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Michigan Senate OKs Bill to Prevent Obamacare Funding Abortions

by Steven Ertelt | Lansing, MI | LifeNews.com | 12/6/12 4:19 PM

State

The Michigan state Senate has approved a bill that would ensure the state health exchange in Michigan that would be created under Obamacare does not allow abortion funding. The measure excludes abortion coverage from state or federal exchange insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act and from all other insurance plans offered in Michigan.

Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, “There are several important pieces of legislation currently under consideration here in Lansing. These major life-affirming policies will protect the health and safety of women, protect the interests of taxpayers, and protect the conscience rights of health care providers.”

“One provision of the ACA (aka Obamacare) allows the states to determine whether abortion will be a built-in benefit in health plans offered on the state “exchanges,'” the group said. “We waited until the Supreme Court ruled; we waited until the election was over. For the short term at least, ObamaCare is coming. The decision as to whether health care plans cover abortion rests with the states, regardless of whether the exchange is operated by the state or federal government. Senate Bills 612-614 will establish Michigan’s policy that abortion is not a built-in benefit to exchange plans, or any other plans.”

S.B. 612-614 were introduced on September 7, 2011, and were reported out of the Senate Health Policy Committee on December 7, 2011 with a 7-1 vote. Right to Life of Michigan and Citizens for Traditional Values testified in favor of the bills, while Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, and the National Organization for Women testified in opposition.

The Planned Parenthood abortion business condemned passage of the bill this afternoon on Twitter.

H.B. 4143 and 4147 were introduced on January 26, 2011 and referred to the House Committee on Health Policy. H.B. 4776 was introduced on June 16, 2011 and also referred to Health Policy.

RLM says, “The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the federal health care reform legislation enacted in March 2010, requires that all 50 states operate insurance “exchanges” to provide more access to health plans and information about plans for both individuals and employers. The PPACA contains a provision allowing the states to exclude abortion as a covered benefit in the health insurance plans operating under the exchange. This provision is known as “the abortion opt-out.”

S.B. 612-613 would exclude standard abortion coverage from health plans operating under the exchange, and all other insurance plans in Michigan, whether public or private. Purchasers of health care insurance who want abortion as a covered benefit in their plan may purchase an optional rider adding this benefit. H.B. 4776 and S.B. 614 provide an enforcement mechanism to prevent abortion providers from fraudulently seeking insurance reimbursement for abortions, as abortionists once did after Medicaid-funded abortions were ended,” RLM said.

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Polls taken during the debate on health care reform consistently showed strong opposition to the funding of abortion in health insurance plans. Regardless of their views regarding the legality of abortion, the great majority of voters do not want to pay for abortions with their tax dollars in public plans, or subsidize abortion through their premium dollars in private plans.

Six states, including Wisconsin, now exclude standard abortion coverage from all health care policies in those states. Abortion coverage is available only through an optional rider. The RLM legislative office is working with leaders in the House and Senate for timely passage of these bills.

Right to Life of Michigan sponsored a pro-life lobby day today for the collection of bills, including the “Prolife Bus,” H.B. 5711; Abortion Insurance Opt-Out, S.B. 612, 613 & 614; and the Religious Liberty and Conscience Protection Act, S.B. 975.