KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Abortion Restrictions In House Health Reform Bill Triggering Outrage From The Left

ABC News reports that the abortion amendment to the House health reform bill has reignited a fiery debate on one of the most controversial issues in the country."  Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus, "said in a statement that the restrictions the amendment would place on a woman's right to choose 'sets a terrible precedent and marks a significant step backwards.' She has gathered 40 signatures from House Democrats "promising to oppose any final bill that includes the amendment." She has also asked the White House for a meeting with President Obama (Friedman, 11/9).

The Hill on the thorny road that abortion-rights advocates face: "A number of avowed pro-choice Democrats voted for the (Rep. Bart) Stupak amendment - a pattern that could repeat itself on the Senate floor - underscoring that abortion-rights supporters face a more difficult challenge than on other abortion-related votes" (Young, 11/9).

Roll Call: "But the flurry of letter-writing and threats to bring down the bill over the abortion issue mirrored an earlier battle over the public insurance option. And in that debate, liberals vowed to vote down any version of the plan not based on Medicare rates only to later vote en masse for a weaker version" (Newmyer, 11/10).

Finally, the San Francisco Chronicle reports that even women who receive no federal subsidies for their health care coverage could not use insurance exchanges set up by the federal government to purchase coverage that covers abortion: "Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said it is 'ridiculous' to expect women to buy separate policies for abortion coverage. 'No one plans an unplanned pregnancy,' she said" (Lochhead, 11/10). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.