to have 60 votes. Senator Baucus and others have indicated that gaining 60 votes in favor of this amendment would be ‘nearly impossible’

According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 13% of all women who had an abortion in 2001 used insurance coverage to pay for it. Why are we making such a big fuss over its availability under health reform?
This figure does not account for women who may have paid out of pocket and then later sought reimbursements from their insurance companies. The authors of this study explained that had the study included only women who had insurance coverage, the percentage of women who used their coverage to pay for the procedure would be dramatically higher. Furthermore, because of the stigma attached to the procedure, women who do have access to insurance coverage may not utilize it; the Stupak amendment would make this even worse. Numbers aside, the main concern is that about 85% of private plans cover abortion, currently, and that right should not be stripped because of reform.

Don't think this is the last one! More to come later this afternoon.

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