As Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) prepares to unveil the Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan health care reform legislation later this week, several blogs are reporting that Republicans on the Committee are pushing legislation that would require insurers operating within the new Exchange to to deny coverage for abortion services. From Raising Women’s Voices:
The Senate Finance Committee has been writing a health care reform bill and struggling to create legislation that will have bipartisan support. Chairman Max Baucus (pictured left) considered several compromises to win Republican support, so they can claim it is bipartisan legislation. One of these potential compromises comes in the form of an abortion exclusion, which would prevent abortion services from being covered by some or all insurance plans in the Health Insurance Exchange. We fear that members of the Senate Finance Committee are considering such a compromise.
Should it pass, the Senate Finance version would be the only bill that specifically prohibits a medical service. As the Wonk Room points out, “if denying abortion services to women is the price of bipartisanship, then perhaps winning those one or two Republican votes isn’t worth the price of jeopardizing women’s health and well-being.”