Planned Parenthood blasts federal rule requiring separate insurance premiums for abortion coverage
The Trump regime today issued a final rule that critics say will add to the long list of impediments women face when seeking an abortion. The rule, which is scheduled to take effect Feb. 27, 2020—60 days after publication in the Federal Register—requires companies that provide health insurance through the exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act to establish separate billing for abortion coverage.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood Federation of America notes that the rule could harm 3 million women who have health insurance through the exchanges. In addition to following the misogynistic agenda underlying attacks on reproductive rights by forced-birthers, the rule is another example of class war in that it affects the ability of less-affluent women to obtain a legal medical procedure that is meant to be accessible to all, regardless of their financial circumstances.
Currently, companies are required to segregate that portion of premiums that cover abortions, with the proviso that the amount charged cannot be less than $1. A hassle, to be sure, but one handled with simple accounting measures. The new system will mean both insurance companies and those covered must deal with two bills and two payments. Thus is a safe procedure again carved out of standard medical practice for special, negative treatment.
Planned Parenthood states:
Not only could these burdensome administrative requirements lead some of these health insurance companies to drop coverage of abortion altogether, it could also cause people to lose coverage if they fail to follow the new requirements. While the Trump-Pence administration clearly wants to make abortion coverage unavailable, Planned Parenthood Federation of America hopes insurers will continue to offer the full range of reproductive health coverage that people need, including coverage for abortion. America’s Health Insurance Plans and other insurance groups oppose the rule.
Just one more example out of hundreds of measures chipping away at reproductive freedom, each measure often small when viewed in isolation but hugely damaging when taken in the aggregate with the others.
In the statement released by Planned Parenthood, its vice president for government relations and public policy, Jacqueline Ayers, says, “Everyone deserves reproductive health care coverage that meets their needs, including abortion, without shame or stigma.”
Abortion without shame or stigma is the opposite of what forced-birthers have sought to impose across the nation for the past 45 years. Unable so far to overturn the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion in all the states, they have worked diligently to shame and stigmatize people who obtain abortions, seeking to make the medical procedure as humiliating, expensive, time-consuming, and otherwise problematic as they can, assisted by their allies, mostly but not exclusively Republicans, in state legislatures. Even with insurance, women in more than half the states now find it much harder than they did a decade ago to obtain an abortion.
One effect of this campaign has been to reduce the number of clinics carrying out the procedure. Six states have just a single abortion provider still operating, and those are under various forms of attack. In Texas, a law that the Supreme Court subsequently overturned cut the number of clinics providing abortions in that state of 29 million people from 40 to 17. Three years after that court ruling, only five of those shuttered clinics have reopened. The high court will hear arguments in March on a Louisiana case with the same provision as was in the Texas law. If the Supremes choose to uphold it, which would implicitly reverse the Texas decision, it would mean no abortion clinics left in the Bayou State, and no amount of insurance coverage, billed separately or not, would provide women the means to exercise their legal right without traveling out of state.