Unfortunately, in an otherwise well-intended effort to get a public plan option back in health reform, West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller filed an amendment (#C6) that includes a ban on coverage of abortions (except in cases of rape, incest or threat to the life of the woman) in the public plan.
This provision would go well beyond the current federal bans on use of federal funding for abortions, because it would mean that even women trying to purchase public- sponsored health insurance with their own money would be barred from having abortion coverage!
Remember, the public plan is simply a government-sponsored insurance option, which people could choose to select as their health insurance and pay for with their own premium dollars. Because it is likely to be cheaper than private insurance being offered through the proposed health insurance exchange, women may want to buy this public insurance. Any public subsidies women might use to supplement their private premium dollars in purchasing public or private health insurance through the exchange already would have a “no-abortion” condition attached to it, under the Baucus plan. Like the Capps amendment (attached to health reform in the House Energy and Commerce Committee reform bill), the Baucus plan would segregate public subsidy funds from private premium dollars to avoid having public money pay for abortions.
We Need Your Help!
Tell Senator Rockefeller and other members of the Senate Finance Committee to take the abortion ban out of any public plan option! Other anti-choice amendments that should be opposed include ones filed by Senator Orin Hatch (C10, C13 and C14) and Senator Michael Enzi (C13, C14, C15 and C21).
If your Senator is not a member of the Senate Finance Committee, ask him or her to contact Senator Rockefeller and the other senators on the Finance Committee to oppose the abortion ban and anti-choice amendments.