HEALTHY FAMILIES: State Will Offer Plans Without Abortion Coverage
"A state board voted yesterday to give families covered by the new Healthy Families program for the 'working poor' the option of choosing a health plan without abortion services," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The California Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (CMRMIB), which manages the Healthy Families program, "voted to ask health plans whether they will submit bids for providing services under the new program that do not include abortion." The move, which was made at the request of Gov. Pete Wilson, drew "fire from Planned Parenthood" (4/8). Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California CEO Kathy Kneer said, "Today's decision will cause unnecessary delays and additional risks and burdens to young women facing unintended pregnancies who choose an abortion. We are very disappointed the governor proposed this policy, which erects a barrier that will prevent young people from seeking important health care." She added, "Families do not choose health plans with the idea that someday their teen may be faced with an unintended pregnancy and need an abortion. Therefore we believe it is wrong to deny young women access by singling out abortion services from the benefit plan" (PPAC release, 4/7). However, Sean Walsh, Wilson's press secretary, said the governor "wants to give abortion opponents the option of receiving health coverage under a plan that does not provide abortion services." He said, "It is rather disturbing that those who profess to be the stout defenders of choice seem to want to provide no choice" (Union-Tribune, 4/8).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.