Legislation Introduced to Opt Out of Abortion Coverage In Health Care Exchanges Created by ObamaCare

Wisconsin Right to Life today is praising the introduction of Senate Bill 92, legislation that opts Wisconsin out of abortion coverage in the health care exchanges created by Obamacare.  The authors of the legislation are Senator Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) and Assembly Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine).

“Wisconsin Right to Life is deeply appreciative to Senator Zipperer and Representative Vos for introducing this important legislation,” said Susan Armacost, Legislative Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “Wisconsin citizens should not be placed in the position of subsidizing abortion coverage.”

The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), also known as Obamacare, was signed into law on March 23, 2010. One of the provisions of the law require the States to operate and maintain “health insurance exchanges.” Insurance plans must meet the federally-prescribed compliance requirements in order to participate in the exchanges. These requirements include offering the essential health benefits package established by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Participating plans are eligible to receive federal subsidies for those who qualify for insurance under the exchanges.

PPACA specifically allows States to affirmatively prohibit coverage of abortions under the qualified health plans offered through the exchanges. The President’s Executive Order signed March 24, 2010 does not alter the opt-out provision. The states of Arizona, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana have already enacted abortion opt-out provisions.

Since the late 1970s, Wisconsin law prohibits the funds of the state, a local government, or a long-term care district and federal funds passing through the state treasury to be used to pay for the performance of an abortion (s. 20.927).

Under the Zipperer-Vos provision, a qualified health plan as defined in the federal law that is offered through any exchange operating in the State of Wisconsin may not cover any abortion whose performance is ineligible for funding under current Wisconsin law, s. 20.927.

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