Pro-Choice Groups Contend Health Care Can Reduce Abortions

Robert Hay:

“Some conservative pro-lifers argued that the final health care bill would be a boom for the abortion industry, requiring abortion coverage and increasing the number performed in the United States.  On at least one count, it looks like this common knowledge would be wrong – or at least that’s what the pro-choice industry is saying.

A number of pro-choice organizations, including NARAL Pro-Choice America and the National Abortion Federation, submitted comments to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on regulations regarding medical loss ratios.  If you recall, the final health care bill had language requiring insurers to collect separate payments if they cover abortion in their plan.  The health care bill has another requirement that insurers reduce their paperwork and overhead costs (medical loss ratio or MLR).  The abortion groups have asked that HHS asking that the abortion rider provision be exempt from the MLR regulations.

So what’s the big deal?  The abortion groups are afraid that if they have to mail out separate statements on abortion provisions and process the payments separately, this would drive their non-care costs up.  To keep under the MLR, they would have to….drop their abortion coverage.  Pro-choice groups are afraid this part of the health care bill will reduce the availability of abortions, and they are probably right.

It is unknown what the final regulations will look like on this provision, but anytime pro-choice groups decry abortion provisions in a Democratic bill pro-lifers must be doing something right.”

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