|There are positive and constructive steps the state of Missouri can take right now to keep abortion out of important features of the newly enacted federal health care reform law --The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Prayerful and calm action on behalf of the unborn is what is needed now. Catholics can be leaders in showing how pro-life concerns can yet be addressed in the newly enacted health care reform law. Gentle persistence--that is the key to making Missouri a more pro-life states.
Read this alert and contact your State Senator and State Representative immediately.
|States Can Exclude Abortion Coverage Within Insurance Exchanges|
The new law authorizes the establishment of state-based health insurance "exchanges" through which the unemployed and uninsured can purchase health insurance. Separate exchanges will start in 2014 to provide insurance for small businesses with under 50 employees.
The new federal law allows states to prohibit health insurance exchanges operating in their state from offering coverage for elective abortions. SB 747, sponsored by State Senator Scott Rupp (R-Wentzville), and HB 1725, sponsored by State Representative Darrell Pollock (R-Lebanon), would apply this abortion prohibition to Missouri. The companion bills both state the following:
No health insurance exchange established within this state or any health insurance exchange administered by the federal government or its agencies within this state shall offer health insurance contracts, plans, or policies that provide coverage for elective abortions, nor shall any health insurance exchange operating within this state offer coverage for elective abortions through the purchase of an optional rider.
Under the proposed legislation, health insurance policies offered through exchanges could only provide coverage for abortions necessary to save the life of the mother.
Some argue that SB 747 and HB 1725 are not necessary because of current Missouri law. Under the present law (Section 376.806 RSMo) passed in 1983 no private insurance company can offer coverage for elective abortions except as an optional rider paid for by an additional premium. The Missouri law therefore ensures that no one subsidizes abortion for others through insurance premiums.
However, this legislation is necessary to make it clear that the abortion prohibition applies to health plans offered through the newly created health insurance exchanges.
|ACTION REQUESTED |
- Contact your State Senator and State Representative and urge support for SB 747 and HB 1725 respectively (see contact information in left-side panel);
- Forward this Action Alert to friends and neighbors and urge them to contact their State Senator and State Representative;
- Report back to MCC on what your legislators are saying.
Missouri can keep abortion coverage out of the health insurance exchanges established by the newly enacted federal health care reform law. Please vote for SB 747 and HB 1725. These bills will make sure Missourians are not forced to subsidize abortion through their insurance premiums. Abortion is not health care but the killing of an innocent unborn child.
|EXTRA CREDIT/Informed Consent Bills:|
Because of grave concerns with the new federal health care reform law, there is strong momentum to pass legislation such as SB 747 and HB 1725. However, the informed consent to abortion bills also need to be passed by the Missouri General Assembly in order to save unborn children and assist women in crisis pregnancies.
These bills -- SB 793 sponsored by Senator Robert Mayer (R-Dexter), SB 792 sponsored by Senator Tom Dempsey (R-St. Charles) and HBs 1327 and 2000 sponsored by State Representatives Cynthia Davis (R-O'Fallon) and Byran Pratt (R-Blue Springs) -- would require the abortion doctor to meet in person with a woman considering an abortion at least 24 hours before performing an abortion. The woman would be offered the opportunity to view an ultrasound of her developing baby and to receive information on agencies that provide alternative to abortion services.