“So what you end up with is a situation where you’re either harming New York and California residents, or the federal government is forcing state governments to change their law,” Sonfield said.
“Neither situation is a good situation.”
And because individual plans would not cover abortion services if the bill becomes law, female customers of those plans would have to pay for such services totally out of pocket.
The conflict between the bill and the two states’ rules led one Republican congressman, rep. Dan Donovan of New York City, to vote against the GOP Obamacare replacement on Thursday.
“As written, the AHCA [American Health Care Act] would impose a tax hike on city residents to fund tax cuts elsewhere in the state,” Donovan said on his website. “My constituents would also be unable to use the bill’s tax credits because of New York’s rules on insurance coverage.”
The bill, which passed by a narrow 217 to 213, is now headed for consideration in the Senate, where it faces likely alteration.
Alina Salganicoff, vice president of women’s health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said California and New York have been exceptions to a trend since passage of Obamacare toward restricting insurance coverage for abortion services.
“They are states that strongly … support abortion access,” Salganicoff said.
Obamacare premium tax credits, which can only be applied to plans sold through government-run marketplaces such as HealthCare.gov, cannot be used now to pay for abortion services, Salganicoff noted. But people who receive such aid can pay a surcharge for insurance plans that cover the cost of abortion services, she said.
However, Obamacare lets states decide whether to ban plans that offer abortion coverage from being sold on government-run insurance exchanges.
Twenty-five states had decided to ban abortion coverage through the marketplaces’ plans, Salganicoff said.
“Ten of those states also banned abortion coverage through their individual market,” Salganicoff said.