|By JONATHAN KAMINSKY, Associated Press|
They are championing House Bill 1044, better known as the Reproductive Parity Act, which is meant to ensure that existing abortion coverage be preserved once new health insurance rules come into effect in 2014 under national health care reform.
"What we're doing is ensuring that women in
Opponents said the measure is a waste of time because all insurers in the state already cover abortion.
"The bill is completely unnecessary," said Sen.
The bill will receive a public hearing on Thursday in the
It stands in contrast to Senate Bill 5156, a Republican-sponsored bill to require minors to notify a parent before becoming eligible to receive an abortion. That measure, which originally included language threatening longstanding abortion protections in the state, will receive a hearing in the
Voicing a concern raised by opponents of the abortion insurance bill, Majority Leader
Included in the bill is a clause nullifying any portion of it found to interfere with the state's receipt of that federal money. Sen.
"I have not paid any attention to the bill yet," said Hill. "There's a thousand bills yet to be dropped."
Last year's version of the measure never made it to the
Cody said the bill is needed because under looming federal health care reforms, insurance carriers will face red tape associated with covering abortion that may tempt them to drop it from their plans. She said she is unaware of any insurer contemplating doing so.
Because federal money may not be spent on abortion, a prohibition dating to 1976, the insurers, under the federal reforms, will be required to collect two sets of premiums, one for abortion coverage and one for all other services.
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