02 June 2010

US Sen Mikulski and the PPACA email

I just got this email from the staff of my US Sen. Mikulski (D-MD). (She's up for reelection this year.)
Dear [gbm3]:

Thank you for getting in touch with me about abortion and health care reform. It's great to hear from you.

I appreciate hearing your opposition to the health care reform bills that have been signed into law - the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148) and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Public Law 111-152). While these bills are not perfect, I am proud of what we were able to accomplish. We passed a health reform law that saves and strengthens Medicare; makes sure insurance companies can't discriminate against you because of a pre-existing condition, or because of your age or gender; provides universal access to health care, and emphasizes quality, prevention and integrative health to save lives and save money. These are the principles of health reform that I have been committed to and have been fighting for throughout my career.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) follows settled law on abortion and prohibits federal funds from being used to fund abortions. On March 24, 2010, President Obama signed an executive order ensuring enforcement of these abortion restrictions in the PPACA. To make sure that no federal funds are used to fund abortions, the final version of health care reform bill requires women to write two separate premium checks - one for abortion and one for all other health care. These premiums collected in state insurance exchanges will then remain in two separate funds.

I would also like you to know that no health care plan can be required to cover abortion. PPACA requires every state insurance exchange to include at least one plan that does not cover abortion. States will also have the right to pass laws prohibiting any plan participating in a state insurance exchange from covering abortion.

I also support the rights of health professional to choose whether to perform abortions. That's why I also support the strong conscience clause in the bill which protects providers and hospitals from having to perform abortions if it goes against their religious, ethical, or moral beliefs.

Again, thanks for contacting me. Please let me know if I can be of help to you in the future.

Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senator
The first paragraph in red above is a red herring for the second paragraph. One can be lead to believe that women have to solely use their own money to pay for abortions. Why have two checks and two funds for two "premiums"? Shouldn't abortions be paid with a personal check (etc)?

The way I read it, a health care plan that covers abortion requires two checks for two funds, one for abortion and one for healthcare to be paid into. (Abortion is not healthcare.)

Tax money (including mine) will be used to subsidize all insurances (unless a State explicitly ops out of ones that carry abortion coverage; I bet in MD all plans will have abortion coverage).

In the end, I will be paying for abortion since tax money is used to subsidize all insurance, including the ones which have a separate fund for abortion. I don't want my tax money going to any insurance plan which has an option for abortion.

Further, money is money; the insurance companies with abortion coverage can allocate money however they want. I don't expect the government (esp. Obama's) to be keeping tabs on the money flow.

Anyone have comments about my conclusion and/or the email above?

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