I am writing today to announce the closure of the New Mexico Independent. After three and a half years of operation in New Mexico, the board of the American Independent News Network, has decided to shift publication of its news…
NM move to cover abortion in high risk pools prompts feds to ban coverage
New Mexico apparently played a role in the Obama administration’s recent decision to ban most abortion procedures covered under a new federal health care program that began this month.
On July 1, New Mexico, like most other states, launched started federal high-risk insurance pool that provides access to health insurance for hard-to-insure individuals who often are turned away from the private markets due to several reasons, including preexisting conditions. It is the first high-profile program from the recent federal health care law.
New Mexico initially decided to cover abortion procedures, which provoked accusations from abortion opponents that President Obama had tricked them into voting for the health care reform law, the Associated Press reported yesterday.
The news service went on to report:
Trying to head off more problems, the Health and Human Services Department announced last week the program will not cover abortions except in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is in danger — exceptions traditionally allowed under federal law.
The flap over abortion coverage has led to a high-profile back-and-forth between opponents and supporters.
The Associated Press quoted Cardinal Daniel DiNardo as saying the Catholic bishops “welcome this new policy.”
But NARAL Pro-Choice America Nancy Keenan issued a statement in response to the Obama administration’s decision saying that the new rules go too far in restricting access to abortion coverage.
“We didn’t expect that women would be treated differently here with regard to the high-risk insurance pool,” she was quoted as saying. “This is inexplicable and wrongheaded to us, and it puts women’s live in jeopardy.”
As of last week only a handful of New Mexicans had enrolled in the new federal high-risk insurance pool.
Starting in 2014, the new health care law will allow federally subsidized health insurance plans to cover abortions, but only if policyholders pay for coverage separately and the money is segregated from government funds, the Associated Press reported.