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Wisconsin to Cut Funding for Abortion Providers

Written By: ECJ Staff  |  Posted: Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

              On May 25th the senate Public Health Committee held a hearing on SB 92, a bill that would prevent insurers within the subsidized networks to offer abortion coverage in Wisconsin. According to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), qualified health insurance plans offering abortions are allowed to participate in Wisconsin's healthcare exchange. This provision for tax-funded abortion is clearly in contradiction with the late 1970s Wisconsin law prohibiting 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 (s. 20.927). Senator Rich Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) and Assembly Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine) put forward a bill that opts Wisconsin out of abortion coverage in the health care exchanges created by Obamacare.

             President Obama issued an executive order that was supposedly going to fix the abortion funding problem but the order does not have the effect of law and could be reversed at any time. Opponents of the bill are angry that their loophole for subsidized abortions may be thwarted. Lisa Subeck, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin testified against the bill at the hearing, "The point of health care reform is to make health insurance more affordable, not to prevent individuals from purchasing the coverage that most effectively meets their health care needs." State Representative Terese Berceau (D-Madison) also protested that the bill was unfair, "The exchange is part of a government program but the government is not funding the insurance policies."
Other states have chosen to fight against the health exchange loophole as well. Eleven other states have moved to opt out of Obamacares abortion funding including: Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Utah, and Virginia. "Specific language in the PPACA permits a state to opt-out of allowing insurance plans that cover abortions to participate in that state's exchanges. The citizens of Wisconsin must not be placed in the position of subsidizing abortion coverage in the health care exchanges mandated by PPACA," says Susan Armacost of Wisconsin Right to Life. "The state can take preventative action on this regard now by enacting Senate Bill 92."

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