On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Senate Public Health, Human Services and Revenue Committee will hold a public hearing on Senate Bill 92, legislation that would opt Wisconsin out of abortion coverage in the health care exchanges created by the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.
Senate Bill 92 is authored by Senator Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) and Assembly Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine).
Wisconsin Right to Life strongly supports Senate Bill 92. The organization’s Legislative Director, Susan Armacost, will offer testimony at the hearing in support of the measure.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010. One of its provisions requires 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.
Senate Bill 92 clarifies that 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 Wisconsin’s current funding law, s. 20.927. (Since the late 1970s, this 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.)
“The citizens of Wisconsin must not be placed in the position of subsidizing abortion coverage in the health care exchanges mandated by PPACA,” said Armacost. “The state can take preventative action in this regard now by enacting Senate Bill 92.”