Federal Health Care Reform Abortion Opt-Out

S.B. 1293  Sen. Judson Gilbert
S.B. 1294  Sen. Mark Jansen
S.B. 1295  Sen. Wayne Kuipers
H.B. 6075  Rep. Paul Oppsomer

H.B. 6201 Rep. Brian Calley
H.B. 6202 Rep. Sharon Tyler

Current Status
S.B. 1293-1294 and H.B. 6075 were introduced on April 27, 2010. S.B. 1295 was introduced on April 28, 2010. H.B. 6201-6202 were introduced on May 20, 2010. All three of the Senate bills were referred to the Senate Health Policy Committee. H.B. 6075 was referred to the House Judiciary Committee, and H.B. 6201-6202 were referred to the House Committee on Health Policy.

These bills would exclude abortion coverage from all health plans in Michigan. Those who want abortion coverage would have the option of purchasing it through an additional rider.

The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the federal health care reform legislation enacted in March 2010, requires that all 50 states operate insurance “exchanges” to provide more access to health plans and information about plans for both individuals and employers. The PPACA contains a provision allowing the states to exclude abortion as a covered benefit in the health insurance plans operating under the exchange. This provision is known as “the abortion opt-out.”

S.B. 1293-1295, H.B. 6201-6202 and H.B. 6075 take advantage of this opt-out by excluding abortion coverage from all health plans in Michigan, whether in the exchange or not. Purchasers of health care insurance who want abortion as a covered benefit in their plan may purchase an optional rider adding this benefit.

Polls taken during the debate on health care reform consistently showed strong opposition to the funding of abortion in health insurance plans. Regardless of one’s view regarding the legality of abortion, the great majority of voters do not want to pay for abortions with their tax dollars in public plans, nor do they want to subsidize abortions through their premium dollars going toward private health insurance. States across the nation are introducing “opt-out” legislation. In several states opt-out legislation has already become law. The RLM legislative office is working with leaders in the House and Senate for timely passage of these bills.

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