Boxer on the Frontlines in Fight Against Abortion Provision in Reform Bill
On Tuesday, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) helped lead the charge to stifle an amendment to the Senate health care reform bill (HR 3590) that would have restricted abortion coverage in proposed health insurance exchanges, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The Senate voted 54-45 to table Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) amendment, which mirrors the language of an amendment included in the House health reform bill (HR 3962).
Nelson's proposal would have barred health plans included in insurance exchanges from providing abortion coverage to individuals receiving government subsidies (Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/9). In addition, individuals purchasing health plans on their own would have to pay for a separate rider to obtain abortion coverage (Zapler, San Jose Mercury News, 12/8).
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) also argued against the amendment, saying the measure would restrict a woman's right to use her own money to purchase a health plan that covers abortion services (Bunis, "Total Buzz," Orange County Register, 12/8).
Re-Election Issue for Boxer?
Abortion is a familiar issue for Boxer, who used her abortion-rights stance to rally supporters during her first Senate race in 1992 and in two subsequent re-election bids.Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina or former Assembly member Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) are seeking the Republican nomination to go up against Boxer in her campaign for a fourth term. Both Fiorina and DeVore oppose abortion rights (San Jose Mercury News, 12/8). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.