More Trouble for ACA

by Michael Sean Winters

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The incompetence of Kathleen Sebelius continues. Despite the fact that the Affordable Care Act requires every health insurance exchange to include a plan that does not cover abortion, despite the fact that without this provision of the law, the law would not have passed, it turns out that in many states, no such plan is being offered and even if there is such a plan, you will have a hard time finding that fact out. Grant Gallicho at Commonweal has the story.

There is one question this story does raise that I find interesting. Can the government compel an insurance company to not offer abortion coverage? They have an obvious financial interest in offering such coverage: Abortions are cheaper than pregnancies. But, what if some insurance company is owned by a person with a deeply held religious conviction that the world is overpopulated and that abortion is one way to remedy that fact. Does that company, like Hobby Lobby, have a religious liberty claim to insist that it be permitted to offer abortion coverage? As I have warned before, the argument against the HHS mandate should have stuck to the institutional integrity of our ministries, and not relied on a claim to a conscience exemption for individuals.

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