Exactly the Problem With Obamacare

Posted: Mar 18, 2010 7:37 AM
American Prospect writer Michelle Goldberg came out with a surprising piece yesterday in which she surprisingly claimed that Obamacare represents a rollback of abortion rights. But in claiming so, she unwittingly discovers a primary flaw in Obamacare.

In the final days of health-care reform, we're once again mired in a dispiriting debate about whether the legislation is sufficiently anti-abortion. The Senate health-care bill will allow states to ban insurance policies that include abortion from their insurance exchanges. In states where such policies are allowed, women will have to send a separate check for the portion of the plan that covers abortion, which very few are likely to do. Still, conservative Democrats in the House complain the legislation doesn't go far enough – they want plans that cover abortion removed from the exchanges altogether. It's become clear that if health-care reform passes, it's going to significantly erode, and probably end, insurance coverage for abortion. That makes it a serious step backward for reproductive rights.

In a theoretical world in which Michelle is right and a health care reform bill did represent a rollback of abortion coverage in insurance companies, she would be right. However, if you're willing to let the federal government define what "insurance" is, you have to accept the fact that the government is often going to define insurance in a way you do not like. If you want to be assured that abortion will always be an option covered under your insurance plan, you should resist the federal definition of insurance that Obamacare will necessitate.

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