Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich is bound and determined to drive his approval numbers down into the dirt, it seems. This week, he’s given Ohio women a lovely holiday gift: banning Ohio’s state insurance exchange from offering any plans that cover abortion.
House Bill 79, which would prohibit insurance plans participating in a yet-to-be created state health exchange or marketplace from providing abortion coverage, was among 13 bills Kasich signed this morning. They were passed last week during the legislature’s final session days of 2011.
“Ohio is witnessing historic gains in legislation that protects mothers and saves unborn babies,” said Mike Gonidakis, executive director for Ohio Right to Life.
The new federal health-care law requires states to have an exchange in place by 2014 to give consumers and small businesses a place to shop and compare policies. Gonidakis said the federal health-care law allows states to opt out of abortion coverage.
Ahh, but there’s a catch: the ACLU is eager to challenge the law, based on Issue 3 that passed in the state last month:
But the ACLU of Ohio has said the constitutional amendment that Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved last month was a message in opposition to the mandated insurance provisions of the federal health-care law and can now be used to block measures to restrict abortion access.
Issue 3 says that no state law shall “prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance” or “impose a penalty for the sale or purchase or health care or insurance.“
In other words, the same legal mumbo-jumbo that Kasich and the GOP used to “eliminate” the individual insurance mandate is now the same legislation that the ACLU will use to fight this anti-abortion measure.
And make no mistake, this is a bill that will eliminate insurance providers from covering abortions, making them all but unaffordable to women. That’s the point…and there’s probably going to be a number of court battles in states over this as well as a Supreme Court fight eventually.
Let’s keep in mind the GOP plan is to have as many blatantly unconstitutional bans on abortion as possible to make it de facto unavailable for any woman. After all, court battles can take far longer than pregnancies.
One of the other things that really bothers me is that Ohio Republicans seem to think there’s no reason to even try to create a state insurance exchange right now. Pretty much every red state out there is ignoring the exchange requirement, or passing legislation now that does everything possible to assure that the state exchanges, which are supposed to be online in 2014, simply don’t work because of all the silly bans on everything. Even if you think that “Hey, this exchange thing has nothing to do with me” right now, it’s soon going to. And GOP states are simply digging an early grave for it.
Even if the court battles are resolved in the favor of the Democrats here, the GOP is assuring that in dozens of states, insurance is going to be a nightmare to obtain. I guess that’s the eventual goal: a Republican party in change of government so that they can assure it can never work.
There are no words for how awesome this is. I hope it works.
I thought HHS will set up the exchanges for the states that refuse to do it on their own.
I hope that, by the law of unintended consequences, all this obfuscation and obstruction leads us that much closer to a national single-payer system. “You states have screwed this up so much that we’re going to have to take over.”
By the way, is this accurate? I thought states could choose to deny subsidies for plans that provide abortion coverage, but not prohibit unsubsidized plans from the exchange.
@Baud: Looked it up quickly and, apparently, states can prohibit abortion coverages from exchanges altogether. That sucks.
Odie Hugh Manatee
Fix’t that for ya.
Someone once said that man spends the first nine months trying to get out of a woman and the rest of his life trying to get back in.
The Republicans are doing it wrong.
wow. just looked it up. Had no idea it cost >$5,000 for a D&C. Time to set up that back alley clinic.
By the way if the state does not set up an exchange then what is there for that law to impact? Otherwise people in the state are in a Federal plan.
@Steve Been there done that- It was terrifying, it often had long lasting consequences, both psychologically and physically, and it was also expensive.
We deserve respectful healthcare.
@steve: Well, there are fewer and fewer doctors who will perform one, and fewer doctors learning how to do them. It’s becoming rarer and rarer. (But I don’t see it as a societal good.)
@steve: Yup. This bill says: abortions are fine if you’re rich, poor women are screwed. But I thought they keep saying the poor are breeding welfare babies right and left and teh rich white folk aren’t having enough babbies and *BOOM* (brain melts down like robot on Star Trek)
Awesome title. by the way.
@Ian: That’s right. The Affordable Care Act requires states to set up the exchanges. If a state fails to create the required exchanges, then the federal government will create the exchanges in the state instead.
For once, the Dems anticipated the predictable actions of the Nihilist Party at the State level.
