Planned Parenthood Sues HHS For Requiring Multiple Payments For Abortion
Washington Times (DC)
Planned Parenthood of Maryland filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking to block a new rule by the Trump administration that would increase paperwork for insurers and patients seeking abortions.
Attorneys with the American Civil Liberties Union are representing Planned Parenthood in the lawsuit.
They say the rule released in December by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would force insurance companies in the Obamacare exchanges to send two separate bills to customers for abortions. Customers would need to pay the bills with two checks, two money orders or two electronic transactions each month, they said.
"If this rule takes effect, I face the terrifying risk of losing not only my insurance coverage for abortion, but my insurance coverage entirely, which would be devastating for me given my pre-existing condition," a plaintiff identified as "Rebecca," a D.C. resident, said in a press statement.
The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland identifies the rule, which was finalized by HHS and CMS on Dec. 27.
That rule, which "revises standards relating to oversight of Exchanges ... for certain abortion services," is to take effect Feb. 25.
At the time of the rule's issuance, HHS justified the rule by citing higher costs for abortion services.
"Our health care programs, including the exchanges, are evolving rapidly, and our program integrity efforts must keep up," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "Today's final rule drastically improves our ability to pay it right — to make the right payment to the right plan for the right people."