Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

The Hyde Amendment: Abortion Coverage and Health Insurance Reform

I’m going to wade right in here.  I am not a fan of abortions, but neither am I of amputations.  Both are sometimes necessary.  To me, too often abortion opponents forget the mother.  She is a life present before us.  Her care should not be forgotten.

I have been listening and reading the discussions over how the abortion coverage may sink health care reform.  I think it would be a shame if this one issue does sink reform.

If my understanding of the Hyde Amendment (and it’s amendments over the years) is correct the Federal Government covers the cost of abortions in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is at risk.  It does not cover the cost when the health of the mother is at risk:

With these bans, the federal government turns its back on women who need abortions for their health.  Women with cancer, diabetes, or heart conditions, or whose pregnancies otherwise threaten their health, are denied coverage for abortions.  Only if a woman would otherwise die, or if her pregnancy results from rape or incest, is an abortion covered.  The bans thus put many women’s health in jeopardy.

I agree with opponents who do not wish to cover abortions for simply any reason (i.e. the timing for a pregnancy is not good, etc).  Abortion should never be used for birth control.  That should be done using birth control pills, condoms, abstinence, etc.

Currently, the only abortions available under Medicaid are the ones mentioned above.  I think it’s a shame that distinctions can not be made to provide coverage for a woman who’s HEALTH would be negatively affected by her pregnancy.  All insurance policies should do so in my opinion.

Opponents of abortion want language that would prohibit any private insurance company that accepts federal funds from offering to policyholders abortions other than those already eligible under Medicaid.

Sources

How Abortion Could Imperil Health-Care Reform by Michael Scherer; Monday, Aug. 24, 2009; Times.com

What is the Hyde Amendment? (July 21, 2004); ACLU

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »