UPDATE: Michigan Sneaks Through Anti-Abortion Laws
While Michigan was in the news due to its new "Right-to-Work" bill, the Michigan House took the opportunity to approve two anti-abortion laws on December 6th.
House Substitute for S.B. 1293 and House Substitute for S.B. 1294 were both approved by the Michigan Senate and House and immediately prevent abortion coverage from being included in any health insurance exchange program as required by the Affordable Care Act. Both of these laws were passed as part of the restructuring of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. This allowed their passage to fly under the radar because they are reforming existing laws about insurance coverage. The new laws will go into effect immediately and will only affect policies through the state health insurance exchange.
These two bills are separate from S.B. 612, 613, and 614, which are all pieces of anti-choice insurance legislation passed by the state Senate and sent to the House Insurance Committee. If S.B. 612, 613, and 614 are passed in the House, they will prevent abortion from being a covered procedure under any health insurance policy, and would require women to purchase an additional separate policy purely for abortion coverage.
Media Resources: Feminist Newswire 12/11/12; DailyKOS 12/8/12
4/15/2014 Virginia Bishops Advocate More Abortion Restrictions for Poor Women - Using the Medicaid expansion debate as a platform, the Virginia Catholic Conference issued a statement Friday calling for the repeal of a Virginia law that allows state funding of abortion care for Medicaid recipients in situations where the fetus exhibits a "gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity" or a "gross and totally incapacitating mental deficiency."
Bishop Francis DiLorenzo of the Diocese of Richmond and Bishop Paul Loverde of the Diocese of Arlington authored the statement which urges Virginia lawmakers to act to expand Medicaid to cover more of Virginia's poor. . . .
4/14/2014 Kathleen Sebelius Resigns as Secretary of Health & Human Services - President Barack Obama last week announced the resignation of Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius.
Noting that she will "go down in history" for "serving as the Secretary of Health and Human Services when the United States of America finally declared that quality, affordable health care is not a privilege, but it is a right for every single citizen of these United States of America," President Obama praised Secretary Sebelius for guiding the implementation of the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At least 7.5 million Americans have now signed up for health coverage through health insurance marketplaces created by the ACA. . . .