The legislation passed by a vote of 31 to 19 and is now headed to Governor Corbett to be signed.
The Senate has just passed legislation that bans abortion insurance coverage on policies that are sold through the state’s health insurance exchange, which was formed by the federal healthcare reforms.
The bill is now being sent to Governor Tom Corbett’s desk to receive a signature that he has already agreed to provide.
Once Corbett adds his signature, the bill will be made into law, as House Bill 818 has passed the Senate by a vote of 31 to 19 and in April, it had already passed the House by a vote of 144 to 53. Among the supporters of the bill and who voted in favor of it were: Sens. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster County), Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon County), and Jake Corman (R-Centre County). Among those who were opposed and who voted against it were: Sens. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland County), and Rob Teplitz (D-Dauphin County).
The bill would stop companies offering abortion insurance in their policies from participating in the exchange.
Any health insurer that is hoping to take part in the Pennsylvania exchange will now need to make sure that abortion insurance is not covered by the policies that it is selling there. The only time that this coverage is permissible is in situations when the life of the mother is at risk, or when the pregnancy has occurred due to incest or rape.
Supporters stated that HB 818 helps to make certain that the Abortion Control Act in the state and the restrictions that it imposes are maintained. This law bans the use of government funds to pay for the termination of an unborn baby except in the three aforementioned situations. This act will now be applied to policies that are purchased through the health insurance exchange, which is funded by taxpayer dollars.
According to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee chair, Senator Don White (R-Indiana County), “Those who are concerned about the parameters set up by House Bill 818 should focus their efforts on amending the Abortion Control Act if they believe those exceptions are overly restrictive.” It is only by addressing that law that the changes to the availability of abortion insurance will be possible.