Obamacare Exchanges and Abortion: Still Opaque in Week Two

by Chuck Donovan

One small sliver of light in the adoption of Obamacare with respect to elective abortion was the provision of the law that required each state to sponsor at least one multi-state plan (MSP) that does not have such coverage. As the Lozier Institute has pointed out, however, finding out which plan or plans in a given state does not cover elective abortion is proving to be a nightmare. Twenty-three states have barred elective-abortion coverage in their exchanges. For the other 27, the Office of Personnel Management web site, state web sites, hotlines, and even private plan administrators are either silent or confused.

In the past few days, the Lozier Institute has looked at the information available from several more states, including New Hampshire, Illinois, and Tennessee. The latest update is here. Not surprisingly, bipartisan members of Congress are now introducing legislation to require transparent and accessible information about abortion coverage to be featured prominently for visitors and callers to the Obamacare exchanges. Excluding plans with elective abortion from the multi-state program would have been the policy most consistent with prior law covering plans administered by OPM, and members of Congress continue to press for that reform. Until it is achieved, full and easy-to-find disclosure is the bare minimum the Obama administration and state governments should provide.   

— Chuck Donovan is president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute.


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