Consideration of a seemingly innocuous bill setting up the framework for a health insurance exchange to implement the new federal health care reform law took a nasty turn when Senate President Teresa Paiva-Weed inserted a surprise anti-abortion amendment into the bill. The amendment sought to ban all insurance providers within the exchange from providing any abortion coverage to participating individuals, even if the coverage was privately paid for. This restriction went beyond the already-stringent limitations on abortion coverage imposed by the federal law. The ACLU and other pro-choice groups rallied against the legislation, and when the Senate refused to back down on the amendment, the House let the entire bill die.
Health Insurance Exchange (H 5498, S 87)
Representative Brian Kennedy and Senator Teresa Paiva Weed