April 23, 2010

Opsommer introduces bill to regulate state insurance exchanges under national health care
State Representative Paul Opsommer announced today the introduction of HB 6075, which he said was a necessary step to regulate abortion coverage under national healthcare if the Cox lawsuit is not successful. "I do not trust a temporary executive order to make sure we're not using taxpayer money to perform abortions", said Opsommer. "Despite the healthcare bill being over two-thousand pages long, most of the details are going to be created by bureaucratic rules created by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, and while we wait for the Cox lawsuit to be heard we must also have people take an active voice in trying to influence that rulemaking process." Opsommer said he introduced an important placeholder bill to address the issue at a state level, HB 6075. "If the federal government is ultimately successful in mandating that we set up state insurance exchanges, we have to make sure no taxpayer money is going to be used to fund abortion coverage," said Opsommer. "Ultimately I expect we are going to need several bills in this area to completely nail this down, it is going to be quite complex. Hopefully with the Cox lawsuit none of these will be needed."

If not significantly altered in the rulemaking process, one provision in the national healthcare law could allow states to choose to prevent plans offered through their exchanges from covering abortion. Opsommer said that Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have also introduced similar legislation.