Nearly half the states are banning abortion coverage in the new health insurance exchanges almost four years after battles over the issue nearly derailed passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Michigan could become the 24th state to ban most abortions in exchange plans this week, after an unusual citizens’ petition drive that allows state lawmakers to resurrect a bill the governor had vetoed and vote it into law without his signature.
Federal law bans taxpayer-financed abortion, and that was addressed in the compromise that paved the way for final passage of President Barack Obama’s health law. But the law also allows states to ban abortion coverage in the exchanges — even if the state isn’t running its own exchange — and most of the GOP-led states have done so.
Twenty-one states have laws banning exchange plans from covering abortion in most cases. Two other states already had restrictions in place that applied to all private health plans, which now include those offered on the exchange. The abortion funding controversy arises in the exchanges because many people will get federal subsidies to buy the health plans.