Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman


The Baucus Health Care Bill on Abortion — Full Text

posted by swaldman

Application of State and Federal Laws Regarding Abortion
Current Law
The performance of and payment for abortions is regulated by both state and Federal laws. State law, for example, sometimes prescribes parental notification, waiting periods and other procedural requirements before an abortion may be performed. Under Federal law, certain kinds of Federal funds may not be used to pay for abortions and certain recipients of Federal funds may not discriminate against specified health care entities that perform or refuse to perform, pay for, provide referrals for, or provide training for abortions.
Chairman’s Mark
This provision would ensure that state laws regarding the prohibition or requirement of coverage or funding for abortions, and state laws involving abortion-related procedural requirements are not preempted. The provision similarly provides that Federal conscience protections and abortion-related antidiscrimination laws would not be affected by the bill. The rights and obligations of employees and employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would also not be affected by the bill. In addition, this bill does not affect state or Federal laws, including section 1867 of the Social Security Act (EMTALA), requiring health care providers to provide emergency services.
Abortion Coverage Prohibited as Part of Minimum Benefits Package
Current Law
Currently, Federal funds may be used to pay for abortions only if a pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest, or where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness that would place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed. However, many private insurance plans include coverage for abortion beyond these limited categories.
Chairman’s Mark
This provision provides that abortion cannot be a mandated benefit as part of a minimum benefits package except in those cases for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. A qualified health plan would not be prohibited, however, from providing coverage for abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. Federal funds continue to be prohibited from being used to pay for abortions unless the pregnancy is due to rape, incest, or if the life of the mother is in danger.
Required Segregation of Public Funds
Current Law
No provision.
Chairman’s Mark
No tax credit or cost-sharing credits may be used to pay for abortions beyond those permitted by the most recent appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, insurers participating in any state-based exchange that offer coverage for abortion beyond those permitted by the most recent appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services must segregate from any premium and cost-sharing credits an amount of each enrollee’s private premium dollars that is determined to be sufficient to cover the provision of those services.
The Secretary shall also establish a process using an estimated actuarial value by which insurers that provide coverage for abortions beyond those permitted by the most recent appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services must demonstrate that no federal premium and cost-sharing credits are used for the purpose of paying for such abortions.
Actuarial Value of Optional Service Coverage
Current Law
No provision.
Chairman’s Mark
The Secretary would be required to estimate, on an average actuarial basis, the basic per enrollee, per month cost of including coverage of abortions beyond those permitted by the most recent appropriation for the Department of Health and Human Services under a basic plan. In making such estimate, the Secretary may take into account the impact of including such coverage on overall costs, but may not consider any cost reduction estimated to result from providing such abortions, such as prenatal care. In making the estimate, the Secretary would also be required to estimate the costs as if coverage were included for the entire covered population, but the costs could not be estimated at less than $1 per enrollee, per month.
Rules Regarding Coverage of and Tax Credits for Specified Services
Current Law
No provision.
Chairman’s Mark
The Secretary would ensure that in each state exchange, at least one plan provides coverage of
abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted. The Secretary would also ensure that in each state exchange, at least one plan does not provide coverage of abortions beyond those for which Federal funds appropriated for the Department of Health and Human Services are permitted.
No Discrimination on the Basis of Provision of Abortion
Current Law
Federal conscience clause laws prohibit recipients of certain Federal funds from discriminating against certain medical personnel and health care entities for engaging in or refusing to engage in specified activities related to abortion.
Chairman’s Mark
Health benefits plans participating in state exchanges would be prohibited from discriminating against any individual health care provider or health care facility because of its willingness or unwillingness to provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.
The full bill here.



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Victor Misrock

posted September 16, 2009 at 7:24 pm


I’m concerned about abortion regulations.
This is part and parcel to the fact that “end-of-life” counseling is not being addressed in this bill. The idea of a “Death Panel;” however absurd, really isn’t that far away from the truth. And the future demands regulations.
Please see this interview for such proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQE0vNEcb8k



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