Tags: Healthcare Reform | Obamacare | Abortion | health plans | healthcare

State Health Plans with Abortion Coverage May Violate the Law

Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 12:03 PM

The Obamacare exchanges in five states are potentially breaking the law by having all their health plans include coverage of abortions, according to The Washington Times citing a new government audit.

The Affordable Care Act stipulates that that at least two multi-state plans in these states that don't include abortion coverage must be available to consumers who do not sign up for plans that include the controversial procedure.

The Government Accountability Office estimates that there are 1,100 Obamacare plans offering abortion coverage in the 28 states where it's not illegal, which include all the plans in Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii and New Jersey, and 95 percent of plans in California.

The Obama administration has a four-year period to implement multi-state plans, so it's not considered a violation of the law at this stage, a congressional aide told the Times.

Rep. Christopher Smith, who is bitterly opposed to taxpayers subsidizing abortions, said the vast amount of Obamacare plans covering abortions show that government is paying for the procedures despite President Barack Obama's promise that would not be the case.

"No one likes to be misled or deceived," said the New Jersey Republican.

After reviewing the GAO report, the Department of Health and Human Services admitted that "additional clarification may be needed" to ensure that states and insurance companies adhere to the healthcare law.

Jim Esquea, assistant secretary for legislation at the agency, wrote to the GAO to say that the department's Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) planned to deal with the problem.

He said that CMS "will speak directly with the [qualified health plans] or state departments of insurance regarding the issues identified by GAO to determine whether additional guidance is necessary to ensure that states and issuers understand the laws and regulations governing the coverage of non-excepted abortion services."

A separate survey by the conservative Family Research Council found that all 39 of Hawaii's state Obamacare exchange this year include abortion coverage, the Times reported.

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The Obamacare exchanges in five states are potentially breaking the law by having all their health plans include coverage of abortions, according to The Washington Times citing a new government audit.
Obamacare, Abortion, health plans, healthcare
328
2014-03-16
Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 12:03 PM
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