A Connecticut state health panel voted unanimously last week to pass a measure deeming elective abortions an "essential health benefit." This means that, when the plan takes effect in 2014, abortions of any kind, for any reason, would be covered by state insurnace plans under the Affordable Care Act -- a.k.a. Obamacare. Of course, the move has already sparked outrage in certain circles, as well as debate, over its implications.
The Connecticut Mirror explains:
In Connecticut, every private health insurance plan already covers elective abortions, said Victoria Veltri, the state's healthcare advocate. However, for this new essential benefits plan, the state must create a model -- using the state employee plan, the federal employee plan or a private plan -- for what is required to be covered.
Had the state selected the federal employees' health plan, which does not cover abortions, then business and individuals who purchased this essential benefits package would not receive abortion coverage.
Meanwhile, the panel, which passed the measure with ease, thinks that their homestate is ahead of the curve when it comes what it considers women's rights.
"It's a matter of health. We wanted to protect a woman's right to chose," said Veltri. "I didn't suspect that this would be an issue here."
Others, however, are surprised that a decision of such gravitas was taken so lightly and not fought against more diligently.
"I was surprised that that was so easy," Robert McLean of the Connecticut State Medical Society reportedly told Jaff after the vote. CM adds:
Peter Wolfgang, the leader of the Family Institute, a conservative advocacy group, said Friday evening that he is upset that such an important decision was made as hundreds of people were rallying in New Haven, and thousands in dozens of cities across the U.S. -- against a birth control mandate and abortion.
"The pro-abortion movement has their tentacles wrapped around state government. The devil is clearly in the details when implementing the new health law," Wolfgang added said.