Legislation Prohibiting Taxpayer-Funded Abortions Through Insurance Exchanges Heads to Governor’s Desk
HARRISBURG – The state Senate passed, by a vote of 31-19, legislation prohibiting abortion coverage in qualified plans offered through a health insurance exchange. The bill, which previously passed the House by a vote of 144-53, now goes to the governor’s desk, Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County) announced today.

“Pennsylvania taxpayers should not be forced by the government to help fund abortions,” Turzai said. “Through this legislation, we have taken another step to protect the dignity of all human life and shut the back door to government-subsidized abortions.”

House Bill 818 would explicitly prohibit health insurers participating in any taxpayer-subsidized state health insurance exchanges – an insurance system created under the new federal health care law through the use of taxpayer dollars and currently slated to be operational by 2014 – from providing coverage for elective abortions. Seventeen other states have already opted out of offering this coverage.

According to Turzai, the legislative intent of the Federal Patient and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) was for the states to weigh in, and it gives state the authority to prohibit certain abortion coverage. Through House Bill 818, the Commonwealth is weighing in by placing the new insurance system under Pennsylvania’s existing law.

Allowable exceptions under House Bill 818 are the life of the mother, rape or incest. The bill regulates the use of public funds for abortion services to maintain consistency between federal law and state law. It does not prohibit an individual from purchasing abortion coverage on a separate premium outside the health insurance exchange.

Representative Mike Turzai
Majority Leader
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Stephen Miskin
717.772.9943 (office), 717.756.3936 (cell)
Share |