The goopers are well past rational self-interest at this point. They latched onto it as Kenyan Soshulism The End of Amurka As We Know It and made it into an existential battle. It kind of is for them now, since after all the bullshit the actual provisions are pretty damn popular. Unless they do stop it, they’ve got a lot of explaining to do about why things are actually better with this law.
You’ll get the 27%ers who will swallow any sky-is-green shit that gets spewed out to them, but taking stuff directly out of people’s mouths when they were getting used to it does wake a lot of inattentive people up.
@Palli: Oh I have some experience in the agonizing and the consequences also.
Greetings from the drive-by typo stickler:
a Republican party in change of government
a Republican party in charge of government
BAck in the bad old days, pre-Roe v. Wade, my cousin was in charge of Planned Parenthood for Sterns County Minnesota (THE heart of darkness in MN & epicenter of Bachmann’s district). She had major run-ins with two doctors who, publicly, fought tooth and nail against legalization. But St. Cloud is not that big a town, it was not hard to find out these guys were who you went to when you needed a quick Dust and Clean.
She told me one of them had to leave a “Pray the Rosary” event to take care of this for one of his clients.
What a clusterfuck of a constitutional amendment. Nothing here even pretends to stop the ACA from preempting the state constitution. How is this supposed to stop the ACA? Or is this supposed to kick in once the Supreme Court carves out some sort of health insurance exception to the commerce clause?
And since all existing state-based health insurance law is now grandfathered in, you will need another constitutional amendment in order to make any adjustment to the state laws and regulations regarding health insurance sales (since just about anything can be considered to ‘indirectly’ compel or ‘indirectly’ prohibit the sale of health insurance).
This is a wholesale abdication of state power to the very commerce-clause empowered federal government they are trying to stop. What idiot came up with this language?
By the way, my screen name comes from one of “your” characters.
As someone who had four miscarriages that needed D&C’s to complete the process I can testify that not learning the procedure is far from a societal good. Two weeks of bleeding while your body still holds on to a dead fetus is not a fun nor emotionally healthy experience.
I’m sure there is some assbackwards logic where banning abortions protects mothers. Maybe in the sense that if a 15 year old gets an abortion then she doesn’t become a mother?
I really don’t understand why health insurance should be state-based to begin with. Is there really that much of a difference between someone in, say, Atlanta, GA and Greenville, SC? I understand that healthcare costs might be different, but a heart attack in Minnesota is the same as a heart attack in Texas.
Bruce Bartlett, fiscal policy adviser to Reagan, Bush Sr., Kemp, and Ron Paul, who said in 2005 that the GOP should pay attention to the deficit & was therefore excommunicated from conservatism, put it this way:
seems to me with shit like this that conservatives are itching for a civil war
@Dave: They’re still trying to fight the last one.
That seems to be to be an undue burden on the right to abortion, and therefore invalid under Casey.
Not that I necessarily want the Supremes to have an opportunity to revisit Casey.
@Percysowner: All OB/GYN doctors still learn D&C, especially as it pertains to dealing with miscarriages. What is not being taught is elective termination procedures. While 1st trimester suction curettage is simple, and any one who can manage a miscarriage has the skills to do one, the same is not true of more complicated second trimester (13 wks plus) procedures. That is where the knowledge deficit lies.
Also, too, a large part of the problem, especially in red states or red regions, is finding a hospital which will allow you to perform elective abortions. Catholic hospitals are out (and the catholics control a lot of hospitals), even for medically indicated terminations. And many smaller community hospitals succumb to wingnut pressure from the community and ban them, too.
Thus abortions providers have to set up free-standing clinics, not an inexpensive proposition, especially as the rules and regulations for said clinics are often onerous, once again due to right wingnut pressure (on state legislatures).
I see what you did there, and I applaud it.
Cause of the problems: 43.4% turn-out in 2010 in Ohio.
The solution: obvious.
Until people in Ohio decide to get off their lazy asses, organize, and vote the GOP will continue to win.
If they keep it up, they may get their wish.
Their nostalgia for a past they never personally experienced may put them in a position where they get what they want and find the having not nearly so pleasing as the wanting.
@Anoniminous: When I moved to Ohio in ’79, the governor and both senators were Democrats — the senators were John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum, and for those of you who don’t recognize Metzenbaum’s name, he was up there with Ted Kennedy when it came to promoting liberal causes. So Ohio is certainly capable of better than it’s been lately.