Health Reform Affects High-Risk Patients, Abortion And Doctor Practices
NPR: "Recent fights between anti-abortion groups could leave people with the impression that the new health overhaul law expands women's access to abortion. But abortion-rights groups vehemently disagree."
"So far at least three states -- Missouri, Tennessee and Louisiana -- are already moving legislation to ban abortion coverage in the [health insurance marketplaces known as] exchanges. And that's even though the exchanges themselves don't have to be up and running until the year 2014."
"A full ban would seem to undermine the uneasy truce between abortion rights supporters and opponents that was in place as the new law was being written; that it should neither expand nor contract existing abortion policy" (Rovner, 4/15).
The Oregonian: "Over the next four years, the law will give 23 million more people insurance, a big increase in customers. But customers may not pay as much for health care. The act promotes many new insurance choices, plans to cut Medicare payments to doctors and expands the number of patients with low-paying Medicaid insurance." Combined, these factors have one Portland doctor who supports the goals of the health overhaul worried that the bill may adversely affect her practice (Dworkin, 4/14).
NPR, in a separate story: The health overhaul directs $5 billion to create new high-risk insurance pools. Exisitng state-run high-risk insurance pools "are largely viewed as a failure. They were originally meant as insurers of last resort for those shut out of the private health insurance market, but according to the [National Association of State Comprehensive Health Insurance Plans], the pools cover only about 200,000 Americans," and have expensive premiums and deductibles and other limits. The new pools are intended to be cheaper and more accessible (Varney, 4/15).
Earlier, related KHN story: The First Test Of New Health Law: Covering Hard-To-Insure People (Carey, 3/26)This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.