Friday, November 13, 2009

RNC Backed into a Corner Over Insurance and Abortion Coverage

Politico reported yesterday that for the past 18 years, the employees of the Republican National Committee have been covered under an insurance plan that includes coverage for elective abortion procedures; republicans and Democrats alike are shocked and disappointed by this revelation.

To put this in perspective in terms of the current health care debate, let's look at the Stupak-Pitts amendment. One of the primary aims of the Stupak-Pitts is to prevent citizens from unknowingly or unwillingly paying for abortions with government subsidies and/or premium payments. Unfortunately this is precisely what every RNC employee has been participating in for the past 18 years, most, if not all, unknowingly.

Since this news broke, the RNC has stated that, although they will stay with their current provider (Cigna), they will opt-out of any plan that includes abortion coverage because “money from our loyal donors should not be used for this purpose,” says RNC Chairman Michael Steele. Steele later said that the issue is considered "settled."

Although the RNC will not be directly participating in a plan that includes abortion coverage, their premiums will. Since RNC is staying with the same insurance company that still offers this coverage, the premium payments made by the RNC still have the potential to be used to cover the abortions of other customers; every time the RNC writes a check to Cigna, they are indirectly subsidizing abortions.

It is important to point out that the issues being faced by the RNC today, would be drastically reduced if not eliminated had the Capps Amendment been passed earlier this year; they would have had an opportunity to easily find an alternative provider that would not use premiums to fund abortion.

To quote a blog I posted earlier today, the Capps Amendment would "[give] consumers the option of choosing whether or not they want their provider to fund abortion coverage with their premiums. Since about 90% of private insurance companies offer abortion coverage, ensuring that there is at least one per region that does not cover abortion actually gives consumers who object to participating in abortion-inclusive plans a greater opportunity to find suitable coverage."

The Capps Amendment would have allowed for the RNC to easily find another insurance provider that could ensure their premiums would not be used to cover abortions, either directly or indirectly. However, because the only legislation enacted in regards to abortion coverage is the Hyde Amendment, there are no restrictions on the allocation of funds within a private insurance company, such as Cigna, and therefore the only way to prevent RNC premiums from indirectly funding abortion would be to find another plan. Which, these days, is easier said than done.


bondwooley said...

Poor Michael Steele is scrambling and backtracking yet again. Good thing he’s got a crackerjack coach:


April Saylor said...

you go girl

Bonnie said... words.. the rnc is straight up WILD. honestly.