Sharing this so that interested bloggers may participate.
Dear blogger friends,
You’re invited to take part in a Planned Parenthood Blogger Bee!
On Wednesday, Dec. 2, Planned Parenthood will be holding a National Day of Action to lobby the Senate for health care reform that ensures women’s access to reproductive health care. In order to get the word out as quickly and widely as possible, Planned Parenthood is asking bloggers to write about the National Day of Action and the negative impact that the Stupak amendment would have on health care reform if it is included in the final legislation.
Under the Stupak amendment, millions of women would lose benefits that they currently have and millions more would be prohibited from getting the kind of private sector health care coverage that most women have today. It is imperative that women and their allies make their voices heard, so that they do not become second-class citizens in a newly reformed health care system in the United States. The first step will be to make sure everyone has the tools they need to inform themselves and others about the new health care system under the House-passed bill and the Stupak amendment.
We ask that on Wednesday, Dec. 2, you use the key points (after the jump) to inform your readers and spread the message that we will not accept health care reform that leaves women worse off than before. To participate, send the name and url of your blog and your Twitter name if you have one, to Constance DeCherney at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1. If you sign up, your blog will be listed and linked on Planned Parenthood’s Action Center and included in a special Planned Parenthood (@PPact) Twitter List.
For more information on health care reform and the Stupak amendment, visit us at http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/healthreform.
We need to hear from you! Help us protect women’s access to reproductive health care!
Key Points for Bloggers:
Check out (and post on your blogs) the Pass Health Care Reform, Stop Stupak video and include these key points in your post.
The Bottom Line
- Essentially the amendment violates the underlying principle of health care reform, as articulated by President Obama, that no one will lose the benefits the currently have.
- Under the Stupak amendment, millions of women would lose benefits that they currently have and millions more would be prohibited from getting the kind of private sector health care coverage that most women have today.
- Millions of women would lose private coverage for abortion services and millions more would be prohibited from buying it even with their own money.
- Women’s access to private coverage for abortion would be severely restricted by health care reform.
The New Health Insurance Exchange
- The new health insurance exchange is intended to provide a new source of affordable, quality coverage for the roughly 46 million uninsured Americans and the millions more whose current coverage is unaffordable or inadequate.
- The House bill is expected to cover 96 percent of all uninsured Americans by offering subsidies for private coverage or the choice of a public plan. Depending on their income level and the final package approved by Congress, individuals would receive subsidies on a sliding scale to purchase private insurance through the exchange.
- Not everyone in the exchange would have subsidized coverage — a significant portion of people (for instance, those currently purchasing in the individual market and those working for small businesses) who would buy insurance in the exchange would not receive any subsidies, also known as affordability credits.
The Stupak Amendment
- The Stupak amendment prohibits any coverage of abortion in the public option and prohibits anyone receiving a federal subsidy from purchasing a health insurance plan that includes abortion. It also prohibits private health insurance plans from offering through the exchange a plan that includes abortion coverage to both subsidized and unsubsidized individuals.
- The Stupak amendment purports to allow women to purchase a separate, single-service “abortion rider,” but abortion riders don’t exist.
- Women are unlikely to think ahead to choose a plan that includes abortion coverage, since they do not plan for unplanned pregnancy.
- Realistically, the actual effect of the Stupak amendment is to ban abortion coverage across the entire exchange, for women with both subsidized and unsubsidized coverage.
Who Would Be Covered in the Exchange?
- Most immediately, the exchange would offer coverage to many of the 17 million women, 18–64, who are uninsured. It would also be a source of coverage for the 5.7 million women who are now purchasing coverage in the individual market.
- In most of these cases, women will lose abortion coverage that they currently have — in the current private insurance market, the majority of health insurance plans include abortion.
- Example: Currently, a self-employed graphic designer or writer, buying coverage from Kaiser Permanente in the individual market, likely has abortion coverage. Under the health reform plan amended by Stupak, she would purchase that same plan from Kaiser Permanente in the exchange, but it would not include abortion coverage because it would be barred. This ban would be in effect even if she were paying the full premium. Similarly, a woman working for a small graphic design firm, who currently has abortion coverage through her company’s plan, would lose it under reform if the company decides to seek more affordable coverage in the exchange.
- Roughly 60 million women, 18–64, get their coverage through their employer or through their spouse’s employer. For some of these women, nothing will change immediately. But if current trends continue in the erosion of employer-sponsored health care, more and more women will be getting their health care through the exchange where abortion coverage is prohibited.